Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Cats on Tuesday: About Sphynx

Cats on Tuesday Today I thought I would share with you some information about the Sphynx breed.

DragonheartIn 1966 a domestic cat gave birth to a hairless kitten in Toronto, Canada. This hairlessness was discovered to be a natural mutation and the Sphynx cat, as we know it today, came into existence.

Cat breeders in Europe and North America have bred Sphynx to normal coated cats and to Devon Rex cats, and then back to hairless for more than thirty years. The purpose of these selective breedings was to create a genetically sound cat with a large gene pool and hybrid vigor. The Sphynx is a very robust breed with few health or genetic problems.

Sphynx are extremely inquisitive and we love to be the centre of attention. We like to perform silly antics for your entertainment. We make great show cats because of this ''look at me" attitude and we are easy for judges to handle. Sphynx prefer human attention but enjoy the company of dogs and other cats. We have an abundance of energy and mischief and are always with you, on you or showing off for you. "Love Mooch" is one term that people use to describe Sphynx.

Sphynx are very people-orientated and affectionate. We are highly intelligent, playful, cuddly, often described as being "part dog, part child, part monkey, and part cat!" Many Sphynx are easily leash trained (I like going out on my harness) and many Sphynx love to ride in the car and to go on vacation (I enjoyed my trip to Switzerland with my humans).

DragonheartBarrel-chested and muscular, the Sphynx has a medium-long body. Oversize ears give us a batlike appearance, while large, round eyes give the face a startled expression. Sphynx have tails that are tapered and whiplike. The Sphynx's wrinkled, chamois-soft skin is covered with nearly imperceptible down; short, soft, densely packed hair is sometimes found on the ears, muzzle, feet, tail, and scrotum. Whiskers and eyebrows may be broken or absent. All colours and patterns are possible (included pointed colours), due to the extensive out-cross breedings with short-haired breeds.

Some people with allergies can tolerate living with a Sphynx. My dad is allergic to cats, but can tolerate Sphynx - I don't cause his allergies to react at all, even when I rub my face all over his, or sleep on his pillow. However, some people with cat allergies cannot tolerate Sphynx. If you are allergic to cats and are curious about Sphynx, you should contact a reputable breeder who will let you spend some time with some Sphynx, to discover whether or not Sphynx trigger your allergies.

Sphynx need regular baths because we don't have any hair to absorb the natural oils that our skin secretes. We do bathe ourselves, just like other cats, but our tongues cannot keep up with the oil that our skin secretes. The frequency of bathing will depend on the individual Sphynx: some of us secrete more oil than others. The general recommendation is to start with a weekly bath, and then adjust, depending on how much oil builds up on the skin.

Sphynx also need to have their claws, claw sheathes, and paws cleaned. An oily, black substance will accumulate at the base of the claws and in the claw sheathes. This "black gunk" is a combination of the natural oils produced in the skin, dirt caught between the toes when walking around, litter dust, etc.

People often ask if Sphynx get cold. Basically, if a person is cold in a given situation, then in all likelihood, a Sphynx will be cold too. If the humans in a house are comfortable, then Sphynx are usually comfortable. If the humans are bundled up in a sweater or under a blanket to keep warm, we Sphynx would probably appreciate the same treatment. If we do get a chill, Sphynx will seek out a place to get warm such as in a warm human lap, on top of the TV or computer monitor, under the covers on a bed, in a sunbeam, or in a covered pet bed.

Do you have any questions about Sphynx or about me? Leave your question in the comments, and I will answer your questions next week.


Cats on Tuesday To join in with Cats on Tuesday, check out My Cats and Funny Stories.


Meow (aka Connie) said...

Dragonheart, thank you for sharing such interesting information about your breed. You certainly are an unusual (and very beautiful) cat.
Take care, Meow

Karen Jo said...

You certainly gave us a lot of information about Sphynx cats. I found it very interesting. Are all Sphynx descended from just one kitten, then, or were there more than one hairless kitten in the litter?

Gattina said...

Wow ! you are a real scientist today ! It's very nice to explain your breed to others so that they understand where you are coming from. I think a lot of people have never seen a cat like you !

Daisy said...

That is some great information. You fit the breed profile to a "T"! I knew our two breeds were related, and I think we are a lot alike. I might look a lot like you if I didn't have furs. I have a question: do you get waxy ears? Pixie and I both get pretty waxy ears, and that is typical of our breed.

Horatio said...

that is indeed a very good insight abt the Sphynx breed. Sphynx is not common in my country here although there were shown in CFA shows.

But Sphynx do indeed captured the eyes of the public here since many had not seen a hairless cat before

Luna und Luzie said...

That is very interesting to read about sphynx and I´m happy to know you and read those interesting things.
I love your wonderful pictures you are an adorable cat!

Anonymous said...

I liked reeding this Dragonheart! you are a very cool cat. Your face and muzzle look a lot more triangular like a cornish rex. though... just my hummble opinion
I think cornish breeds think they are monkeys like the sphynx. Don't tell anyone, okay? but mom calls me the lovetiger...

I love this picture of you. You are a great sphynx love tiger!


Irish Church Lady :) said...

