Herb and Judy Wager
The history of the Sphynx started in 1966 when a domestic cat, named Elizabeth, gave birth to a hairless kitten in Toronto, Canada. It was this natural mutation that sparked the development of the Sphynx breed. These cats and a few other naturally hairless cats have been found worldwide. They 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. Sphynx a very robust breed with few health or genetic problems. In the early 1990's The International Cat Association (T.I.C.A.) in North America granted championship status to the Sphynx, and in 1998 the U.S.A. granted them provisional championship status.
Now we want to try and answer a few questions about the care and feeding of your new Sphynx cat or kitten. MYTH: Sphynx are hairless cats, so they do not require much grooming.
FACT: The above statement is not true! You may not have cat hair on everything that you own, but there is still a great deal of care and cleaning involved in keeping your cat healthy and well groomed.
NOTE: Even though Sphynx cats are hairless, that does not mean they are hypo-allergenic. Some people with allergies to cat dander or cat hair may NOT have a reaction to them, however if they are allergic to cat saliva they could still have a reaction. Even though these cats are hairless, they lick and groom themselves like any other cat would.
If you own a Sphynx, you already know that they are smart, spunky and hilarious. Yes, Sphynx are instantly recognizable for their alien Yoda appearance. Sphynx cats are not actually naked, but they have a very fine layer of down, which is perfect to pet. They feel like velvet..so nice and soft. Our Sphynx don't have whiskers but some Sphynx can depending upon the individual cat.
Sphynx cats are described by their owners as friendl, intelligent, extremely curious and just plain amazing. Sphynx cats act like part monkey, part puppy, part human, and part kitty. They demand to be the center of attention. They are often very playfully mischievous and purposefully clumsy, all for the fun of the owner's and visitors laughs. They are a highly curious breed, and the Sphynx cats and kittens are equal parts loving and very active.
Sphynx cats and Sphynx kittens are very athletic. Most adults can jump to the top of a seven foot door with no problem, and some kittens can jump as high as your counter between 2 and 3 months of age. They enjoy and also require fun time and exercise outlets to keep their curious minds occupied. Toys, stalking lures and tall cat trees and scratching posts help to entertain your Sphynx cat or kitten. Don't be surprised if they wake you up and want to play fetch at midnight.
The Sphynx prefer human attention but they are also happy to enjoy the company of other pets including dogs..etc. if introduced early in life.
This breed is also prone to getting chilly, so you can sometimes find your Sphynx cat hidden away in a really warm spot, under your comforter, on top of the dryer, in their favorite bed sack or simply snuggled in the middle of your bed.
Sphynx are so active that they are rarely in danger of becoming overweight. For the most part, Sphynx can be free-fed without concern for weight gain. Weight can be monitored with a very simple test: you should be able to feel your cats ribs, but they should not be noticeable by sight. If you can't feel them at all, your Sphynx may have packed on a few extra pounds. Feed your Sphynx a balanced diet, as recommended by your veterinarian, and adjust the calories and exercise if needed. Not surprisingly, the hairless Sphynx requires minimal grooming. However, the skin's natural oils are on the surface with a bald cat, which means they can leave oil on your furniture. Occasional sponging and a bath once every couple weeks will help alleviate this problem. Sunbathing should limited because Sphynx can be prone to burning or melanoma with the lack of fur to protect their skin. Nails should be clipped regularly to minimize damage to household items.