Sphynx Cat: Characteristics, Personality, and Breed Information

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Adult weight
8-16 pounds
Life Span
13-14 years
Loving, sociable, intelligent, loyal
Other Names
Canadian Sphynx, Canadian Hairless Cat, Moon Cat
Medium-sized hairless
Affection Level
? Breeds with a high affection level want to give and receive a lot of attention, while less-affectionate breeds are not as interested in petting and snuggles.
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Activity Level
? Breeds with high activity levels will engage more in active play and demand more space and attention.
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? How well the breed tends to get along with cats, dogs, and other pets.
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? Breeds with a higher rating in this area tend to be gentle and patient, while lower-rated breeds may feel uncomfortable with children.
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? Breeds with a higher sociability rating will want to spend time with you all day, while less-sociable breeds seldom seek out human interaction.
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? Breeds with higher intelligence ratings are more curious, investigative, and easy to train. Less-intelligent breeds are less trainable but often laid-back and easygoing.
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? Breeds that score higher in this area have strong hunting instincts that make them great playtime companions.
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? Breeds that score higher in this area are able to spend hours alone, while less-independent breeds require plenty of attention.
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? A higher rating in this area indicates a breed prone to plenty of meowing and other vocalizations, while less-vocal breeds are happy to stay quiet.
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? Breeds with higher grooming scores require more maintenance like brushing and bathing, while lower-scored breeds are virtually maintenance-free.
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Personality and Temperament

If you’re looking for a friendly cat with a big personality, the Sphynx might be ideal. Bonus points if you’re hoping for a pet that doesn’t shed, as these hairless cats are either completely free of hair or are covered in the barest layer of fine, velvety down.

With bold features and an intense gaze, the Sphynx might not appear to be the friendliest cat on the planet, but don’t let this cat's stern espression deceive you! The Sphynx is a gregarious, personable cat with lots of love to share with everyone, including strangers and other pets. Quick to greet their family members at the door and just as fast to cuddle under the covers when bedtime arrives, Sphynx cats take every possible opportunity to socialize.

Without adequate companionship, the Sphynx quickly becomes despondent, bored, and destructive. These cats absolutely hate to be left alone, and while they’re spending time with you, they have a tendency to offer unsolicited help and advice. Loud meows can give way to unrelenting wails if you try to confine a Sphynx to its own space, making these cats unsuitable for families that don’t want a high level of involvement from their pet.

Last but not least, Sphynx cats need to be kept warm and protected from the elements. These cats can’t live outdoors where they’ll suffer from sunburn, windburn, cold, and injuries to their delicate skin.Even inside, Sphynx look for the warmest possible place to rest. Offer a heated cat bed, and you’ll know exactly where to find your Sphynx when it’s time to play. If your Sphynx wants to sunbathe near a window or door, use a pet sunscreen to protect their exposed skin.

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About the Sphynx Cat
Sphynx Cat Care










High-quality food is essential for Sphynx cats, as lower-quality cat food can lead to skin problems and cause excess oil production. Look for a brand that’s high in protein and low in carbohydrates, and that incorporates real meat or fish as the primary ingredient.

You might think that the Sphynx cat requires very little in terms of grooming. It's true that these cats don't need brushing, but they do require fairly frequent bathing to remove excess oil that can lead to greasy buildup and skin irritation. Frequency varies depending on the individual cat, but most Sphynx need a bath every one to four weeks. Use a gentle cat shampoo and warm water that feels comfortable on your own skin.

Check your Sphynx cat’s ears frequently, as well. If you notice debris deep inside the ear, have your vet or a professional groomer provide a cleaning. Between deep cleanings, wipe away greasy residue with a cotton ball that has been moistened with a pet ear cleanser.

At-home dental care can help keep your Sphynx healthier for a lifetime, so consider brushing their teeth daily. Feline toothpaste comes in flavors cats enjoy, making this task a bit easier once they know what to expect.

Sphynx cats are prone to buildup between their toes, so wash their paws a few times per week prevent skin infections. It’s a good idea to clip your cat’s toenails regularly, too. This routine is simplest when you start from a young age. With time, your cat will accept it without making too much of a fuss.

Sphynx cats are capable athletes with strong, sinewy muscles. These cats get lots of exercise following their people around and playing with other pets, but provide opportunities to jump and climb via cat condos or cat trees, and one or more scratching posts. Offer plenty of toys to engage your Sphynx and keep them in great shape.

Unfortunately, Sphynx cats do have some known health issues, including an increased incidence of a type of heart disease known as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM). In addition, some Sphynx are prone to an inherited neuromuscular disorder called congenital myasthenic syndrome (CMS).

