Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Sphynx The Hairless Kittenes

The Sphynx is a rare breed of cat known for its lack of a coat. The contemporary breed of sphynx (known also as the Canadian sphynx, distinct from the Russian sphynx breeds - Peterbald, Don Sphynx) started in 1966, when in Toronto, Canada a hairless kitten named Prune was born. It was crossed with its mother, which produced one more naked kitten. Together with a few naked kittens found later it became the primogenitor of the breed. The first sphynx breeders faced a number of problems. The genetic pool was very limited, breeders had rather vague ideas about sphynx genetics, many kittens died. The naked male Epidermis born in 1975 to short-haired mother provided new material to sphynx fanciers and new genes for further breed development. In the early stages of the breed crosses with devon-rex were used, but later this crossing was frowned upon because it caused health problems and devolution. Now the Canadian Sphynx is a breed with a sound genetic pool.The Sphynx appears to be a hairless cat, but it is not truly hairless. The skin texture resembles that of Chamois leather. It may be covered with very short, fine hair, not unlike a peach. Because the sphynx cats have no pelt to keep them warm they huddle up against other animals and people. They even tend to cuddle up and sleep with their owners under the covers. 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 may be found on Sphynx skin. Owing to the lack of fur, Sphynxes require regular washing because there is no fur to soak up the natural oils in their skin. Sphynxes generally have wedge-shaped heads and sturdy, heavy bodies. Many cats of this breed develop pot bellies. Sphynxes are known for their extrovert behavior. They display a high level of energy, intelligence, curiosity, and affection for their owners.

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