Let me guess, something that you probably thought was this breed when they got their name from the famous and legendary Egyptian Sphinx. You assume that it is the same as the Abyssinian, or the Egyptian Mau, a cat that comes from these distant lands and with an extraordinary history. Even though it is true that this cat got its name thanks to this Egyptian figure, it was not only because of its similarity to it but also because of its sophisticated and elegant nature. But, this classy cat comes from Canada instead of Egypt, and NO, they were not with pharaohs. A little curious fact is that this cat breed, still, it is pronounced in the same way, is written differently from the Egyptian figure, where the breed has a “y” instead of an “i” (Sphynx cat, Egyptiaassumesn Sphinx). Naturally, this naked cat as a breed that has extremely short fur/hair, they always look to be in a warm place, such as places where it is sunny or during the night they usually look to huddle under the sheets next to their sphynx owners. That’s right, you read correctly, Sphynx cats have hair although it is really a hairless breed, and they take special care as they are unique and friendlier cats. So, first of all, you will not be saved from the “tedious task” of dealing with their sphynx’s skin and hair care, and you must make sure that you are only allergic to cat hair as there are people who acquire allergy from pet dandruff or oil.
Let’s try something nice, before we continue talking about this magnificent cat, forget everything you think you know about them as it will make this whole process much easier. Their name and appearance suggest some things that they are not, besides what we already talked about, although their appearance is very serious they are playful where there are moments that resemble more to a dog than to a cat, which is another aspect that they could share with the Abyssinian breed.
The Sphynx cat comes from the result of a genetic mutation that was what led it to have this change that distinguishes it so much from other breeds by not having hair. Such an event happened in Toronto in 1966, where several breeders were interested in this cat and decided to start breeding this type of hairless cats helping to create more litters. Due to their place of origin, they were called first as Canadian hairless, taking it later to the United States where it is said that some experts crossed other cats with this new species to create hairless sphynx cats.
The Sphynx cat became recognized in 2002 by the Cat Fanciers Association (CFA) and by the International Cat Association (TICA) in 2005, gaining remarkable popularity in the United States which facilitates and helps the propagation in other places like for example in Western Europe where according to the data its popularity is growing equally. Despite this, some associations refuse to recognize the sphynx breed because they are based on purebred cats, where they consider that this cat being the result of a genetic abnormality that led it to have no hair at all may end up being something harmful in the future for other generations of cats based on the fact that this genetic change may change for the worse in the future causing a change that is harmful to them as it is in the case of the Scottish Fold cat, where there is a great dispute about this breed because of the same issue about its genetics, or the Munchkin cat being another breed with an genetic alteration.
This canadian sphynx weigh between 6 to 12 pounds, measure from head to tail between 13 to 15 inches, so they are considered a medium-size cat breed. Besides their coat, these hairless sphynx kittens attract attention for having long ears similar to those of a bat, a triangular head with wide eyes, and a body that presents a very good muscular mass corresponding to their activity and acrobatic personality. Now, about the most notorious aspect of the Sphynx cat, is that they have an extremely short coat which seems to be absent, and among the colors of the sphynx cat’s skin in which you can find them you have; white, black, red, chocolate, lavender, tabby, tortoiseshell, calico, pointed and mink, as well as the color of their eyes they present a great variety. Their average life span is between 9 and 15 years, but they can last much longer as long as they are given ideal and complete care.
The Sphynx cat is an affectionate and loyal pet, which will follow you around the house waiting for the moment when he can cuddle with you, being one of his favorite activities. Despite this, they still have an active and playful nature, of course, they also need exercise like many other pets. Luckily for you, Sphynx cats can entertain themselves but that doesn’t mean they won’t have a problem if you leave them alone for long periods. Ideally, you can leave him with another cat of the same breed because between two Sphynx cats they will know each other better or you can leave him with a dog as they get along well even with this kind of pets. But the idea itself is that you can ensure him the best quality of life and that he will be the happiest throughout his life. Remember not to get carried away by his appearance since inside he is a comedian who will love to exhibit his acrobatic skills even though on the outside he seems to show the opposite. With such an active personality, like all good cats they like to climb wherever they can, jumping from one side to the other and even scratching certain areas of the house, so my best advice is that you can acquire accessories that will help them to drain their energies and thus maintain the wellbeing of the home just like your Sphynx kitten.
