The origin of the Sphynx has always been shrouded in mystery. This breed of cat is the most unusual of all. It was named this way because the first breeders considered that there are some similarities between nude cats and Egyptian sculptures representing cats. They are on display at the British Museum and the Louvre.
Next, I will present Sphynx cat-breed under a magnifying glass.
Striking in their appearance, but also extremely fragile and sensitive, “naked” cats deserve all the attention, care and affection of feline lovers.
At first glance, Sphynx cat-breed under a magnifying glass seems to have been created by a mad teacher with a diabolical mind, driven by the world’s grievances about cat fur. But this is not the case. Naked cats have existed in Mexico since pre-Columbian times.
They were said to have been “given by the gods” to mankind. Therefore, hairless cats appeared naturally – they are not hybrids – resulting from a spontaneous genetic mutation.
It seems that cats cause very strong reactions to humans. Over time, they have shown either admiration for these strange-looking cats, resembling a Martian creature, or disgust.
People who have something to say against the Sphynx, however, have certainly not had the opportunity to see such a cat. I speak in ignorance.
Spontaneous genetic mutations that have caused the appearance of naked cats have occurred countless times over the past century. In Europe, Australia and America.
Research has found that many other animal species are born without fur as a result of such mutations. But these animals, subject to natural selection, disappear shortly after birth, most often before reaching maturity. For this reason, hairless animals can be very difficult to find in the wild.
The most famous hairless cats – considered to be the predecessors of the Sphynx breed – are Nellie and Dick. They belonged to J Schinck, from New Mexico, nicknamed “nude Mexicans”.
In 1938, genetics professor R. Letard described two hairless cats, born in Paris, from a Siamese couple. Twelve years later, in 1950, a Siamese cat gave birth to 9 kittens, three of which were without fur.
Most sources agree that the first nude cat breeding program was initiated in Ontario, Canada. In this city, in 1966, the Elizabeth cat – an ordinary specimen, with black and white colored fur, gave birth to a hairless (male) kitten. It was named Plum.
Other hairless kittens resulted from Prune’s mating with Elizabeth.
Around the same time, Mrs Smith discovered a naked black and white cat on the streets of Ontario. He adopted him and named him Bambi.
Later two naked females were brought to the Netherlands and adopted by Hugo Fernandez. Two other naked cats were found and rescued from the streets of Toronto. Then they were sent to the Netherlands and helped to establish the modern Sphynx breed.
At the same time as cat lovers in the United States became acquainted with nude cats, brought by Europeans in 1983, the interest of the French and Dutch in these impressive felines was growing. No one can indeed remain indifferent to such a cat.
The first specimens obtained were originally called “moonstone”, “hairless Canadians” and “hairless Sphinx”. In time, the breed became known as the Sphynx, which it has retained to this day. This became the official name.
Growth and multiplication programs in the US and the Netherlands or based on the original genetic line. However, they also included other nude cat specimens, which arose spontaneously from regular domestic specimens.
The nude cats were later paired with Devon Rex specimens, to acquire from the latter certain characteristics appreciated by breeders. Crossbreeding has helped to diversify and enhance the genetic basis of the breed. Another accepted cross is that between Sphynx and American Shorthair cats. Most breeders do not cross Sphynx cats outside of their breed. Occasionally they pair them with American Shorthair or short-haired domestic cats to give them more robustness.
The gene for lack of hair has manifested itself, over time, in various forms, giving birth to several varieties Sphynx. Some of them have certain parts of the body covered by a very fine down. Others are almost naked.
Although the Sphynx is said to be the “naked” cat, it is not completely devoid of fur. It often has a fine, very short down on the back of the ears, on the snout and the limbs.
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The most striking feature of Sphynx cats is the lack of fur. Although they appear to be completely hairless, their body is present on some parts – especially on the paws, tail, ears and sometimes even touch. It is said to resemble antelope skin or peach down. Mustaches and eyebrows – either whole or broken – may be present in some specimens but are completely absent in others. The “lion’s tail” – with a tuft of hair at the top – is accepted. The strange appearance of the Sphynx cats is not only given by this nudity. Their skin has numerous folds, especially around the head and neck, on the forehead. The ears are impressively large.
Mature specimens should have as many wrinkles as possible, especially on the head. But they should not be so pronounced as to affect their normal functions.
The head of these cats is longer than wide, and their cheeks are prominent. Viewed in profile, the head has a moderate stop at the base of the forehead. The eyes are large, placed at a distance, the ears are wide at the base, large, hairless on the inside.
The face of Sphynx cats has a friendly expression, denoting intelligence and focused attention. The neck is of medium thickness, cylindrical, with pronounced muscles, arched between the base of the shoulders and that of the skull. The chest is wide and tends to be bulging in some specimens.
The body is medium, with rounded contours, the abdomen is quite large, but not fat, round, giving the impression that the cat has recently enjoyed a very rich meal. The tail is thin, resembling that of a snake.
The body temperature of Sphynx cats is higher than that of regular fur specimens.
They sweat through the skin all over the body and need to be washed regularly. Due to the lack of fur, which usually absorbs sebum, the bath becomes a necessity and must be done at least once a week. All these features, together with the big, almond-shaped eyes, create the impression that the Sphynx is a strange alien creature.
Sphynx cats appear in many varieties, any kind of color combinations or patterns being accepted.
