Sphynxes stand out among other pets due to their lack of fur or hair—an uncommon occurrence among most mammals. These non-furry felines love to sprawl out in sunspots for warmth whenever possible. They make excellent cuddle buddies and prefer to keep warm under the covers with their owners at night. Despite their regal appearance, they are playful and goofy pals sometimes acting more like dogs than cats. They may look like they were pets of the pharoahs, but, in fact, they originally hail from Canada.
Sphynx cats typically reach between 8-10 inches in height, 13-15 inches in length, and weigh between 10-12 pounds. They have a lean physique and are considered to be medium-sized cats. Females are generally smaller than males.
While this is not the largest cat physically, they are known for having very big personalities. They are very affectionate and social, particularly for cats, and are keen to spend time with their owners. Whether that is lap sitting, following around the house, or getting in the bed with you, these cats love to be taken care of.
Sphynx Cat Body Shape
It’s only natural to assume a Sphynx is just a bald and wrinkly average-sized cat. However, they do actually possess a fine-boned yet muscular body, with a broad chest and impressively long and powerful legs.
The legs are bowed, which gives them great jumping abilities and abilities to get up high. This is supported by their thicker paw pads, which gives them the advantage during such activities. And even more, interestingly, they are known to carry a larger belly and rounded abdomen, which is sometimes referred to as a ‘pot belly’.
Weight Of A Sphynx Cats :
- Male: 8-11 lbs.
- Female: 6-8 lbs.
Features Of A Sphynx Cats :
- Hairless (“peach fuzz” over body and can have small amounts of fur on the ears, feet and tail) wrinkles visible since there is no fur covering body
- NOT hypoallergenic – it is cat saliva that causes allergies in people
- Long, lean and muscular body
- Large, upright ears
- Big, lemon shaped eyes
- Wedge shaped head
- Colours/patterns include: Black, white, red, chocolate, blue, cream, calico, tortoiseshell, tabby, spotted, fawn, pointed, mink and bi-colour.
At What Age Are Sphynx Cats Fully Grown?
Sphynx cats will typically reach their full height and weight around 1 year of age. Although, some larger cats of the breed will continue to fill out for several months after. Filling out refers to a cat developing musculature and being physically bulkier. In other words, they transition into their adult frame.
For the most part, a Sphynx kitten will weigh around 2-3 pounds at 12 weeks of age or around the time they are put up for adoption by the breeder. This is the size a new owner is likely to get their Sphynx. From there, a kitten will develop according to their genetic potential and in accordance with their care (diet and nutrition).
Do Sphynx Cats Get Fat?
A Sphynx cat fed appropriately and allowed to be sufficiently active should not gain too much weight. However, this particular breed does have a propensity to gain excess fat more readily. And the rounded abdomen, or pot-belly, is a breed characteristic and trait.
That being said, while a small pot-belly is considered entirely normal and somewhat expected (particularly after food or before a cat has gone to the toilet), an excessively expanded pot belly or one that does not reduce in time is always a sign of concern. To prevent unhealthy weight gain in the Sphynx, they must be fed a calorie-controlled diet – consisting of high-quality premium food.
Its also important that as an owner, you routinely weigh and monitor the size of your cat. They should be of sufficient weight but not falling too short or exceeding the healthy range of 10-12 pounds. Whether it is once per week or once per month, it is advised to inspect your Sphynx to ensure they are at a healthy weight.
Common Health Problems
As for all pets, always ask your breeder for a health guarantee for your sphynx kitten. When bred responsibly, sphynx cats have a generally healthy outlook.
Due to its hairlessness, Sphynx cats are sensitive to sun exposure as they have no fur to protect their skin from harmful UV rays.2 Their direct sun exposure should be limited. Just like humans, these cats can get a sunburn if exposed to sunlight for too long. For this reason, sphynxes should remain indoor pets or be monitored closely when outside.
In addition to skin issues, some of the conditions they can be prone to include:
- Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a common heart disease that causes thickening of the heart muscle3
- Periodontal disease or gum disorders4
- Hereditary myopathy, a generalized muscle weakness5
To prevent skin and gum health problems, sphynx cats should be groomed regularly. Weekly baths and tooth brushing will do wonders to prevent sphynx cat health problems.
Sphynx Cat Care
If you have a Sphynx, be prepared to groom it at least once a week. “What?” you say, “But it’s hairless; why does it need grooming?” In fact, Sphynxes groom themselves as often as regular cats, but since they don’t have enough fur to absorb the oil secreted by their skin or their saliva, grooming leaves a sticky, sometimes crusty residue of oil, sweat, and spit on their skin.
Think of them in the same way you would think of a baby—it’s hairle
A Sphynx cat needs a bath at least once a week, and preferably in a medicated pet shampoo like Malaseb to ensure any bacteria or other nasties are killed during the bath. Most cats of this breed have been acclimated to regular baths by their breeder, which you can see in all the cat videos of hairless kitties happily playing in the bath.
Sphynxes have no hair in their ear canals, which means dirt and debris collects in their ears more easily. They also produce copious amounts of dark earwax that is quite unsightly and can stain furniture and clothes.
This wax will block the ear canal if left uncleaned. Be prepared to clean the gunk out of their ears with a cotton swab and some ear cleaner a couple of times a week.
If you choose to trim your cat’s nails, do so directly after its bath when the nails will be softer and easier to cut. Make sure to only trim the sharp ends and not the more sensitive pink part of the claws (called the “quick”). You can trim nails with any sharp nail clipper, and make sure to clean your cat’s toes in the bath, as residue can sometimes build up!