If you were playing a word game and someone mentioned the word Sphynx, you would most likely think of pyramids, pharaohs, the Nile, Egypt, and slender, elegant cats. But believe it or not, you wouldn't actually be talking about the Sphynx cat, as they didn't come from Egypt but originated in a place thousands of miles away from that country. The Sphynx is basically a bald cat, and the first one to show up was actually born to an otherwise normal furred litter in Toronto, Canada, back in 1966.
The Sphynx is completely Mother Nature's creation; humans just went one step further to insure that there are more of them around. This kitten, appropriately named Prune, his mother, and a few other cats that had the bald mutations became the forebears of the Sphynx breed. However, most of today's Sphynx cats originated from two females rescued from the streets of Toronto, who were then sent to a Dr. Hugo Hernandez in Holland back in 1980. Not having a Sphynx male to use for stud in Holland, Hernandez used a white Devon Rex male and the offspring were sold in both Holland and France.
Some people may be totally turned off by a bald cat. Just remember the old adage, "Bald is Beautiful." This applies to cats as well as men. There are some distinct advantages to owning a hairless Sphynx. For one thing, since they don't shake off their dander as furred cats do, it remains on their skin and has to be washed off. This means that they are not hypoallergenic, so people who have allergies and could not tolerate a furred cat have no allergic reactions to the Sphynx.
But a Sphynx is not always completely bald. Some of these cats have a fine down, making the animal feel like a warm fuzzy peach, and light hair can often be found on the toes, tail, and nose. People say that the texture of their skin is similar to a heated chamois, a hot water bottle, or even similar to suede.
They come in a variety of colors, which shows up in the small amount of hair they do have as well as in the pigmentation of their skin. Naturally, if you are cold, a hairless cat will be, too. So don't be surprised to find yours curled up beside you or your other pets for warmth. They also like to get under the covers in your bed.
A robust cat with few genetic or health problems, the Sphynx are social, loving, and devoted pets who love to play with children, are a delight to watch, and make a great attentive companion.
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