Sphynx cats are also prone to periodontal disease, making routine teeth cleaning essential. Skin irritation can happen with some frequency, making these cats a bit more high-maintenance in the skin-care department than cats with fur.


There are quite a few stories about the origins of the Sphynx cat. Feline geneticists believe that the Sphynx we know today might share some similarities with Aztec or Mexican hairless cats, which were last documented in the early 1900s.

The Sphynx cat breed as we know it today got its start in 1966, when a black and white cat gave birth to a hairless kitten named Prune in Ontario, Canada. After reaching maturity, Prune was mated to other cats, resulting in kittens with hair as well as hairless kittens. These cats, along with a few other hairless cats born in, were used as the foundation for a new breed that was originally called the Canadian Hairless Cat.

The breed had a very difficult start due to limited genetics. In the 1970s, breeders paired the hairless cats born in separate litters in Toronto and Minnesota (named Epidermis, Punkie, and Paloma) with Devon Rex cats, a breed with a very sparse hair coat. People began calling the breed the Sphynx due to the hairless cats' resemblance to the ancient Egyptian Sphinx figure.

To maintain genetic diversity, The International Cat Association (TICA) breed standard allows outcrossing to the American Shorthair and Devon Rex. According to the Cat Fanciers' Association (CFA) breed standard, Sphynx born on or after December 31, 2023, may have only Sphynx parents.

Sphynx Cat History
About the Sphynx Cat


A Sphynx cat’s eyes are large and lemon-shaped, with wide centers and well-defined points on either side. The outer edges of the eyes are tilted slightly upward, aligning with the outer base of the ear. All eye colors are accepted.

Legs & Paws

The legs are sturdy and well-muscled, and are proportionate to the body. The hind legs are slightly longer than the forelegs. The paws are oval-shaped, with prominent, well-knuckled toes and thick pads.


The Sphynx cat’s tail is long and slender, but proportionate to the body’s length. It has a fine taper with a pointed end.

The Breed Standard


The body is of medium length, with ample musculature, a rounded abdomen, a round chest, and a rounded rump.


A Sphynx cat’s head forms a modified wedge that is slightly longer than it is wide. The cheekbones are prominent, and the whisker break and whisker pads give the muzzle a square profile. The nose is straight and the chin is strong.


The ears are large to very large in size, with broad bases and upright carriage. The outer base of the ear is set at the same level as the eye.


Sphynx cats may be completely hairless, or they may have very short, fine, peach fuzz that does not interfere with the cats’ hairless appearance. Whiskers, when present, are short and sparse. The bridge of the nose has a normal coating, and fine hair might be present on the feet, the tail, the scrotum, and the outer edges of the ears. Wrinkled skin is the norm, and is desirable, particularly between the ears, around the shoulders, and in the muzzle area.


All Sphynx cat colors and patterns are acceptable, with the exception of white lockets, belly spots, and buttons on show cats. Nose leather and paw pad color complement skin color.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does a Sphynx cat cost?

A pet-quality Sphynx kitten usually costs anywhere from $1,800 to $3,000.

Is a Sphynx cat a good pet?

Sphynx are extremely people-oriented and affectionate companions. They want nothing more than to be with their favorite people, preferably snuggled up in your lap or under the covers. They get along great with people or all ages, as well as other cats and gentle dogs. Because Sphynx thrive on human attention, they are not a great choice for people who are away from the home for many hours a day.

Do Sphynx cats have a lot of health problems?

Sphynx cats are generally healthy, although like all pedigreed cats, certain genetic disorders can affect some individuals. Two known genetic diseases found in the Sphynx breed are a type of heart disease known as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) and an inherited neuromuscular disorder called congenital myasthenic syndrome (CMS). Sphynx cats also need special skin care, including regular bathing, and protection from the sun and cold weather.

Do Sphynx cats shed a lot?

Sphynx cats are hairless or nearly hairless, so they don’t shed. However, the lack of fur causes oils on the skin to build up, so Sphynx need regular baths to keep their skin clean and free from irritation.

Do hairless cats get fleas?

Yes, hairless cats like the Sphynx can get fleas. These parasites don’t need hair to feed off the blood of their host. However, on a hairless cat you should be able to easily see fleas and flea dirt (flea feces, which looks like brown or red specks), so you can take quick action to remove them from your Sphynx.

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  1. BnB

    So much missing from this writeup, especially their propensity toward heart disease. Anyone interested in this breed should be reading up on hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and ensure that they are adopting only from responsible breeders that are scanning their adults for their entire life before, during and after breeding. If you aren’t ready to deal with severe heart disease in a 2 year old cat, don’t bother with this breed.