Easily recognizable with his complete lack of coat, the Sphynx cat is also known as the Canadian Sphynx due to the first of these hairless cats been found in Toronto. Since the first discovery of this rare mutation in the mid-1960s, there have been a great many problems with trying to establish them as a breed due to a lot of health problems that included unexplained seizures and the loss of many a litter of kittens. In the years since, the Sphynx has been successfully established as a breed with a sound genetic pool.
While the Sphynx may appear to be completely hairless, they actually have a very fine layer of hair covering their body. Their lack of a proper coat, however, can make them prone to feeling the chill during the cooler months which has earned them the reputation for being cuddlers. Some of the Sphynx cats don’t have whiskers, while some have stubby whiskers. An interesting thing about the color of their skin is that their skin is the color that their fur would have been and they carry all of the markings of other cats, including tortoiseshell, tabby, and even solid colors like black or chocolate.
Sphynx cats typically have wedge-shaped heads and are surprisingly heavy when picked up. They have sturdy and muscular bodies, but also have something of a rounded belly which is actually preferred by breeders for the show ring.
While they may not have a coat that sheds or needs to be groomed a lot, Sphynx cats actually require a fair amount of care in order to keep them healthy. Oils produced by the body that would typically be absorbed by their fur and then groomed out tend to accumulate on their skin. To combat this, it is recommended that the cats be bathed at least every two weeks. Frequent bathing can also cause excessive oil buildup, however.
Sphynx cats should be kept indoors or at the very least not be allowed to spend much in the way of time outdoors because their exposed skin is very prone to sunburn and other skin damage. Winter temperatures can also leave your Sphynx very miserable, especially since they are not able to moderate their body temperatures.
Highly energetic, intelligent, curious, and very outgoing, the Sphynx cat is also very affectionate and sweet. They make a great addition to a family home and it is often recommended that they not be the only cat in the home as their outgoing nature makes them best suited to live with at least one feline companion.