Sphynx red
Sphynx red

Sphynx exist in all colors and patterns, which you can imagine, with white and without white, with silver or in golden, with tabby patterns and with points.
  • white
  • black, blue
  • chocolate, lilac
  • red, cream
  • cinnamon, fawn
  • tortie, blue-cream
  • chocolate tortie, lilac tortie, etc.
  • All these colors may also have a tabby pattern, for example black spotted, red mackerel, blue-cream tabby, etc.
Sphynx mackerel
Sphynx mackerel
  • All these colors may be with silver or golden, for example blue smoke, black golden shaded, blue golden mackerel, red silver tabby, chocolate tortie silver spotted, cream silver mackerel, etc.
  • And all these colors may also be with white (bicolor, Van, etc.), for example black-white bicolor, red-white Van, tortie mackerel bicolor, cream smoke with white, black silver tabby bicolor, etc.
  • And - last but not least - these colors can also have points, with white or without white, silver pointed or golden pointed, with tabby markings (tabbypoint), etc.

Sphynx sealpoint
Sphynx sealpoint

There exist hundreds of colours and pattern combinations, and all those varieties can be admired on shows.
One can see the colours on the skin, the skin has the colour tone of the colour, just paler, for example black does not appear as coal-black, it appears as light anthrazit, blue appears as pale grey with a slight blue tinge. Silver appears like "pepper and salt", mostly one can see the difference when one compares a black cat with a black smoke cat, there is a difference in the colour tone on the skin. Also the points can be seen quite clear, because the skin is darker coloured where the points are.
With the tabby patterns it's tricky, mostly one can see if it is a tabby cat or not, but which tabby pattern is quite difficult to decide. Mostly one can see the tabby markings on the face, the front legs and the tail. Sometimes the spots on the stomach remain, but not always. Best the tabby pattern can be seen in young cats.


All pictures with the kind permission from the authors of the lecture Peterbald & Don Sphynx.


To the "tale with the sun tanned":

Kimura T, Doi K: Dorsal skin reactions to sunlight and artificial ultraviolet light in hairless descendants of Mexican hairless dogs.
Exp. Anim. 44(4), 293-299, Oct. 1995
page 299:

"Histologically, as reported previously (1994), the dermatological characteristics of hairless dogs are obviously different from those of nude mice and other hairless animals (Anm.: Es wird hier auf die Literatur über nackte Mäuse Bezug genommen).

In conclusion, it was clarified in the present study that the degree of severity of dermatological changes in hairless dogs depended on the kind of UV light source. That is, solar exposure provoked remarkable pigmentation while artificial UV irradiation brought about severe sunburn reaction in the skin of hairless dogs."

In conclusion, it was clarified in the present study that the degree of severity of dermatological changes in hairless dogs depended on the kind of UV light source. That is, solar exposure provoked remarkable pigmentation while artificial UV irradiation brought about severe sunburn reaction in the skin of hairless dogs."

May this conclusion also be applied to naked cats that their skin differs from the skin of naked mice?

To the statement of the so called lethal factor

In 1973 the Journal of Heredity published an article about hairless cats, where the Bawa-line and its problems were described, the cats suffered from convulsions and spontaneous traumatic brain swellings. The article assumed that these problems were connected with a lethal-factor connected with the hairlessness.

As the family Bawa and Ms. Smith reported, several cats could be successfully treated with medication, thus it could not be confirmed that it was a lethal-factor. The reasons for the problems could not be verified.
Remark: Up to now I could not find out, in which issue of the Journal the article was published.

To the Sphynx at Robinson

Journal of Hereditary, 1973 Jan-Feb;64(1):47-9:
Roy Robinson, The Canadian hairless of Sphinx cat.

There are Sphynx with and without whiskers

The Journal of Heredity: 1984 Nov-Dec;75(6):506-7
Hendy-Ibbs PM
Article about 10 hairless cats born in Britain between 1978-1984, where two different mutations could be noticed, cats born with whiskers and cats born without or with degenerated whiskers. It was suggested to use the symbols hi and hr.


To the strange and remarkable statements that cats without fur have problems to adapt to different climatic situations, let us look, from these bald breeds are coming:

  • The Mexican Hairless comes from New Mexico, USA.
  • The Sphynx comes from Toronto, Canada, Oregon, USA, Minnesota, USA.
  • The Don Sphynx comes from Rostov-na-Donu.
  • The Peterbald comes from St. Petersburg.

The climate could not be more different than these breeds.

Please read a more detailed article about naked breeds in


The letter of family Shinick to Frances Simpson and The Book Of The Cat, 1903,  can be downloaded here.

Cats and all about them by Frances Simpson, 1902, can be downloaded here.


HCM in Sphynx

Winn Foundation, Feline Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy

Washington State University, Veterinary Cardiac Genetics Lab, Pullman, WA

Sphynx Breed Council, Affairs of the Heart



Standard AACE
Standard ACF
Standard ACFA
Standard CCA
Standard CFA
Standard CFF
Standard FIFe
Standard GCCF
(You must buy the booklet.)
Standard LOOF
Standard SACC
Standard TICA
Standard WCF
[ Rex & Sphynx]
Show Sphynx breeders
Enter cattery into breeders list

Breed profile

The Sphynx is a medium sized cat with broad chest and a remarkable abdomen. The main characteristic is its baldness.

