Personality is one thing that a Sphynx cat has lots of. While the disposition of any cat is highly influenced by the way the kittens are raised, Sphynx are generally highly affectionate, sociable, and intelligent. They tend to get along well with other pets, including dogs, and are the ultimate lap and bed cats. Because of their inquisitive, alert nature, Sphynx often make wonderful show cats as well as pets.
The Sphynx is not a maintenance free cat. Due to the lack of coat, a Sphynx must be bathed regularly to keep the skin free of the naturally secreted oils and sweat. The very large ears, lacking hair to act as a filter for dust and dirt, also need to be cleaned regularly to avoid wax buildup. We have a weekly routine of bathing, ear cleaning, nail trimming and cleaning of the nail beds. If they have been sweating a lot, they may get bathed twice a week. This whole routine takes about 15-20 minutes per cat. I use a mild soap such as Oil of Ole unscented. If there is a heavy build up of oil, you can use a mild dish detergent, such as (sunlight for sensitive skin) and a good ear cleaner (can be purchased at any pet store). Rinse well, you do not want to have any soap residue left behind.
No animal is "hypoallergenic," including the Sphynx. A person with cat allergies is allergic usually to the saliva and dander and not necessarily to the fur. While the lack of coat and frequent bathing does make the Sphynx more tolerable to people with allergies to cats, there is no guarantee that if you are an allergy sufferer you will be able to keep a Sphynx as a pet. Pre-exposure prior to purchasing is a must.
Being hairless, the Sphynx will chill easier than other cats. Thatís one reason the Sphynx is strictly an indoor cat. A rule of thumb is if you are feeling chilly, your Sphynx are feeling chilly. Most comfortable at temperatures (70-80 degrees F) your Sphynx will love to cuddle in a throw blanket or a perch in front of the fireplace. A rule at our house is all throws are felt before sitting down. Some owners put sweaters on their cats if they know theyíll be exposed to cooler temperatures (trips to the vet or to cat shows). Donít be alarmed if your Sphynx chooses your bed as its bed, they love to snuggle.
Although the Sphynx is labeled as the hairless cat, they do have a variable amount of very short down on their bodies. Some Sphynx will have thicker down on their feet, tail, muzzle and back of ears. Some Sphynx will feel like a warm peach or apricot. While others will feel like rubber and slightly sticky when you pet them-almost like a hot water bottle. Generally, the show quality Sphynx will be more hairless while the pet quality will have more hair. Because the hairless gene exhibits variable expression, you can get a variety of hairlessness in a litter of Sphynx kittens.
Very simply - all colors! The skin pigments determine the color of the cat. Any down on the body enhances the color. All colors are allowed in the breed standard including solids, particolor, tabby, pointed, mink. Eye color should be appropriate for coat color. Listed below is the colours from CCA.
GENERAL: all colors and patterns, in any combination, found in felines is acceptable in the Sphynx with exception to any of the colors or patterns that are determined by the placement of color on the single shaft of hair. e.g. shaded, cameo, smoke, chinchilla, ticked or otherwise tipped hair shaft. Being a cat noted for its lack of hair, these descriptions would not apply to the Sphynx. Note: exposure to sun will intensify all colors.
WHITE: pure glistening white. Nose leather and paw pads: pink.
BLACK: black. One level tone from nose to tip of tail. Nose leather: black. Paw pads: black or brown.
BLUE: blue. One level tone from nose to tip of tail. Nose leather and paw pads: blue.
RED: deep, rich, clear, brilliant red, without markings. Lips and chin the same color as the skin. Nose leather and paw pads: brick red.
CREAM: one level shade of buff cream, without markings. Nose leather and paw pads: pink.
CHOCOLATE: rich chestnut brown, even throughout. Nose leather: brown. Paw pads: brown or cinnamon.
LAVENDER: frosty-grey with a pinkish tone, even throughout. Nose leather and paw pads: lavender-pink.
CINNAMON: cinnamon, even throughout. Nose leather and paw pads: cinnamon.
FAWN: pale, pinkish fawn, even throughout. Nose leather and paw pads: pale fawn.
CLASSIC TABBY PATTERN: markings clearly defined on legs and tail. Pattern tends to fade on hairless body. Legs evenly barred with bracelets coming up to meet the body markings. Tail evenly ringed. Several unbroken necklaces on neck and upper chest, the more the better. Markings seen on the skin. Frown lines on head form an intricate letter "M" Unbroken line runs back from outer corner of eye. Swirls on cheeks. Vertical lines over back of head extend to shoulder markings which are in the shape of a butterfly with both upper and lower wings distinctly outlined and marked with dots inside outline. Back markings consist of a vertical line down the spine from butterfly to tail with a vertical stripe paralleling it on each side, the three stripes well separated by stripes of the ground color. Large solid blotch on each side to be encircled by one or more unbroken rings. Side markings should be the same on both sides. Double vertical rows of buttons on chest and stomach.
