What should a good Sphynx cat look like? The most distinctive feature of the cat is its lack of fur. The Sphynx is of medium size, boning, and body conformation with surprising weight for its size. The head shape is a modified wedge with prominent cheekbones and whisker pads. The body is warm and soft to the touch with a chamois leather like texture to the skin. Males are generally larger than females. The Sphynx is sweet tempered, lively, intelligent, and amenable to handling
Head - The head is a modified wedge with rounded contours, slightly longer than it is wide, with prominent cheekbones and distinctive whisker break with prominent whisker pads and strong rounded muzzle. The skull is slightly rounded with a flat plane in front of the ears. The nose is straight and there is a slight to moderate stop at the bridge of the nose. Strong chin, level bite with the nose leather and chin in a straight line.
Ears - Large, wide open at the base tapering to a rounded tip. They are set at a slight angle to the head with theouter base of the ears level with the outer corner of the eye but are not flaring. The interior of the ears is naturally without furnishings
Eyes - Large and lemon shaped, slanted slightly upwards towards the outer edges of the ears and set wide apart. Any colour acceptableBody - The body is medium length, hard and muscular with a broad, rounded chest and abdomen. The rump is well rounded and muscular. The neck is medium to long and well muscled. Allowance to be made for heavy musculature in adult males.
Legs and feet - Legs are of medium length but in proportion to the body and are sturdy and well muscled. The hind legs are slightly longer than the front. Paws are oval. The toes are long and slender and the paw pads are thick giving the appearance of walking on cushions.
Tail - Long and slender, in proportion to the body length, heavier at the base and tapering to the tip.
Down & skin - There is fine down on the skin almost imperceptible to the eye, giving the overall feel of soft warm chamois leather. Slightly thicker down is permissible on the bridge of the nose, back of the ears, on the feet, scrotum and to a lesser extent, the tail. This coat texture creates the feeling of resistance when stroking the cat. Wrinkled skin may appear particularly around the muzzle, between the ears and around the shoulders. Any whiskers and eyebrows should be short and sparse.
Colour - Colour is irrelevant a cat should not be penalised if apparently wrongly registered as there are no points for colour.
THIS INFORMATION WAS RETRIEVED FROM:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sphynx_(cat) ON 7TH November, 2009.
Hairless cats have been described in many regions of the world, but the first successful breed was the Sphynx. The earliest Sphynx was born in 1966, and the cat was named Prune. However, Prune’s line died out without descendants. In 1967, hairless kittens, and their longhaired mother cat were rescued in Brunei. The kittens were neutered; the mother, however, had other kittens. Two were exported to London, where one of the kittens was bred to a Devon Rex. The cat had hairless offspring which implied that this recessive gene was at the same locus as the Devon gene[dubious ]. One, named E.T., was presented by Vicki and Peter Markstein at the Madison Square Garden cat show in the 1980s.  Although there are written accounts from the 1830s of a Paraguayan "scant-haired cat", the first properly recorded hairless "breed" was the now-extinct Mexican Hairless (also called the New Mexican Hairless). In 1902, a couple from New Mexico received two hairless cats from local Pueblo Indians. It was claimed that these were the last survivors of an ancient Aztec breed of cat. This claim is, however, highly suspect since the domesticated cat did not exist in pre-columbian America. The Mexican Hairless cats were litter-mates and noted to be 25% smaller than local shorthair cats.
The Sphynx appears to be a hairless cat, although it is not truly hairless. The skin should have the texture of Chamois leather. It may be covered with very soft hair that is often described as peach fuzz. Because the sphynx cats have no hair to keep them warm they prefer to cuddle 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. Their skin is the color their fur would be, and all the usual cat marking patterns (solid, point, van, tabby, tortie, etc) may be found in Sphynx too.
Sphynxes are known for their extroverted behavior. They display a high level of energy, intelligence, curiosity, and affection for their owners
While Sphynx cats lack a coat to shed or groom, they are not maintenance-free. Body oils, which would normally be absorbed by the hair, tend to build up on the skin. As a result, regular cleaning (usually in the form of bathing) is necessary; one bath a week is usually sufficient. Care should be taken to limit the Sphynx cat's exposure to outdoor sunlight at length, as they can develop a sunburn, similar to that of human exposure. In general, Sphynx cats should never be allowed outdoors unattended, as they have limited means to conserve body heat in colder temperatures. Their curious nature can take them into dangerous places or situations.
Although Sphynx cats are sometimes thought to be hypoallergenic due to their lack of coat, this is not always the case. Allergies to cats are triggered by a protein called Fel d1, not cat hair itself. Fel d1 is a tiny and sticky protein primarily found in cat saliva and sebaceous glands. Those with cat allergies may react worse to direct contact with Sphynx cats than other breeds. However, conflicting reports of some people successfully tolerating Sphynx cats also exist..
Although hairless cats have been reported throughout history, breeders in Europe have been working on the Sphynx breed since the early 1960s. The current American and European Sphynx breed is descended from two lines of natural mutations:
Other hairless breeds might have different body shapes or temperaments than those described above. There are, for example, new hairless breeds, including the Don Sphynx and the Peterbald from Russia, which arose from their own spontaneous mutations. The standard for the Sphynx differs between cat associations such as TICA, FIFE and CFA.
It has been theorized that Sphynx hairlessness might be produced by an allele of the same gene that produces the Devon Rex (re), with the Sphynx allele being incompletely dominant over the Devon allele and both recessive to the wild type. However a different genetic symbol (hr) is given to the Sphynx gene and it is more likely that these are different genes interacting with each other. Sphynx were at one time crossbred with Devon Rex, but unfortunately this led to the introduction of some genetic diseases and is now forbidden in most breed standards associations. Hereditary spasticity and Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (a genetic heart defect) were introduced by the Devon Rex breed. The only allowable outcross breeds in the CFA are now the American Shorthair and Domestic Shorthair. Other associations may vary and the Russian Blue is a permitted outcross in the GCCF. In Europe mainly Devon Rex has been used for outcrosses.
In Australia there are only a few breeders of pure bred Sphynx. It is better to avoid lines that have been bred back to Devon Rex, because of the health complications, HCM in particular.
Alchemy kittens have generations of pure Sphynx breeding. They are never bred back to Devon Rex cats. The practice is now prohibited because of health implications.
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