Other names: Canadian Sphynx
All sorts of rumors have circulated about the origins of this hairless cat. It has been said to come from dubious genetic experiments and even the victim of nuclear radiation from the Chernobyl power station ... In fact, a genetic mutation is at the origin of the Sphynx’s lack of hair. It’s name comes from the fact that it shares some physical traits with the Egyptian sculpture of the same name. Obviously, its nudity is its primary feature, but its lemon-shaped eyes, huge ears and many folds will leave no one indifferent to it. We are automatically either attracted or repelled by this cat’s most peculiar look...
Key facts about the Sphynx
Life expectancy :
Type of coat :Naked Short Long
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Origins and history
The first hairless cat that was bred was born in the city of Toronto in the province of Ontario in Canada in 1966. The little female was named Plum. People tried to reproduce it with mixed successes. After about 30 years of crossbreeding mainly in France, we obtained the breed as we know it today. In Mexico, very old murals depicting hairless cats have been discovered. Other research suggests that the Aztecs bred and worshipped the Sphynx.
Physical characteristics of the Sphynx
Female : Approximately 12 in
Male : Approximately 14 in
The Sphynx reaches its adult size between 9 and 12 months.
Female : Between 7 and 11 lb
Male : Between 9 and 13 lb
Type of coat
Nude or light down
Blue, yellow, green, walleyed. The colour of its eyes depends on the colour of its skin.
The canadian Sphynx is a lively, muscular and athletic cat.
Good to know
The Sphynx, like humans and unlike other cats, sweats through its skin. It can also sometimes leave stains where it sleeps caused by the sebum from its skin.
This cat’s tireless search for warmth means it particularly appreciates being carressed and petted, especially by warm hands! You will often find it under the covers, curled up against you.
This cat needs daily play sessions. It's an active cat that requires a lot of stimulation, whether it's through activities on its own or interactive games with owners.
It is a playful cat, but it also has its quiet moments when it likes to rest on its own, in a warm and cozy spot (It will take care astonishingly good care of its own space).
Its vivacity and curiosity make this a clever cat that will not cease to amaze you!
Fearful / wary of strangers
The Sphynx tends to greet guests at the door. It can be a little reserved at first, but its curiosity quickly takes over. It will quickly become the main attraction at all parties!
This feline is quite capable of fending for itself, but it certainly prefers the presence of family members with whom it likes to snuggle to keep warm.
Behaviour of the Sphynx
The Sphynx can occasionally be heard but it is not known to be a chatty cat.
Need for exercise / Sporty
This is a very energetic cat that loves to play. Some will even play fetch! It's the perfect cat for an active family.
Tendency to run away
Being naturally clingy due to its constant search for warmth, this naked cat has a tendency to stay close by and prefers the comfort of its home.
Greedy / Gluttony
The Sphynx is a good eater but is not greedy. It uses up a lot of energy in thermoregulation and due to its moderately high level of activity. Its calorie intake must therefore be calculated accordingly.
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Sphynx and cats
This cat knows how to adapt to the presence of other cats, especially those of the same breed. If you are the happy owner of more than one Sphynx you will probably find these cats play fighting.
Sphynx and dogs
This small feline appreciates the company of dogs. You will probably find it snuggling with a canine companion for warmth!
Sphynx and children
As a lively and playful cat, it will enjoy the company of children who will keep it busy and stimulated.
Sphynx and the elderly
Whilst it may be calm and clingy, this cat has a moderately high level of energy. It is important to ensure that it can play on its own, but also have interactive play with its owners.
On average the price of a Sphynx kitten is between £250 and £800, dependent on lineage, breeder, age and gender. It costs on average £30/month to provide for its needs, to offer a quality diet and ensure it is healthy.
The Sphynx’s skin produces a lot of sebum and, in the absence of hair to absorb it, this sebum can sometimes clog its pores. A bath is recommended a maximum 1 to 2 times per year. Between baths, the use of a wet washcloth to remove excess oil is ideal. A thorough cleaning of the ears on a weekly basis is also recommended since they produce a lot of earwax. Special attention should also be paid between the toes and between pads under the paws, where sebum tends to accumulate. The Sphynx’s skin is also sensitive to sunburn. Be sure to apply sunscreen before prolonged exposure to UV light.
The Sphynx does not lose any hair. The light down on its skin and slightly hairier parts of the head, ears, paws, scrotum and tail make up its only “fur”.
Nutrition of the Sphynx
It needs to eat a little more than other cats as it uses up more energy for thermoregulation due to its lack of coat.
Health of the Sphynx
A Sphynx’s life expectancy is between 8 and 20 years.
Strong / robust
Due to its lack of fur, this naked cat is sensitive to cold temperatures and will try to find warmth wherever it can (a radiator, an electronic appliance, a hot oven, a sunny window sill, etc.), this can sometimes be problematic for risk of burning itself on hot surfaces or getting sun burnt.
Tendency to put on weight
Since this cat has a tendency to eat more in order to maintain its body temperature, you will need to pay particular attention to the quality and quantity of food.
There is a high incidence of heart disease in amongst Sphynxes. Echocardiography remains the diagnostic test of choice for the detection of HCM (hereditary hypertrophic cardiomyopathy). A certain susceptibility to skin disease called papular eruptive mastocytosis or cutaneous papular mastocytosis has been reported in this feline and some other breeds. Another disease called "hereditary myopathy" could also be present. Originally, this condition was identified in the Devon Rex (which contributed to the development of the Sphynx breed).
Special attention should be paid to the blood groups of the breeders in order to avoid haemolytic anemia (neonatal isoerythrolysis) often fatal in kittens.
Frequently asked questions
How much does a Sphynx cat cost?
The price for a Sphynx cat will be on vary between £250 to £800 dependent on lineage, breeder, age and gender. To offer a quality diet and ensure it is healthy to a Sphynx, it would cost approximately £30 per month.
Do Sphynx cats make good pets?
The Sphynx is extremely affectionate (ok it's mainly to keep himself warm that he'll curl up next to you but you still get a cuddle), extremely playful and very curious. This feline appreciates the company of other cats, dogs and children. The Sphynx is definitely a great family pet.
How many years do Sphynx cats live?
The life expectancy of a Sphynx is between 8 to 20 years.
Do Sphynx cats have health problems?
The Sphynx doesn't have any genetics diseases predispositions but can suffer from a few illnesses. This feline can suffer from skin disease called papular eruptive mastocytosis or cutaneous papular mastocytosis. It can also suffer from a heart disease called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), it's a condition where the heart muscle thickens.
Can Sphynx cats be left alone?
The Sphynx can be independent and will be alright if left alone for a few hours but they do prefer the company of their owner. If you leave your cat alone for a long amount of time make sure he keeps busy with toys.
Find out more about how long you can leave your cat on its own?