The growth of the “peach fluff” on the body of these cats seems to be hormonal because the lightness of the female fur increases them, more than usual, during pregnancy and immediately after birth.
Character and behavior
Perhaps, at first glance, you will say that these cats are strange, ugly and that you could not live with such creatures under the same roof. But if you get closer to them and try to know their character, you change your impression. They just start to love them, as they do with breeders. You will soon discover that Sphynx cats are truly irresistible! If you caress them, you will be surprised by the extremely pleasant sensation you will feel when you touch the fluff like peach, which covers their warm skin.
The Sphinx is an easy cat to maintain. Her presence arouses real pleasure. She is devoted, affectionate, energetic, social, curious. She likes to follow her owner anywhere, sometimes even being possessive. She is calm by nature. Her voice is warm, pleading. She likes to walk her favorite toy around the house.
Breeders say about her that a cat, a dog, a child and a monkey would be embodied together.
Sphynx cats have been described in the 1986 TICA Show as the most loving cats to be found. They get along very well with other cats and dogs.
Even if Sphynx cats don’t have too much fur, they should be brushed regularly. If the skin gets dirty, it must be washed – which does not take more than 5 minutes – and then dried with a towel.
Sphynx cats love to be watched and in the spotlight. Just like any other cat. They often put on a show to entertain their owners. They want to look clumsy to be funnier. They are truly spectacular when they are driven by the desire to arouse the attention and affection of their human companions.
You’re probably wondering if they’re cold. These cats are really sensitive to low temperatures. If kept indoors, at a moderate and constant temperature, they will feel great. In winter, however, you need to dress them in clothes specially created for cats.
Sphynx are very intelligent cats, who will find themselves a pleasant, warm place to retreat to sleep. Most often it is under the owners’ blanket, on the TV or on the computer monitor. They like to climb high places and you must buy them griffons, to properly maintain their claws.
A Sphynx cat gives birth to a nest of about four chicks. They weigh an average of 100-110 grams. Newborn Sphynx kittens are completely hairless and have wrinkled skin. Their eyes open from the first day of life. The ears do not reach the final position (they fall) until a few weeks after birth.
Adult females weigh around 3.5 kg, and adult males 4 kg.
The Sphynx is a flat cat in the strictest sense of the word. If left outside the house for a long time, it will not survive, as its skin suffers from too strong sunlight and insect bites. If, however, you take her for a walk in the garden for a few hours, you must apply a moisturizer or a sunscreen lotion on her skin.
Contrary to many people’s beliefs, Sphynx cats, like all other cats, can cause allergies. Lack of fur, however, lowers the level of allergic reactions in some people. Others remain as allergic to the Sphynx as to other cats.
Sphynx cats need the best quality of food. They should consume an average of 80 Kcal per kilogram (body weight) per day. In general, these cats have a very good metabolism, which must be fed a balanced amount of fat and protein. They are not prone to obesity because they tend to limit the amount of food they eat on their own.
The Sphynx cat is medium and the weight is surprisingly large for its size.
The head is longer than wide and has an elongated shape with rounded contours. The skull is slightly rounded, with a flat surface at the forehead.
The stop, located at the base of the nose, is moderate. The cheeks are prominent. The snout is strong, with rounded shapes, and the chin is firm. The mustaches are of medium length, whole or broken.
The ears are large, broad at the base, with slightly rounded tips. The ventral part is completely hairless. The presence of delicate hairs at the outer dorsal base of the ears is accepted. They are located on the top of the head, close, they do not fall.
The eyes are large, almond-shaped, elongated towards the outer base of the ears, placed at a distance greater than the length of an eye. Their color is in harmony with that of the skin.
The neck is of medium length, cylindrical, muscular, arched between the shoulders and the base of the skull; it is stronger in males.
The body – of medium length, strong, muscular, is not delicate; the abdomen is round, full, but not fat; the broad chest has a rounded shape.
The legs are proportional to the body, of medium length; the hind limbs are slightly longer than the forelegs; the forelimbs are spaced apart; they have a firm, medium-sized skeleton; the muscles are strong; The paws are oval, with long bones and prominent toes; the pillows are a little more prominent than in cats of other breeds, giving the impression that they would go on “air cushions”.
The tail is thick and thin towards the tip; long to the body. The lion’s tail is accepted – with a tuft of hair at the top.
Fur and skin – texture: the cat seems to be hairless, but its body is covered with very short, thick fur, similar to antelope skin.
The skin has numerous folds, which are desirable around the muzzle, between the ears and around the shoulders. The folds should not be so pronounced as to affect the normal functions of the cat.
The fur is short, soft, with silky threads; it is accepted on the limbs, on the nose, on the cheeks, on the back of the ears, in the region of the scrotum and on the tip of the tail.
Color: all varieties of colors and patterns are accepted, including those with white, any proportion of white is allowed.
The Sphynx is a lively cat, with an extremely pleasant temperament, intelligent and sociable. It does not offer any resistance if it is raised or carried in the arms.
Although at first sight, it looks like a strange cat, more precisely an alien, if you get to know it, you will love it.
She has a wonderful character. She is devoted, affectionate, energetic, social, curious. She likes to follow her owner anywhere, sometimes even being possessive. She is calm by nature. Her voice is warm, pleading. She likes to walk her favorite toy around the house.
Breeders say about her that a cat, a dog, a child and a monkey would be embodied together.
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