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Sphynx cats are among the most famous cat breeds worldwide, standing out for their hairless wrinkly skin, wedge-shaped heads, and large ears. However, there is so much more to this unique breed than its distinct appearance. Sphynxes are the extroverts of the feline world, and their high intelligence allows them to create deep loving bonds with their owners.
Sphynxes are named after the legendary Egyptian sphinx for their regal appearance and graceful nature. However, the cat breed does not originate from Egypt but instead from Canada. The first hairless Sphynx was born here in the 1960s. Therefore, Sphynxes are one of the newest breeds and one of the most sought after.
Meet the Sphynx
So, what makes the Sphynx cat hairless? It's due to a mutation in the gene responsible for hair growth. This genetic mutation can occur in cats naturally. However, it occurs in all Sphynx cats because they are bred selectively for this trait.
As Sphynxes do not have fur, many people assume they will be low maintenance in the grooming department. However, the truth is quite the opposite. Cat fur is a brilliant absorbent for body oils, which is why no furry cats get oily skin.
However, there is no hair to soak up the oil on a Sphynx. Therefore, Sphynxes need to be bathed once or twice a week to keep these oils under control. Furthermore, with no hair in their ears, this body part needs to be cleaned regularly too.
The Sphynx’s hairless body is also much more susceptible to the elements. Like humans, they can develop sunburn and skin damage. Plus, they cannot conserve their body heat in cold temperatures as well as other breeds.
Sphynxes have a very muscular body, and the absence of fur reveals well-defined muscles and prominent cheekbones. They are barrel-chested and usually have a rounded abdomen that gives a potbelly appearance. In addition, they have thick paw pads with webbed toes and a whiplike tail.
Their heads are pretty peculiar, too, with the most prominent feature being their extra-large ears. In addition, their head is long and narrow, their lemon-shaped eyes are big and deep-set, and they have no whiskers or eyelashes.
The temperament of a Sphynx
If it's not the unique appearance that attracts cat lovers to this breed, it's their outgoing and mischievous personality. Sphynxes are a high-energy breed and quite the show-offs. They are very smart, so they need multiple play times a day and challenging games and toys.
Sphynxes love to be the life of the party and will be the first family member to greet your guests. Their people-loving temperament makes them one of the most dog-like cat breeds. They crave human attention and will follow you around the house. In addition, they are very curious kitties, so they like to be involved in what their humans are up to and explore every new box and item that comes into the house.
They love to climb and jump and are quite the acrobats, so they need many high places to access and cat trees to climb. However, despite their high energy, Sphynxes have a cuddly side too. When they are sleepy, they will seek out their owner to cuddle up with rather than find a quiet place to sleep on their own. Lastly, they are a vocal breed and will chat with you often, especially whenever you return home.
10 Reasons to add a Sphynx to your family
- They are super funny - Your Sphynx will make you laugh from dust to dawn with its crazy antics, goofy expressions and incredible sense of humour.
- They will entertain your guests - Sphynxes loves to meet new people, and they will happily entertain them with their goofy behaviour and impressive tricks.
- They are strong and healthy - Sphynxes are hardy cats that rarely get sick and have no genetic disease predispositions.
- They don't shred - One of the best things about choosing a hairless breed is having a fur-free home!
- They are super smart - These clever cats are not only easy to train, but their curious minds love to learn new tricks and skills, too.
- They get along with everyone - Sphynxes are not picky when it comes to attention. They get along with children, dogs, and other cats alike.
- They are not easily scared - Unlike some breeds, a Sphynx is not easily startled or frightened. Their confidence and self-assurance is nothing less than impressive!
- They love cuddles - Their need for companionship means they will often jump on your lap. And who doesn't want a cat to snuggle with on the sofa?
- They are truly unique - There is no denying that Sphynx cats are a special breed. So, if you like to be different yourself, a Spynx will be the perfect companion for you.
- You will have a friend for life - If anyone thinks cats can be aloof, they have clearly never met a Sphynx. The Sphynx's loyalty and devotion could rival a Labrador's, so know that getting a Sphynx kitten means getting a new life-long best friend.
Best homes for a Sphynx
Like dogs, a Sphynx does not do well left alone. Therefore, the best home for this devoted kitty is one where someone will be present most of the time. For example, if you work from home or are a stay at home parent, a Sphynx will do well with you.
Sphynxes prefer to be in busy homes and with other animals. In fact, the more people and pets, the better. If you don't have any other pets, consider getting two Sphynx kittens together. This will do wonders for their happiness and development.
Moreover, when considering bringing a Sphynx into the home, be sure that you will have enough time for one. As well as having high social needs, the Sphynx cat needs more grooming than other breeds. Therefore, you need to develop and stick to a regular bathing and grooming schedule to keep them in top tip condition.