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Sphynx Breed Description

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Sphynx Breed Description

Sphynx Cat | Breed Profile | Breed Description

The Sphynx is a rare breed of cat with extremely little fur, or at most a short fuzz over its body, and no whiskers (vibrissae). Their skin is the color their fur would be, and all the usual cat marking patterns (solid, point, van, tabby, tortie, etc) may be found in Sphynx too. They are sometimes mistaken for Chihuahuas because of their extremely unusual and, some say, uncatlike appearance. They are very affectionate and extroverted and like to cuddle with their humans, other humans, and each other.

The Sphynx is distinguished by its relative hairlessness, though actually it is covered by a soft down. This is not the fabled Mexican Hairless Cat; the breed’s origins are actually Canadian, from a black and white mixed-breed cat named Elizabeth who produced hairless kittens.


The Sphynx cat has to be the most unusual breed in existence, as, unlike other cats, the Sphynx is hairless. The Sphynx is said to be named so because early breeders felt that there was a similarity between their cats and the Egyptian cat sculptures in the British Museum and the Louvre.

The Sphynx is also known as the Canadian Hairless Cat. First bred in Canada, the Sphynx cat originated from a mutant hairless kitten that was born in a litter of shorthaired cats in 1966.

True show Sphynx have very little hair (on the bridge of their noses and the backs of the ears), but pet Sphynx may have more. Expect to pay more money for one with almost no hair. They are available in a wide variety of colors and patterns.

Sphynx cats of today are highly affectionate, sociable and intelligent. They get along well with other animals in the household. Sphynx cats have an alert, affectionate and inquisitive nature that makes them a truly wonderful pet. They were described in TICA 86 Show program as the most loving cat it is possible to meet. Sphynx cats come in a variety of colors. The skin and down can be any recognized color and pattern, and the eye color should harmonize with the coat.

“Hair-free” doesn’t mean “maintenance-free”. Even fully hairless Sphynx still produce natural oils to maintain a “coat” and thus must be bathed regularly (oily cats may leave grease stains on the furniture or develop blocked pores).

Because of the size and lack of hair in the ears, owners must clean the ears regularly to avoid wax buildup. The Sphynx is also not necessarily an appropriate choice for an allergic household. They are not hypoallergenic, despite the lack of hair. They still produce the allergy-causing dander and saliva.

The Sphynx is an affectionate, happy companion cat. They are sociable, alert, and very curious and enjoy the company of humans and other pets. Their skin feels like warm, soft suede to the touch.