Choosing a Sphynx

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Spynx Cat’s Personality

According to the French breed standard, the Sphynx is part monkey, part dog, part child, and part cat. While this may bring a strange image to mind, the breed does seem to have personality traits of each. To say Sphynx are lively is an understatement; they perform monkey-like aerialist stunts from the top of doorways and book shelves. Devoted and loyal, they follow their humans around, wagging their tails doggy style and purring with affection. They demand your unconditional attention and are as mischievous and lovable as children. While the Sphynx may not be for everyone, their unique appearance and charming temperament has won them an active, enthusiastic following.

Grooming a Sphynx

You might think a hairless cat requires no grooming. Think again. Sphynx must be bathed regularly to remove excess oil from their skin. The sebaceous glands, located at the base of each hair follicle, secrete an oily substance called sebum. All cats produce these secretions, but Sphynx don’t have fur to absorb them. Allowed to collect, they can cause skin problems. Too, it’s no fun to snuggle with a sticky Sphynx. Because Sphynx have no ear hair, ear wax and dirt build up more quickly, so their ears must be cleaned regularly as well. Train your Sphynx to tolerate bathing when she’s young and this won’t be an ordeal. Unlike other cats, Sphynx only take a second to dry.

Reputable breeders can be found through The International Sphynx Breeders and Fanciers Association (, the Progressive Sphynx Alliance (, and from the cat associations. Make sure the breeder provides registration papers and a written sales contract with a health guarantee.

Association Acceptance

The Sphynx is accepted for championship by:

  • American Association of Cat Enthusiasts (AACE)
  • American Cat Association (ACA)
  • American Cat Fancier’s Association (ACFA)
  • Canadian Cat Association (CCA)
  • Cat Fanciers’ Federation (CFF)
  • The International Cat Association (TICA)
  • United Feline Organization (UFO)

    The Sphynx is accepted in the non-championship miscellaneous class by:

  • Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA)
  • Special Notes

    One might expect the Sphynx to be a good pet for those allergic to cats, but this is not the case. Sphynx refrain from shedding on your couch but can still make you sneeze, because it’s not generally cat hair that causes allergic reactions but rather an allergenic protein called Fel d1 that’s secreted via the cat’s saliva and the sebaceous glands. Sphynx produce just as much Fel d1 as any cat, and while grooming spread the protein onto their skin. In fact, without hair to absorb the secretions, Sphynx can actually cause a more severe allergic reaction in some people. Other people can tolerate Sphynx, however, so if you’re allergic plan on spending a generous amount of time around a Sphynx before agreeing to buy.


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