2010 Sphynx Presentation for Canadian Cat Club Judges and Board Members
**This presentation was created by Canadian Cat Club Sphynx Breed Secretary LouAnn Vennettilli of KitnKrazy Sphynx
First I’d like to thank you for the opportunity to present our breed. It is a learning tool not only for you, but for me as well. I am going into my 7th year of breeding these wonderful creatures and still find there is always something new to learn.
In 1966 a domestic cat gave birth to a hairless kitten in Toronto, Canada. It was discovered to be a natural mutation and the Sphynx cat, as we know it today, came into existence. This cat and a few other naturally hairless cats have been found worldwide. These have magically been produced by Mother Nature and are the foundation for this unusual breed. Cat breeders in Europe and North America have bred the Sphynx to normal coated cats and then back to hairless for more than thirty years. The purpose of these selective breedings was to create a genetically sound cat with a large gene pool and hybrid vigor. This is a very robust breed with few health or genetic problems.
Although there has been many spontaneous hairless mutations reported throughout the world, the one that is best know is the one we have as a registerable breed today, known as the Sphynx.
The Sphynx was accepted for competition in the Championship class in CFA in 2002 and the other Associations soon followed.
in still in the developmental stage and it will be years still before the breed
reaches the desired look of all the Sphynx breeders. Out crossing (sometimes to
unallowable outcrosses) and lack of sharing of lines, has created a wide variety
of different looks, still falling within the guidelines of the standard.
OTHER HAIRLESS BREEDS
There is the North American Hairless Cat called the Sphynx and it has a recessive gene.
Born with no hair – could grow hair or fuzz as they get older. Being a recessive gene there are some that are born with fuzz or hair or it is possible to have a fully coated cat as well.
The Donskoy is Russian/Ukraine in origin and with a dominant gene
Born with different degrees of hairless but should lose it as they get older.
The Peterbald which is a Donskoy and Oriental shorthair mix.
different degrees of hairless but should lose it as they get older.
Some breeders have tried to take short cuts and have used the Donskoy or Peterbald in their program to get the hairlessness. Unknowingly adding a dominant gene will eventually take over the recessive and they will lose the North American Sphynx that we have today. It is very important to keep the normally coated nose bridge in the standard and for judges to keep this in mind when judging.
As an unusual breed, they have become very exploited and there are many who use the Sphynx as their foundation for “creation”. The Bambino, Elves, Dwelves, Pixies and such are all breeds currently being sold as Sphynx outcrosses for big $$$.
Bambinos are in TICA as an experimental breed causing much dismay among the Sphynx breeders. Hopefully they will not progress further.
The most distinct feature of a sphynx is the appearance of hairlessness.
The coat may vary from extreme hairlessness to a fine peach like covering and allowances should be made to accommodate both skin types and variances of in between.
There could be a coating of short hair on the backs of the ears, toes, tail and testicles. The lack of hair will make the Sphynx warm to the touch however they are the same body temperature as any other cat. The skin should be clear of blemishes and should be clean and soft to the touch. A good description is a comparison to a horses muzzle or a warm peach.
The Sphynx is of medium size with the male being larger in size. The sphynx is very muscular for its size. A well-rounded abdomen is a noticeable feature, like the cat just ate a good meal.
The Sphynx has no eyelashes, eyebrow or whiskers to speak of, but may randomly appear as broken or curled in varying degrees. A puff of hair at the tip of the tail (lion tail) is acceptable. The skin will have a wrinkled appearance especially in young kittens. Tickling the back will make the skin wrinkling most prominent. The wrinkling between the ears and muzzle area should remain intact even into adult hood.
The body is of medium size and length. The body is very muscular and solid of the size. Broad chest with the appearance of being “barrel chested” is desired. Prominent breastbones or long lanky body type is not a desirable trait.
