Animals

All about the Egyptian Cat, Sphinx or Sphynx

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The Sphynx or Sphinx Cat is a breed of cat very striking for its apparent absence of hair. It is a chubby and stocky looking cat that creates both rejection and affection. His detractors call him a weird cat, a cat with bat ears and a snake's head, an alien cat… But instead his followers […]


The Sphynx or Sphinx Cat is a breed of cat very striking for its apparent absence of hair. It is a chubby and stocky looking cat that creates both rejection and affection.

Its detractors call it a weird cat, a cat with bat ears and a snake's head, an alien cat ... But instead its followers value it as an extravagance, a singularity of nature.

Sphynx cats come from a natural genetic mutation of a recessive nature that occurred in Canada in the 1960s, a fact that made serious and reputable breeders work hard to maintain their fixed characteristics and thus consolidate this extraordinary breed. In fact, and according to the latest research, a new breed of hairless cat appears every 15 years and this suggests that hairless cats have existed throughout history. The ancestors of the Sphynx date back to the Pre-Columbian era, as shown by the engravings and pottery found.

There are currently three breeds of hairless cats recognized by feline associations: the Sphynx, the Peterbald and the Don Sphynx.

Although the specimens of the breed appear to be hairless cats, it should be noted that they are not really bare cats, but that they have the skin covered with a layer of very thin, short and even hair, almost imperceptible to sight or touch.

Despite their fragile appearance, they are healthy and strong cats. Her lack of hair is her main problem because she is very sensitive to temperature changes. In winter time we should not expose them to low temperatures and keep them in warm places.

Precisely and due to its characteristics it needs special care. You will need a constant cleaning since their diet, rich in calories, produces an excess of fat in the skin that prevents them from correct perspiration, so it is advisable to bathe them regularly. A weekly bath in summer and a couple of baths in winter are enough to keep their skin clean and healthy. Of course, with a specific shampoo for hairless pets. We must also pay special attention to your ears that create excess earwax, so you have to clean your ears daily with wet wipes to remove these secretions.

As far as character is concerned, these are sweet, curious, peaceful and intelligent cats. Normally they prefer calm and tranquility, but sometimes they show their more lively, naughty and playful facet (they love to climb and jump).

They are very devout, loyal and possessive of their owners who will accompany everyone purring and wagging their tail as if they were dogs, seeking to be pampered.

They are very sociable and affectionate with people and other animals, but there are certain times when they need to be independent, even from their owners.

In his character there is no hint of aggressiveness. This, together with his great patience make him a good pet for children.

Physical characteristics of Egyptian cats

The lack of fur does not affect them at all in their daily lives. It is not a defect, it is not a disease, simply a genetic characteristic. In fact, having no hair, your body makes up for it with a body temperature up to 4 degrees higher than other cats. Also, the absence of a mustache does not prevent him from being a magnificent rodent hunter like any other feline.

Actually, they are not completely hairless, its body is covered with a thin layer, resembling a suede, practically imperceptible to sight and touch.
its body is medium, its weight ranges from 3,5 and 5 kilosIt has a rounded abdomen and a muscular appearance. Its head is of medium size, flat front, prominent cheekbones and rounded snout. Their ears are large, wide at the base and open, completely devoid of hair inside. Their eyes are like a rounded lemon, inclined towards the outer edge of the ear and the color is usually between green and hazelnut. The length of the tail is proportional to the body.

Sphinx cat personality and behavior

Their physical structure makes them very active and playful animals and having a lot of energy is likely to keep moving for most of the day. They seek the attention of their caregivers and show great affection. They are extremely docile and more dependent than other cat breeds. They are very homemade cats, they are cunning and very curious.

Care required by the Spyhnx breed

This breed has a average life between 10 and 20 years, your general health is good but requires certain fundamental care such as:

  • Annual visit to the veterinarian
  • Teeth cleaning from 2 years
  • Vaccinations
  • A healthy diet, with products free of chemicals and additives (as for any pet)
  • At least one weekly bath is recommended
  • Careful and regular cleaning of ears.

Other interesting facts about the Sphynx

They prefer indoor environments, the lack of hair makes them a little more susceptible to temperature changes and they are veryvulnerable to sunburn.
Its rapid metabolism increases your appetite, this breed needs more food than others and be sure that everything that is left within your reach will be eaten.
The absence of eyelashes makes your eyes more susceptible to particles and dirt entering them.

Below you can see the Affinity Foundation video about sphinx or Sphynx cats.

