Affectionate – Intelligent - Sociable
Sphynx cats are known for their striking looks. Their furless coats and piercing eyes are unlike any other breed of cat. Their unorthodox appearance makes them some what of a marmite cat, but as we all know, beauty is in the eye of the beholder; and what we be-holding is a wrinkly bag of Sphynx affection.
Below we will indulge in the wrinkly world of weird, that is the highly inquisitive Sphynx cat.
Average Lifespan: 10-15
Average Weight: Female = 2.7 – 3.6kg, Male = 3.6 – 5kg
Colours: Tabby, black & white, cream, red, chocolate, lavender, tortoiseshell, calico.
History Of The Sphynx Cat
Sphynx cats were a happy little accident that began with the birth of Prune, The hairless mutated kitten of Elizabeth, the Canadian short hair in 1966. Prune was then bred with his mother to produce a few more hairless kittens that were later exported to Europe in order to spread the hairless gene into a healthier pool.
The first Sphynx cat to arrive in the UK was Tulip, a 4-year-old from Holland who was shown in several exhibits and becoming a great ambassador to the Sphynx breed community.
These days, breeders outcross with Russian Blue’s and Domestic Shorthairs to maintain healthy kittens.
Did you know? Tulip lived to the ripe old age of 15 years old!
Sphynx Cat Temperament & Personality
Sphynx cats are often personified as being very ‘dog-like’ or even ‘child-like’ in behaviour/personality. Sphynx’s are highly intelligent and sociable cats that constantly crave your attention. Despite their rather unorthodox and arguably not so cuddly appearance, Sphynx cats are extremely affectionate and playful cats so keeping them entertained is essential. They are very inquisitive, which is why they are often likened to children, as well as the fact that they hate being on their own; they are very ‘people’ focused and like to be in your face 24/7. Ideally, Sphynx cats should be kept with another animal, preferably another Sphynx, but they also love children, anyone that will give them the attention they crave is welcome in the home of a Sphynx. Sphynx’s are also very chatty, so much so that most owners can often have full 2-way conversations with their Sphynx’s.
Did you know? Sphynx cats can be trained to play fetch!
How Big Does A Sphynx Cat Get?
Sphynx cats are classed as a medium sized cat;
Average height = 20-25cm
Average Length = 33-38cm
Do I Need To Groom My Sphynx Cat?
Although Sphynx cats are hairless, they still require a good level of grooming. Outside of copious amounts of self-grooming that Sphynx’ partake in, they will also require regular ear cleaning, nail clipping, teeth brushing, acne care, and baths.
Nail Clipping is supplemental to cat scratchers and walking on hard surfaces; it is important to keep an eye on the length of your kitty’s claws in case they start growing inward or catching on things, as this can be painful.
Ear Cleaning is not always essential, but you should keep an eye on them in case there is wax build up or sign of infections etc.
Teeth Cleaning is not always an easy task with cats, but still very important. Cat dental health is just as important as our own, so brushing their teeth like we would our own is decisive in dental upkeep. Cat Dental Treats can also help make the task a little easier.
Acne Care is something unique to Sphynx cats, because they are hairless, the oils in their skin can produce blackheads on their chins. You should scrub their skins lightly with warm water and a vet recommended antibacterial soap, then wipe with a cotton ball soaked in witch hazel. Make sure you to rinse off with cool water.
Bathing a Sphynx cat is important to keep on top of regularly, due to their hairlessness, if left too long in one place, a Sphynx cat can leave marks due to their oily skin.
Are Sphynx Cats Good House Cats?
Sphynx cats make very good house cats due to their sociable and affectionate nature. They get along with most other animals and are fantastic with children. Their inquisitiveness also makes them very entertaining and interactive.
Are Sphynx Cats Aggressive?
Sphynx cats are renowned in the cat community as being very social and affectionate; they are not known for being aggressive cats, on the contrary it is quite the opposite as Sphynx cats are commonly used as Therapy Cats.
Are Sphynx Cats Intelligent?
Sphynx cats are highly intelligent and curious cats, they are the only cat breed to receive a 10/10 rating on Animal Planet’s Smartest Cat Breeds.
Did you know? Cat brain structure is found to be 90% similar to human brain structure.
Sphynx Cats Health Watch-outs
Early in the life of the Sphynx cat breed, they were considered unhealthy due to the limited gene pool, however today they are quite a healthy breed, that doesn’t mean they don’t have any health-related problems.
The most commonly diagnosed heart problem in cats is Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM) which results in a reduction in the volume of blood that is pumped during each contraction of the heart; this can cause fainting and tiredness.
Hereditary Myopathy is a condition which weakens the muscles, causing difficulties walking, affected kitty’s can still live a normal life with the right type of specialist guidance.
Sphynx cats are unfortunately prone to gastrointestinal problems, so best to keep an eye on what they are eating.
Eye infections are very common in Sphynx cats, you shouldn’t worry too much as they usually clear up quite quickly with some drop from the vets.
There are a few conditions that result from the lack of hair on the Sphynx cats; Urticaria Pigmentosa is a skin condition that causes sores on the body, unfortunately as it is poorly documented, preventative measures are relatively scarce, but the sores are treatable. Due to the lack of hair, Sphinx kittens are prone to lung infections, its best to spot these early by keeping an eye on their breathing so you can treat it as soon as possible should it affect your kitten. Unlike other cats, Sphinx cats have no hair to help regulate their body temperature; so, depending on the season, you would have to either supply clothing or extra heating to keep them warm, or turn the air con on etc to cool them down.
Nutritional Requirements Of A Sphynx Cat
Omega 3 fatty acids (O3FA)
Skin care is incredibly important for Sphynx cats, so providing O3FA will help keep the skin clear and smooth; other benefits of O3FA include; reducing inflammation and supporting heart health, which will help in reducing the risk of hypertrophic myopathy. High quality complete cat foods, should include a natural source of O3FA
Higher fat & Calorie content
Sphynx cats have a very fast metabolism, so to help prevent them from being under weight and malnourished, it is better to feed a food that has a higher fat & calorie content than most foods. Cat foods with a high meat content will be naturally higher in protein
Sphynx cats are a breed known to have sensitive tummies, so it is best to look for a food that is easy on the digestive system or includes ingredients that aid in digestion like probiotics.
How Can Scrumbles Help?
Our Salmon Dry Cat Food includes salmon oil which is a source of omega 3 fatty acid to aid in skin and heart health. It also contains 20% fat, which is higher than most, but isn’t unhealthy as cats are able to metabolise more fat than you may think. All our food contains pro and pre-biotics to aid in digestion, as we believe gut health is extremely impawtant to all our fur/hairless friends, you find out more on this in our previous blog post about probiotics for cats. Our Salmon Dry Cat Food also contains rice and carrot which provide essential dietary fibre to aid the digestion of cats.
Sphynx cats are a uniquely enticing breed to a lot of people; their 1 of a kind looks and extremely friendly and childlike personality make them a loving part of the family. Sure, they have a few health hiccups to watch out for, but who doesn’t. They’re not as easy to come by as other breeds but why not try your local rescue to see if they have any. You never know, the Sphynx might be for you… If not, here is a cat with slightly more hair!