Description / History
In 1966 a domestic cat gave birth to a hairless kitten in Toronto, Canada. It was discovered to be a natural mutation and the Sphynx cat, as we know it today, came into existence. This cat and a few other naturally hairless cats have been found worldwide. These have magically been produced by Mother Nature and are the foundation for this unusual breed. Cat breeders in Europe and North America have bred the Sphynx to normal coated cats and then back to hairless for more than thirty years. The purpose of these selective breedings was to create a genetically sound cat with a large gene pool and hybrid vigor. This is a very robust breed with few health or genetic problems.
The Sphynx is not actually totally hairless, there is fine down on the body which feels like a warm peach. Some light hair is often present on the nose, tail and toes. The texture of the Sphynx skin has been likened to a suede hot water bottle, a horse’s warm muzzle or a heated chamois. They are registerable in every color that a cat comes in and the color is seen in the pigment of the skin and the few hairs that they do have. One of the questions most asked is “Don’t they get cold?” Well, of course, if it is too cold for you it will be too cold for a hairless cat too. However, these cats are smart enough to find a warm human, dog or cat to curl up with or they will get under your bed covers.
Because of the lack of hair that would normally absorb body oils, the Sphynx needs to be bathed periodically. This is not a difficult task with a cat that has been accustomed to a bath from kittenhood and it takes no time at all to dry a Sphynx.
Some people who suffer from cat allergies can tolerate living with Sphynx cats. However, depending on the type and severity of the individual’s allergic reactions, there are still people who can not live with this breed.
The Sphynx's eyes are large. The eye color ideally to conform to coat color, but green and hazel acceptable.
Appears hairless; texture chamois-like; may be covered with short, fine down; may have puff of hair on tip of tail; whiskers sparse and short.
The Sphynx is accepted by most major cat registries.