Sphynx Cat Facts For Kids

The Sphynx is known as a hairless breed of cat. However, it is not really hairless. It is covered in a very short, soft and fine fur called “down”. Some people call this a “peach-fuzz” because it is like the velvety skin of the peach. Other people call this cat a “hot water bottle cat” because they feel warm to the touch.

It is a purebred cat and a pedigree cat. This means that each Sphynx cat has a family tree going back 4 years or more. The parents and grandparents will be pure Sphynx cats making the family “purebred”. Please take note that there are several different breeds of hairless cat. The other best know hairless cat is probably the Russian Don Sphynx.

Sphynx Cat Facts For Kids

Sphynx Cat Facts For Kids. Photo of Sphynx cats copyright Helmi Flick. Photo of Sphinx by François Philipp.
The picture shows the Sphinx monument in Egypt. There is no connection between this cat and Egypt except for the name of the Egyptian statue.


There have been hairless cats worldwide for thousands of years. In the middle part of the 20th century (1901-2000) cat breeders wanted to breed a hairless cat. From 1966 to 1980 there were at least four attempts to start this cat breed. However, the history of the beginnings of this cat is not clear. There are different stories. Here are four:

  1. In 1966 a Sphynx cat called “Prune” was born in Toronto, Canada. Prune was the first Sphynx but his family died out. His mother was Elisabeth.
  2. In 1975 and 1976 two hairless kittens named Epidermis and Dermis were born in Wadena, Minnesota. Her mother had a normal coat. Her name was Jezebelle.
  3. In 1978, in Toronto, Canada, a cat with hair gave birth to hairless kittens who were rescued. These cats were possibly the beginnings of the Sphynx breed. Breeding really began in New York, USA by Vicki and Peter Markstein.
  4. In 1980 two hairless kittens called Pinkie and Paloma were born in Toronto.

How It Looks

As I said, it looks hairless but is not. It is hard to see the fine fur or even feel it. The cat is medium-sized and muscular.  It weighs 8-15 pounds which is 3.5-7 kilograms. The skin is wrinkled. The Sphynx is meant to have wrinkled skin on the head and body. Kittens are more wrinkled than their parents.

The stomach looks round as if the cat has eaten dinner! This is quite noticeable.

Sphynx cat arm and paw showing long toes

Sphynx cat arm and paw showing long toes. Looking like a human’s arm and hand. Photo by [rich] under license

Another noticeable bit of anatomy is the long toes. Sometimes the paws can look like a person’s hands. Their long toes allow them to pick up things more easily in their paws. They can use them to climb better than other cats.

The tail is like a rat’s tail, long and whippy. As you can see, the famous Sphynx ears are very large and upright.

Finally, although it sounds strange, this cat comes in a range of colors and patterns. They are not just skin colored. The colors and patterns are in the skin and in the fine downy fur. It can be hard to see.

Caring For The Sphynx

There are some things to do when caring properly for a Sphynx cat. Because they have almost no fur, they have less protection from temperature changes and the sun. They can get cold and sunburned. For these reasons, it might be sensible to put special clothes on a Sphynx and keep them indoors or at least out of the bright sun. They should be groomed weekly including a full wash and inside the ears. The wash gets rid of natural body secretions that get trapped in the wrinkles. And the ears are not protected by fur so dirt can get inside them.


This cat is playful and has some of the skill and behavior of a monkey. They are like little acrobats. People who know cats well say they are very friendly and intelligent. Some people say they are the smartest and friendliest of all the cats. The Sphynx is active and they like to talk. Female cats can make a roaring sound when ready to mate with a male cat.

There is no doubt that this is a very special cat.

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Sphynx Cat Facts For Kids — 8 Comments

  1. They really do seem so special! Their eyes seem really big too because their faces look smaller from not being all covered in fur.

    • You know, Marc, I have learned to like even love this cat. I saw some at a premier cat show in London a few years ago and thought they looked odd and overbred. Long bony faces and oversized ears etc. In reality I think there is over-breeding of this cat. But when I met one in a cage I fell for him. His name was Casper. He was totally manic in the cage climbing all over it. I asked the breeder to let me hold him and was smitten in that moment 😉

      Here’s Casper (you may have seen him before on PoC):

      Sphynx cat

      Sphynx cat Casper

      • Perhaps they are overbred but i always assumed that having no hair meant you could see those features more than usual rather than it being a product of overbreeding but I know nothing about it all infact.

        • The original hairless cats were born to moggies with hair. Moggies have regular features. I agree that with you that with no hair the features stand out more but the super large ears, big eyes and bony, long faces indicates that a lot of selective breeding has taken place because moggies don’t have super large ears and massive eyes etc. I still like them though.

  2. Hi Michael,

    I see that you’re well-versed in Sphynxology 🙂

    You’re right in saying that there are differing views on the original current ancestry. There are several differing versions of the story but no one is certain about agreement. The only thing everyone can agree upon is that the first attempt was in Canada but the line didn’t survive long.

    I tend to side with the Minnesota story but I may be mistaken.

    Their arms and toes are like infant arms and fingers. Their skin is soft and warm to the touch.

    They do require extra skin care every week – ears, eyes, and bathing. They also require cat clothes and extra bedding areas throughout the house. Heated cat beds are a favorite of theirs.

    I might add that they are genetically vulnerable to heart disease and should be tested to see if they need medication.

    They love body warmth, so they are among the greatest of snuggle buddies.

    They like to participate in just about everything you do each day while in the house. They’ll follow you around and check out whatever you’re doing. They are more sociable than average and need a bit of extra interaction each day.

    Yep, they’re great climbers.

    Enjoyable read,

    =^-^= Hairless Cat Girl =^-^=

    • Great to have your comment to put the finishing touch to the post. I am Sphynxologist 😉 You didn’t know that did you? We are an ancient breed of cat lover. We love the feel of cats and warm peachy skin is particularly pleasant. We love cats with character. We love cats who answer back and argue… 🙂

      • Hi Michael,

        Cute Sphynx pictures.

        You said, “We love cats who answer back and argue…:)”

        That reminds me of a Monty Python sketch: “The Argument Clinic” (aka “The Argument Room”)…That’s one of my favorite Monty Python bits by far.

        =^-^= Hairless Cat Girl =^-^=

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