The head is a modified wedge (all sides are rounded) and slightly longer than broad. The forehead is relatively flat, the cheekbones are quite prominent. When viewed in profile, the nose is medium long and shows a moderate stop between the eyes. The muzzle is clearly visible, broad and rounded, one can see, where the muzzle starts, what is called a whisker break.
The neck is firm and strong, especially in males.
The ears are very large and broad at the base. They are rather upright set on the head, the inner side is completely hairless, the outer side may be covered by a slight down.
The eyes are large and lemon-shaped. Eye color may be any, it has no relation to the color of the skin.

The body is medium in length and strong. Apparently noticed may be the broad chest and the remarkable belly, as if the cat would haven had just a very good dinner.
The legs are medium in length and have very prominent, long toes and paw pads, as if the cat would stand on air cushions.
The tail is about as long as the body and appears to be rather thin, it tapers visibly to the tip (like a rat tail).
Sphynx cats are surprisingly heavy, even though they have medium bones, but they have a solid and well developed musculature.

Ideally the Sphynx appears to be naked, but in reality it is not without any hairs, it has a very fine down, which one can feel when stroking the skin with the hand.
The skin gives a very comfortable feeling to touch and is warmer. The cats have many wrinkles, but only on certain parts: on the forehead, around the muzzle, around the neck and at the shoulder, on the hind thighs. Despite the wrinkles the normal functions of the senses, especially of the eyes, are not permitted to be disturbed.



In many descriptions the story of the Sphynx starts with the description of the Mexican Hairless, which seem to have already died out.  In fact they look quite similar to the Sphynx, but there is no evidence that the Sphynx may trace back its ancestry to them or to pedigrees, in which they appear.

Mexican Hairless

The first Sphynx - the Mexican Hairless, about which we can read, are from 1902, when Mr. and Mrs. Shinick from Albuquerque, New Mexico, bought a pair of naked cats from some native Pueblo Indians. Both cats, Dick and Nellie, were siblings, but unfortunately they had not been bred, because the boy was the victim of a dog.
Both cats were quite similar to the Sphynx of today, they had wedge-shaped head, large ears, an elongated body and a long whip-tail. It is interesting that they developed longer hairs in winter, which disappeared in summer.
It is said that they might trace its origin to the cats of the Aztecs.
You can find a report in Frances Simpson's book "The Book Of The Cat"

On January 1, 1966 the black-white domestic shorthair cat, Elisabeth, owned by Mrs. Micalwaith, Ontario, Canada, gave birth to a hairless boy, called Prune. Both cats were given to Yania Bawa and her son Rydiadh Bawa from Ontario, Canada (cattery Prune).
Prune was crossed back to his mother, where 7 kittens were born on January 16, 1967, two girls and 2 boys were hairless.
The new breed was first called Moonstone Cats and Canadian Hairless.
Keese and Rita Tenhove, cattery Dutchie’s, co-operated with the Bawas. Houston E. Smith, cattery Bor-Al, also joined the Bawas.
If these lines continued to breed and if they can be found in pedigrees, is left open.


The modern Sphynx traces its origin back to Canadian and North-American lines.
In 1975 Milt and Ethelyn Pearson in Wadena, Minnesota rescued a brown tabby pet on their farm, called Jezebelle. Jezebelle gave birth to hairless girl, called Epidermis (brown tabby) in July 1975. In April 1976 she gave birth to another hairless girl. called Dermis (blue mackerel). Epidermis and Dermis were brought to Kim Mueske in 1981, Z’Stardust cattery, in Tigard, Oregon, who started to develop the new breed.
Epidermis Dermis

Between 1978 and 1980 there were born three hairless cats in three different litters from one black-white shorthaired pet, which were discovrd by Ms. Shirley Smith, Toronto Canada. In 1978 it was a black-white boy, called Bambi von Aztec (called after the cattery name of its last owner Linda Birks).
Both other Sphynx, Q Paloma, born in September 1979, and Q Punkie, born in April 1980, were sent to the Dutch breeder Dr. Hugo Hernandez geschickt, who crossed Q Punkie with a white Devon Rex male, called Curare van Jetrophin (owned by Tiny Hinten-Kooy), which had very little fur. There were born Sphynx kittens with different grades of baldness.
Q Paloma
Q Paloma
Q Punkie
Q Punkie

Two males, Q Ramses and Q Ra, from this litter were used for a well defined inbreeding program.

Dr. Hernandez with Q Ra
Dr. Hernandez with  Q Ra

The breed was recognized by TICA in 1985. In 1992 the breed was recognized by  CCA, and in 1995 by ACFA. In 1998 the breed was recognized under Miscellaneous Breed ny CFA, in 2002 it was recognized for championship. In 2002 the breed was also recognized by FIFe.



The Sphynx has quite its own strong will, and is sometimes quite demanding. It has a lovely temperament and is very friendly. It is very affectionate to its owner and follows him like a dog. The breed is very intelligent, take care, they love to open doors. As all other Sphynx breeds iit is slightly reserved against other breeds.
The cats love to play with everything, the do not scratch and are always friendly.



In the cold times of the year their skin seems to become thicker, they accumulate fat under the skin, which disappears when it gets warmer. Sphynx love to have it warm. Treatment is rather easy, simply wash their skin from time to time with a mild baby shampoo.

Breeding and Health

Since Feb. 2007 a HCM research project is running, conducted by Dr. Kathryn Meurs, Washington State University, Veterinary Cardiac Lab


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