Pedigree Cat Breeds - Sphynx

© Misfits Sphynx
The Sphynx – Part cat, part dog, part monkey, part child!!
The Sphynx originated not as many think in Egypt but in Canada , Ontario in 1966. A domestic short-haired cat named Elizabeth gave birth to a hairless kitten in an otherwise normal coated litter. This kitten “Prune” his mother “Elizabeth”, and a few other bald mutations later discovered were the basis of the early sphynx breed. These cats were produced by mother nature herself and are the foundation for this unusual but amazing breed of cat. Most pedigreed Sphynx spring from two females, Punkie and Paloma who were sent to Dr. Hugo Hernandez in Holland in 1980. There were no Stud Cats available so the Sphynx was crossed with the Devon Rex breed.

© Misfits Sphynx

Careful outcrossing to the Domestic Shorthair and the American Shorthair, amongst other breeds, in more recent years has produced a wider genepool and allowed today’s Sphynx to come in many colour patterns. Cat breeders in Europe and America have bred the Sphynx to normal coated cats and then back to hairless for the purpose of creating a genetically sound cat, expanding the genepool and hybrid vigour. The sphynx is a very hardy breed with few health or genetic problems. So many times the Sphynx are referred to as “hairless” which is not completely accurate. When touching a Sphynx for the first time many will describe a warm peach feeling. The cat should be covered in a fine down, almost invisible to the human eye. Hair is often present on the nose, ears, tail and toes. The eyes are large and lemon shaped. They also sometimes have whiskers but these are generally short and sparse.

© Misfits Sphynx
 They are surprisingly heavy cats for their size, and their heads should be slightly rounded with a flat plane on the forehead, with a slight to moderate stop at the bridge of a straight nose. They have very prominent cheekbones, and a strong rounded muzzle often referred to as “a dog muzzle”, and a firm chin. One characteristic of them and the thing that people first notice is their huge ears, these should be broad at the base and open, rounded at the tips. The interior of their ears is totally hairless, they are set upright at a slight angle on the head, not flaring. Their neck is medium length, very hard and muscular, not delicate. They have a full rounded abdomen, which they generally achieve by the vast quantities of food they consume. The sphynx is a very hearty eater. They have a higher metabolism than normal, and this is the way that they keep their body temperature up due to their lack of fur. Their legs are in proportion with the hind legs slightly longer than the front. Front legs should be widely set. They have medium boning, and are a very firm and muscular cat. Paws are oval, with long slender, prominent toes. Pads thicker than in other breeds, giving the cat the appearance of walking on air cushions. Their tail is often referred to as a rat tail, being slender, broader at the base and tapering to the tip. They have wrinkles, and wrinkled skin is desirable especially around the muzzle, between the ears and around the shoulders. The Sphynx is accepted in most major registries. They require a bath due to their lack of fur, but this is normally a very easy task with a baby that has been brought up used to bathing from birth.

Some people refer to the Sphynx as hypoallergenic or allergen-free due to their lack of fur, which is incorrect as It is not always the hair which causes an allergic reaction. All cats groom themselves and in turn leave a deposit of saliva on their fur (or in the case of a Sphynx it's skin) this saliva then dries into a dust known as dander and in some people it is this that causes the allergic reaction and not the hair itself, which means even a hair-free cat is not an allergen-free one.

The Sphynx is not a quiet cat, it is an extrovert who’s love for people shine through. They are happy in the presence of any other animal, and will get along with anything. However it is their human companions that they have the most love for. They have a vast appetite and will eat anything and everything. They are true clowns who delight with their crazy antics, and playful ways. It is reputed that once you have touched a Sphynx you will forever what to touch another, a saying which I have probably found to be the most true of all. Devils and angels rolled into skin, the Sphynx is an incredible breed of cat. Let one into your life and your life will be forever changed.

Profile written by (Click to view profile): Misfits Sphynx

Photos & texts on this page © 2007: Misfits Sphynx

*Breed standards may vary according to cat governing body

Return To Pedigree Cat Breeds Main Page