Sphynx Cat – Rare and Unusual
Think of strange and unusual cat breeds and the Sphynx cat is bound to come to mind – even if you don’t know the breed’s name! The Sphynx is often referred to as the hairless cat. Remember Mr. Bigglesworth, Dr. Evil’s cat in the “Austin Powers” movies?
The Sphynx is not a truly hairless cat, although it appears to be. The Sphynx’s skin is often covered by a very soft “peach fuzz.” These cats also are known for their wedge-shaped heads and curious natures. Their skin is warm and soft to the touch, feeling like a very fine leather. The Sphynx may or may not have whiskers.
Whether from its highly playful behavior or its appearance alone, a Sphynx cat will surely grab the attention of the people around it. This breed of cat has steadily become more popular over the years. However, the origins of this hairless cat is rather tricky. Hairless cats have been traced to the Aztecs, who were thought to have bred these cats. The Sphynx cats of today are thought to be the products of the cross-breeding of some hairless kittens with the Devon Rex, a breed with light and curly fur. Here are some notable characteristics of Sphynx cats.
The Sphynx Cat Can Be Very Affectionate
Because they do not have coats to keep them warm, Sphynx cats tend to be very affectionate, often snuggling up to other animals and people. If you get one of these cats, prepare to make room under the covers at night, as it will probably want to curl up next to you.
No Need for Brushing the Sphynx Cat
Its lack of a coat means no shedding and no need for brushing. However, the Sphynx still requires plenty of loving care and maintenance. Body oils tend to accumulate on their skin, while other cats absorb them in their coats. This means that the Sphynx requires regular bathing. These cats also should have limited exposure to sunlight, as they can develop a sunburn similar to that of a human. They also should not be exposed to cold temperatures because of their lack of a coat for protection. In short, the Sphynx is not an outdoor cat.
The Hypoallergenic Cat
A common fallacy about the Sphynx is that is hypoallergenic because of its lack of a coat. It is important to remember that dander, not cat hair, is what triggers allergy symptoms in people who are allergic to cats. Nevertheless, some people with allergies have successfully tolerated Sphynx cats. At the same time, however, others with allergies have reacted even worse to these cats.
Sphynx cats are particularly popular for being very active and intelligent cats. The vigorous temperament of Sphynxes makes them very suitable for training. When they are not jumping and climbing their cat trees, Sphynx cats are exploring every nook and cranny inside and outside your house. They also appreciate games that are mentally and physically challenging, such as having them fetch treats from high places, or going on new adventures inside or outside the house.
If work keeps you out of the house for significant periods of time, it is best to keep Sphynx cats indoors. Otherwise, if you leave them unattended outside, their natural curiosity and physically active behavior might lead to accidents or fights with other animals.
Many people commonly stereotype cats as cold, calculating animals who care for nothing but their welfare. Sphynx cats among others, however, break this image, not just through their appearance, but also through their affectionate behavior. They have been known to greet people at the door and show much happiness at seeing their humans. Sphynx cats are also known to cuddle with people a lot, to keep warm.
This friendly personality also makes Sphynx cats great companions to children, other cats, and dogs. However, they require a lot of attention and may want to interact with others often. Therefore, if you are outdoors most of the time, it might be a good idea to have a companion for your Sphynx.
Sphynx cats are characteristically high-maintenance. Especially because Sphynx cats are hairless, raising these cats calls for a bit of maintenance. They are very prone to bumps and sores on their skin, and may develop an oily residue if you do not clean them often enough. A weekly bath, and regular wet-wipedowns in between baths will suffice.
They are also highly susceptible to sunburn, so keep their outdoor activities regulated. Sphynx cats may also suffer from myopathy, a hereditary muscle condition that can affect their movement. Lastly, even though these cats are hairless, Sphynx cats can produce dander, or the residue of dead skin cells, which can still trigger the cat allergies of some people.
Hairless Cat Breeds
The earliest Sphynx cat dates back to 1966, when a hairless kitten was born to a domestic cat in Canada. The hairlessness was found to be the result of a mutation, and the Sphynx cat came into existence. Over the years, however, there have been other breeds of hairless cats, including the now-extinct Mexican Hairless. Breeding over the years has resulted in the Sphynx being a robust breed with few genetic or health problems. The Sphynx is among the rarest cat breeds, and many breeders often have waiting lists for kittens.
Sphynx Cat behaviors make this Breed unique
If you like cats that have playful and affectionate behaviors, the Sphynx is the breed for you. They compensate for their lack of hair with their friendly dispositions, high intellect, and bouncy personalities. They even love to cuddle! Indeed, Sphynx cats are unique, both in behavior and appearance.
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