Sphynx Cat Breed
The Sphynx is one of the most unusual and rare of all domestic feline breeds. Its most distinguishing characteristic is that it appears to be entirely hairless. However, most Sphynx do have some degree of short, sparse downy fur that is most noticeable on the ears, muzzle, tail, feet and scrotum. When present, even this fur is barely perceptible to the human eye or to the human touch. The fine fur tends to be more visible on young kittens and then thins or disappears with age. The markings and coloration are highly unique to each Sphynx cat, with color depending entirely upon the pigmentation of its skin. All of the usual domestic cat colors and coat patterns can be found in the Sphynx. The texture of the cat’s skin – which has been said to resemble the fuzz of a peach - feels like soft chamois leather or suede and usually is noticeably warm to the touch. Whiskers and eyebrows may or may not be present, and when present they may be either whole or broken. Kittens are more uniformly wrinkled than are adults, but mature Sphynx should retain some wrinkling, especially around their shoulders and neck.
Hairless cats have been recorded throughout history, particularly in Mexico and France. The ancient Aztec civilization in Central America supposedly bred hairless cats hundreds of years ago. Reportedly, the last Mexican hairless pair was given to an American couple in Albuquerque, New Mexico, by Pueblo Indians in 1903. Apparently the male of that pair subsequently was killed by a pack of dogs, and so that line of hairless cats disappeared. Historically, in most places, the
The Sphynx has been referred to as “the ET of the cat world.” This is an intelligent, inquisitive, extremely friendly breed that is unusually people-oriented. Sphynx commonly greet their owners (or any other person, for that matter) at the front door, with obvious excitement and happiness. Sphynx are not known to be particularly fond of dogs or other cats, preferring all the available attention for themselves, although many do bond well with other companion animals.
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