The photo is by Alicia Rius, but I have changed the background which was black. That was very cheeky of me, but I hope she accepts it. If not, please tell me in a comment. Click this link to go to her website. She is a great photographer. The important point to makes is that Alicia realised that hairless cats make great subjects to photograph. They are complete naturals because of their smooth skin combined with the textured areas where the skin is wrinkled. They make good shapes and designs.
I know the picture looks very weird. It is meant to! But, for me, it kind of works because the cat looks weird in any case. And that is another reason why Sphynx cats are great to photograph: they look weird sometimes under careful lighting and in the right pose.
Hairless cats are inherently weird (but lovable) because they lack hair. That obvious observation leads to a big discussion about the ethics of breeding hairless cats because the lack of hair is detrimental to the cat’s wellbeing. This kind of genetic mutation would not occur in the wild for long for the equally obvious reason that the cat would fail to survive without the natural protection of a nice, dense, warm and waterproof coat.
Hairless cats have to be looked after as they are vulnerable. They have to be kept indoors and away from sun exposure. They can be let outside under supervision or in an enclosure on warm days without sun or for a limited time. And perhaps they can be dressed up in their customised clothes to protect them and keep them warm. I think clothes for hairless cats need to be selected carefully to ensure the fabric does not irritate the skin.
They are pretty high maintenance creatures in truth. There are quite a lot of negative side-effects of having no hair coat. Where does all the oil (sebum) from the sebaceous glands go? It should be on the skin and fur to make skin supple and the coat waterproof and give the hair coat a sheen. It also has antimicrobial properties.
Sebum deposited on the skin picks up dirt and grime as the coat does not protect the skin. Owners of hairless cats need cleaned them regularly with fragrance free, hypoallergenic shampoo or a ‘wet wipe’ which is the opposite to what normally happens. As there is no hair inside the ears and ear canal which normally protects the ear canal, dirt gets in. Sphynx cat ears need to be cleaned regularly. They can develop ear wax build up.
The coat helps regulate body temperature. Without coats hairless cats can get cold. Do they like cuddles? I bet they do.
They say that hairless cats are a ton of work! I guess adopters of this breed need to be aware of that. Set against that maintenance demand they are great cats. They are monkey-like and smart.
Below are some articles on hairless cats.