Hairless cats have been known for generations; the Aztecs are said to have kept hairless cats. The Sphynx cat is the first hairless cat breed that has been bred specifically for that trait. The breeding programme began in 1966 in Ontario, Canada when a pet cat gave birth to a hairless male kitten. However, most Sphynx cats born today are descended from three hairless kittens found in Toronto in 1978.
Canadian Hairless Cat
The Sphynx cat is outgoing, mischievous, people-orientated and loves attention. These cats often greet their owners when they come home and are very talkative. They are highly intelligent, playful and cuddly. Sphynxes are champion purrers. They like to sleep with their owners – under the covers. Their body temperature is a degree or two above the average for normal cats and they have voracious appetites to compensate for the heat loss. With little protection against the elements, these cats cannot be left out in the cold, they don’t like to sit on cold surfaces and they do appreciate central heating! Those that do go outside in the sun may need sun protection on pale skin.
The breed is prone to skin problems including the development of rashes and fungal infections. Care must be taken to protect the Sphynx cat from sunburn. As with all cats, Sphynx cats benefit from protection against disease through vaccination and need annual veterinary health checks.
Despite their lack of hair, Sphynx cats can still cause allergic reactions. Allergies to cats are usually caused by an allergen in feline saliva.
Every cat is unique and each has their own particular likes, dislikes, and needs when it comes to food. However, cats are carnivores and every cat must obtain 41 different and specific nutrients from their food. The proportion of these nutrients will vary depending on age, lifestyle and overall health, so it’s not surprising that a growing, energetic kitten needs a different balance of nutrients in her diet than a less active senior cat. Other considerations to bear in mind are feeding the right quantity of food to maintain ‘ideal body condition‘ in accordance with feeding guidelines and catering to individual preference regarding wet or dry food recipes.
Owners must pay meticulous attention to keeping the Sphynx cat’s skin clean and supple. The skin needs to be bathed or sponged every week to remove its oily secretions. The oily secretions must also be cleaned from the outer ear on a regular basis to prevent ear infections.