Hey Dragonheart

Thanks for coming by to see Phoebe. She's not good like you to go on a leash. You are so well behaved! Plus you like to cuddle which she doesn't. That's why we have her two adopted brothers. hee hee

mister jeter harris, hizself said...

dis wuz verree informativ an intrestin daragonheart. i hav been learnin a lot abowt da sphynx frum u deze past munthz.
today i learned dat da plural uv sphynx iz "sphynx" an not "sphynxez" ...
luv--yer frend an admirer--jh

Anonymous said...

Thank you....I really didn't know any of that...you would be a very nice pet for someone with allergies. You're a great pet anyway it sounds like!

Anonymous said...

We really enjoyed learning about your breed, Dragonheart! Since meeting you, we told our grandma about your breed, because she would really like to have a cat again, but grandpa is allergic to cats, too.

Jodi said...

thanks for sharing all that awesome info!! have a great Tuesday!

Parker said...

"Love Mooch!" That's so sweet! That was very informative and interesting! Thank-you!

Unknown said...

That is some great information!!
I love his pics so hansome.

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Christine and FAZ said...

Dear DH, I have lots of questions
1. I want to know how many brothers and sisters were born in your litter and whether they were all like you?
2. Is their a difference between male and female sphynx cats e.g. you can usually only get ginger toms and calico queens?
3. Finally, how much do you weigh cos you look quite big and strong in your photographs?

Can't wait to find out. FAZ

LZ said...

Thanks for the facts! You certainly are a wonderful ambassador for your breed and I'm sure you're all wonderful but I think you're really special and extra cute ;).


The Meezers or Billy said...

that was furry interesting Dragonheart! and the pikshurs is adorable as ushual



Thank you for the well informed posting today about your breed. It was very interesting and we could tell you did all of your homework! You are one very smart kitty!


srp said...

Dragonheart, you have a proud and intelligent pose and beautiful eyes. My Mr. Rhett has those same surprised eyes, but he reserves them for the ladies. I call them his Moon Eyes. They make the ladies swoon. I'm sure you make ladies swoon as well.

Anonymous said...

What a handsome kitty you are! Thanks for the information.

I find White Kitty (my Oriental that looks like an alien - just kidding, she is really beautiful and sweet!) to be very lean, but surprisingly heavy and solid when picked up because she is so muscular. Are you like this too?

BTW I would love to pet you to see what you feel like - or would that be too familiar?

amanuensis said...

It was fascinating to read about the history of the Sphynx. You're a beautiful and intelligent cat.

The Furry Kids said...

Wow, Dragonheart, we learned a lot about your breed. We even showed our Mom. She always wants to pick you up and put you inside her sweatshirt so you don't get cold. Also because she thinks you might tolerate it better than we do. :)
Titus, Tazo, & Earl Grey

Shaggy and Scout said...

What if you live with humans like mine? Mom is always cold and dad is always hot!
Dad bought a new chamois for the car and now mom knows exactly what you feel like.
Our mom uses a term like Love Mooch. She calls us Love Sponges!

Pearl C. Pritchard said...

Well - that certainly was interesting! I had no idea that you had to be bathed regularly. Do you like getting bathed? (that's my question.) I once had to be bathed and I hollered like crazy.

Anonymous said...

I have always wanted one...always. Gorgeous poses, just like a "model." I can't imagine giving my cats a bath---I doubt I'd survive the experience...so I wonder if I'm up to a sphynx.

HRH Yao-Lin said...

Well that was fascinating.My human is quite taken with the sphynx breed since reading about them on your blog!

kuanyin333 said...

I think your cat should be in the movies. Check out the link I put up on my blog for COT! I'm serious! Great info btw!

Mo and The Purries said...

Dragonheart, I always learn something from your info posts!
I didn't realize Sphynx was such a relatively "new" breed.
You're one cutting-edge kitty!

The Crew said...

You always give us such good information, that we wouldn't know otherwise!

Suzanne R said...

That's pretty amazing information, Dragonheart, about how your breed came to be. Thank you for sharing it with us. Our mom thinks that it might be nice not having fur like ours to shed all over the place, although the idea of giving cats a bath gives her the shivers. You must be a very patient kitty to tolerate weekly baths. You are very handsome and digified looking, so we think the baths are a good idea for you, if not for us.


wishy the writer said...

Do you need sunscreen, Dragonheart?

MaoMao said...

Wowie, Dragonheart -- thank you so much for sharing. I didn't know a lot about Sphynx kitties until I met you, but thanks to you, I'm learning more and more. I showed your post to Momma, and she thought it was interesting that she read it out loud to Daddy. They both said what a beautiful and elegant kitty you are.

Kittyhugs and purrs from MaoMao!

Andree said...

Hi Dragonheart! You are such a cutie, sitting there posing for the camera like a professional. You know just what to do to win our hearts! I need more Dragonheart movies!

Around Your Wrist said...

again, gorgeous photos! thanks for telling us so much about you.

maybe you come back to north america in 2009, your mom and dad can bring back some of your favorite food so it won't be too much of a shock.


Forty Paws said...

That was very informative DH! We luf lerning about u!!! And we fink yur whiplike tail is amazin!

Luf, Us