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Sphynx Cat Breed

Average sizes and life expectancy for this breed:

height 20-25 cm
weight 3-6 kg
lifespan 10-15 years


Sphynx cats are known worldwide for their hairless coats and are one of the few hairless breeds in the feline world. However, what many people don’t realise is that they do not lack hair completely. Fine down covers their skin which gives it a suede-like or chamois texture. Their light hair is visible on their nose and the back of their ears.

This cat breed adores attention and usually attracts it wherever they go. They are curious, highly intelligent, extremely friendly, and sociable, which makes them a great choice for families. Sphynx cats are dedicated and loyal to their owners. They make a very loving feline companion to people of all ages.

These adorable cats are warm and soft to touch and can frequently be found napping with their owners. Coined as a "Velcro lap cat", Sphynx cats desire to be with their person all the time. Furthermore, these sociable cats love to greet every new person visiting their home. They get along well with children, dogs, and other cats.

Sphynx cats are an active, agile, and alert kind of breed. Their comical antics are a constant source of entertainment in the household. They are often referred to as being "elf-like". Kittens and young adults are playful and silly. They can entertain themselves for many hours, especially if playing with another cat. Keep an eye to these silly cats though, as they can use their long toes to open cupboards, doors and anything that gets their attention.

A Sphynx cat's main feature is its lack of fur, whiskers and eyelashes. Their head is similar to the Devon Rex, a very similar cat breed. Their lemon-shaped eyes are deep-set, and their fine-boned body is muscular.

Their long legs are slender, with a bow-legged appearance caused by their barrel chest. Their long tail is tapering and hard to the touch. These felines usually feel warm and soft, making it impossible not to want to snuggle or cuddle up with them, especially during the weather.

The Sphynx is a medium-sized cat with a wrinkled face and body and satellite-dish ears. Sphynx cats weigh three to six kilograms and come in various colours and patterns, including solid, pointed, tabby and tortoiseshell. 

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Featured Image
Summary Image
  • iconGitBranch Registration: GCCF, TICA, CFA, FIFe
  • iconGlobe Country of Origin: Canada
  • iconArrowOutSimple Hypoallergenic: Yes
  • iconArrowOutSimple Size: Medium
  • iconCat Coat: Hairless
  • iconSwatches Colours: Variety
  • iconBrain Temperament: Outgoing, People-Oriented, Intelligent, Playful, Cuddly

Exercise Needed Daily:


Shedding: Low


Intelligence: High


Independence: Low


Vocality: High


Grooming: Once a Week


Playfulness: High


Activity Level: Medium


Friendliness to Children: High


Affection Towards Owners: High


Friendlines to Other Pets: High



Sphynx cats were first developed and produced in Canada, during the mid-sixties. The breed occurred rather by accident to begin with. This happened when a domestic shorthair cat had a litter of kittens, one of which was born hairless. This particular kitten was a male and was named Prune.

When Prune was old enough, he was bred back to his mother, which resulted in a litter of hairless and normal coated kittens. Some of the hairless kittens were brought to Europe, where cat breeders continued to develop and produce these fantastic cats.

It was not until 1988 that the first female Sphynx named Tulip was presented in the United Kingdom, having been bred and produced in Holland. Tulip was exhibited at several cat shows and was an instant success with cat breeders, judges, and cat lovers.

The cat breed was awarded full Championship recognition from the GCCF. Today, Sphynx has gained many fans, not only in the United Kingdom but globally. 

Breed History
Breed Appearance


Sphynx are medium-sized cats with a stunning appearance, known for their hairless, wrinkled skin and large ears. They have a sleek, muscular body that is dense and heavy for their size.

Their triangular head has wide-set eyes and prominent cheekbones that are similar to the cats of ancient Egypt. This feature inspired the naming of this cat breed. Apart from being hairless, the Sphynx's most notable feature is its large, triangle-shaped ears like those of a bat.

While Sphynx cats appear to be bald at first glance, if you look closer you’ll notice a very fine, short coat giving their skin the feel of fine suede. It is the hairlessness that primarily marks a Sphynx, combined with colour and pattern in their skin's pigmentation patterns. Their colour and markings can vary widely and can come in nearly any colour or pattern, including solid, tabby or tortoiseshell.

The amount of hair or down covering this cat breed's body rests on several things, including their genetics , hormones and climate. Although their skin feels much warmer to touch than other cat breeds, they don't have a higher body temperature, and tend to be more sensitive to extreme climates.

Male Sphynx cats tend to be prominently larger than their female counterparts. Kittens are born very wrinkly, but their folds begin to disappear as they grow and mature with just a few wrinkles staying, typically on their head. 


Sphynx cats are known to be energetic, an acrobatic performer who loves showing off for attention. They have a fantastic sense of humour that often looks even funnier because of their stubborn expression. They are also known to be very vocal and will hold conversations with their owner at every chance they can.

