The Sphynx is an interesting cat. Their looks make you think that they’re an ancient breed that walked the land of the pharaohs and pyramids. They’re a petite animal, which belies the fact that they’re an active and relatively healthy pet. They will likely surprise you on many scores. The Sphynx is neither an old breed nor are there from the country that their name implies.
8 – 10 inches
6 – 12 pounds
12 – 15 years
All colors and patterns
Active families looking for an affectionate pet
Friendly, affectionate, intelligent, adaptable, outgoing
The Sphynx is one of those cats that people either love or dislike. Their lack of a dense coat is their most noticeable feature. Some may find it off-putting because it’s unexpected. It is the result of the phenotype or visible manifestation of a mutation.
Having fur is a dominant trait. Remember that each parent contributes one allele or their half of the offspring’s DNA to the mix. If both contribute the “hairless” allele, it will show up in the kittens.
Sphynx Cat Characteristics
The Sphynx defies generalizations. Aside from their looks, their personality and care also make them worth considering. You might think that they are standoffish and delicate. Nothing could be further from the truth. They’re not the most active cat, but the Sphynx is quite vocal, on a par with a Siamese or Burmese. You’ll have no doubt what is on this feline’s mind.
The Sphynx’s coat also plays a role in grooming and other maintenance. That will ultimately affect your cost of having this cat as a pet. The other things to consider are their health and susceptibility to various conditions. However, you should also balance these factors with their affectionate nature. This kitty is a sweetheart.
Temperament & Intelligence of the Sphynx Cat
The Sphynx differs from many cat breeds in that they are so people-friendly. This kitty is a big-time cuddler that adores their family. You’ll likely find that they will follow you from room to room like a shadow. When you sit down on the couch, they’ll jump up to snuggle with you. They’re not just about sharing your warmth. This cat wants and needs attention.
The Sphynx is also an intelligent cat. They will figure out the routine of your household quickly. They also need mental stimulation to stay happy. That’s a vital thing to consider. This kitty won’t thrive in a home where they’re left alone all day long. This can put them at risk of separation anxiety.
Are These Cats Good for Families? 👪
The Sphynx can be an excellent addition to family life. They are both kid and stranger-friendly. This cat will likely greet visitors to your home and may even jump on them to get a close-up view. They’re also quite adaptable and can roll with the punches. That makes them a welcome member of an active family. This kitty will take everything in stride.
Does This Breed Get Along With Other Pets?
Early socialization is vital for any pet. The Sphynx will make it easy if you have other animals in your home. They will get along with dogs. The only concern is the size difference. We’d worry more about a pup playing too roughly with the cat than them not accepting a canine. Supervision in the early stages is critical to make sure everyone plays gently with one another.
Things to Know When Owning a Sphynx Cat
The personality of the Sphynx makes owning one a no-brainer. They’ll do their bit to endear themselves to you. However, there are several other things to keep in mind to make sure they’re a good fit for your household and lifestyle. Doing the research up front is the best way to approach this task. Each breed has their quirks and idiosyncrasies that you should know before you buy.
Food & Diet Requirements
The Sphynx is a medium-sized cat. Feeding your pet a high-quality diet is the best thing that you can do to ensure that your cat has a good quality of life. A kitten under 3 months needs four evenly spaced meals a day. Growth is rapid during this time, making optimal nutrition a priority.
Once your kitten has reached 4 months, you can cut back to three meals. The essential thing to keep in mind is that a cat this age needs 45 grams of protein a day to ensure proper development. Once they reach 6 months, you can transition to an adult feeding schedule of two times a day. That will ensure that their blood sugar stays stable throughout the day.
Having toys available is one of the best ways to make sure your pet gets enough exercise a day. Remember that their body condition is a function of activity versus intake. Interactive toys are excellent for a pet that is as intelligent as the Sphynx. We also recommend switching their toys out occasionally to support their mental health and prevent boredom.
We don’t recommend declawing your Sphynx, a view that we share with the American Veterinary Medical Association and the Cat Fanciers Association. Scratching is normal behavior for cats. Your challenge is to channel it in appropriate ways instead of your sofa. Offering your kitty suitable alternatives is the best way to approach this task.
Instead of punishing your pet, offer them a toy or scratch post to use instead. You can also discourage this behavior with double-sided sticky tape on your furniture.
The Sphynx makes grooming easy with their short coat. You won’t have to worry about mats and tangles with this cat. However, regular grooming is still essential for skin health and bonding with your kitty. Using a soft sponge on your pet feels good to them. It stimulates blood circulation, which keeps them looking their best.
We recommend handling your cat’s ears and feet often. That will make it easier to clip their nails or clean their ears. Associating this act with a treat will make it a more pleasant experience for both of you.
Health and Conditions 🏥
Overall, the Sphynx Cat is a generally healthy animal, with few glaring medical issues. That’s one reason that many people choose this breed, despite their higher cost. You’ll save on your investment in the long run. However, there is one condition that all cats are susceptible to, particularly this breed. That’s why we strongly urge you to buy a kitten only from breeders who screen for this disorder.
Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is a form of heart disease that can become life-threatening. It can occur as a genetic disorder. Some cats also develop it because of a taurine deficiency. It is an essential amino acid that your pet’s food must provide in adequate amounts. A responsible seller will do something to prevent its transmission.
Male vs. Female
Male and female Sphynx cats are both lovable pets. The size difference between the two isn’t much either. You might opt for a female if you choose to breed. Otherwise, the choice can boil down to the cost of neutering or spaying your kitten. The former is about half or less the price of the latter. It’s also a less risky surgery, with a shorter recovery.
3 Little-Known Facts About the Sphynx Cat
1. Sphynx Cats Aren’t Hairless.
Despite their outward appearance, the Sphynx isn’t completely hairless. They have a short coat of fur that reflects their skin color, not unlike peach fuzz. If you run your hand across their body, it will feel soft.
2. The Sphynx Gets Their Name From Something Far Away From Their Home.
You may think that the Sphynx Cat is an exotic animal from a faraway land because of their unusual appearance. Surprisingly, they came from Canada due to a mutation that gave them their distinct fur. Their name is a homage to the similar-looking structure in Egypt.
3. The Sphynx Cat Can Still Trigger Allergies.
Despite their short fur, the Sphynx can still cause grief for those with allergies. That’s because they still produce dander. Those are the opaque scales that you’ll see on the skin of cats, which are dead skin cells. No cat — or dog — is truly hypoallergenic.
The Sphynx will capture your attention and your heart. They are among the most loyal and lovable cats that you’ll find. There’s a good reason that they make such a good therapy animal. They’ll also be a welcome addition to your home, whether you have kids, dogs, or both! This kitty will share their love with everyone. Your only challenge will be finding one.
Related Reads and Breeds:
- 7 Egyptian Cat Breeds
- 15 Cat Breeds That Get Along with Other Cats (with Pictures)
- How Long Do Cats Live? Average and Maximum Life Expectancy
Featured Image Credit: Kekyalyaynen, Shutterstock