Sphynx Cat Facts: Origins, Colors, Price, Health Issues, Nutrition

The Sphynx cat is definitely a sight to see.

These felines are among the most eye-catching and distinctive cat breeds. Their striking physical appearances is as unique as their character. And while the Sphynx isn’t a pet for just anybody, it’s definitely among the most affable and affectionate kitties.

Many people consider them as being hypoallergenic, but unfortunately, that’s not the case. Sphyx kitties produce significant amounts of the Fel-d1 allergen agent, which causes cat allergies. However, the allergens they produce aren’t as high as in many other cat breeds.

Sphynx cats are huggable and adore attention. They are at their happiest in the presence of their pet parents and remain notably affectionate and loyal to their owners.

Fun And Interesting Sphynx Cat And Kitten Facts And Information

They Aren’t Egyptian

A common misconception is that Sphynx cats are Egyptian. The myth originates from the Sphynx kitty’s distinctive physical appearances. They have long, seemingly hairless bodies, which are muscular, and end with notably thick paw pads. Their wedge-shaped heads, extra-large ears, and lemon-shaped eyes also give off the impression that they are somehow genetically related to felines which once inhabited Ancient Egypt.

However, Sphynx cats actually come from a colder spot on the world’s globe. Their true origin lies in Canada. The breed is the result of a natural gene mutation when one domestic shorthair kitty bore a hairless kitten back in the 1960s. Through backcrossing, more hairless kittens were born and people started breeding them purposefully.

The true Sphynx cat, often called the Canadian Sphynx, shouldn’t be mistaken for other hairless feline breeds, such as the Peterbald, for example.

They Aren’t Actually Bald

I know, right?! First I tell you they aren’t Egyptian and now I’m telling you they’re not bald. Is your whole life a lie?

Well, it’s true. A little-known Sphynx fact is that these creatures are not bald. They are indeed “hairless”, but that doesn’t mean that they are completely bald.

What these kitties have is a thin and soft layer of mossy “fluff”. It cannot be considered as hair by any means, but it still counts for something. What’s more, this fluff is actually the reason why these cats are so awesome to the touch. Instead of feeling furry like other breeds, the hairless Sphynx cat is soft and velvety, and even suede-like to the touch.

Dealing with cat hair is one problem which you’ll never face in your home if you own a Sphynx kitty. And let’s face it – nobody really wants to have their clothes, furniture, and even food covered in cat hair!

They Get Cold Easily (And Have A Higher Body Temperature To Compensate)

Some cats have a thick furry undercoat to keep them warm. Other furballs, like Ragdolls, lack an undercoat and have a single layer of fur. And then there are the Sphynx cats, which are completely hairless. Due to the fact that they don’t have a fur coat, they get easily cold. To compensate for this, the Sphynx’s body temperature is actually four degrees hotter than the body temperature of most cat breeds.

However, they still get cold easier than other cats. As such, the Sphynx is always seeking the warmest places in your home, even if this means sleeping in your own bed instead of using its comfy cat bed. Moreover, it also loves being petted and it enjoys snuggling with its owner for the very same reason. Basically, your Sphynx will spend significant parts of its time near all heat sources in your home.

If you’re one of those pet owners who are in favor of the idea of dressing up their pets, then the Sphynx is the ideal domestic cat for the job. Cat clothing is one of the best ways to keep your Sphynx warm and healthy, and there are countless choices of cat apparel on the market these days.

sphynx cat

Special Grooming Needs

The Sphynx cat has special grooming requirements. You might think that the lack of hair means less grooming, and you’re partially correct. Sphynx kitties don’t require daily or weekly brushing, but they do need weekly baths. Without the regular baths, the cat’s skin will become greasy and stinky and will attract dirt and dust.

Since the Sphynx is a hairless cat, it has no fur to absorb the natural oils produced by its skin. As such, you need to bathe it on a weekly basis in order to get rid of the excess oils and keep your feline pal healthy and clean.

Social And Cuddly

The Sphynx is a social breed, similar to the Oriental Shorthair cat. These feline creatures not only befriend strangers easily, but they also actively seek social interaction. Sphynx kitties enjoy all the attention they can get and are ideal for cuddling and snuggling all day long.

