Everything You Need to Know About the Hairless Cat

Posted by Katherine Ripley

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Here is all you need to know about the hairless cat.

The official name for the hairless cat breed is the Sphynx cat. The breed began in the 1960s, when a domestic cat gave birth to a hairless kitten, which was the result of a natural gene mutation. Breeders began to breed cats with this mutation, creating the Sphynx cat breed.

Many people with cat allergies can tolerate a hairless cat. Although allergens are still present in their saliva, so they are not completely hypo-allergenic, Sphynx cats may be less likely to provoke a reaction because they have no hair to shed. Regular baths can also reduce the amount of cat dander in the home. While no breed is completely non-allergenic, as the Fel D1 protein in the cat's saliva is what causes allergies, the Sphynx can be easier to keep due to lack of fur.

Sphynx cats are lovable animals, who are known to perform silly antics in order to be the center of attention. They won't hesitate to cuddle with you, especially since they are heat-seeking animals. They do get cold easily, but they will be comfortable if the indoor temperature is comfortable for humans.

The Sphynx are generally healthy but there are some health problems that should be top of mind including hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (heart disease) and a neurological disease called hereditary myopathy. And keep your Sphynx cat skinny as they tend to have a buddha belly.

Some fun facts about the Sphynx? VetStreet.com tells us,

"The Sphynx has large ears that can be two or three inches high. And because the Sphynx does not have fur to absorb body oil, he must be bathed frequently." So weekly baths for these cats! Another fun fact is their history beyond the genetic mutation.

"The Canadian cat and other hairless cats found throughout the world were bred to cats with normal coats and then back to hairless cats to create a large gene pool. Devon Rex and American Shorthair cats are among the breeds that played a role in the development of the Sphynx."

These cats are easy to handle and love human attention. Make sure they stay indoor cats though! It's not safe for this Sphynx breed to be outside.

They are clowns and have a giant sense of humor. They'll want to show-off for you and your friends!

One Sphynx cat became famous in the role of "Mr. Bigglesworth." Dr. Evil's cat was always with him in the "Austin Powers" movies. We all loved that cat!

For more information on the history, personality, or to find breeders, visit the websites of the Cat Fanciers Association  (CFA).

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General Appearance

Hairless cats come in various colors. They have a wide-eyed look, slender limbs, necks, and tails, and round bellies.


The Spynx cat is a medium-sized breed. Despite their vulnerable appearance, their bodies are sturdy, with solid boning and good muscle development. Their round bellies are firm, not flabby.


Hairless cats have long, slender necks, large ears, and large eyes. Their facial structure looks similar to that of a Siamese cat. Sometimes hairless cats have whiskers, and sometimes they don't.


A hairless cat's skin is the color or colors that its fur would be, if it had fur. Their skin feels like warm, soft leather or warm suede. Because they don't have a coat, body oils can build up on their skin, so they need to be bathed regularly.

Most hairless cats are actually not totally hairless. Most have at least a little bit of hair on their ears and nose, and sometimes on their toes and tail. Sometimes their whole bodies are covered in a fine "peach fuzz."


Because they have no coat, Sphynx kittens are more susceptible to respiratory infections in their first few weeks of life. Sphynx cats can also get sunburned and even get skin cancer if they are outside in the sun for too long.


Sphynx cats love to be the center of attention. Because they have no coats, they are always seeking out warmth. They seem to prefer human attention but also get along well with dogs and other cats. They have abundant energy. They're mischievous, but lovable.

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Everything You Need to Know About the Hairless Cat