According to The International Cat Association (TICA), our planet is home to 71 different breeds of cats, and that is indeed the best piece of information for feline lovers! From the big and wild beasts that are only found in dense flora and fauna, to the smaller and tamed domestic cats, feline lovers across the globe are fascinated with these curious and proud creatures. One such breed of cats that intrigue people is the Sphynx cat breed.
Most people, who tend to gather knowledge and information about cats, know this breed as the ‘hairless’ or ‘furr-less’ breed, that is originally the native of Canada. Their lack of furr is due to a naturally occurring genetic mutation, first discovered in the 1960s in Ontario, Canada, where a domesticated cat was found to have delivered a tiny male kitten who was hairless. Initially, it was considered as a degenerative illness. But research and study into the genetic formation of this feline led to the discovery of new breed altogether. Widely known across the continent of North America, this breed of cats falls under the ‘rare breeds’ section of felines.
Here are some interesting facts for those inclined towards knowing this special breed a little more:
1) A little less pride, but a very long stride!!
The most prominent attribute of the Sphynx cat that makes them different from others, is their intense acrobatic nature. Unlike other domesticated cats, who would prefer to sit and groom themselves in pride, the Sphynx cat loves to jump around and explore a lot more. They may not be as proud and dominant as other breeds, and this is evident from the fact that they have very high social needs and are more talkative and sociable than usual cats. They love a lot of attention and tend to reciprocate the same by showing an escalated need for physical contact, like curling up to their owners or snugging inside blankets.
2) I am hot and you are not!!
Unlike other breeds, the Sphynx cat lacks a coat of furr that would otherwise keep them warm and cozy. Instead, some Sphynx cats have a thin layer of hair on their skin, that acts as a protective shield from extreme weather conditions, especially in North America. Due to the absence of natural furr, the average body temperature of a sphynx cat is higher than normal, and this is because of their hyper and over social behavior. The amount of energy spent by them is more, and thus their appetite is slightly higher than other cats. Their thin, muscular bodies require more food and nutrients to keep up with the jumping attributes.
3) My name may be Egyptian, but I am mightier than mummies!
The nomenclature of this breed has its origins from ancient Egyptian theories and cultures. Due to its triangular head and a sharp jaw structure, with prominent cheekbones, the scientists in the early 1970’s settled on naming them ‘Sphynx Cats’ as they resembled the cats from ancient Egyptian norms when felines were worshiped and looked upon as godly creatures. In modern-day Egypt, we can clearly see statues and scriptures that state the fact that cats were considered as holy and the descriptions of cats that existed back in the day perfectly fit the physical appearance of this modern-day breed.
4) I prefer to stay inside, on my throne!!
Usually, cats have a high level of curiosity and a tendency to go exploring outdoors. But the Sphynx cat is mostly an indoor feline. Since it lacks the protection of thick furr, this breed prefers to inside and not step outside. They are often vulnerable to skin diseases caused by direct contact to the sun, causing irritation and patches on their skin. This particular breed is vulnerable to dermatological problems solely due to the absence of furr, exposing their skin pores completely. Thus, this breed needs a lot of skincare and medication, should they develop boils or rashes.
5) I am special, and thus require special care and attention!!
Since the Sphynx cat has a very vulnerable looking physical appearance, it requires a lot more caring and attention (in terms of health issues) than normal cats. Because they do not have a heavy coating on them, their skin tends to be oily and wet than other cats, and therefore they need to be bathed more often than other cats. Regular washing and grooming wipe off any remaining dust particles on their skin that may cause unnecessary rashes and skin problems. These cats require more medical attention than other cats, solely due to a weak skin cover over a rather strong and muscular body structure. Given the fact that their hyper nature causes them to eat a lot more, their skin tends to react a lot faster to external weather-based stimuli than other breeds
6) Do you think you can get away with furr-shedding? Naah !!!
Most feline lovers would want cats that may not shed excess furr all over their homes, causing various problems to them as owners. And due to the lack of furr on Sphynx cats, many people like to have them as pets as it saves them the trouble. But it is not true. Felines produce Fel d 1, a protein-based liquid that is found in cat saliva and body secretions. Because Sphynx cats have less furr, the body fluid secretion from their skin is much higher. They may not cover the furniture and items in the house with as much furr and hair like other cats, but their skin secretions are higher, causing itchiness on the skin and redness in the eyes of the owners. Also, due to bigger ears than normal cats, sphynxes produce more wax in the ears, and irregular cleaning and bathing can cause them to shed this wax onto household things.
As every breed of cats around the world has its set traits and attributes, the Sphynx cats are normally friendly and caring as compared to others. But with the over social and innocent trait comes the responsibility of being able to take care and maintain the physical, mental and biological needs of sphynxes as pets. Thus, it is essential for feline lovers to nurture their pets and make sure they do not falter, given the various vulnerabilities that their cat is naturally prone to.