About Sphynx

Sphynx - one of the oldest breeds of cats. Hairless cats have existed at the time of Egyptian pharaohs. According to the legend, white sphinx with blue-eyed was guarding the sanctuary of the ancient Egypt. Aztecs  owned hairless cats too. Following their natural practicality, they used these animals as living hot-water bottles. The representatives of the extinct ancient breed called Mexican hairless, was demonstrated at first cat shows in the U.S. in the early XX century. The last couple survived to the beginning of the 30s, unfortunately, not leaving any posterity. According to the description, the Mexican hairless sphinx differed from today’s: they had a long body, wedge-shaped head with amber eyes and long antennae, that nowadays Sphynx simple does not have. In the winter time long hair grew on the back and tail, which disappeared in the summer. The genetics of this mutation remains unknown. Perhaps the Mexican Hairless was genetically close to the Don Sphynx, as both of the breeds being hairless have whiskers and a tendency to dress for winter in the "fur coat". Individual cases of appearance of hairless kittens in litters of normal cats were observed throughout the world. In 1938 French professor and biologist E. Letard described a mutation caused by a gene H in hairless kittens produced by a pair of Siamese. Hairless cats have been well described in England and the Scandinavian countries. But in any case, there was no attempt to create a new breed. The appearance of the breed of hairless cats is associated with the 1966 when in Ontario, in Canada, among kittens of a normal domestic cat was born a hairless kitten, named Prune. After the allotted time Prune was crossed with his mother and the litter had both normal and hairless kittens. Up until this was possible, Prune was bred to his daughters, granddaughters, to have more kittens to keep the original genes. As a result appeared two kinds of sphinx, having somewhat different looks. In 1971 CFA withdrew its temporary status of species, given to iy before. So what was the matter? Breeding suffered setbacks, the breed was very small in number, and there was no hope of stabilizing it using animals available for the breeders. Moreover, breeders were not competent in genetics. The story of this breed could have ended there, if not for new discoveries. In 1975, in Vadene, Minnesota, from a simple short-haired cats a hairless kitten was born, not without humor called Epidermis. A year later there was born a female cat. Both animals were kept in the nursery Z. Stardust, where Epidermis became the founder of the most elite line of breed today. In the late 70s on the streets of Toronto, near the location where the first sphinx were found, 3 new hairless kittens were discovered: black and white cat, named Bambi, and two female cats. Unfortunately, the condition of Bambi when it was found, was terrible: one eye emerged, also required an urgent surgical operation to remove his badly damaged testicles. So Bambi did not have the opportunity to be the progenitor of the breed, although its wonderful type quite deserved it. But Bambi became famous in another: today it is - the champion of longevity among the sphinxes, lived a long and happy life, and finished it after his 19th (!) Birthday. The other two cats named Pinky and Paloma, were sent to Holland, where they became the founders of the European line of the breed. In the future, to maintain the genetic pool of Canadian Sphynx, the kittens born were crossed with both sphinxes and a Devon Rex. The choice of the Devon Rex was very successful: their type and appearance was the closest to the Sphinx, besides Devons were the only breed after breeding with which in the first generation hairless kittens were born. However, for all you have to pay. Such a massive inflow of blood of the other, although genetically related species, was not all positive for Canadian Sphynx. Unfortunately, some of today's Sphynx of some lines resemble a mediocre hairless Devons with the features as: thin skin, a bit short "Devon" head with too round eyes as for the Sphinx, low, as Devons have-set ears, and sometimes a bit too light as for the Sphynx skinny body - a clear sign of degeneracy of the breed . So characteristic of the first sphinxes sign - wrinkled skin, making them look like little old men, is becoming increasingly rare among adults sphinxes. However, kittens are still wearing "large pajamas", but with age, wrinkles flatten, while remaining, at best, on the head, in a perfect case - on the neck. Sphinxes of many modern lines, particularly European and originating from the U.S. look rather like an exquisite porcelain figurines than the wonderful wrinkled dwarfs, as they looked at first. Perhaps the most "folded" at the moment are the Canadian Sphynx - the animals of lines originating from the legendary Epidermis, though they are far from their "ancestor". New hairless natural mutations occasionally occur now in the American continent. These animals are very much valued and tried to use their potential for breeding at the most. "The new bald" usually become the pride of the kennels. Status of the Sphynx breed - is not just a cat with no fur. Of course, the lack of hair is the main feature of the breed by which visitors will recognize sphinxes at the shows. But breeders have a specific standard for the Sphynx on all other parts of the body, and the lack of hair on the body is not the most important attribute. The appearance of the Sphinx is simply magic. It reminds Tanagra figurine. All lines of the body are smooth, fluid, but at the same time, they can not be called graceful. They harmoniously combine graceful movements with curved front legs, stomach looking like a pear and a tail, coiled into a tight donut and pressed to the side. Ears of the Sphinx are large and wide at the base, with rounded tips, hocked at the average (not high and not low), the eye is shaped like a lemon. The skin is thick, wrinkled on the head, muzzle, neck, abdomen, and a little bit on the case. The body is tight and muscular. Hind legs are longer than the front ones, making a kind of sphinx gait. Skin is suede to the touch because of the short-covering the entire body down and is hot. The hair remains in all the sphinxes on the nose, the ears, may be on the tip of the tail and legs to the hock, the cats have it on the testicles. In addition, the hair may appear on these spots and on the body during the hormonal changes (estrus, pregnancy, lactation), if not properly fed, and at a low temperature of keeping. Recognition of Canadian Sphynx as a breed was not easy, and only the "second wave" in the breeding, which began from the re-found animals helped create this unique breed.