A pet owner's guide to Sphynx cats

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The sturdy, medium-sized body of a Sphynx cat looks like that of any other feline – minus the hair. This domestic breed of hairless cat is very divisive, beloved by some for its uniqueness and shunned by others for its strange, unnatural look.


Sphynx breeders first successfully produced a hairless cat in the 1960s, but it died without producing offspring. Then, in Toronto, Canada, in 1967, a stray mother cat and her hairless kittens were rescued. When the mother cat gave birth to more hairless kittens, her offspring were bred and the Sphynx cat breed was born.


Size: Adults normally weigh between about 8 and 15 pounds.

Coat: These hairless cats aren't entirely devoid of hair. Sphynx kittens are actually covered with a very fine layer of stubble-like fur, which takes on the feel of chamois leather when the cat reaches adulthood.

Eyes & Ears: Sphynx breeders suggest these cats' lemon-shaped eyes should match their skin tones in color. The breed's ears are disproportionately large and broad, much like those seen on Siamese cats, and should be set fairly close together to create a fanning-out effect over the cat's head.

Tail: A Sphynx cat has a long, tapered tail that feels hard to the touch.


One of the feline world's extroverts, Sphynx cats crave attention and affection from their owners and don't display the kind aloofness that typifies many other breeds. They are intelligent, energetic and curious, characteristics that lead to a great deal of indoor and outdoor exploring and interaction with other people and animals.

Health and Care

Feeding: Sphynx cat breeders note a propensity for these animals to gain weight and grow potbellies. Prevent weight gain by feeding these cats a calorie-controlled diet of quality food.

Grooming: Because these cats lack hair, their skin absorbs many oils that would normally be trapped by fur. Thus, they require weekly bathing. Their large ears are also infection-prone and need to be cleaned out every day.

Activity Level: Many a Sphynx breeder has noted that these cats' curious natures can land them in trouble. To minimize the risk of accidental harm, it's wise to limit their exercise to the indoors as much as possible.

Health Problems: Limit sun exposure, as these hairless cats are prone to sunburn, just as humans are. They also have problems retaining body heat when outdoors during cooler weather. Otherwise, they'll need the same preventive care that all cats do as they get older. Feline worms, kidney and liver problems, and feline diabetes rank among the principal health concerns aging cats face.

Average Lifespan: This breed is not particularly long-lived. Expect Sphynx cats to live an average of 9 to 15 years.

Finding a Pet to Adopt

Rescue for Sphynx cats trapped in abusive or neglectful homes is usually provided by the SPCA or local animal control authorities. If you'd like to adopt an adult cat, check with your local branch for further information.

Breeders with Sphynx kittens for sale tend to command between $800 and $1,500 per animal. Given these relatively high sale prices, many prospective owners choose to seek out Sphynx cats for sale through rescue centers. Adopting an adult cat costs hundreds of dollars less than purchasing a newborn kitten.

