Even though the particular origin of Sphinx cats is not yet known, it is believed that these kittens come from South America. Sphinx cats are considered to be an extremely rare genetic breeding, out of a mutant hairless breeding gene. Research was done in 1966 in Canada when a hairless kitten was born. They said that they started immediate breeding of hairless cats, but if a hairless cat is bred with a Sphinx, the result is not always a Sphinx kitten.
Sphinx cats are hairless in physical appearance, but they may not be totally hairless because, their skin has a texture that resembles very closely to Chamois leather. Since they have a very thin coat to retain the heat in their bodies, Sphinx cats usually cuddle around themselves, or other pets, when the mercury drops. A person may feel the kittens to be quite warm to touch because of their lack of coat.
The whiskers and eyebrows of these kittens may be present, and they may be either whole or broken, and can even be totally absent. The skin of these cats is characteristically the colour of their bodies and the colour patterns of solid, point, tortie; tabby and tan are found in these kittens. They have wedge shaped heads and even though they may look very thin, they have sturdy and heavy bodies. They have a characteristic round abdomen which in their case is known as the ‘Sphinx pot belly’.
Sphinx cats demand special care. This is because due to the lack of hair, they don’t shed their coats or groom themselves; they are not considered to be maintenance free. The body oils which are normally absorbed in other breeds are not absorbed in Sphinx cats and as a result, regular cleaning in the form of bathing is necessary for the cats. However, one bath a week is considered sufficient for Sphinx cats.
Care is needed to remove the extra ear wax, because the Sphinx cats have more wax as compared to other domestic cats, because Sphinx cats are devoid of hair even in the ear. This makes them prone to build up impurities like dirt, skin oil and ear wax quicker than any other cat breed.
Health issues of Sphinx cats:
Even though they are recognized by the cat associations as a robust and healthy breed, the lack of hair may cause severe health issues in the Sphinx kittens particularly in the first few weeks of life. For example, many Sphinx kittens are seen to develop respiratory infections in the early phase of their life. Moreover, when they grow older, they have an increased susceptibility to develop hypertrophic cardiomyopathy which leads to the increased size of the heart and early deaths in this breed.
Reputable breeders do not send Sphinx kittens go to a new home, before they are of at least 12 weeks of age, because coping in new environments makes these kittens prone to develop infections quickly.
Cristian GonzalezHowdy! I created this website to learn all about the amazing creatures that are the animals. I have two cats called Santiago and Valentina.