“Hairless” cats can occur in any breed just by chance and genetic mutation, but the Sphynx cat is a breed that has cultivated these hairless genes in order to get a naked cat. And thus an entire breed of hairless cats was created.
Now, the Sphynx cats are not actually bald, most of them have a soft fuz on their bodies (leading them to be described as feeling like suede), and depending on the season and the individual cat, some might even grow fur on their tails and ears. They can also grow and shed fur throughout different times in their lives. Some are particularly hairless, and these are called “sticky” bald, but even they can grow fur on their faces, ears, and tails. Because of this lack of traditional fur, the cat has no hair to absorb the oils that its skin produces and so must be bathed more frequently than most cats or the furniture could end up with oil marks. As for colors, these kitties can be pretty much every color and pattern under the sun, except instead of it showing up on fur it shows up on their skin, makes you wonder what your tabby would look like if you shaved him, huh? And the wrinkles! The Sphynx wrinkles are one of their stand out features and are an extremely prized characteristic for a cat of this breed to have.
As for personality, as with every animal, they will all have individual personalities, but the breed over all is known for being extremely outgoing and friendly. They are often referred to as being a very “dog-like” cat who are very playful and usually not very graceful. They love the people in their lives, and thrive on the attention of their owners and are extremely affectionate, which can lead to anxiety if they have to be separated from their owners for long periods of time. But they are considered a breed of cat that forms a strong bond with their family.
In the beginning there was a lot of inbreeding just to make sure that the hairless gene was passed on, but this created health problems, especially heart problems, within the breed and so now responsible breeders use something called out crossing, which means that they will breed a Sphynx with a furry cat (usually a short haired cat) and then breed any hairless babies that come from that litter to another Sphynx with no genetic relation. They do this to bring diverse genes into the breeds gene pool.
Personally, I think that they are crazy cute. Obviously, I mean, Oliver is one, but some people think they are ugly, or look like aliens, and so on. But does it really matter what he looks like as long as I love him and he loves me and is happy and healthy?
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Photo cred: Vidar Skauen, Animal Photography