Sphynx Cat Breed Lifespan Characteristics Habits Food and Care

The Sphynx cat, renowned for its unique lack of hair, is a captivating and extraordinary breed of feline that has captured the hearts of cat enthusiasts all over the world. In addition to its striking physical appearance, it is crucial to understand the lifespan, characteristics, behaviors, dietary needs, and care requirements of the Sphynx cat in order to provide the best companionship and ensure their well-being.

This mysterious breed possesses a special charm and affectionate nature, making it a fascinating and delightful addition to households that appreciate the distinctive qualities that define the Sphynx cat. In this exploration, we delve into the various aspects of the Sphynx cat, shedding light on its longevity, unique traits, daily routines, dietary preferences, and the dedicated care necessary to foster a happy and healthy Sphynx feline companion.

History of the Sphynx Cat Breed

The Sphynx cat breed has an interesting and recent background. It originated in Toronto, Canada, in 1966, when a hairless kitten named Prune was born to a domestic cat with a regular coat. The breed was developed through selective breeding of these hairless cats, which were the result of a natural genetic mutation.

The Sphynx’s unique appearance, characterized by its lack of hair, wrinkled skin, and large ears, has made it a remarkable and easily recognizable breed. The Cat Fanciers’ Association officially recognized the breed in 2002, and since then, it has gained popularity for its lively and acrobatic nature, as well as its friendly disposition.

Sphynx Cat Breed Lifespan

The average lifespan of the Sphynx cat breed ranges from 8 to 14 years. Although there are instances where some individuals surpass the age of 14, others may have a shorter lifespan due to health issues linked to the breed, including heart disease and respiratory infections.

It is crucial for Sphynx cat owners to be knowledgeable about these potential health concerns and to offer suitable care in order to promote their cat’s overall health and longevity. Despite having a shorter average lifespan compared to certain other cat breeds, Sphynx cats are renowned for their lively, devoted, and amiable temperament.

Characteristics of the Sphynx Cat Breed

Here are some notable characteristics of the Sphynx cat breed:


  1. Hairless: The most distinguishing feature of the Sphynx cat is its lack of fur. Their skin is velvety, warm, and often wrinkled, resembling a peach. They come in various colors and patterns, including solid, bi-color, tabby, tortoiseshell, and calico.
  2. Muscular physique: Despite their hairless appearance, Sphynx cats possess a well-developed musculature. They have a medium-sized body with long legs and a rounded abdomen.
  3. Prominent ears: Their ears are large and resemble those of a bat, contributing to their unique appearance.
  4. Almond-shaped eyes: Sphynx cats have large and expressive eyes that come in a range of colors, such as green, yellow, and blue.


  1. Affectionate: Sphynx cats are renowned for their loving and affectionate nature. They thoroughly enjoy cuddling and spending quality time with their human companions.
  2. Playful: They are also highly playful and energetic. Sphynx cats love engaging in activities like running, jumping, and climbing.
  3. Intelligent: Sphynx cats exhibit intelligence and curiosity. They can easily learn tricks and relish mental stimulation.
  4. Sociable: Generally, Sphynx cats are social creatures and tend to get along well with other pets and children.

Other characteristics:

  1. Sensitivity to temperature: Due to their lack of fur, Sphynx cats are prone to feeling cold. They seek warmth by snuggling up in cozy spots and often follow their owners around the house in search of sunny spots to nap.
  2. Sunburn susceptibility: Their skin is sensitive to sunburn, necessitating protection from prolonged exposure to direct sunlight.
  3. Skin care: Regular cleaning of their skin with gentle wipes or baths is essential for Sphynx cats.

Sphynx cats possess a unique and captivating charm. If you desire a loving, playful, and intelligent companion, the Sphynx cat breed might be the perfect choice for you.

Sphynx Cat Breed Lifespan Characteristics Habits Food and Care

Habits of the Sphynx Cat Breed

Sphynx cats are highly intelligent, playful, and affectionate felines that have a strong desire for companionship and attention from their owners. They possess a great deal of energy and curiosity, and they take pleasure in engaging in activities such as playing, exploring, and perching on their owner’s shoulder or lap.