DIET AND NUTRITION
As a good pet that resembles a dog, the Sphynx cat will have an appetite for almost everything you can offer, but you should still choose the food that best suits the needs of each pet, where the veterinarian should be the one to guide you with this aspect, the breeder can be a second option but it is best to consult this kind of things with the doctor first. Always keep potable water within reach so that it can accompany their meals since dry food or kibbles tend to make them very thirsty. Some owners say that giving them homemade or fresh food is better for them but this is something you will have to try for yourself and again I repeat, check first what kind of food to use with your Sphynx kitten. As well as how often you should feed it both throughout the day and for the stage of its life. Just as with people, not everyone has the same nutritional requirements. But there is a standard that you should be guided by at the beginning as a foundation, and if your Sphynx cat requires a change in its diet during its journey as a pet, your doctor will let you know.
HEALTH & CARE
The care of their skin and hair is something you cannot leave unattended since the house, your Sphynx and you will suffer the consequences. Unlike furry cats, by having such short hair they are unable to absorb all that their skin secretes to keep the hair and skin in an optimal condition. These secretions consist of several substances that end up forming an oil that even though it serves to lubricate your pet’s whole body, by leaving this aspect aside, the oil accumulation will bring problems to your pet’s skin, especially where folds are formed, and will also leave stains on the furniture or even on your clothes. The best way to avoid this type of problem is to bathe them weekly, to help maintain a good balance in the amount of oil so that it’s not harmful to any of the parts.
To get a better idea about the care of your Sphynx kitten it is best to have a regular check-up with your vet who will become your best ally as an owner to ensure a full and healthy life for your new feline pet. Knowing what to do as soon as they are a kitten is better so that they can adapt to your lifestyle, since having an adult sphynx is not easy to raise. Being so smart is not something that will take them long as it is done in the right way, besides this will allow you to know inside and out your Sphynx so that when there is a change in their routine you can detect it quickly in case it concerns their health. The issue of his coat is still one of the things that differentiate him from other breeds, although he can avoid certain things you are not completely free of, such as those I mentioned earlier. You won’t have to deal with hairballs but you will have to care for and monitor your Sphynx during his time in the sun. Animals like us require a certain amount of time in the sun for some processes to take place but prolonged exposure can cause damage to your kitten’s skin. This is because they do not have the protection of any other feline as they do not have such a long coat to help them avoid this type of problem, and it must be obvious that they do not do well in low-temperature climates partly for the same reasons. For this reason, this breed of cat is considered as an indoor pet since such exposure to harmful UV rays caused by sunlight should be avoided as much as possible.
As well as problems with their coat, you should be aware of other diseases, including some that are hereditary and which you may want to avoid, in addition to knowing which ones are high risk for your Sphynx kitten if you go to a reputable breeder. There will be some breeders who seek to take advantage of some people or simply want to get the money and don’t care what happens to their litters. A good and honest one will let you know any defect or problem in their litter that you should take into consideration at the time of adopting if there is one, besides giving you certificates endorsed by recognized institutions as well as validating your kitten as a purebred. Recognized breeders can contact you to ensure that your Sphynx kitten stays within the average in terms of health and for the common welfare of their litter. Going back to the possible diseases, there are some hereditary ones that your cat may suffer from such as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), urticaria pigmentosa, or hereditary myopathy, as well as others that may be contracted due to bad management or negligence of their owners, such as the problems described above about the oil in their coat, such as diabetes or periodontal disease due to bad management of their feeding and health care. Weekly baths and oral hygiene care as a person does, or at least you should set an example for your feline, to avoid these complications that can cause other more complex and can threaten the life of your pet. Together with your veterinarian, you will be able to detect any of these, as well as other diseases that your new pet might contract, but if you maintain optimal management, it should not present any major problem.
Something you may not have noticed is that within their care you must add a frequent cleaning of their ears, which besides being one of the characteristics of this breed that most attracts attention. Not having a normal coat like any other cat is prone to get dirty more easily, as they do not have that natural protection thanks to its genetic alteration that led them to be such a distinctive breed.
Now, after reading all this article I hope you can get a better idea about the Canadian hairless cat that is currently known as Sphynx. With a very formal demeanor, and serious expression that hides a clown and comedian that will follow you around the house, and will try to cuddle up with a family member, either with his owner, another pet or with whoever gets a space to spend a lovely and so beloved nap. Being such a friendly and relatively easy handling pet, it is a good option for those homes where other pets already live. Just make sure that the ones you already have get along with cats. In case you don’t have any pets, remember to buy a second Sphynx kitten as an option. Despite doubling your expenses, you can save yourself the guilt of being absent from home for so long. Remember to keep to a strict standard with the care that this special breed requires due to its short coat and to maintain its oral hygiene as well.
I hope you liked this article about the handling and care of Sphynx kittens. In case you have any doubts or feel that I have missed something about this beautiful kitten, please let me know in the comment section down below.