This is an energetic cat breed that loves playing, climbing, and jumping. As they are adept at perching and climbing, expect them to be above your bookshelves or other high surfaces at your home. So, remember to provide cat trees that will act as scratching surfaces together with places to climb and perch.

Sphynx cats are giddy, fun-loving, natural-born entertainers who will do everything to get your attention. This social, playful cat breed loves affection and will spend hours glued to their owner's side.

Sphynx cats love to snuggle up with you at any time of the day, that is when they are not playing, and can be a real lap cat. Their needy nature can be a challenge for some cat owners, but this beautiful and affectionate cat rewards their owner's patience and kindness with the best companionship. Sphynx cats are devoted, dedicated pets who will love you all their lives.

Sphynx cats are often labelled as being very "child-like" because they love to be involved in everything that goes on in their surroundings. They are very curious and follow their owners from room to room. However, because of their inquisitive and intelligent nature, they can be a bit of a handful.

While quite demanding, Sphynx cats are easy going when it comes to living with other dogs and pets. They are friendly by nature and do not like being the only pet. 

Breed Personality
Breed Trainability


The Sphynx is known to be outgoing and people-oriented. They are highly intelligent, playful, cuddly and can learn new things quickly.

Because they are so intelligent, a Sphynx needs to be kept busy when they are not napping. This means buying lots of high-quality toys for them to play with. They also like tall scratching posts and high platforms where they can look down on the world below from their favourite vantage points.

Challenge their bright minds and keep them focused by teaching them commands, games and tricks. Give them many puzzle toys and other interactive toys that will reward them with kibbles or treats when they learn how to operate them.

These good-natured and friendly cats are sociable and loving cats that get deeply devoted to their human companion. When a Sphynx cat is appropriately socialised and trained during their kittenhood, they will grow to become a well-rounded and well-mannered feline companion. 

Coat & Care

Many people wrongly assume that because Sphynx cats do not have any hair, they are low maintenance. This does not mean you do not need to take care of their skin. In fact, a Sphynx cat's lack of coat means that their body oils do not get absorbed by its fur. Thus, you need to bathe a Sphynx regularly. Fortunately, Sphynx cats like warm baths and adore the attention they get when being washed.

When washing a Sphynx, pay special attention to the folds and wrinkles around their heads and bodies. This will ensure that there is no extra grease build-up that could lead to painful sores and infections. It's also crucial to check the Sphynx cat's ears regularly and clean them when needed. If too much wax builds up, this can lead to a painful and severe infection that can be harder to clear up and treat.

Brush their teeth weekly to prevent the risk of periodontal disease. Use a vet-approved pet toothpaste to clean them. For their beautiful eyes, wipe the corners every day with a soft, damp cloth to eliminate any discharge.

If your house has an outdoor enclosure where your Sphynx cat can sunbathe, make sure to apply cat-safe sunscreen to their skin to prevent sunburn.

While it feels warm when you touch a Sphynx’s skin, they do not have a fur coat to keep themselves warm. Therefore, it is a good idea to buy them  a nice, warm sweater to help them retain heat, especially during the winter.

Because of this, it is also a good idea to keep your Sphynx as an indoor-only cat to protect them from the cold. It will also guard them against dogs who are not fond of cats or passing vehicles. 

Breed Coat & Care
Breed Health


Sphynx cats are commonly healthy, though the following diseases have been seen in the breed:

  • Urticaria pigmentosa - is a skin disease that causes crusty sores on their body due to a cat’s lack of fur and skin folds that can trap oil.
  • Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy - is a form of heart disease that is congenital in some cat breeds.
  • Devon Rex Myopathy - is an inherited autosomal recessive trait that no treatment is available for. It results in weakness, muscle tremors and eventual collapse and symptoms appear in cats from 3 weeks to 6 months of age.

Because of these genetic health conditions, it is absolutely essential to only buy a Sphynx from a registered and reputable breeder who runs DNA health checks on their cats and kittens. This genetic test can identify if a kitten carries the autosomal recessive trait for Devon Rex Myopathy and other inherited conditions. Therefore, to ensure your Sphynx leads a healthy and happy life, a DNA test is essential.

Children & Other Pets

Active and social, the Sphynx is an ideal choice for families with children and cat-friendly dogs. They learn tricks quickly and enjoy the attention from children who treat them politely and with respect. Even so, it is still best to always supervise younger kids with any cat to avoid accidents.

Sphynx cats are content to live with other felines, especially their kind, and many won’t have a problem with cat-friendly dogs in the same home. However, it is always recommended to introduce pets gradually and in controlled environments to make sure that they learn to get along well together. 

Breed with Children & Other Pets

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