Cat Color genetics are tricky. Sphynx come in all colors! Nearly all colors have a DNA test that can be performed to confirm the cat's color.

When in doubt, it is wise to do the DNA swab to determine your cat's color. I use UC Davis.


1) There are FOUR colors. Everything else is considered a color modifier. I have listed them in order of dominance. (i.e. If a cat has a black gene and a Chocolate gene, it will express the black gene but be "carrying" chocolate. This particular cat has the ability to produce chocolate whereas one who did not carry it, would not.

  1. Red (Most Dominant)

  2. Black

  3. Chocolate

  4. Cinnamon (Least Dominant)

2.) Tabby Modifier

This is a dominant gene makes the stripes we see on haired cats. Usually the stripes are not visible on Sphynx because that pattern is actually in the hair, not the skin.

Ways to tell tabby are the brick nose (pink nose outlined in black); Look inside legs to see if there are stripes; look at nose hair to see if there are tan hairs.


3) Dilute Modifier

This gene is recessive and it dilutes the color into a lighter shade

Dilute Red is called Cream

Dilute Black is called Blue

Dilute Chocolate is called Lilac

Dilute Cinnamon is called Fawn


4) Thermal genes. These genes are affected by color. The cold points (face mask, ears, tail paws) get color and the warm parts stay whiter. This is not as apparent in Sphynx as the fur is not there to keep it warm, so the differential is not as extreme as you would see on a hairy cat.

These kittens are usually born white or just have a light color and get darker as they age.

Pointed - This is the most restrictive of the thermal combinations. These cats will have blue eyes and 99 percent have red eye reflection. These are almost always born white and develop color later

Mink - This is the intermediate of the thermal combinations. This is a combination of one pointed gene and one sepia gene. Neither is dominant, so the color "meets in the middle". Usually these cats will have aqua or seafoam green eyes. I have seen DNA tested Minks that have yellow eyes however. Eye color does not determine "Mink".

Sepia - Least restrictive of the thermal series. These cats will have green or green/yellow or yellow eyes. Sphynx that are sepias are usually born with a hint of color that darkens as the cat ages. Sepia is also known as the "Burmese" gene.  It is confusing, so many people think that sepia only comes in dark brown. It comes in ALL colors in the Sphynx.


5) White - White is dominant and actually masks the color below it.


There are other genetics that are more pertinent to haired cats such as Rufousing, Smoke/Silver. These are not very important in Sphynx as it is nearly impossible to determine since these patterns are in the hair, not on the skin.