Due to their lack of fur, they have a greater need for warmth compared to other breeds and require regular grooming. Sphynx cats are easily trainable and can be taught using stimulating toys like cat trees, jungle-gyms, and puzzle toys. They have a preference for a meat-based diet and may require more frequent meals than other breeds.

It is important to note that Sphynx cats are susceptible to sunburn and are unable to tolerate cold temperatures. Additionally, they are not hypoallergenic and can produce allergens through their saliva and skin. They are also prone to cardiomyopathy, as well as skin and dental issues. However, if properly socialized as kittens, Sphynx cats can be an excellent addition to a family household and can get along well with children, other cats, and even dogs.

Food of the Sphynx Cat Breed

The Sphynx cat’s hairless body requires specific dietary considerations:

Energy Requirements:

Due to their lack of fur, Sphynx cats have a higher metabolism and burn more calories to maintain body temperature. Their diet should consist of high-calorie and high-protein foods, approximately 15-30% more than other cat breeds.

Preference for Wet Food:

Dry food often lacks sufficient moisture and calories. Wet food, with its higher moisture content, not only keeps them hydrated but also helps them feel satiated while meeting their calorie needs.

Focus on Nutrition:

  1. Protein: Opt for high-quality, animal-based protein sources such as chicken, turkey, fish, or lamb. Look for formulas that contain at least 30% protein.
  2. Fat: Healthy fats are essential for regulating body temperature and providing energy. Choose formulas that contain around 15-20% fat.
  3. Omega-3 Fatty Acids: These are crucial for maintaining healthy skin in Sphynx cats. Select food that includes fish oil or other sources of omega-3s.
  4. Hydration: The absence of fur increases the risk of dehydration. Encourage wet food consumption and consider providing fresh water fountains.

Special Considerations:

  1. Sensitive Digestion: Some Sphynx cats have sensitive stomachs. Look for hypoallergenic or easily digestible formulas that are free from grains, fillers, and common allergens.
  2. Skin Health: Omega-3s and vitamin E contribute to healthy skin. Consult your veterinarian about supplementing their diet with fish oil or vitamin E.
  3. Weight Management: Sphynx cats are prone to obesity due to their indoor lifestyle. Monitor their weight and adjust portion sizes accordingly.
  4. Human Food: While occasional small treats of cooked, unseasoned lean meat or fish are acceptable, avoid regularly feeding them human food. It often lacks essential nutrients and can disrupt their digestive system.

Always seek personalized dietary recommendations from your veterinarian based on your Sphynx cat’s age, health, and activity level. They can provide guidance on the best food choices to ensure the happiness and health of your hairless companion.

Care of the Sphynx Cat Breed

Caring for a Sphynx cat is a one-of-a-kind and fulfilling experience, but their hairless skin requires special attention. Here is a comprehensive guide to properly caring for your wrinkly and warm companion:

Skin & Coat Care:

  1. Bathing: Unlike cats with fur, Sphynx cats need regular baths (weekly or bi-weekly) to remove oil buildup and prevent skin irritation. It is important to use a gentle, pH-balanced cat shampoo and avoid excessive bathing.
  2. Wipes: In addition to baths, you can use gentle wipes specifically designed for Sphynx skin to remove surface dirt and oils between bathing sessions.
  3. Sun protection: Due to their susceptible skin, it is crucial to keep your Sphynx cat out of direct sunlight, especially during peak hours. If they enjoy sunny spots, consider using sunscreen formulated for cats.
  4. Moisturizing: Their skin can become dry, particularly in colder months. Opt for pet-safe moisturizers to keep their skin supple and prevent flaky patches.

Temperature & Environment:

  1. Warmth: Since Sphynx cats lack fur, it is essential to provide them with cozy beds, sweaters, and access to sunny spots to keep them warm. Consider using heated pads during colder months.
  2. Draft protection: To prevent chills, make sure to keep your Sphynx cat away from drafts and air conditioners.

Other Care:

  1. Ear cleaning: Regularly clean your Sphynx cat’s ears with a gentle ear cleaner to remove wax buildup and prevent infections.
  2. Nail trimming: Trim their nails on a regular basis to prevent scratches and snags on furniture.
  3. Veterinary care: Schedule regular checkups with your veterinarian to monitor their skin health, address any potential health concerns, and ensure they receive proper vaccinations.

