My Gotcha Day and Blogaversary are coming up on November 25th! In honour of that event, I am re-posting my very first Thursday Thirteen!
#44 - Thirteen Things About Sphynx
- Sphynx are a naturally hairless breed of cats. We are born this way.
- Sphynx are not totally hairless; we can have fine down on the body. Some light hair is often present on the nose, tail and toes. I am hairless except on the bridge of my nose and my ears.
- Sphynx have no whiskers, or very short whiskers. I have a few tiny, short whiskers that curl.
- Sphynx get cold only if it is cold enough for a human to also be cold. If a human needs a sweater, chances are we need one too, although we're also happy to find a warm human to curl up with (or another cat or even a dog if they are around).
- Sphynx are friendly, extremely inquisitive and love to be the center of attention. The CFA Sphynx Breed Profile uses the term "Love Mooch" to describe Sphynx.
- Because of the lack of hair that would normally absorb body oils, Sphynx need to be bathed periodically. The oil builds up on our skin and can cause problems if it's not cleaned off.
- Sphynx eyes are ears need to be cleaned as well, since we lack hair in our ears, and so ear wax builds up more quickly. We lack eyelashes, so dirt builds up more quickly in the corners of our eyes.
- We Sphynx have a very high natural metabolism. Because of our higher metabolism, we eat more and more often than "regular cats" do, and we need to be fed very high quality pet food. Our bodies have to work harder than that of other cats to keep ourselves warm, since we lack fur.
- Some people who suffer from cat allergies can tolerate living with Sphynx cats. However, depending on the type and severity of the individual's allergic reactions, there are still people who cannot live with this breed. My human dad is allergic to cats, but he can tolerate Sphynx without any problems.
- In 1966 a domestic cat gave birth to a hairless kitten in Toronto, Canada. It 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 the Sphynx to normal coated 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 vigour.
- Sphynx hairlessness is produced by an allele of the same gene that produces the Devon Rex, which has only one of the usual two fur coats. The Sphynx allele is incompletely dominant over the Devon allele; both are recessive to the wild ("regular") type.
- The most famous Sphynx is, of course, Mr. Bigglesworth, Dr. Evil's cat in the Austin Powers movies. Contrary to what some people believe, they did not shave a poor cat for the movie. They used a Sphynx! The cat who played Mr. Bigglesworth is a Sphynx named SGC Belfry Ted Nude-gent.