Are there really hairless cats
The problematic origin of the Sphynx cat
The Sphynx cat is very rare in Germany and also highly controversial. Because - and all interested parties should keep this in mind - their unusual appearance was originally a random defect. This was then consciously further bred by humans.
The origins of the Sphynx cat
The Sphynx cat does not come from the Aztecs, as is often read, but comes from Canada. In 1966 a house cat accidentally gave birth to a hairless kitten. With that the breeding of the Sphynx began.
The owner continued to breed the hairless cat, which he named "Prune". Some of the kittens had fur, others were hairless. But the kittens had serious health problems: their immune system could not develop properly. So the breeding almost came to an end.
In the mid-1970s, however, more hairless cats were found and breeding continued. The Sphynx has been recognized as a breed since 1971. The most famous representative of the cat breed is probably “Mr. Bigglesworth ”from the movie Austin Powers.
Naked cat breeding in the criticism
Sphynx cats without whiskers are considered torture breeding. Thus, their breeding is forbidden in Germany, which is why the number of their breeders in this country has been greatly reduced.
The Canadian Sphynx is not the only naked cat that has come under criticism. The Kohona from Hawaii is completely free of body hair. Since this breed also lacks whiskers, their breeding is prohibited in Germany due to the Animal Welfare Act.
The Levkoy, which is not recognized by any reputable association, arose from crosses between Scottish Fold and naked cats like the Sphynx. Some breeders write that the crooked ears are reminiscent of an exotic flower. In fact, the ears are simply deformed - a mutation that can be associated with severe spinal damage.
The Federal Veterinary Association has created a checklist on torture breeding in cats. If only one of the criteria applies, the recommendation is: “Under no circumstances should you buy the cat!” This includes the characteristics “has (almost) no fur” and “the cat or the mother has folded ears”.
You can download the checklist of the Federal Veterinary Association as a PDF file.
Be careful with a purchase
Canadian Sphynx are rare. If you are looking for this breed, you have to be patient. Waiting times are very likely. Be sure to wait for a responsible breeder instead of buying a Sphynx kitten "on the fly".
Because unfortunately there are many dubious providers who offer naked cats without clear proof of origin and without extensive examinations of the parent animals. Many join questionable associations not recognized by the Féderation Internationale Féline (FiFe) in order to obtain supposed papers.
Do not buy a kitten whose breeder gives it away before the twelfth week. In addition, only buy where the parent animals have been tested for the hereditary diseases HCM and PKD. All animals used for breeding should also have whisker hair.
Here you can find out what you should generally pay attention to when visiting breeders: 10 questions for cat breeders.
In addition to the Sphynx, there are other breeds of naked cats. However, these are even rarer in Germany.
This includes the Don Sphynx, a breed of cats from Russia. The Don Sphynx is available in five fur variants, one of which is the "naked" version. On the positive side, it should be emphasized that the "Russian Sphynx" always has whiskers. With the hairless variant of the Don Sphynx and Siamese cats, cat breeders have also created another naked cat, the Peterbald.
Another breed, the Devon Rex, looks similar to the Sphynx cat despite its fur and is also very people-oriented. Incidentally, their curly fur is based on the same mutation as the hair changes in the Canadian Sphynx.
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