Due to their notable sociability and their strong attachment to their pet parents, Sphynx cats get lonely when they are left home alone over longer periods of time. They are quite energetic and curious and when left to their own devices, their loneliness might accelerate into destructive behavior.

If your job allows you to spend more time at home and you’re looking for an affectionate, cuddly, and loyal pet, which doesn’t shed all over the place, then the Sphynx cat is a great choice for you.

Colorful Kitties

Even though this breed is hairless, it doesn’t mean that it’s not colorful. Sphynx kitties come in a rich variety of colors. The different hues and patterns you can see are actually the kitty’s own skin pigmentation as the thin layer of mossy fluff is actually colorless.

They can have tabby, solid, tortoise shell, point, bicolor, or van patterns and the pigmentation can be red, creamy, lavender, chocolate, black, brown, and so forth.

They Require Frequent Meals

Since this breed isn’t closely related to your average domestic kitty, it has special nutritional needs. The Sphynx produces more heat than the average domestic cat and its metabolism also works faster. This means that your fluffy pal will need to eat more frequently, otherwise it might suffer from malnourishment.

Getting an automatic feeder for your Sphynx cat, so it can eat several small meals a day, is an ideal option.

The best diet option for Sphynx kitties is high quality cat food mainly consisting of well-balanced meat-based products in the form of dry food. As granules lack enough moisture, your kitty will need daily supplies of fresh water, which is essential for any feline furball out there.

Sphynx kitties thrive best on a dry food based diet which is high in vitamins, taurine, minerals, and other important ingredients derived from meat products. Some cats may need special supplements, but you should never use them as substitute to regular food.

How much do Sphynx cats and kittens cost? Price analysis and buying guide.

Sphynx cats aren’t for everyone. But that doesn’t mean they cost a small fortune. On the contrary! Compared to other domestic breeds with exotic looks, these hairless felines are actually affordable. You won’t need to splatter a few thousands just to buy one of them.

  • The starting price for Sphynx cats and kittens is around $900 – $1,200.
  • Pure-bred, pedigreed Sphynx cats for shows will set you back with at least $1,500.
  • The prices in Europe, Canada and the US are approximately the same, even though the breed is native to Canada.
  • Beware of kittens advertised below $900 as they may be mixes between Sphynx, Donskoy and other breeds or might have questionable health.

These show-stopping felines do require special attention in terms of temperature, food and healthcare. As such, be prepared to spend a lot more than the initial price tag if you want to own a Sphynx cat.

Pro buying guide tip – you won’t find these at every reputable mass breeder. The reason for that is that many people actually consider these kitties as repulsive or even creepy, so many breeders opt for not working with Sphynxes. Here’s another tip – don’t buy young Sphynx kittens. Due to their breed-specific health problems, it’s better to get an adult Sphynx that is at least a year old.

Health Problems To Look Out For

The health problems affecting this breed are as unique as the breed itself. While most cats are congenitally prone to developing hypertrophic cardiomyopathy disease, Sphynx cats don’t carry these genes by birth, but they still have a high chance of developing it. Another dangerous heart disease found in Sphynxes is mitral valve dysplasia.

Apart from the fact that they can easily get cold, these cats can also easily overheat. Moreover, their lack of hair coat means they can develop skin cancer if they are exposed to direct sunlight over long periods of time.

Newborn Sphynx cats are more vulnerable than kittens from other domestic feline breeds. They are susceptible to developing respiratory issues because they don’t have protective fur. Adopting a Sphynx kitty before it reaches 12 weeks of age may pose health problems for the kitten since it’s not mature enough to transition to a new environment.

Maintaining the health and happiness of your Sphynx cat should always come as your priority. These feline creatures are not only unique in terms of their signature physical appearances, but their lovable, affectionate temper and loyalty are what makes them so special. Monitor your kitty’s weight, bathe it on a weekly basis, and offer as much social interaction as possible. Your Sphynx cat will definitely make you feel loved and cherished for all of your devotion.

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Emily Parker
 

Emily Parker is the Content Manager at Catological. She's passionate about helping cat parents love their cats better by providing the best information and recommendations about everything you'll need to know about your cat, from kitten to senior years. She believes natural, biologically-appropriate products are best...why wouldn't you provide the best for a member of your family?!

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