Where to Adopt or Buy a Sphynx Cat

Various sources offer the opportunity to adopt a Sphynx cat, such as adoption websites like Pets4Homes and Freeads. In addition, the Sphynx Cat Association operates a national rehome and welfare service specifically for this breed, covering the UK.

However, it is important to be aware that their adoption list may occasionally be closed. If you are interested in purchasing a Sphynx kitten, you can also find them available for sale on these same platforms. When considering buying a Sphynx cat, it is crucial to ensure that you are dealing with a responsible breeder.

Responsible breeders will provide a contract, offer various forms of payment, and allow you to visit their home. They should also provide health records and have guidelines in place for spaying/neutering. It is essential to purchase from a reputable breeder in order to guarantee the cat’s health and well-being.

Sphynx Cat Breed

Why are Sphynx Cats Hairless

Sphynx cats possess a unique physical trait of being hairless, which is attributed to a natural genetic mutation. This mutation affects the development and functionality of hair follicles, resulting in their distinct appearance. The specific gene responsible for this mutation is known as keratin 71 (KRT71), which plays a crucial role in the keratinization process of hair follicles.

Although Sphynx cats are not entirely hypoallergenic, their lack of fur may potentially reduce allergic reactions in certain individuals. Interestingly, the same recessive gene that causes their hairlessness is also responsible for the short curly coat seen in Devon Rex cats and the curly coat observed in Selkirk Rex cats

Sphynx Cat Health Issues

Sphynx cats are susceptible to various health problems, which include:

  1. Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM): This heart condition is commonly found in Sphynx cats and can manifest symptoms like fainting, fatigue, and other indications of heart disease.
  2. Skin Problems: Due to their lack of fur, Sphynx cats require special care for their skin. They are prone to issues like sunburn, urticaria pigmentosa, and other skin conditions.
  3. Body Temperature Regulation: Sphynx cats face challenges in regulating their body temperature due to their hairless nature, making them sensitive to cold and inclined to seek warmth.
  4. Ear Infections: The absence of hair in their ears makes Sphynx cats more susceptible to ear infections, necessitating regular cleaning and maintenance.
  5. Dental Issues: Sphynx cats are prone to dental problems and may require regular dental care and cleanings.
  6.  Hereditary Myopathy: This genetic condition affects muscle function in Sphynx cats.

It is crucial for Sphynx cat owners to be aware of these potential health issues and provide the necessary care and attention to ensure the well-being of their pets. Regular veterinary check-ups and preventive care can help manage and address these health concerns.

Sphynx Cat Behavior Problems

Sphynx cats may display a range of behavioral issues, such as biting, scratching, excessive meowing, and aggression. These behaviors can indicate stress, anxiety, or underlying health problems. It is important to create a calm and stress-free environment for your Sphynx cat in order to address these issues. If your cat is exhibiting behavioral problems, it is crucial to seek prompt veterinary attention as they may be a sign of sickness or pain. Additionally, Sphynx cats are more prone to heart problems, obesity, respiratory issues, and skin problems due to their unique lack of fur. To prevent and manage these behavioral and health issues, regular vet check-ups, a healthy diet, exercise, and proper grooming are essential.

Sphynx Cat Size and Weight

Sphynx cats generally have a weight range of 6-12 pounds and possess a medium-boned, muscular physique. They fall under the category of small to medium-sized cat breeds.

Key points regarding the size and weight of Sphynx cats are as follows:

  1. On average, Sphynx cats weigh between 6-12 pounds, with males typically being on the higher end of this range.
  2. Despite their small size, they have a medium-boned, muscular build.
  3. Sphynx cats can still maintain a healthy weight range even if they weigh as little as 2.7 kilos (approximately 6 pounds).
  4. Due to their lack of fur, it is easy to determine if they are overweight as there is no place for excess fat to hide.
  5. To assess if your Sphynx cat is at a healthy weight, you can feel their ribs and observe a slight tuck in at the waist when viewed from above. For an accurate body condition score and ideal weight target specific to your cat, it is advisable to consult with your veterinarian.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *