The Sphynx cat is a naked cat that fascinates and upsets all who see it, in every sense of the word because the reaction can be both attraction and repulsion. Repulsion because he doesn't have a single hair, you can see his veins throbbing under his wrinkled skin, not to mention that he has a rat's tail and a head almost resembling that of a reptile, with bat ears.
It looks more like the description of an alien than a cat, but if you don't stop at the first impression, you can be completely fascinated by its uniqueness, elegance, tender look, and skin that is incredibly soft and warm.
The origins of the Sphynx cat
Pre-Columbian engravings have been found depicting naked cats; others were described in 1830 in the Natural History of Paraguayan Mammals by J. R. Rengger, while at the beginning of the 20th century, some press articles reported that Mexican hairless cats were on the verge of extinction.
As early as 1936, the birth of hairless cats was registered in the United States as well as in France a few years later, but it was not until 1966, still in North America, that attempts were made to breed them, with very little success.
The Dutchman Hugo Hernandez took in a few individuals carrying the American gene, worked extensively on this gene, and presented his cats in 1973; but it was not until ten years later that, in a Paris exhibition, the Sphynx cat aroused great interest. It should be remembered that this cat is the result of a natural genetic mutation, which breeders have limited themselves to fixing, without resorting to any manipulation.
The ideal cat
A medium-sized cat, its head is also medium and angular, a little longer than wide, with very pronounced cheekbones; the nose is long and has no whiskers; the forehead is flat and the skull rounded. Its ears are very large, wide at the base, and very wide apart; the eyes, also well set apart, have the shape of a lemon and are slightly inclined; their color matches that of their dress, although in this case talking about skin is more appropriate.
The body has a fine bone structure and a compact and powerful musculature; the chest and shoulders are robust and well developed, and the belly is always round and full. The legs are proportionate to the body; the front ones are further apart because of the ample thorax; the feet are oval with very long toes; the pads are very thick.
The tail is also bare, like that of a rat, even if one admits a small tuft of hair at the end; it is long and fine, like a whip, very mobile and soft. The Sphynx cat does not have a real coat, but it is covered with a light down.
The most obvious features are wrinkles and folds; wrinkles are located on the forehead, muzzle, chin, neck, and legs, giving the impression of falling socks; young individuals have the whole body wrinkled. In adults, the wrinkles of the body then become folds that follow all the movements of the animal.
Since it has no fur, its color is like that of any cat, although the shades of colors are more or less visible. To illustrate this concept better, let's say for example that a white cat will not be that color but rather pink, and all the color points will be very light. Generally, the color of its coat will be the same as the color of its nose.
The fidelity of the Sphynx cat is already legendary and it is also very gentle. Unlike most cats, he very rarely goes on his master's lap. The sphynx much prefers its shoulders! This is also one of its particularities, helping to easily take a picture of it. It is a cat that combines intelligence with courage and does not lack joyful mischief.
Hug: Its eternal search for warmth means that this feline particularly appreciates caresses, especially if very warm hands provide them! You will often find him under the covers, curled up against you.
Player: The Sphynx cat needs daily play sessions. It is an active cat that requires a lot of stimulation, whether through independent activities or interactive games with its owners.
Calm: He is a playful cat, but he also has his quiet moments when he likes to rest in a warm and cozy place that is intended for him (or that he will have appropriated himself to your amazement).
Intelligent: His liveliness and curiosity make him an intelligent cat that will never cease to amaze you!
Fearful/wary of strangers:
The Sphynx cat tends to greet guests at the door. He can keep a small reserve at first, but his great curiosity quickly takes over. It quickly becomes the main attraction of all parties!
Independent: The Sphynx cat is quite capable of fending for itself, but it much prefers the presence of the members of its family on whom it likes to snuggle up to keep warm.
The Sphynx Cat Behavior
Talkative: The Sphynx cat knows how to be heard, but is not known to be a very talkative cat.
Greedy/gluttonous: The Sphynx cat is a good eater without being gluttonous. It expends a fair amount of energy due to its moderately high activity level and thermoregulation. His caloric intake must therefore be calculated accordingly.
Need for exercise: He is a very energetic cat who loves to play. Some of them will even bring back their toy! If you have an active family The Sphynx cat is perfect for you.
Runaway: Being clingy due to its constant search for warmth, this naked cat tends not to wander off and greatly prefers the comfort of its own home.
The Sphynx cat and the Dogs:
This little feline appreciates the company of a dog. Moreover, you will undoubtedly find him snuggled up against him to take advantage of the warmth he gives off!
The Sphynx cat and the Other Cats:
This cat knows how to adapt to the presence of other cats, especially individuals of its breed. If you're the proud owner of more than one Sphynx, you'll likely witness piles of cats meleeing.
The Sphynx cat and the Children:
Being a lively and playful cat, he will appreciate the company of children who will keep him occupied and stimulated.
The Sphynx cat and the Elderly:
Although he can be calm and clingy, this tom has a moderately high energy level. It is important to ensure that he will not lack independent activities, but also interactive play sessions with his owners.
How to Care for My Sphynx Cat
The Sphynx cat, like most cats, loves heat. Since his internal temperature is normal, he has a huge appetite: in fact, he needs a lot of food to be able to produce and accumulate the calories he needs.
It should also be remembered that his skin is less well protected than that of a human being because it does not have melanin; in fact, the only serious risk that the Sphynx cat runs is to burn itself in the sun, in a sometimes very serious way; so he needs a full-screen protection cream when he sunbathes, which he loves.
The skin of the Sphynx cat produces a lot of sebum and, in the absence of hair to absorb it, this sebum can sometimes clog its skin pores. A bath is recommended once or twice a year maximum. Between baths, using a damp washcloth to remove excess oil is ideal. Thorough cleaning of the ears every week is also recommended since the production of earwax by them is abundant. Special attention should also be paid to the interdigital spaces and between the pads under the legs, as sebum tends to accumulate there. The skin of the Canadian hairless cat is also susceptible to sunburn. Be sure to apply sunscreen before prolonged exposure to UV rays.
The Sphynx cat does not lose hair. The light down that is found on its skin and the slightly hairy areas of the head, ears, legs, scrotum, and tail constitute its unique "fur".
Resistant / robust:
Due to its lack of a coat, this naked cat is sensitive to cold temperatures and will try to find warmth where it can (a heating unit, an electronic device, a hot stove, a sunny windowsill, etc.), which can sometimes be problematic because of the risk of burns on devices that are too hot, but also sunburn.
Tendency to grow:
Since he tends to eat more due to the need to maintain his body temperature, special attention must be paid to the quality and quantity of food served.
The Sphynx cat is prone to a particular disease: HCM. It is a hereditary disease that can skip several generations. We cannot, therefore, guarantee that a kitten will not be a carrier of the disease.
To sum up, the CMH is a disease having the effect of shrinking the walls of the heart, which thus runs out of breath more quickly. There are treatments to stabilize these effects, but they are expensive and often lifelong.
This disease also affects males. The heart of the Sphynx being close to that of man, research is being done on these cats, with the aim in particular of treating men.
To prevent this type of disease, it is, therefore, better to go for ultrasounds with the veterinarian, who will confirm or not, if the Sphynx is subject to it.
Particular attention must be paid to the blood groups of breeding animals to avoid hemolytic anemia (neonatal isoerythrolysis) which is often fatal in kittens.
He must eat a little more than other cats, because he spends more calories, to thermoregulate himself, than other breeds since he has no hair.
Good to know:
The Sphynx cat, like humans and unlike other cats, sweats through the skin. He also sometimes has the characteristic of leaving stains on his sleeping places because of the sebum on his skin.
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