Despite its name, the Egyptian cat does not originate in Egypt. Its name comes from culture and mythology, but the truth is that this animal first appeared in Canada, and within its recent history. Some people claim that already in ancient Egypt it was possible to find cats similar to those of this breed, but it is something that cannot be demonstrated due to the lack of documentation about it.
The scientific origin of the Sphynx cat, is in a Canadian litter from the 1960s, where one of the kittens was born hairless due to a natural genetic mutation. This hairless kitten was studied to rule out that it was weaker or more sick than other hairless cats, which could be verified. The reality about this animal is that it had only suffered the mutation by a recessive gene, but it had no lack or difficulty living its life like any other cat.
Thus, during the following two decades, hairless kittens that were born in litters of common cats began to be collected, either on the street or from homemade pets. Following relevant tests to rule out any eventual problems, these animals were introduced into breeding programs that aimed to perpetuate and improve a hairless cat typology, in what would be the ancestors of the current feline sphynx breed.
Beginning in the 1980s, the Egyptian cat already had defined characteristics, and then the efforts of the breeders were directed to strengthen the health of these animals. In these breeding programs were introduced specimens of the devon Rex breed, which caused Egyptian cats to improve in terms of their strength and fix even more their phenotype.
Its recognition as a breed would not come until the year 2000, at which point most international organizations would give the approval to the sphinx cat. Thanks to this recognition, more and more people interested in them as pets, which also helped to increase the popularity of the breed. Today, it is possible to find specimens of the sphynx cat in all parts of the world, and as a pet from many homes. The truth is that it is not a breed that stands out for being very numerous or majority, but it is highly valued among cat lovers for its sympathy, strange beauty and temperament suitable for the whole family.
Sphynx Cat Features
The sphynx is a medium-sized cat with easily recognizable features beyond the absence of hair. They are elongated and muscular animals, quite wide in their chest and body. It highlights its pronounced belly, which sometimes seems to hang too much with respect to the rest of the body.
The most noteworthy thing in its anatomy is the shape of its head and its neck especially long, in addition to the folds that form on your skin throughout the body. Its head is rather elongated and its sharp cheekbones stand out. It also highlights in the expression of his face the size of his eyes and ears, very large in proportion to the rest of the body.
The usual weight of the specimens of this breed is between 3 and 5 kilos, depending also on their length, although they are never as bulky as other long-haired breeds. The breed standard has remained to this day unchanged, although current breeders are also looking to fix the characteristics that most attractive are. Therefore, it is possible to think that at some point it will be necessary to update the standard, although the breed is currently more than consolidated worldwide.
Sphynx Cat Behavior
The word that defines the temperament of the Egyptian cat is tranquility. They differ quite a bit from other breeds of cats in terms of their character, because they are much calmer than cats tend to be in general. They are sweet, affectionate, curious and intelligent animals, which never tend to show an aggressive character either among themselves or with people.
They are animals very dependent on their owners, in terms of affection and other care. They seek their physical contact always, and also cover themselves with clothing or with their owner’s own body to increase their body heat, which is usually very low due to lack of mantle.
It is also a sociable breed, which gets along well with both adults and children, although it will not participate in the most energetic games of the little ones. Their intelligence allows them to learn basic and some more complex orders, such as their own name, that they associate and obey very quickly.
Main diseases of the Sphynx Cat
The sphynx cat has an average lifespan of between 10 and 20 years, and is generally a healthy animal. However, it is prone to certain problems associated with the inbreeding of specimens, which result in metabolic, systemic and genetic defects. Luckily, this trend is being corrected today and bloodlines are gradually clearing, meaning that the Egyptian cat cubs they are born are stronger and resistant to common feline diseases.
Sphynx Cat Basic Care
Sphinx cat care is more complex than those of other feline breeds. To begin with, you need to see the vet often to do a general checkup, and to keep your vaccination and deworming card up to date. Apart from this, there are many other cares to dispense to your Egyptian cat so that it is always healthy.
Just because you don’t have hair doesn’t mean you don’t require body hygiene care. Brushes are discarded, but their skin is very sensitive and requires special treatment, so it is recommended to bathe it once a week with a specific soap for them, and frequently clean your eyes and ears. In case you do not want to bathe it so often, you can always maintain good hygiene by means of wet wipes, to properly clean the folds of your skin, but always using products for sensitive animals.
The metabolism of the sphinx cat is faster than that of other feline breeds, which aims to increase its body temperature to supplement the absence of fur. This implies that the feeding of this breed must be specific, different from that of other breeds of cats. On the market there are specific foods for specimens of this breed, composed of more proteins and fats than other foods. It also needs more daily food than other cats of equal size, but it should also be checked that it is not an excessive amount, since it could get too fat, something very dangerous for animals.
To take proper care of the sphynx cat, it is necessary to ensure that the temperature of the house is always adequate. In both summer and winter, the indoor thermostat should be kept between 22 and 25 degrees, an appropriate temperature to protect it. These animals are very sensitive to temperature changes, and could easily catch a cold and get sick if these guidelines are not followed. It will also be necessary to ensure that the minino plays and exercises every day, something much necessary to keep fit even though it is not one of the races that demands the most exercise.
As for their education, it is something really easy to control with a small effort from puppy, since they are animals that learn very quickly, obedient and very sociable. Another advantage is that they adapt perfectly to live with other animals, so it is possible to have it together with other cats, dogs or even rodents in a total state of peace and tranquility.
Things to know about the Sphynx cat
That one of their names is that of Egyptian cat has to do with the resemblance of this animal to the Egyptian goddess Bastet, usually depicted in the shape of human and cat head, or with feline anatomy in general.
Although many people think that the characteristic baldness of the Egyptian cat has to do with genetic manipulation by humans, it is not. Certainly, it was the scientists who enhanced and fixed this characteristic. But the first hairless cats were born in normal litters for natural causes, something that can even occur today as part of natural genetics.
The belief that sphinx cats do not produce an allergy is totally unfounded. The fact that they lack hair does not imply that they are hypoallergenic. This is because allergy production is found in animal hormones, and dead cells that accumulate in the skin and saliva. Hence an allergic person cannot share his life with one of these animals. People with animal allergies should look for information about hypoallergenic cat breeds.
Although it is not an overly energetic breed, the truth is that they are also agile and strong animals, as evidenced by the fact that they can jump more than two meters vertically thanks to the strength of their hind legs.
You have to take certain precautions when it comes to temperature with this breed, and that is that they are sensitive to heat, and especially to cold. It is not uncommon to see them in winter on radiators or stoves, or hidden among the blankets and clothes of their owners.
One of the reasons why this race is so famous is because of its presence in television and film culture. There are many examples that can be found of sphinx cats appearing in film and television, as part of both real-action and animated series and films.
If you think this breed is right for you, it’s time to find a suitable puppy. To do this, you must go to breeders specialized in the breed, who can offer you all the necessary guarantees about the health of your new pet. Remember that the Egyptian cat is one of the most special that exist, so make sure you are receiving a quality copy. In addition, when you talk to an experienced breeder you will receive first-hand information about the care of the breed, so you can have everything under control from the first moment.