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Posted by SphynxMama on June 24,2013 at 07:55 PM
I'm in love with my bf's Sphynx honestly i will never have another cat again unless its a Sphynx she has totally spoiled me. She adores attention and being loved on. It's nice not to have fur every where and yes she has slight issues with new people/pets but that is because my bf and his ex kept her in their room only no other people around for the first like 2 years of her life. They need to be around more, they love exploring and their fur is like velvet I love it.
Posted by Paris on September 15,2012 at 06:24 AM
There are a lot of comments and posts about why not to get a sphyxn cat but is it true? Me and my Mum are looking for one in scotland i have 3 younger brothers a pug and a chihuahua . Will they get along ? As well do they like to climb upon bunkers and work tops ? I really like the breed aslo how big do Sphyxn cats get. Thanks and if you live in scotland please email about any litters parisw345@hotmail.com Thank you
Posted by Kiki on July 18,2012 at 10:31 AM
Hi! I am a sphynx owner and I live in a small village in Greece. My vet does not now ANYTHING about those cat's so I find everythin on the internet. I wantet to ask about the food. I give her the best (in ingridient's) food witch is hard crackers. My vet say's she dosent need nothing else, but I am not sure about this. Mayby she must have soft food too or vitamins... What do you sey? Can you help me?
Posted by Marsha Kerr on February 07,2012 at 07:30 PM
I am in love with sphynx cats/kitten but I really do not afford one. You can be assure though that if you help me to get one for adopt, it will be taken care of to the fullest. If there is anyone who can assist me with one to adopt, I will appreciate it so much. Thanks in advance. Marsha
Posted by karen saph on January 29,2012 at 08:03 AM
Hi sphynxs owners, their wonderful cats i have had my boy for 3 months he's great company, always need my attention, he sleeps with me eats with me and even showers with me, he loves to play catch and with fetch his toys for me to throw. i cant emagine my life without him.
Posted by Nicola Bond on February 28,2012 at 06:53 AM
We are hoping to be owners of 2 Sphynx male kittens in a few months and we cant wait, do you have any tips for their diet, we understadn they have to have 80% protien and 20% carbs? thank you Nicola
Posted by Michelle on September 25,2011 at 04:58 PM
I have a 1 yr. old male and a 3 yr. old female and they are the most wonderful pets EVER!!! They are so full of personality and so smart. They do require a lot of care that a regular cat doesn't as far as grooming but they are SO worth it. I can't imagine my life without them. I hope I get lucky and mine live much longer than what the average life span is. They are well worth the money spent!
Posted by sphynxlove on September 22,2011 at 12:59 PM
The best bread ever...SPHYNX! Very affectionate and playful. They love to be held and cuddled. Love sleeping under the covers. Mine gets along great with kids and other dogs! Very smart female! Expensive pet, but very worth it!!!!
Posted by David Stone on May 20,2011 at 08:35 PM
I have a male sphynx. I have had him for going on six years, he's the best pet I ever had. I was borned on a farm and by far he is the best. He's just like human. He thrives for human touch, and always wants to be by your side. At night he sleeps with me and has to be in touch all night long. By far the the pet to have.
Posted by Sydney on May 19,2011 at 01:28 PM
Ive been looking around for a sphynx kitten or adult we live in lake jackson tx and ive been looking at the local shelter we cant afford to spend a ton of money one one either.. but it would be well taken care of im a stay at home mom so it would have a ton of attention if you know of any let me know thanks!
Posted by Jenn Dios on April 23,2011 at 01:24 PM
I am so happy to see that one has lived up to 35 years old! We just adopted 2 Sphynx cats both 3 years old. They are very different than any other cat I've ever owned. I will always have one and always have a rescue shelter cat as well. To Peggy, I would contact a good breeder and ask about adopting a retired adult, by now maybe you already have. I am just head over heels in love with this breed. I'll always have a Sphynx, Right now I thank my lucky stars I was blessed with two!
Posted by Donna Ploss on January 03,2011 at 12:50 PM
I've had 2 so far and will NEVER be without one ever again!!!
Posted by Theresa on October 25,2010 at 08:39 AM
I just got a Sphynx yesterday! He is the most affectionate creature i have ever laid my eyes on! I recommend these cats to only people who have a lot of time to spend with them. They get very lonley very quick!
Posted by Peggy Headings on September 02,2010 at 04:48 PM
I'm looking for a Sphynx cat.(kitten to adult) If anyone has one they may not want any longer I would like to have her. I'd like a female thats possibly fixed. I don't have alot of money but can say she will have a wonderful home. She will be loved!!!Thanks and I look forward to hearing from you.
Posted by WR on October 31,2011 at 08:03 PM
e-mail me if you still interested in adopting a sphynx. she is approx 6 yrs old. I just do not have enough time for her. She NEEDS lots of attention.
Posted by sphynxlair on July 10,2010 at 08:30 AM
Sphynx are wondeful creatures!
Posted by Al Frank on July 08,2010 at 02:29 AM
Actually a Sphynx holds the record for the longest-lived cat at 35 years!
Posted by Yuri Watanabe on May 15,2010 at 12:08 PM
WOW! Sphynx cats seem to be very exotic in personality as well as looks. Why do they have a shorter lifespan than other cat breeds and in personality, are they more like a Siamese or are they similar to a Siberian?
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