The Sphynx Cat
The Sphynx Cat

While the lack of coat on a Sphynx is not your average cat lover's cup of tea, this rare breed does have its admirers.

Many cats can tend to be aloof towards their owners but the Sphynx however requires special attention that attributes to a close bond between cat and owner.

A relative of the Devon Rex, the breed itself is recognised as being healthy and robust. They generally have a wedge-shaped head and sturdy heavy bodies. The skin is the colour their fur would be and this could be any of the usual cat colouring and/or markings.

Despite the Sphynx’s main unique characteristic being its lack of coat, it is not truly hairless. It has been likened to stroking a peach as they are covered in very short fine 'fuzzy' hair. This hair is not enough to protect them from the cold or heat and they are therefore prone to both sunburn and hypothermia. Consequently, spending long periods of time outside can be detrimental to their health.

Contrary to popular belief, the lack of coat does not mean the Sphynx is the cat for those with cat-specific allergies.  These allergies are not triggered by the hair but by a protein in cat saliva and sebaceous glands. Because of the lack of hair, they potentially require more maintenance that their coated cousins.

They are reluctant to groom as the rasping action of the tongue can cause trauma to their skin.  Body oils which would normally be absorbed by the hair build up on the skin, giving it an oily feel and a rancid smell.  There is little or no hair in their ears to protect them so they have dirtier ears and more ear wax.  The skin under and around their nails gets dirty and oily too.  Weekly bathing, ear and nail cleaning is needed to help with this.  

A very rare breed, Totally Vets has only two Sphynx cats under our care – Huey (grey) and Mr Magoo, (seal point) and the reception and hospital staff all love to ‘ooh and ah’ over them when they visit us.  Both cats are owned by Diane and Andrew Gaskin, who provided us with these gorgeous photos!