History of the Sphynx Cat
Do you know where Sphynx cats come from? Let’s have a look at the history of the Sphynx cat. This cat breed is a relatively new one, but has already managed to steal many people’s hearts all over the world, specially in Europe and North America.
The Sphynx cat originated in Canada in the 1960’s. Even though some people think this cat breed was developed artificially by some genetic engineer, this is just a myth. It is a very rare case, but sometimes common cats give birth to hairless kittens, due to a mutation that occurs naturally. In this case it is a recessive genetic mutation (as opposite to other breeds of hairless cats, such as the Russian Don Sphynx).
Some cases of hairless cats were reported in Mexico during the nineteenth century, but also in France and England. The following photograph was taken in 1903 in Mexico, it shows two hairless cats who were born spontaneously. – However these Mexican Hairess cats are not genetically related to modern Sphynx cats.
Today’s Sphynx cat, like most cat breeds is the co-creation of mother nature combined with the work that many comited breeers performed.
The history of the modern Sphynx cat starts in Canada and the United States during the twentieh century. A hairless kitten was born spontaneously to a black and white «ordinary» short-hair queen in Ontario, Canada. In 1966 Mr. Ridyadh Bawa, a science graduate and his mother, a Siamese cat breeder started a breeding programme to develop a hairless breed of cats. These cats were first called «moonstones» and also «Canadian hairless cats», but then changed their name to «Sphynx cat«.
One of the first Sphynx kittens that was successfully bred was called Bambi, born in 1978. He was a black and white male who died at the age of 19!!
During the 70’s and 80’s breeders worked to consolidate this phenotype. In order to get a bigger genetic pool some breeders such as Dr. Hugo Hernandez outcrossed the Sphynx with Devon Rex cats and American Shorthairs. This proved to be a great idea, as the Sphynx cat breed became healthier and stronger and the gene pool got larger.
From year 2000 on, the Sphynx was admitted as a breed in most official feline organizations and started a very rapid expansion. Thanks to all these efforts, the modern Sphynx cat breed was developed. Shynx cats posess a rare beauty that reminds of the Egyptian cats, but most importantly they have a fabulous personality, sweet, loving and cudling. We hope you fall in love with this breed as we have! -If you want to learn more, please read our post about the personality of the Sphynx cat.