Sphynx cat's breed portrait

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Origin and breed history

The Sphynx cat is a hairless domestic cat breed. It originated in Canada, where it was further bred from naturally mutant cats in the 1960s. In 1971 the Sphynx cat was recognized as a cat breed in Canada. In Germany, the Sphynx cat is rather rare to find and has as many lovers, as critics.


The Sphynx cat is a medium sized cat, whose characteristic is the almost complete hairlessness. The standard allows only a short, fine down. The skin is said to feel suede-like when stroked with the hand. Furthermore, wrinkles around the muzzle, between the ears and around the shoulders are described in the standard as desirable.

Some cats of this breed may lack tactile hairs. A report by the Expert Group on Animal Welfare and Pet Breeding on the interpretation of Section 11b of the German Animal Welfare Act recommends a ban on breeding in this case:

Tasthaare are an essential sensory organ for the cat. They are especially important for orientation in the dark, but also for catching and scanning prey, examining objects and establishing social contacts (BRUNNER, 1994; LEYHAUSEN, 1996). If they are missing or altered in such a way that their function is lost, this is to be evaluated as a physical damage, which restricts the cat in its ability for species-typical behavior in such a way that this leads to permanent suffering. Recommendation: Breeding ban (see page 15, No. I) for cats in which the tactile hairs are missing. *

Character and temperament

The Sphynx cat has a people-oriented, friendly nature. It can develop a close bond with its people, is intelligent and affectionate.


The Sphynx cat is a domestic cat, which is best suited for the apartment. This is not due to their nature, but rather due to their hairlessness. For outdoors, the Sphynx cat may even get sunburn if exposed to the sun for too long. However, perfectly healthy animals feel comfortable even when walking in the garden.

A Sphynx cat feels very warm knowing the temperature of a healthy cat. Due to the partial lack of insulation of the fur, one feels approximately directly their body temperature of 38.3 to 39.0 °C. If the cat lacks tactile or whiskers, it may be handicapped in its ability to orient itself.


The Sphynx cat, like any pedigree cat, is easy to train.

Care and health

Because they lack fur, Sphynx cats are sometimes sensitive to weather of all kinds. Exposure to sunlight can cause significant skin damage (e.g. sunburn) and can lead to the development of skin cancer. Some cats of this breed have a low fat layer and therefore little insulation from heat and cold. These cats can therefore catch cold or overheat very easily.

Diseases typical for the breed

Reliable information about hereditary diseases clustered in the population is not available for the Sphynx cat. However, since the gene pool for breeding the breed is quite small, diseases and allergies may occur if too much inbreeding occurs.


The Sphynx cat may have higher energy and therefore nutritional requirements due to the lack of fur and therefore lack of insulation. This must be taken into account in the diet. In individual cases a dietary nutrition may be necessary. Healthy cats of this breed are problem-free boarders and do not need to be specially fed.

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