Active: The Sphynx is highly active, often described as curious and energetic.
Size: The Sphynx breed is a medium to large size cat breed, typically 6 -12 pounds, and are quite muscular. They are a hearty breed, not delicate in any way, and have few health problems.
Characteristics: Make no mistake, even though they are hairless and you can often see every muscle and bone, they are not fragile cats. They have wide-set, lemon shaped eyes that are both friendly and intelligent. They also have distinct, large ears. If there are any whiskers, they are often broken or sparse. One characteristic trait of these hairless felines is a "full belly" or "pot belly" appearance that makes it look like they have just had a big, delicious meal. And often, they really have just had a delicious meal. They are constantly using their mouths, either to eat or to talk to their owners. They have hearty appetites and love to eat. But, one thing they love more than eating is interacting with their owners. Another characteristic of the Sphynx breed is wrinkles. Though, wrinkles are not exclusively found in the Sphynx breed. Wrinkles are present in other breeds but are more apparent in the Sphynx breed because of their lack of hair. Because they do not have hair, they do not need haircuts but they still require regular grooming. These fiercely loyal felines paw their way into your heart which is good because they do need a lot of attention and care. They need baths at least once a week as oils tend to collect on their skin. Additionally, much like humans, sun exposure should be limited as they can get sun burns. While they are hairless, the Sphynx breed is not a hypoallergenic breed and can still trigger people's allergies.
Temperament: To know the Sphynx is to love the Sphynx. In spite of their odd appearance, they are quirky, lovable and intelligent companions. They can often be found snuggled up under the bed covers, crawling onto your lap, or forcing their way under your arm. These co-dependent little creatures love to be right with you, and often, right on you! Because they are so soft, they are the perfect companion to cuddle up to and relax. These hairless cats not only have a unique appearance but a wonderfully unique disposition. They are full of personality, energetic and acrobatic. The Sphynx breed is often compared to monkeys with their skillful balancing and ability to climb very high. They play their own silly version of hide and seek because they love to perch themselves on top of cabinets and doors. They are also often called "child-like" as they are quite inquisitive and intelligent. You can practically hear these cats screaming, "Look at me!" as they love to entertain, perform and get all the attention. The Sphynx is like a clown performing for the applause. Their silly and mischievous personalities only enhance how lovable they are. They can certainly be playful but they are also loyal companions that love to be close to humans or other cats. They are a great pet for homes with children, other cats and cat-friendly dogs. They love to be in pairs or packs, constantly enjoying the company of others.
Care: Even though they do not have a full coat of hair, the Sphynx does require care. They should be bathed weekly and their skin moisturized with lotion or oil. Their teeth should also be cleaned frequently, preferably daily.
Coat: The Sphynx breed is known for its lack of coat but, while they appears hairless, the naked truth about the Sphynx is that they are not totally hairless. They have a fine, warm down coat that makes them feel very soft. This suede-like and often invisible-to-the-eye coat feels like a warm peach. The color and pattern of the cat are seen in the pigment and pattern of the skin. Because they are hairless, they can become too cold but, they are smart and tend to look for cozy, warm places to curl up. If you are looking for a hypoallergenic cat then the Sphynx cat is a great candidate. They produce less of the Fel D1 protein which is the true cause for your allergic reaction. There is no cat that is 100% allergy free so increasing the frequency of grooming and bathing your furry friend will also help.
Origin: This hairless breed was first mentioned in books in the early 1900's. "The Book of the Cat", which was published in 1903 by Francis Simpson, references a pair of Mexican Hairless cats that were obtained from a Pueblo Indian couple in New Mexico. The hairless breed was seen again in Paris, France in the 1950's when a pair of Siamese cats gave birth to a litter of three hairless cats. In Toronto, Canada a Sphynx breed cat named Prune was born to domestic shorthair cats. Prune was the only hairless kitten in the litter.
Despite attempts to breed Prune's line, Prune's line did not produce the breed of Sphynx cat that exists today. The Sphynx breed we know today has its own unique and fascinating origin. In 1975, Minnesota farm owners found that their farm cat, Jezabelle, had given birth to a hairless kitten, who they named Epidermis. Epidermis was then joined by Dermis, another hairless cat. Oregon breeder Kim Mueske purchased Epidermis and Dermis. Meanwhile, in 1978, an Ontario, Canada breeder named Shirley Smith discovered three hairless kittens in the streets and named them Bambi, Punkie and Paloma. Epidermis, Dermis, Bambi, Punkie and Paloma are the foundation of what we now know as the modern line of the Sphynx cat breed.
Dedicated breeders, in the United States and Internationally, have worked hard over the years to breed a strong and genetically diverse Sphynx cat breed. The breed has been accepted by the CFA (Cat Fanciers Association and TICA (The International Cat Association) for championship and is now recognized by all North American cat associations and is recognized internationally as well.