The Sphynx is a breed of cat, most known for its lack of coat and extroverted personality. To find out more about the breed, and if it is a good fit for your family, read on below.
Sphynx cats are known for their lack of fur, but actually have a very fine covering of hair, which accounts for the unique, chamois-like texture of their skin. They are a medium sized breed that is fairly robust and muscular. The breed is also characterised by it’s large ears, loose, wrinkled skin and pot bellied appearance. Their skin colour can reflect most standard colour schemes of domestic cats, such as solid, tabby, tortie etc.
Sphynx’s are usually very vocal cats, and are natural extroverts, preferring to spend much of their time with their owners. They are an intelligent and curious breed that is often keen to play, despite often being rather clumsy. They are usually very energetic, and can cohabit well with other pets, despite their preference for human attention.
Due to their lack of a proper coat, it is important to bathe a Sphynx regularly (every week to 2 weeks) to remove build up of oils on their skin. Their skin is also vulnerable to sunburn, so if your cat spends time outside, a cat friendly suncream is critical. They can also be prone to excessive ear wax, so monitoring the cleanliness of their ears is important. Sphynxs also have a high rate of heart disease, particularly hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.
The Sphynx is a relatively new breed of cat, having been first bred in the 1960s. They were bred from a number of hairless kittens that were born to domestic shorthaired cats. These kittens were the result of a rare recessive gene, and crossbreeding of these early individuals resulted in the cat we know today.
Mr Bigglesworth, the cat owned by Dr Evil in the Austin Powers series was played by a Sphynx cat. The breed has also made appearances in TV show Friends, and recently in The Secret Life of Pets, in which the Sphynx was voiced by Steve Coogan.
The Sphynx in the photo is Yorkshire Vets – Morley patient, Archibold.