Much to the surprise of many, the hairless cat is not a “man-made” breed. They are a natural mutation. The beginning of the Sphynx as we know it today began almost forty years ago in Toronto, Canada. Although, hairless cats have actually been reported as far back as the early 1930’s. In 1966, there was a hairless kitten born to a farm cat, and it was discovered to be a natural mutation.
There have been many hairless cats found worldwide in countries such as Latin America and Mexico. Hairless cats similar to the Sphynx cats are said to have been kept by the ancient Aztecs. After the initial discovery of the hairless cat, breeders in North America began to breed these unusual hairless cats to other coated cats. They found that some of the offspring were born bald. This was the beginning of the Sphynx breed we know today. The purpose of breeding the Sphynx to other coated cats, such as the Devon Rex, was to create a genetically sound cat with a large gene pool for better health.
Sphynx cats are still allowed to be outcrossed with other breeds, but only for a few more years. However, they are no longer outcrossed with the Devon Rex. Now we use the Domestic Shorthair and also the American Shorthair.
The Sphynx was recognized for championship status by the International Cat Association in 1985. The Cat Fanciers association allowed the Sphynx to be shown for championship status in 2002. The following associations also accept the Sphynx cat for registration and Championship.
American Association of Cat Enthusiasts (AACE)
American Cat Association (ACE)
American Cat Fancier’s Association (ACFA)
Canadian Cat Association (CCA)
Cat Fanciers Federation (CFF)
The International Cat Association (TICA)
United Feline Organization (UFO)
Although the Sphynx has been around for awhile now, they are still very rare. All Sphynx lovers know that this is one of the unique, rare, and unusual breeds that exist today. How thankful I am to have come to know such a wonderful breed. They are truly one of a kind. Not only because they are hairless, but because of their unique personalities. You can read more about the Sphynx personality on my “Personality of the Sphynx” page.