Where are they from and why are they hairless?
Even though they are named after the legendary Egyptian sphinx, feline sphynxes actually originated from Ontario, Canada.
This all goes back to one historic day in 1966 when a domestic shorthair cat in Ontario gave birth to a litter of kittens and one of them being genetically mutated, had no hair.
The genetic mutation does sometimes happen to a lot of other animals like dogs, guinea pigs and rats. It is undeniable the reason why sphynxes are around is because humans find their hairlessness feature attractive. So much that we decided to breed this characteristic in pet animals selectively.
Fun fact of the day; Do you know that most of the modern sphynx cats today are descendants of 2 kittens in Minnesota back in 1975 and 3 kittens in Toronto back in 1978?
Personality and Temperament
The Sphynx is considered an “extroverted” cat breed because they LOVE attention. They are energetic, friendly, loyal and a bit of a show-off. :)
Yes, you heard that right, they love to show off to get your attention! Due to their highly acrobatic nature such as balancing, climbing bookshelves or perching on your shoulder like a bird, they love to perform for people’s entertainment.
As energetic as they are curious, these charming traits can be a handful for some cat owners. They might even get into dangerous situations, which is why they are exclusively indoor cats.
Are Sphynx cats hypoallergenic?
Contrary to popular beliefs, Sphynx cats are actually NOT hypoallergenic. In fact, no cat is entirely hypoallergenic.
Due to a lack of hair, sphynxes produce more body oil than other breeds and need to be bathed regularly to prevent greasy skin. If you are allergic to cat body oils, it might be a headache for you to care for them.
Though they seem nude and hairless, these cats actually have a suede-like fine coat. Their skin also produces a normal amount of allergy-causing skin or fur flakes which could trigger allergic reactions in humans.
Because different people have different allergic reactions to different allergens, it is highly recommended that you find out what you are allergic to first before getting a sphynx cat. The allergens could be the cat's saliva, fur, skin oils or others.
How do I take care of a Sphynx cat?
Sphynx cats love to eat and their potbellies are the ultimate proof! Even though they have a sensitive digestive system and high metabolism, most will eat anything you give them. But that doesn’t mean you don't have to supervise their weight and nutrition. Obese cats have a shorter lifespan and can develop health issues like arthritis and diabetes.
Small meals in regular intervals throughout the day are the most ideal for your sphynx. Feeding your cats all-kibble, all-wet food or a mixture of both is dependent on your cats’ preferences. They don’t really matter as much as the content of the food, which has to be high in protein, moderate in fats and low in carbs.
Grooming a Sphynx Cat
Some people might assume that since sphynxes have little to no fur, they don't really need that much attention when it comes to grooming. That is not true at all!
In fact, they need more grooming than any other cat breed. Due to the lack of hair, their body produces more oil. This means you have to have a regular bathing routine, preferably weekly or biweekly for your not-so-furry furbabies to maintain skin health and the cleanliness of your furniture (yes, they leave oil spots on furniture).
One more fun fact of the day! Do you know because they are hairless, a sphynx cat is more tolerant to water than most cats? How cute is that?
Another thing to take note of is the ear wax buildup. Having no hair means these cats tend to accumulate wax and dust inside their ears. So, regular ear cleaning is a must for them.
While it is understandable for them to seek warmth by staying under the sun, they need supervision when it comes to sun exposure. This is because too much exposure to the sun will cause sunburn and that would be horrible! Or you could get your sphynx a comfortable cat bed or even a heated one to keep them toasty!
The Sphynx cat is a strong breed with few health issues. Although, there are some health conditions that are known to affect sphynxes. The common ones are hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), urticaria pigmentosa and periodontal disease.
Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM)
Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM) is a disease that thickens the heart muscle and causes difficulty in blood pumping and the formation of blood clots. Some symptoms to watch out for are lethargy, poor appetite and rapid breathing.
This is a skin condition that causes itchy rashes to form on the cat’s body. The exact reasons for this disease are not confirmed yet but it is highly probable that it is passed on genetically. So, please bring your cat to the vet for diagnostic testing to narrow down the treatment options and to relieve your cat’s symptoms as soon as possible.
Or even better, you can also do DNA testing on your sphynx to know more about his or her genetic dispositions, allergy, and risk of diseases. The information could potentially help you to do preventative measures for genetically causing diseases.
Periodontal disease is a kind of dental disease that starts with the hardening of the food residue which builds up on the visible parts of your cat’s teeth. This would eventually cause infections of the gum and tooth roots, so make sure to brush their teeth often because the treatment for this disease is extremely stressful for your cats and expensive for you.
Where can I adopt/buy Sphynx cats in Malaysia?
Unfortunately, the Sphynx breed is not the most popular breed in Malaysia. The selection for sale and adoption in Malaysia is so limited that it is non-existent. However, if you are determined to get a Sphynx, you can check out Mother of Sphynxes in Thailand and arrange to import your Sphynx.
DISCLAIMER: The information provided here is true at the time of writing, and although we suggest these platforms to aid in your buying/adopting process, we highly advise you to take extra precautions when dealing with online sellers to avoid getting scammed. Oyen is not affiliated with any of the businesses mentioned below and will not be liable for any losses or inconveniences that happen from dealings with them.
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