Sphynx is one of the several hairless cat breeds which should not to be mistaken with the sphinx, a mythical creature with a head of a falcon, a sheep or a human, and the body of a lion. This hairless cat breed has very fine hair on its body and a skin color which is similar to chamois leather. The lack of fur on its body is a result of genetic mutation through selective breeding. Scientifically the Sphynx cat breed is known as Felis cactus. This hairless cat breed has been recognized by American Cat Fanciers Association and the the International Cat Association.
Sphynx cats require a high degree of related pet care for they are prone to a variety of health conditions. Another name of these pet cats is Canadian hairless cats. As far as Sphynx cat origin is concerned, it is believed that most of the Sphynx cats are descendants of three hairless kittens discovered living in Toronto and were related to Prune. Here are some of the most interesting facts about the Sphynx breed that you need to know. For more relatable content, check out these Siberian tiger facts and jaguar facts for kids.
What do they prey on?
Small animals, fishes and birds
What do they eat?
Average litter size?
4-5 hairless kittens
How much do they weigh?
6-12 lb (2.7-5.4 kg)
How long are they?
13-15 in (33-38.1 cm)
How tall are they?
8-10 in (20.3-25.4 cm)
What do they look like?
Calico and chocolate color skin, large eyes, large pointed ears, long slender legs
What are their main threats?
Health issues like hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, skin problems
What is their conservation status?
Where you'll find them
Plains and mountains
North America including Canada
Sphynx Cat Interesting Facts
What type of animal is a Sphynx cat?
Sphynx is a cat, with a characteristic feature of lack of fur on its body, the result of spontaneous mutation. Sphynx cats are domestic cats that are found across the world. There are a variety of breeds of the Sphynx cat such as a Canadian Sphynx which is a contemporary breed. But Sphynx cats are distinct from Russian hairless cat breeds.
What class of animal does a Sphynx cat belong to?
Sphynx cat belongs to the class of mammals, like a dog, in the animal kingdom. Hairless Sphynx cat is a chordate belonging to the family of cats, namely, Felidae of the order Carnivora. Sphynx cats are recognized by large ears that are supposed to be cleaned regularly and a body that evidently secretes oils that are usually absorbed by the fur coat in other cats.
How many Sphynx cat are there in the world?
Sphynx cats are considered rare according to the Cat Fanciers Association. Just like many others, Sphynx cats are bred in situ, so a proper count to their number is not available but these hairless cats are bred as per the demand for the hairless kitten.
Where does a Sphynx cat live?
A Sphynx cat was first seen in Toronto around 1975, when a stray cat gave birth to a hairless female cat. After this, Sphynx cats were bred accordingly. Earlier they were seen in a variety of locations across Canada, and Mexico. In Minnesota, Sphynx cats were first bred as stray barn cats with no hair on their body. Now Sphynx cats are domesticated and are seen comfortably residing in the confinements of human homes.
What is a Sphynx cat's habitat?
It is an urban animal and is taken as a pet. Habitat for these hairless cats includes warm houses, where Sphynx cats are seen lazing around your beds and furniture. Some abundant or stray Sphynx may be found across streets in urban settings feeding on the trash can.
Who do Sphynx cat live with?
Sphynx cat breed is usually found living with its human owner and also among its own breed in the breeding centers. Sphynx cats live in houses and get comfortable with other pets such as dogs, parrots, and other cat breeds.
How long does an Sphynx cat live?
Sphynx cat breed is hypoallergenic due to the absence of hair. This is one contributing reason to their decreased life span. But in captivity, Sphynx cats are seen living around 8-12 years on average.
How do they reproduce?
These cats are produced by crossbreeding of a Canadian Sphynx and a Devon Rex. Breeders follow guidelines given by the International Cat Association and Cats Fancier Association. Reproduction is just like other cats. After mating between male and female cat species, the female cat conceives and undergoes a gestation period of approximately 60 days after which on average four Sphynx cat kittens are born. A Sphynx cat kitten will stay with the mother till it is mature enough to fend for itself.
What is their conservation status?
Sphynx cats are rare and are bred only in a few countries, where breeders select from the desired gene pool to produce the Sphynx cat for adoption according to the need. Their conservation status at present is that of Least Concern.
Sphynx Cat Fun Facts
What do Sphynx cat look like?
