Sphynx Breed Profile

Origin and History

The Sphynx is a very new breed compared to most other cat breeds and is also the only cat breed to originate in Canada. The Sphynx was a result of a natural genetic mutation when a domestic cat in Toronto, Canada gave birth to a hairless kitten.

This cat was then bred with furred cats, whose offspring was both hairless and furred due to the recessive nature of the hairless gene. This process led the Sphynx to have an extensive and varied gene pool making it less prone to inherent problems in the breed.

These cats were first known as Canadian Hairless Cats, but the breeders eventually landed on Sphynx as a name for the breed, a reference to the ancient limestone statue in Egypt.

Today, the Sphynx is recognized by the American Cat Fanciers Association, the Cat Fanciers Association and The International Cat Association among others.

The Sphynx cats are also stars on the Big Screen with the biggest star being Mr. Bigglesworth, portrayed by Ted NudeGent in the Austin Powers movies.

Coat, Colors & Appearance

This medium sized feline stands out with its hairless appearance and big lemon sized eyes perfect for catching the attention of anyone in the room, which is precisely what your Sphynx wants. The ears are large to very large, broad at the base. Males are generally larger than females, but both have surprising weight for their size.

Their pronounced cheek bones and unusual look have given these felines monikers such as “The E.T.” of the cat world.

Their tail is almost whip-like, tapering to a point at the end.

Even though they seem to be hairless at first glance, the Sphynx has hairs at the bridge of the nose and ears, and some Sphynx´ are covered with a short fuzz. The body is warm to the touch and has a smooth peach-like texture.

The Sphynx cat comes in a variety of colors:

White to pink with pink nose leather and paw pads. Black with black nose leather and black to brown paw pads.Blue with blue nose leather and paw pads. Brilliant Red color with brick red nose leather and paw pads. Cream with pink nose leather and paw pads. Chocolate color with brown nose leather and cinnamon or brown paw pads.Lavender color with a pink tone on the body as well as the nose leather and paw pads. Cinnamon color with cinnamon colored nose leather and paw pads. Fawn color with pale fawn colored nose leather and paw pads. Classical Tabby Pattern as well as many other tabby patterns.


The Sphynx is a high energy cat that craves and loves your attention. Being a real people person (cat), expect your Sphynx to be the first one to greet guests who stop by with endearing headbutts or other signs of excitement. The Sphynx cats are usually attached to their owners and love to snuggle up to their owner for warmth and cuddles.

They usually do well with both other cats, dogs or children, but might get jealous if you give too much attention to other members of the household.

If you are away for many hours of the day, it is, therefore, a good idea to get another Sphynx or cat, not to make your Sphynx feel lonely.

While an absolutely lovely breed of cat  they do need a lot of attention and like being near you if not ON you at all times. They are often called Velcro kitties and they are not a breed to be independent or left alone for long periods of time.
TICA  Registered Breeder of Sphynx cats at Mighty Bare Sphynx Cattery near Seattle, WA

Grooming and Care

You might think that this hairless looking feline is allergy friendly and requires no grooming, but this is incorrect. The reason people are allergic to cats has nothing to do with the hairs in their coat but rather enzymes in their saliva and the oils they produce in their skin. The Sphynx produce these oils and enzymes just like any other cat and is therefore not allergy friendly.

Bathing your Sphynx once per week will help alleviate allergies, but will not completely prevent allergic reactions. Another important reason for bathing your Sphynx is that they lack a coat to absorb their skin oils. If you do not bathe your Sphynx his pores can clog and his skin will become very oily and may rub off on your furniture, carpets and clothes.

In addition to the weekly or bi-weekly bathing, regular “cat maintenance” applies, as listed in this grooming checklist below:

    • Weekly or bi-weekly bathing.
    • Weekly or monthly cleaning of the paws to remove build up of vax.
    • Weekly or monthly brushing of the teeth.
    • Weekly or bi-weekly cleaning of the ears.
  • Weekly or bi-weekly cleaning of the area around the eyes with a damp, soft cloth.

What Makes the Sphynx Different?

The obvious thing that stands out with the Sphynx is their hairless appearance and their large lemon shaped eyes giving them a very striking and unique look. Their reputation as heatseekers due to their lack of a coat to keep them warm often causes them to want to snuggle and sleep with their owners under the covers.