MACKEREL TABBY PATTERN: markings clearly defined on legs and tail. Pattern tends to fade on hairless body. Legs evenly barred with narrow bracelets coming up to meet the body markings. Tail barred. Necklaces on neck and chest distinct, like so many chains. Head barred with an "M" on the forehead. Unbroken lines running back from the eyes. Lines running down the head to meet the shoulders. Spine lines run together to form a narrow saddle. Narrow pencillings run around body.
SPOTTED TABBY PATTERN: markings on the body to be spotted. The spots can be round, oblong, or rosette-shaped. Any of these are of equal merit but the spots, however shaped or placed, shall be distinct. Spots should not run together in a broken Mackerel pattern. A dorsal stripe runs the length of the body to the tip of the tail. The stripe is ideally composed of spots. The markings on the face and forehead shall be typically tabby markings. Underside of the body to have "vest buttons." Legs and tail are barred. Markings clearly defined on legs and tail. Pattern tends to fade on hairless body.
PATCHED TABBY PATTERN: a patched tabby (torbie) is an established silver, brown, blue, red, cream, etc. tabby with patches of red, cream, lavender, fawn, etc. clearly defined on both the body and extremities; a blaze on the face is desirable.
SILVER TABBY: skin ground color, including lips and chin, pale clear silver. Markings dense black. Nose leather: brick red. Paw pads: black.
BROWN TABBY: skin ground color brilliant coppery brown. Markings dense black. Lips and chin the same shade as the rings around the eyes. Back of leg black from paw to heel. Nose leather: brick red. Paw pads: black or brown.
BLUE TABBY: skin ground color, including lips and chin, pale bluish ivory. Markings a very deep blue affording a good contrast with skin ground color. Nose leather: old rose. Paw pads: rose.
RED TABBY: skin ground color red. Markings deep, rich red. Lips and chin red. Nose leather and paw pads: brick red.
CREAM TABBY: skin ground color, including lips and chin, very pale cream. Markings buff or cream sufficiently darker than the ground color to afford good contrast but remaining within the dilute color range. Nose leather and paw pads: pink.
CHOCOLATE (Chestnut) TABBY: skin ground color is warm fawn, markings are rich chestnut brown. Nose leather: chestnut, or pink rimmed with chestnut. Paw pads: cinnamon.
CHOCOLATE-SILVER TABBY: skin ground color, including lips and chin, is silver. Markings rich chestnut. Nose leather: chestnut or pink rimmed with chestnut. Paw pads: cinnamon.
CINNAMON TABBY: skin ground color, including lips and chin, a pale, warm honey, markings a dense cinnamon, affording a good contrast with skin ground color. Nose leather: cinnamon or coral rimmed with cinnamon. Paw pads: cinnamon.
CINNAMON-SILVER TABBY: skin ground color, including lips and chin, a pale glistening silver. Markings dense cinnamon. Nose leather: cinnamon. Paw pads: coral.
LAVENDER TABBY: skin ground color is pale lavender. Markings are a rich lavender, affording a good contrast with skin ground color. Nose leather: lavender, or pink rimmed with lavender. Paw pads: lavender-pink.
LAVENDER-SILVER TABBY: skin ground color, including lips and chin, a cold clear silver. Markings lavender. Nose leather: lavender or pink rimmed with lavender. Paw pads: lavender-pink.
FAWN TABBY: skin ground color, including lips and chin, pale ivory, markings dense fawn, affording good contrast with skin ground color. Nose leather and paw pads: pale fawn.
TORTOISESHELL: black mottled or patched with red and/or cream. Blaze on face desirable.
BLUE-CREAM: blue mottled or patched with cream. Blaze on face desirable.
CHOCOLATE (Chestnut) TORTOISESHELL: rich chestnut brown mottled or patched with red and/or cream. Blaze on face desirable.
CINNAMON TORTOISESHELL: cinnamon mottled or patched with red and/or cream. Blaze on face desirable.
LAVENDER-CREAM: lavender mottled or patched with cream. Blaze on face desirable.
FAWN-CREAM: fawn mottled or patched with cream. Blaze on face desirable.
CALICO: white with unbrindled patches of black and red. White predominant on underparts.
VAN CALICO: white with unbrindled patches of black and red confined to the extremities; head, tail, legs. One or two small patches of color on body allowable.
