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  • Feline Breeds of the World – Sphynx

    January 20, 2018
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    It may be surprising that such an usual and exotic looking cat as the Sphynx, traces its origins back to Ontario Canada. The Sphynx breed is the result of selective breeding in the 1960's. When a seemingly average black and white female gave birth to a hairless male kitten, the result of a genetic mutation. The owner bred that kitten back to her, which resulted in another hairless offspring. Then, more kittens unrelated to those, were brought in to start the first true hairless breed of cat.

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    Sphynx have only short, fine hairs, so they should feel soft and have the  texture of chamois.  They still have many patterns of what their coat would look like, on their skin. Having no fur doesn't make the Sphynx free of grooming needs. The skin tends to get a build up of body oils and they require bathing at least every fortnight. The ears also need to be cleaned, as wax builds up without hairs to catch it, and their nail beds tend to collect grim with no fur to protect them.

  • Sphynx are intelligent, playful and curious to a fault. They are one of the most extroverted cat breeds and are very dog-like. They will happily meet strangers and many greet their owners at the door when they come home. One would think that Sphynx would be a hypoallergenic breed, but they are not, because allergies come from the sebaceous glands on the skin and in the saliva, so use caution in choosing this cat if you have allergies. Without any fur, the Sphynx also loses more body heat than other cats. Some owners have special coats for their cats to wear and care should be taken letting them outdoors in cold environments.

  • In addition to annual checkups, Sphynx can be susceptible to skin cancer, especially if they are frequently in the sun. Adult or senior Sphynx are prone to a heart condition called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. As kittens they are at higher risk of respiratory problems and should not go to new homes until 14 weeks of age.