I think the most obvious trait would be their lack of a full fur coat, although some do grow peach fuzz like hair. They have big bat ears and come in a range of colors.
TICA  Registered Breeder of Sphynx cats at Mighty Bare Sphynx Cattery near Seattle, WA


The Sphynx is a generally healthy breed, but like any cat, it can develop genetic health problems. If you are buying a Sphynx, it is important to buy from a breeder that can give you extensive information about your Sphynx´s health and genetic background to know if there are any diseases present in the line.

If the breeder claims to guarantee that your Sphynx will not develop genetic diseases such as Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy ( a common health condition found in cats, that thickens the heart muscle) or any other genetic disease, then they are misinforming you. No cat, no matter the breed or genetic background is immune to potentially developing genetic diseases. [1]

In addition to Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM), The Sphynx Cat is also prone to hereditary myopathy, a muscle condition characterized by muscle weakness, tremors and difficulties walking that which will eventually lead to death when the cat is no longer available to swallow. [1] This is, however, a rare occurrence in the breed, and it can be screened for with DNA tests [2].

The Sphynx can also develop skin conditions like Urticaria Pigmentosa and Cutaneous Mastocytosis [1].

Sphynx cats are also prone to developing periodontal disease. To help prevent this it is important that you give your Sphynx the proper dental care that it needs by brushing the teeth weekly, or at a minimum, monthly.

Buying a Sphynx

There are many things to take into consideration before bringing home one of these beautiful creatures. Don’t be tempted to buy them at a pet shop! You generally will have no idea where it came from, which is important to ensure you are getting a cat from a healthy lineage to minimize the risk of future health issues for your cat.

How much does a Sphynx cost and what other costs are there?

pet Sphynx from a reputable breeder in the USA is about $1500 on average. Most reputable breeders will include all vaccinations, worming, vet checks, microchip and spaying/neutering along with a great health contract and papers.

Plan on having a good quality diet, small budget for minimal grooming supplies and getting them echo-cardiograms by a feline cardiologist yearly. In other words, pet insurance is a great idea with Sphynx cats.
Tara H,
TICA  Registered Breeder of Sphynx cats at Mighty Bare Sphynx Cattery near Seattle, WA

Insuring your Sphynx

Meet Mr Wrinkles, a 1 year old made up Sphynx from Parma, Ohio. He has completed all veterinary check ups and have shown no signs of any disorders or diseases. He is the cat we asked for a quote from from a number of pet insurance providers, to see where we could find the best value.

Pets Best offers a Plus Plan at $19.24 per month for an unlimited coverage that has an annual $250 deductible (the amount you need pay before the coinsurance is applied each year.) In this plan they reimburse 80% of your vet bill. For $21.38 a month their plus plan will reimburse 90% of the vet bill. Their Elite plan will also cover Rehabilitative, Acupuncture & Chiropractic Coverage and that plan is  $20.13 per month for 80% and $22.37 per month for 90% reimbursement. Get your own quote here.

Healthy Paws Pet Insurance & Foundation offered us a unlimited coverage plan with a $250 deductible for $21.26 where they reimburse 80% of the veterinary bills. They also offer a plan with the same deductible but 90% reimbursement for $24.91. Get your own quote here.

Who is the ideal Sphynx owner?

I think that Sphynx are great with single people, couples and families as long as they are prepared for the demanding attention. If you are gone for long periods of time, the Sphynx may need a friend to keep them company or else they’ll become depressed. They have to have an owner that will not mind their cat following them around, chirping at them, greeting them at doors and wanting to be on them (their lap, their shoulder, under their shirt, next to them in bed).
Tara H,
TICA  Registered Breeder of Sphynx cats at Mighty Bare Sphynx Cattery near Seattle, WA

Adopting a Sphynx

If you want to adopt a Sphynx, your best bet is to check out resources like the Fanciers Breeder Referral list or the Petfinder listings and websites like Adoptapet.com. You can also enquire in shelters near you if they have a Sphynx in need of a new home. You can also check out our friends at Specialty Purebred Rescue to see if there are any Sphynx cats in need of a home!

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