Hairless cats are accidents of nature which have always occurred. However, a breeding programme wasn't evolved until the latter half of the twentieth century.
In the 1970s a Dutch breeder imported two hairless cats from Canada and these formed the basis for the breed that we now know as the Sphynx cat today.
The first Sphynx to arrive in the UK was a female called Tulip in 1988 and she was the pioneer for the establishment of the breed in this country.
What do Sphynx Cats Look Like?
Although these distinctive cats appear to be completely hairless, their coats are generally covered with a fine down.
This makes them feel a little like chamois! The skin is quite loose on the body which gives these amazing felines a wrinkled look. All colours and patterns are possible with the Sphynx and the variations are exhibited in the pigment of the skin. Sphynx cats are of medium size and are extremely robust.
When bred properly they are not prone to serious health issues or genetic problems. They have an appealing, open eyed expression and their wrinkles create a somewhat inquisitive look like a frown.
They are intelligent animals with playful personalities and can be energetic, mischievous and a little clumsy. The cats enjoy human company and are generally sociable with other cats and with dogs.
Do Sphynx Cats Feel the Cold?
Sphynx cats do feel the cold more than other cats but are adept at finding warm places to rest. If it too chilly for a human to be comfortable without clothes then it is too cold for a Sphynx too.
They are ideal choices for house cats as they cannot tolerate cold temperatures outdoors and could suffer from sunburn on hotter days. Many owners dress their cats in coats if they do allow them to venture outdoors.
These cats are certainly great pets for feline enthusiasts who suffer from allergies as the reactive chemical in their saliva which causes issues is lower than in many other breeds.
How Do You Care for a Sphynx?
These charming animals are wonderful pets but do require a little more care than other breeds. Their lack of hair means that they cannot absorb body oils and so they tend to build up on the skin.
As a result, the cats need to be bathed regularly. Sphynx cats can also suffer from more ear wax than most other cats and so their ears need to be cleaned on a weekly basis.
In addition, Sphynx cats tend to accumulate oils and debris under their claws and in the skin folds above the claws and so these areas require regular attention.
The Rare but Popular Sphynx
Sphynx cats are much admired and so there are generally waiting lists for the available kittens. If you would love to welcome a Sphynx into your home then you may have to exercise patience when searching for your new friend. However, once you have met one of these charming cats, there will be no going back as they are sure to win you over!