The Sphynx is a breed of cat known for its lack of a coat.

The contemporary breed of Sphynx is known also as the Canadian Sphynx, which is distinct from the Russian Sphynx breeds like Peterbald and Don Sphynx.

Lack of coat makes the cat quite warm to the touch. Whiskers and eyebrows may be present, either whole or broken, or may be totally absent. The skin is the color their fur would be, and all the usual cat marking patterns (solid, point, van, tabby, tortie, etc.) may be found on Sphynx skin.

Sphynxes generally have wedge-shaped heads and sturdy, heavy bodies. Standards call for a full round abdomen, also known as pot bellies.

Sphynxes are known for their extroverted behavior. They display a high level of energy, intelligence, curiosity, and affection for their owners.

History of the breed

Although hairless cats have been reported throughout history, breeders in Europe have been working on the Sphynx breed since the early 1960s. Like so many other feline breeds, the present day Sphynx line has been a creation of the simultaneous work performed by nature and many committed, competent individuals. Two different sets of hairless felines discovered in North America in the 1970s provided the foundation cats for that which was shaped into the existing Sphynx breed.

The current American and European Sphynx (also known as Canadian Sphynx) breed is descended from two lines of natural mutations:

·         Dermis and Epidermis (1975) from the Pearsons of Wadena, Minnesota, USA.

·         Bambi, Punkie, and Paloma (1978) found in Toronto, Canada, and raised by Shirley Smith.

The Canadian Sphynx breed was started in 1966, in Roncesvalles, Toronto when a hairless kitten named Prune was born to a black and white domestic shorthair queen (Elizabeth) in Ontario, Canada. The kitten was mated with its mother (backcrossing), which produced one more naked kitten. Together with a few naked kittens found later it founded the first attempt to create a hairless breed.

 

After purchasing these cats in 1966 and initially referring to them as "Moonstones" and "Canadian Hairless," Mr. Ridyadh Bawa, a science graduate of the University of Toronto, combined efforts with his mother Yania, a long time Siamese breeder, and the Tenhoves (Kees and Rita) to develop a breed of cats which was subsequently renamed as "Sphynx". It is apparent that the Bawas and the Tenhoves were the first individuals able to determine the autosomal recessive nature of the Sphynx gene for hairlessness while also being successful in transforming this knowledge into a successful breeding program with kittens which were eventually capable of reproducing.