The Sphynx is a hairless cat that originates from Canada. The breed first appeared as a natural mutation in a litter in the 1960s. However, before they were specifically bred, hairless cats have appeared from time to time around the world, such as the Mexican Hairless which is believed to date back to pre-Columbian times.
The Sphynx Coat
The Sphynx is all about the coat, or lack thereof. Some people find a hairless cat odd, whereas others cannot seem to get enough of the velvety feel of the skin, which is described as a soft peach or smooth nectarine (amongst other strange comparisons). For this reason, the Sphynx tends to seek heat and should be kept indoors to avoid sunburn. It is however important to note that the breed does have a soft layer of fluff, particularly around the ears and feet. Now, if you are thinking that a hairless cat gets you out of grooming duty, think again! This cat actually needs a lot of TLC. It is important to bathe your cat once per week to prevent her skin building up grease. Remember to include an ear clean and a nail trim.
The Sphynx may look grumpy, however, she is actually very playful. The Sphynx is known to love chasing games, is affectionate, intelligent and even-tempered. She has a life expectancy of 15 to 20 years, so, like with any other animal, make sure you are well acquainted with the breed before getting one of your own. Other common traits of the Sphynx include being mischievous, good with children, opinionated, and a tendency to get lonely.
Common health concerns
The Sphynx is generally a healthy cat, however, she can experience genetic health issues. So, a preventative health care regimen can help to prevent predictable medical concerns. Keep in mind that although your cat may experience some of these concerns at some point in her life, some cats never do.
Weight seems to be at the top of all our lists of medical concerns! And it’s true. Weight management is crucial to the overall health of any pet. Overweight pets have a good chance of developing arthritis, diabetes and other life-threatening diseases. In turn, this may shorten your pet’s life by as much as two years. Additionally, if your cat is overweight, she may develop a disease called hepatic lipidosis (also known as fatty liver). This disease is potentially fatal in overweight pets. Remember, your cat prefers to eat 10 or more times a day. This habit, although considered completely normal, can lead to your cat “overdoing it” causing obesity due to overeating. Making sure your Sphynx is fed a nutritionally formulated food that is breed specific may help prevent overeating and obesity. Try Royal Canin breed-specific food for Sphynx cats.
Dental disease is second on the list for many breeds of cat. And the Sphynx is no different. A regular teeth cleaning can prevent potential dental problems. Your veterinarian will also likely perform regular dental checks.
Other health concerns
Your Sphynx, like all cats, may suffer from bacterial and viral infections such as panleukopenia, calicivirus, rhinotracheitis, and rabies, which are preventable through vaccination. Additionally, parasites, such as worms, ticks and fleas may become a problem. Preventative medication from your veterinarian and regular check-ups are key to avoiding these common issues.
Please join us next week where we will discuss the genetic predispositions of Sphynxes.