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Sphynx Cats: An Interview with Fancy Cat

Sphynx cats are mostly hairless.

Our office cat, Fancy, occasionally gets out of bed and helps us out with something. Usually, it's testing a new cat toy or turning her nose up to some special cat litter we're trying out. But sometimes she gets a burst of energy and puts on her journalist cap, interviewing a member of one of the 10 most popular cat breeds in America.

Today, she sat down with Nefertiti the Sphynx to get us some information about that special breed.

Fancy: Hi Nefertiti; thanks for coming today and answering some questions about Sphynx cats!

Nefertiti: Oh, you are so welcome, Fancy. By the way, I love your cap; it really makes your eyes look super green.

Fancy: Well, thank you! Speaking of eyes, can you tell us what the common physical characteristics of Sphynx cats are?

Nefertiti: Sure! We have long, pointed tails and wedge-shaped heads. Our bodies are long, slender, and muscular, but we have small, dainty paws. We have firm Buddha bellies and wrinkly skin. We don't have any whiskers and, oh yes, I guess you've probably noticed that I'm mostly hairless.

Fancy: Well, I didn't want to mention it, but yes, I did notice that. Are all of you naked, er, I mean, hairless?

Nefertiti: Haha! Yes, that's part of being a Sphynx. We have soft, suede-like skin with very short, downy hair, and we feel warm to the humans. We're great cuddlers, and our hair doesn't get everywhere! No offense, Fancy; goodness, I hope I didn't hurt your feelings.

Fancy: Oh, not at all; I know I'm hairy! But you're so sweet and sensitive. Is that common in Sphynx cats, too?

Nefertiti: Well, I wouldn't want to brag, but we are exceptionally loving, friendly, and sensitive kitties, yes. We also love to be silly, though.

Fancy: Is there anything else that humans should know about Sphynx' personalities?

Nefertiti: We love our humans so much! And we thrive on their love, too. We adore following our people around, and we'll even learn tricks for attention. If a human isn't home much, they should get us a companion because we can get pretty sad if we're alone a lot.

Fancy: I always dislike this part of the interview, so let's get it over with. Are there any health conditions that are more common in Sphynx cats than in other breeds?

Nefertiti: I guess our doctors do diagnose us with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy more than they do some other breeds. That's a heart condition that can eventually cause heart failure.

Fancy: Is it hard for the humans to take care of you guys?

Nefertiti: Not really. We need the same routine care that all other cats do, plus we need the skin around our ears and claws cleaned routinely because oils gather up there without hair to disperse them around. We are more cold intolerant than cats with fur, and we are also more prone to sunburn, so we really can't be outdoor cats. We also may need more calories than other cats to maintain our weight because we use more energy to keep warm.

Fancy: Can the humans still be allergic to you, even though you don't really have fur?

A Fancy Cat interview.

Nefertiti: Unfortunately, yes. We still get dander, which many humans are allergic to, and we also still have the allergen Fel D1 in our saliva.

Fancy: Well, thanks for visiting with us and letting us get to know your breed a little better. Hey, where did you guys come from, anyway?

Nefertiti: Canada! In Toronto, in 1966, a male kitten with a strange body shape and no hair was born within a litter of "normal" kittens. Later on, he was bred back to his mother to produce more, and the Sphynx breed began. We're also called "Canadian hairless cats" and "birthday suit cats," by the way.

Fancy: I think you're lovely, inside and out, and a marvelous representative of your breed. Take care, and stay warm!

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