Sphynx cats are often thought of as bald cats, but they actually aren’t completely hairless! We share more on this along with 10 other Sphynx cats facts that may surprise you about this beautiful breed of cats in this video. And to help us share everything you need to know about Sphynx cats, we invited Teri Thorsteinson, a Sphynx Cat Expert, to share her expertise.
This video is part of the Pet Voices PRESENTS series. CLICK HERE to see all the series videos.
Jessica Shipman, All Pet Voices Co-Founder – 0:01
You may be familiar with Sphynx cats from seeing Mr. Bigglesworth sitting on the lap of Dr. Evil, but there’s more to the special breed of cat than you might think. We found several unique things that many people aren’t actually aware of, such as many people think Sphynx cats are bald. But they actually have a fine layer of peach like fuzz that covers their entire body. And despite being nearly hairless, they come in a variety of patterns and colors.
Chloe DiVita, All Pet Voices Co-Founder – 0:28
We’ve got the facts for you to get to know the breed in this video and we reached out to our Sphynx expert friend, Teri Thorsteinson, a veterinary healthcare professional who just retired in 2019 after working in the field since her early 20s. And she has shared her life with her Sphynx cat, Disco NoFurNo, who recently went to the rainbow bridge.
But she knows all the ins and outs about raising a healthy Sphynx cat and she’ll share her expertise throughout the video.
HISTORY OF SPHYNX CATS
Jessica Shipman, All Pet Voices Co-Founder – 0:54
Sphynx cats and the Great Sphinx of Giza actually don’t have that much in common other than their name. Sphynx cats originated in Canada and not Egypt. In the 1960s in Ontario a hairless kitten was born as a result of a natural genetic mutation. And then again, in the 1970s, two sets of hairless kittens were born in Toronto and Minnesota. Today we have the breed originally called the Canadian Hairless thanks to breeding efforts.
And another bonus fact is that there are several other hairless cat breeds out there such as the Donskoy from Russian, but their hairlessness is actually the result of a different genetic mutation.
ARE SPHYNX TRULY HAIRLESS?
Chloe DiVita, All Pet Voices Co-Founder – 1:34
And we already mentioned that hairless doesn’t actually mean bald because they come in a variety of colors and patterns and their skin pigment can vary with the little bit of peach fuzz they have.
Some of the colors that you might see them come in are white, black, blue, red, silver, brown, and orange. And some of the different patterns are solid colors, tortoise shell-like, bi-color, tri-color, tabby, ticking (which is a little bit like leopard, but tiny), and there are also smoke and shaded.
Teri Thorsteinson, Sphynx Cat Expert – 2:01
My Sphynx, Disco, was genetically an orange Tabby, so he had orange pigment in his skin. When he was young, he had Tabby stripes, but as he got older, those disappeared.
DIFFERENCES BETWEEN SPHYNX AND OTHER CAT BREEDS
Jessica Shipman, All Pet Voices Co-Founder – 2:13
Sphynx cats eat a ton. They have a faster metabolism and actually need more food than your average cat.
Chloe DiVita, All Pet Voices Co-Founder – 2:20
They also have a different kind of body shape than other cats. If you were to shave a regular cat down, it wouldn’t look like a Sphynx cat. Their body shape is special.
Teri Thorsteinson, Sphynx Cat Expert – 2:30
If you look at a Sphynx, they’re built a little different. People go, “Are all cats that wrinkly under their fur?” No. No, they are not.
GROOMING HABITS OF SPHYNX CATS
Jessica Shipman, All Pet Voices Co-Founder – 2:39
Sphynx cats actually need a ton of regular grooming including baths. Because they are naked and don’t have a full coat of fur, they actually need more care than other feline breeds.
Teri Thorsteinson, Sphynx Cat Expert – 2:51
Something people don’t realize with Sphynx cats… they think because they are hairless that they don’t require any grooming, but that’s far from the truth.
If you see a normal coated cat, their fur is shiny and that is because cats produce a lot of skin oils, normally. But a furred cat, the fur absorbs that and that’s what keeps it waterproof and shiny. With a Sphinx cat because they don’t have much fur, they require grooming.
My cat wasn’t particularly oily, the Sphynx I had, but I would bath him twice a month. And I tell people, you know when it’s time for a bath when their feet become to be smelly.
Chloe DiVita, All Pet Voices Co-Founder – 3:31
And speaking of all that grooming care, Sphynx cats are not hypo-allergenic. Sad.
The allergen produced by cats is called FEL D1. And Sphynx cats still produce it. It’s in their saliva and skin just like it is on other cats. It’s just not in their fur because they don’t really have a full coat of fur. So all of that itchiness and redness that happens in your eyes from cat allergens, still happens with Sphynx cats.
DO SPHYNX GET SUNBURNT?
Jessica Shipman, All Pet Voices Co-Founder – 3:58
Sphynx cats also have pretty sensitive skin. Not only are they sensitive to what you put on their skin, but they can also get sunburnt.
Teri Thorsteinson, Sphynx Cat Expert – 4:06
One of the most common questions people ask me when they see a Sphynx is, “Do they get sunburnt?” Yes, they do.
Unfortunately, there is not a pet-safe sunscreen out there, but there is sun blocking clothing and there is sunblock you can put on your windows if they like to lay in the windows if they like to lay in the sun. What cat doesn’t like to lay in a sun puddle? But yes, they do get sunburnt.
SPHYNX CATS LOVE WARMTH
Chloe DiVita, All Pet Voices Co-Founder – 4:26
Speaking of sun and warmth, Sphynx cats have a warmer body temperature than other felines. The average range for a cat’s body temperature is anywhere from 99 to 102.5. And Sphynx cats fall into that higher end range and even sometimes registering a little over that. So, it’s important if you have a Sphynx, check with your vet about what their average body temperature should be.
Jessica Shipman, All Pet Voices Co-Founder – 4:47
And even though Sphynx cats are a little bit warmer, they love to seek out warmth. And that includes if you leave out a heating pad, sun puddles, and even us people.
Teri Thorsteinson, Sphynx Cat Expert – 4:58
They think of humans as warm blooded furniture. So, they are going to seek you out to sit on you, to be with you, to sleep under the covers with you because you are warm and they like warm things.
SPHYNX HAVE A LOVING TEMPERAMENT
Chloe DiVita, All Pet Voices Co-Founder – 5:10
The most important fact, we believe, is that Sphynx cats are friendly and affectionate. They love being with their people so they want to receive all the love and affection back that they will give to you.
Teri Thorsteinson, Sphynx Cat Expert – 5:23
One of the most special things about being a mom to a Sphynx cat is how needy they are. They don’t run off when company comes over, they are right there, saying, “Hello”.
Jessica Shipman, All Pet Voices Co-Founder – 5:34
We hope that you learned something new about Sphynx cats and how unique and special they truly are. Leave us a comment and let us know what you thought was the coolest fact about Sphynx cats or if we missed something. How else are they unique?
Chloe DiVita, All Pet Voices Co-Founder – 5:48
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