Canadian Hairless, Sphinx
The Sphynx (aka Canadian Hairless) 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.
Delicate as they may appear, Sphynx tend to be well-muscled and robustly healthy, with a few obvious weaknesses. It is essential to keep a sphynx cat warm and free from drafts, especially during kittenhood, as they have no more protection from cold than a naked human would. Sphynxes are also prone to sunburn and sunstroke because they lack the normal protection of fur. They tend to get dirty and greasy, since their skin produces the same oils as a fully-furred cat, but the oil is not spread over fur as usual. As pets they are notably more social than "normal" cats, and happier to be handled, but also require more maintenance including weekly bathing and ear-cleaning. Their natural bathing habits tend to be ineffective on skin, so the owner must compensate a bit.
Sphynx cats are not hypoallergenic, in fact they can be even worse for severely allergic people than furred cats. But because they don't deposit hair on furniture or clothing, they tend to be easier to clean up after, and therefore often less troublesome to mildly allergic owners. Some notice symptoms but handle it by bathing and cleaning them slightly more often than one would otherwise.
The Sphynx breed is known for a sturdy, heavy body, a wedge-shaped head, and an alert, friendly temperament. Although hairless cats have been reported throughout history (hairless cats seem to appear naturally about every 15 years or so), and breeders in Canada have been working on the Sphynx breed since the early 1960's, the current American and European Sphynx breed is descended from two lines of natural mutations
Because of the lack of hair, this cat should always be kept indoors, and bathed regularly to remove accumulated oils that are normally absorbed by hair. Be sure to have your cat neutered or spayed. The Sphinx has been bred to ensure few genetic problems
This lovable and affectionate cat will win your heart. The "More the Merrier" is this pet's mantra, as he enjoys people, dogs, and other cats. Social, intelligent, and fun loving, the Sphynx (also Sphinx) is a welcome addition to any household.
If you are into something out of ordinary, this unusual cat is a must. He may look like a slightly fuzzy sculpture, but his antics will soon let you know you do not have a statue on your hands. A performer, who loves to be the center of attention, the Sphynx will entertain and delight you. And if you are an allergy sufferer who is bothered by dander, here is your perfect hairless pal. It should be noted, however, that many people who have cat allergies are allergic to a protein in the saliva of cats which is spread when cats groom. The Sphynx does groom himself, so you may still find yourself allergic to this striking cat.
Most sources believe the Sphynx originated in 1966 in Toronto, Canada. In 1975 in Wadena, Minnesota, a farm cat had hairless kittens. Other spontaneously mutated hairless cats have been found around the world. Discovering them to be natural mutations, breeders named the Sphynx. They have been bred for more than 30 years, evolving into the vigorous cats of today. Sphynxes are still a very rare breed. Hairier variants show up at breeders occasionally and can be bought as a family pet for lower prices. Although not recognized by all cat clubs, in February 1998, The Cat Fanciers' Association accepted the Sphynx.
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