The Sphynx (also known as Canadian Hairless) is a rare breed of cat known for its lack of a coat.
The Sphynx appears to be a hairless cat, although it is not truly hairless. The skin should have the texture of Chamois leather. It may be covered with very soft hair which can only be described as peach fuzz. Because the sphynx cats have no hair to keep them warm they prefer to cuddle up against other animals and people, they even tend to cuddle up and sleep with their owners under the covers. Lack of coat makes the cat quite warm to the touch. Whiskers and eyebrows may be present, either whole or broken, or may be totally absent. 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.
Sphynxes generally have wedge-shaped
heads and sturdy, heavy bodies. Many cats of this breed develop pot
While sphynx cats lack a coat to shed or groom, they are not maintenance-free. Body oils, which would normally be absorbed by the hair, tend to build up on the skin. As a result, regular cleaning (usually in the form of bathing) is necessary,usually one bath a week is sufficient. Care should be taken to limit the Sphynx cat's exposure to outdoor sunlight at length, as they can develop a sunburn, similar to that of human exposure. In general, Sphynx cats should never be allowed outdoors unattended, as they have limited means to conserve body heat in colder temperatures, and their curious nature can take them into dangerous places or situations.
Although Sphynx cats are sometimes thought to be hypoallergenic due to their lack of coat, this is not always the case. Allergies to cats are triggered by body oils and not cat hair itself. Sphynx cats become coated with these oils while cleaning themselves, which then dry and become airborne. Those with cat allergies may react worse to direct contact with a Sphynx cats than other breeds. However, conflicting reports of some people successfully tolerating Sphynx cats also exist.
Although hairless cats have been reported throughout history (hairless cats seem to appear naturally about every 15 years or so), breeders in Europe have been working on the Sphynx breed since the early 1960s. The current American and European Sphynx breed is descended from two lines of natural mutations:
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