You may have seen the Sphynx cat on popular television shows like F.r.i.e.n.d.s. This breed is often widely misunderstood, usually at the butt end of jokes, and sometimes called ugly, evil, or naked.
Their unconventional looks leave people unsettled, and how they are portrayed in the media doesn’t help. But we’re here to change that!
In this blog, we will study these cats’ interesting history, unique physical characteristics, personality traits, the cost of acquiring one, and how long Sphynx cats live.
Let’s uncover (pun intended) the Sphynx cat together.
A Happy Accident
The Sphynx cat was born in 1966 in Toronto, Canada. As strange as it is, their lack of fur was a peculiar and rare phenomenon where one cat from a litter of short-haired kittens was born completely hairless due to a genetic mutation. However, this was not the first time hairless kittens had been born in history. The Spyhhx that we know and love today was selectively crossbred with typically short-haired cats and then once again with hairless cats, the result – a healthy and sound cat breed.
As adults, Sphynx cats can weigh anywhere between 5 to 14 pounds. These cats aren’t always completely bald – they have an extra-short coat that ranges from fine peach fuzz to hairless. They come in various colors and patterns visible by their pigmented skin.
Their coats can be white, blue, red, cream, black, golden, tortoiseshell, brown, silver, and even blue cream. Sphynx can be one solid color, bi-color, tri-color, or patterned such as tabby, ticking, smokey or shaded.
Let’s Take a Closer Look at the Sphynx: Physical Characteristics, Care, and Personality Traits.
Strong and muscular with elegant long lines, Sphynx cats are far from what we perceive typical cats to look like, but the differences don’t stop there. These cats have a small triangular head but large ears and eyes, a beautiful long tail, and perfectly rounded paws. Their skin hangs loose, forming wrinkles on their body, making them appear aged.
But their lack of a furry coat does not mean you have one less cat chore on your list; in fact, these cats require more grooming than other breeds. While naturally, you don’t have to brush the cat; you do need to bathe it at least once a week. Self-grooming is not enough to rid the skin of excess oils. Use a gentle soap that does not dry out your cat’s skin. It would be best to consult a vet and get a recommendation regarding the best soap to use for this task. During bath time, make sure that the water is not too hot or too cold, and once you’re done, wrap up your cat in a nice clean towel. This will soak up the excess water and prevent your cat from feeling cold.
Special care should be taken to clean between the wrinkles properly and the paws every time they use the litter box.
Due to the excess oil, these cats are also prone to blackheads that need removal. If left untreated, the hair follicles eventually become inflamed and require medical attention.
Gentle baby wipes or a soft, clean cloth can be used to wipe any wax buildup and dirt found in the ears.
Nails should be trimmed often.
Are you wondering if this is akin to caring for a baby? Wait until we tell you, you’ll need to shop for clothes. These hairless creatures don’t have a coat to protect themselves against nature, meaning they need an extra layer to keep themselves warm against the cold. A long-sleeved sweater or T-shirt can do the trick, depending on where you live. Keep your air-conditioners set to low, and if you’re feeling a little extra, opt to purchase a heated cat bed.
Depending on the climate, a hairless Sphynx might start growing peach fuzz around winter to protect itself from the cold.
These cats are predominantly indoor creatures, and being in the sun for too long can cause burns and cancer. Long-sleeved protective clothes, cat-friendly sunscreens (ask your vet for a recommendation), and supervised and limited access to the great outdoors would be advised.
It might come as a surprise, but these cats are extroverts and super friendly! They are extremely social and love being around their owners. Expect one to come running to greet you whenever you enter your house. Intelligent, active, curious, and attentive, these cats are easy to train.
They get along well with other pets, too – the more, the merrier, in this case.
The best part is that these cats are always looking for warm spaces (due to being hairless) to regulate their body temperature, so don’t be surprised when you find your kitty snuggling up to you all the time.
These cats are also extremely vocal and love to communicate with their owners. Funnily enough, Sphynx cats are also big eaters. They need the extra calories to stay warm, but this comes with a risk of obesity. So keep an eye on your cat’s diet and make sure that it is getting plenty of exercise.
How much does a Sphynx Cost?
Sphynx cats are not cheap! The price tag can vary from $2000 to $5000, sometimes even more, depending upon the purity of their line and the breeder. Champions lines can even sell for as high as $10,000! Purchasing one from a backyard breeder might be cheap, but the kitten would be of poor quality and could have some health issues.
Additional expenses include microchipping, food, litter, toys, bedding, medical insurance, veterinarian bills, etc. While these might not be expensive, they can add up over time, so budget accordingly.
Sphynx cats are generally very healthy but are at risk of developing certain diseases and infections, such as:
● Dental diseases
● Heart Disease
● Neonatal Isoerythrolysis (NI)/Hemolytic Icterus
● Urticaria Pigmentosa
How Long Do Sphynx Cats Live?
With the right diet and care, Sphynx cats can live anywhere between 8 to 14 years. Grandpa Rex, from Texas, however, a beautiful Sphynx cat, lived up to be 34 years old.
Unfortunately, heart conditions can shorten their life, but they can live happily, healthy, and content with the right care and treatment plan.
Recommended Read: HOW LONG DO SIAMESE CATS LIVE?
Is a Sphynx Cat Right for You?
If you’re in the market for an unconventional but sweet and cuddly breed, then the Sphynx is your best choice. Healthy, lively, and definite head-turners, these cats will surely adjust to any household.