DILUTE CALICO: white with unbrindled patches of blue and cream. White predominant on underparts.
DILUTE VAN CALICO: white with unbrindled patches of blue and cream confined to the extremities; head, tail, legs. One or two small patches of color on body allowable.
BI-COLOR: solid color and white, tabby and white, tortoiseshell and white, pointed and white, any color and white, etc.
VAN BI-COLOR: solid color and white, tabby and white, tortoiseshell and white, etc., with color confined to the extremities; head, tail, and legs. One or two small patches on body allowable.
FAWN-CREAM CALICO, LAVENDER-CREAM CALICO, CINNAMON-CREAM CALICO: as for calico above, with appropriate marking color.
FAWN-CREAM VAN CALICO, LAVENDER-CREAM VAN CALICO, CINNAMON-CREAM VAN CALICO: as for van calico above, with appropriate marking color.
POINTED PATTERN: point restricted colors show little or no color contrast between body and points in the mature Sphynx. Although born very light in color, the pointed Sphynx will darken and appear solid in color as an adult. Eye color: vivid blue. Nose leather and paw pads: appropriate to coat color. The pointed pattern may be combined with ANY other pattern (except mink) and ANY colors, e.g. lilac-silver lynx point and seal-tortie point with white (shown in the Bi-Color Class).
MINK PATTERN: point restricted colors show little or no color differentiation between body and points in the mature Sphynx. Although born very light in color, the mink Sphynx will darken and appear solid in color as an adult. Eye color: aqua. Nose leather and paw pads: appropriate to coat color. The mink pattern may be combined with ANY other pattern (except pointed) and ANY colors, e.g. natural mink, blue mink, champagne mink, platinum mink, natural tabby mink, blue-cream, tortie mink and white (shown in Bi-Color Class).
SABLE: the mature specimen is a rich, warm, sable brown without shadings, barring, or markings of any kind. (Kittens are often lighter in color.) Nose leather and paw pads: brown.
CHAMPAGNE: the mature specimen should be a warm honey beige without shadings, barring, or markings of any kind. Nose leather: light, warm brown. Paw pads: warm, pinkish tan.
PLATINUM: the mature specimen should be a pale, silvery gray without shadings, barring or markings of any kind. Nose leather and paw pads: lavender-pink.
OSC (Other Sphynx Colors): any other color or pattern. Cats with no more than a locket and/or button do not qualify for this class, such cats shall be judged in the color class of their basic color with no penalty for such locket and/or button. Examples: any color with one, two, three, or four white feet. All point restricted colors such as seal point, chocolate point, natural mink, blue mink, sable, champagne, platinum, etc.
The Sphynx has a higher metabolism than other cats in order to keep warm. They require a high quality food with wholesome ingredients. We feed our cats and kittens a meal of raw food daily and dry food is available all day. Of course, clean, fresh water should be available at all times.
Remember, the Sphynx is strictly an indoor cat. Being hairless, they are susceptible to chilling, sunburn and insect bites. Fleas may bite but rarely reside on the Sphynx. New owners need to understand that having a Sphynx is a unique and rewarding opportunity but that their care is different than "coated" cats. Prospective owners need to be fully aware of these unique requirements before considering adoption.
Like any purebred cat, care must be taken to insure that vigorous breeders and healthy outcrosses are utilized to keep bloodlines and immunity strong and healthy. Most Sphynx are generally healthy and robust as adults. However, kittens are more fragile-especially the first couple of months of life. At that time care must be taken to keep them warm and insure their nutritional needs are being met. Appropriate vaccinations are critical in the first few months of life as well. The Sphynx is a cat very in tuned with its surroundings. Nothing goes by unnoticed. Because of this, the Sphynx may be more prone to stress that may lower immunity.
Diseases that affect Sphynx are pretty typical of the diseases that affect most purebred cats. Dental disease is relatively common and should be kept in check with routine examinations and cleaning by your veterinarian. Upper respiratory infections are more prevalent in Sphynx kittens but can affect adults as well. Life spans of the Sphynx appears to be average for felines ranging from 12-16 years. Overall, if you keep your Sphynx clean, well fed, vaccinated, indoors, warm and loved-you will have a healthy, long-lived companion.
If you are interested in adopting a kitten, go to the Adoption Procedure and Kittens Available pages on this website for further information. Kittens are placed in their new homes on a first come, first served basis unless a deposit is placed to reserve a specific kitten. A signed kitten adoption agreement is required before a kitten can be placed in a new home. This agreement covers the health guarantee, required care and general welfare of the kitten. Shipping (additional cost) is available to most locations weather permitting.
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