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Hair and colors

Medium in size, angular and slightly triangular, it is longer than wide. The forehead is flat, the cheekbones, prominent, the nose, short, without pronounced sinking at eye level ("stop"). The snout is extremely rounded, wide and short, with a firm chin. It must present a sharp cleft at the junction of the snout with the cheeks, which is known by the term "pinch".

He usually lacks mustaches, but if he does, they are short and scattered.

It seems that your skin is naked but it is not like that, since has a very fine hair all over the body. You can also have hair on the face, feet, tail and testicles. The skin has a texture similar to that of a suede and highlights wrinkled skin on the head, body and legs. In the rest of the body she is tense.

There is no color limitation, so all possible genetically recognized.

General information

There is evidence of the appearance of hairless cats already in pre-Columbian America, but the Sphynx origin is in Ontario, Canada, where in 1966 a hairless kitten appeared as part of a litter of common cats they called "Prune." When he became an adult, this cat was crossed with his mother and kittens were born with both hair and without him. Of these, some traveled to Europe, where at first they were called Canadian Hairless. Here they caused a sensation and the breed received the current name for its appearance similar to the Egyptian sphinxes.

From the information on the race it follows that he arrived in Britain in 1988 from the Netherlands. More specifically, it was a female named "Tulip."
A few years before, between 1975 and 1978, different hairless kittens appeared in Minnesota and Toronto, which they named "Epidermis", "Punkie" and "Pigeon". At first these cats were introduced in the Devon Rex breeding programs, and then their descendants were used for the breeding and evolution of Sphynx.

Today it is spread all over the world, but in the 1980s the two most interested countries were France and the Netherlands.

Temperament

Say that the Sphynx character is affectionate It is probably falling short. It could be said that with its owner it is so affectionate that it is heavy. If this is coupled with lack of hair, the search for human warmth is insistent.

Everything is forgiven when he starts playing, which he does not only when he is a kitten, but in all phases of his life, including old age. It is in those moments when it is appreciated in all its extension how cheerful, sociable, curious and active it is.

He is very friendly with children, especially if he grows up with one of them and is allowed to isolate himself if he wishes.

The Sphynx can be trained forgetting the conventional discipline, he will only attend directions if the reward is the game or the food.

Sphynx care is easy but something different to those of other cats:

• You need spaces to protect yourself from low winter temperatures and extreme summer heat. This makes him a perfect apartment cat.

• The ears are very exposed having no hair, so you have to pay regular attention.

• He Sphynx sweats through the skin of the body, unlike cats in general. This forces a regular toilet with a sponge or a bath glove. On the contrary, it is not advisable to bathe it to respect the characteristics of your skin.

• The folds of your skin involve dermatitis risk If they are not kept clean and dry.

• Seems naked, but has a slight fluff all over the body It also changes, of course it is not much less like cats with hair and does not pose any risk to their health.

• It is a very clean breed, but having no hair the sebaceous secretion of your skin can impregnate household clothes.

• If exposed to the sun, may suffer burns, just like us.

Particularities

• A curious fact is that its temperature is somewhat higher than that of the species, what is due to the absence of hair, something that also makes him the perfect cat for those who are not willing to spend time brushing.

• For a long time it has been considered that the Sphynx was a "hypoallergenic" breed because it has no hair, but after deep studies it has been proven that most cat allergies are not due to hair but to saliva. Therefore, if you suffer from an allergy to cat saliva, it will also appear with this breed.

• Some presence of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy has been proven even in Sphynx kittens, but some breeders are already selecting free specimens of this disease. Otherwise, his health is excellent.

• Once an adult cat is made, its development concludes around 12 months of age, your diet should provide a lot of energy to maintain body temperature. Since he has no hair, his skin is very vulnerable, so his food should also strengthen the skin's barrier function.

A food formulated to meet all these nutritional needs and enhance their cardiac and urinary health is Sphynx, whose croquettes are designed to facilitate cat grip and subsequent chewing.

• Your Sphynx kitten requires care from the moment he arrives home. Although it seems like a safe place, the home is full of dangers for him, so you must prepare the environment for your safety by protecting the plugs, preventing them from accessing the cables and falling into a vacuum from a high-rise window.

• Its growth has usually ended at 12 months, so it is in the feline stocking, however, the absence of hair makes it very sensitive to cold. This should be taken into account since he is a kitten, such as the care of his skin, eyes and ears, which should be accustomed since childhood.

• When they finish growing, in general they are cats of fine bones and with a striking accumulation of fat in the belly, with a size between medium and small but with a well-developed musculature, which gives them extraordinary agility. To boost the development of all these characteristics, the Sphynx kitten must take a food that provides all the nutrients in adequate quantity and proportion.

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