Sphynx 101

General Information

What is a Sphynx?

Sphynx are a medium sized muscular cat breed with wrinkly skin, wedge shaped heads, long pointy ears, long legs, long skinny tails, and paws that look like little fingers. Their skin is the color their fur would be and may present usual cat markings and patterns (solid, point, van, tabby, tortie, etc.). Normal body temperature is 101-103 degrees F. The lifespan of a Sphynx can be up to 15 years.

Temperment

Sphynx cats are generally a high energy, very intelligent and inquisitive cat who are very affectionate to their owners. They love to play and climb. They also enjoy cuddling under warm blankets next to their favorite human!    

Are Sphynx Completely Hairless?

The Sphynx is a hairless cat breed that may be partially or completely "naked" (hairless). They are usually covered with a soft fuzz, like a peach. I compare the feel of Sphynx cat to petting warm suede. Many Sphynx have hair on the tip of their ears and sometimes on their toes and tail. There are some Sphynx that ARE completely hairless – they are referred to as a “sticky bald”. 

Care

Though the Sphynx has little fur, they are not maintenance free. Due to their lack of coat, body oils that would normally be absorbed by the coat of other breeds builds up on the skin. They need bathing on a weekly basis which should include cleaning of the ears and trimming of the nails. Care should be taken to limit the exposure to the outdoors, as the Sphynx is susceptible to cold (freezing) and heat (sunburns, sunstroke, and/or skin cancer). Due to their higher metabolism Sphynx cats need a diet that is high in protein, at least 35%. This does not have to be expensive, just read the labels; the higher the protein, the better.

  

Allergies

Though thought to be hypoallergenic, NO cat is completely allergy free. Cat specific allergies are caused by the protein Fel D1 which is primarily found in the cat's saliva. The cat licks itself transferring the protein to it's coat, which then is transferred to carpet, clothing, and to humans. Though the Sphynx is virtually (not completely) hairless and does not shed, it is still a cat and still licks itself to groom. With that, it is possible that a Sphynx is more "tolerable" to suferers than most other cats. My husband has asthma and allergies that are triggered by the traditional cat, yet our cats are able to come into close contact with my husband (even in his face) and he has no issues.

Health Concerns

Sphynx are known to have instances with the genetic disorder Hypertrophic Cardiomyppathy (HCM), thickening of the heart muscles. Yearly scans can help manage the genetic "passing on" of HCM. A key point to remember, just because one scan is negative does not indication that your cat is "safe." HCM can occur at any age, and there is never a guarantee that your cat will always remain HCM free. (For further information, click below)

   

Find out more

Disclaimer

Every cat and kitten is an individual so not everything in this information may be correct for your cat or kitten. This information is meant as a good faith guideline only.