Also called a cat with dog-like features, a Sphynx cat lacks fur on most of its body parts. These cats are known for their one of a kind appearance. Long pointy ears, lemon shaped eyes, prominent cheekbones, and a wedged shape face are few unique features of these cats. Its ears are very large and have little hair on the inside. These are well muscled cats and have a medium sized necks. Its torso is medium length and they have a potbelly. Finally, their paw pads are comparatively thicker than the other cats. These cats have no eyelashes or whiskers with a head shape resembling a Devon Rex. In reality, the Sphynx cat is not entirely hairless, so do not be surprised if you see a Sphynx cat with hair as the standout feature of their appearance is genetic hairlessness.
How cute are they?
Cute Sphynx cat relies completely on the human family for its survival due to the genetic hairlessness. These hypoallergenic felines are known well for the mischievous Sphynx cat personality and friendly attention seeking behavior. It is common to see a funny Sphynx cat playing around with their owners. These attention seeking cats are not aggressive but stick around their owners for every little thing.
How do they communicate?
This pet breed is quite vocal and often communicates with a sound called meow. These felines manipulate their vocal abilities according to their needs. This hypoallergenic pet breed is not shy in using its vocal abilities. Besides, like other cats, these also have a very sharp sense of smell and a very good vision, indicating the presence of well developed olfactory and visual senses. Sphynxes can recognize their owners and possible threats by sensing the chemicals cues and physical touch. Cats in general are very sensitive and sharp creatures. They are capable of retaining the memories of their past incidents and hence are capable of manipulating their behavior accordingly.
How big is an Sphynx cat?
This cat breed is large in size compared to a few other cat breeds. Sphynxes are around 8-10 in (20.3-25.4 cm) tall and measure around 13-15 in (33-38.1 cm) long. Cats of this breed have a very long tail with little hair present on it. They are smaller than Pallas' cat.
How fast can an Sphynx cat run?
Generally, cats are really fast animals. Their instincts make them flee immediately away from threats. These cats are fast runners without any training, thanks to the long slender legs. Sphynx can run at a speed of around 30 mph (48.3 kph) but that being said, do not expect a fat Sphynx cat to run at the same pace.
How much does an Sphynx cat weigh?
These are medium sized hairless cats. An average Sphynx cat may weigh around 6-12 lb (2.7-5.4 kg). They are heavier than ringtail cats.
What are the male and female names of the species?
Male and female species do not have separate names and are referred to as males and females respectively. They are even physically identical. One can differentiate them on the basis of their behavior.
What would you call a baby Sphynx cat?
A baby Sphynx cat just like any other baby cat is referred to as a Sphynx cat kitten. A Sphynx juvenile is born without any fur covering its body just like the adult Sphynx cat. At a time a female Sphynx cat gives birth to around four kittens in a litter.
What do they eat?
These are carnivorous animals unlike dogs and eat what they are fed from birth. They can eat cooked or uncooked meals and some even feed with industry made cat food which usually comes with all the required nutrients for their proper growth and development.
Are they dangerous?
They are not at all dangerous. Sphynx cats more specifically are very friendly, social and attention loving animals. You will see an angry Sphynx cat only when they need attention from their owners. So one can say that these cats are attention loving.
Would they make a good pet?
They make really good pets, in fact, most of these are bred for the sole purpose of keeping them as pets. But they are demanding and proper care has to be taken in raising them. So it is essential that people are well prepared to adopt them or buy them. Sphynx cat care regimen includes regular massage of Sphynx cat paws and providing Sphynx cat clothes for protection against cold temperatures.
Did you know...
In Sphynx cats, the mutation of the kreatin encoding gene KRT71 is responsible for the hairlessness of these cats. This mutation leads to dislodging which is the result of damage to the structure of the hair in this bald cat.
The basic difference between a Sphynx cat and a Bambino cat is that the Bambino cat has shorter legs as compared to the Sphynx cat. This means that the Bambino cat is a dwarf cat while the Sphynx is not.
Why is Sphynx cat expensive?
Sphynx are purebred cats and are rare to find. Their market demand is high, leading to a higher Sphynx cat cost over $3,500 but they need a lot of care and attention. It is a fashion to keep them as pets. Apart from this, their appearance is something one does not find everywhere. These are a few reasons they are expensive to buy. You may get a lower price for this cat breed from a Sphynx cat rescue center or from an approved breeder in the range $1,800-$3,000.
Where did the Sphynx cat originate?
In 1966 in Ontario Canada, a stray cat gave birth to a hairless male kitten. This was due to a point mutation in the gene responsible for hair growth. Later they appeared more frequently and were bred on demand. These cats are prone to a number of health problems like hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and hairlessness related skin problems.
Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these caribou facts and oncilla facts pages.
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