Body Types and Confirmations con’t
The legs are in balance with the body. Hind legs are slightly higher than the front legs. Legs are long and slender but not fine boned. They are muscular and firm. The feet are oval with long slender toes. The pads on the bottom of the feet are thick like cushions and this gives the look that the cat is standing on little pillows.
The tail is long in comparison to the body and whip like with a tapering to the end. The tail will often curl around the side of the cat when it is sitting. A puff at he end of the tail is permitted but not desired.
The head is slightly longer that wide giving a wedge shaped appearance with
prominent cheekbones and a well-rounded whisker pad. The eyes are well
positioned with the width of one eye between eyes.
Profile: The profile has a gentle curve with a slight to moderate stop at the bridge of the nose.
Slight stop Moderate stop
Muzzle/Chin: Distinct whisker breaks with prominent, rounded whisker pads. Strong well-developed chin.
Cheekbones: Prominent and giving definition to the eyes and forms a curve above the whisker pads.
The large eyes resemble the shape of rounded lemons. The pointed end of the eye slants to the outer corner of the ear.
The eyes can be of any colour and usually conforms to the coat colour. Preference is given for depth, clarity, brilliance and evenness of the eye colour.
Ears are large. They are wide at the base almost bell like in appearance. The ears are upright and are neither lowset, nor positioned high on top of the head like the Cornish Rex. There is no hair present inside of the ear.
If you look at the pictures, you can see how the one cat has ears that are set way too high on the head. Don’t mistake large ears for correct ears.
The coat of the Sphynx gives the appearance of hairlessness to varying degrees. The coat may range from total lack of hair to that of a fine down covering the length of a peach, however the covering should be balanced overall. The skin should be free of blemishes and should be clean, soft and warm to the touch.
Preference is given to the greater degree of hairlessness all things being equal.
A generous amount of wrinkles should be seen between the ears and behind the cheekbones. The wrinkles extend down the neck. In kittens and young adults, wrinkling may be more prominent (like they are wearing pajamas that are too big) in comparison to mature adults.
Any colour or combination or colour patterns is permitted; including coat colours resulting from two colours already accepted so long as they are listed below.
Due to the absence of coat, the skin is pigmented with colour and/or specific “coat colour” patterns.
White is the exception, as it appears pink.
Although there is no points allocated for Condition and Balance it should be noted that Sphynx are a very muscular, sturdy and strong cat of medium size. They should not appear small, fragile or lanky in appearance.
|Body that is thin, frail, delicate or lanky in appearance 5-10|
|Excessive down, which extends beyond the allowable, mentioned 5-10|
|Narrow chest with a prominent breastbone 5-10|
|Thin abdomen or rump 5-10|
|Bowed front legs 3-5|
|Oriental head or body type 5-10|
· Any indication of normal hair, or suggestion of a Devon Rex in mold
· Any evidence of plucking, shaving, clipping, or the use of any depilatory agents.
· Kinked or abnormal tail
· Stuctural abnormalities
· Appearance of a bald Devon Rex or Cornish Rex
· Unable to handle
Note: White lockets or buttons are permitted.
Where are we going.
The Sphynx is a very young breed at this point. The outcrossing programs are still being used to bring in some new growth to the gene pool.
It is important though to mention that some outcrossing to illegal breeds has done some considerable damage to a still young breed.
CFA and CCA are only to be using ASH and DSH in programs.
TICA is still allowing Devon Rex as well as the above.
“Creation” breeds such as the Bambinos, Elves, Dwelves, Pixies and such are not registerable but still sold as a Sphynx outcross. Most Sphynx breeders frown on these breeds and hopefully they will not be allowed.
I would like to take this time to thank you for allowing me this time to present the Sphynx to you. Unfortunately, the presentation does not clearly bring forth the personality of such a wonderful loving creature.
Some of the information here has been modified from the presentation of Wiebke Heron with her permission.
**The pictures that are not from my own cattery are used with permission from Emily Greene and Carole Bohanan-Uhler.
Copyright (©) Citizenkat Sphynx, 2012.
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