Most owners worry if their cats develop bald spots and want to get to the root of the problem – pardon the pun! When you own a Sphynx, your cat going bald is never going to be a concern. On the other hand, a Sphynx losing its baldness does raise questions.
Have you ever noticed a Sphynx cat with hair or wondered why is my Sphynx growing hair? You might notice a Sphynx cat with hair as winter approaches. They won’t grow enough to keep warm though, so don’t go lowering your heating thermostat! Hormones can also trigger hair growth in Sphynx cats, more so if they haven’t been spayed or neutered.
Can a Sphynx cat have hair?
Sphynx cats are almost completely bald – but not quite! In reality, a Sphynx is not a totally hairless cat so don’t be surprised to see a Sphynx cat with hair, albeit just a small amount.
When you get up close to a Sphynx and when you run your hand over its body you’ll see evidence of fine hairs. They give its skin a soft, suede-like feel. A Sphynx also has hair on its nose, toes, and tail.
What type of hair does a Sphynx have?
Most cats have up to four types of hair:
- Down hair – as silky soft hair which forms a cat’s insulating undercoat to prevent heat loss in cold weather.
- Awn hair – a coarser hair with darker tips which also helps with insulation and protects the down hairs. These are the most visible hairs of a cat’s coat.
- Guard hair – long, coarse hairs that form a cat’s outer coat. They are slightly oily and help stop water penetrating to the undercoat. They also give the cat its color.
- Vibrissae – or whiskers! You’ll see these on a cat’s muzzle, cheeks, above its eyes, and on the outer edges of its legs. They are sensory hairs that help a cat gauge where it can squeeze through.
Of these four hair-types, a Sphynx has only vibrissae. It also has a hair type not found on other cats, known as vellus. This is very fine hair much like the type that covers most of our skin.
Sphynx Hair and Skin Care
A Sphynx cat feels the cold much more than any other cat. You’d feel the same if you had no layers on. In fact, a good test of how a sphynx feels temperature-wise is to stand in your home without any clothes on – if you feel cold, so will a Sphynx.
In cold weather, we put on extra layers even when we’re indoors. Many people dress their Sphynx cats in jumpers but many of them are not happy about this.
As soon as you notice your Sphynx sprouting a little more hair take this as a cue that it is really feeling the cold. Leaving your heating on may not be affordable but providing your cat a cozy area can be relatively cheap.
You’ll also find a Sphynx extra cuddly when it’s feeling cold as it loves to steal your body heat.
To clothe or not to clothe
You will see plenty of photos of Sphynx cats dressed up in jumpers. Many cats really don’t like wearing clothes and if yours reacts badly, think of an alternative way to keep it warm.
When you put a jumper on a Sphynx it may cause it to feel stressed. Forcing it to keep it on is unfair. Cats like to move freely and clothes can impede their movement. Your Sphynx may try to extricate itself from an outfit and get stuck. So think very carefully before you rush out and buy your cat a full wardrobe.
If you do buy clothes for your Sphynx, make sure they are extremely soft and have no rough seams or attachments. You will need to wash them regularly to remove the oil your cat’s skin naturally secretes.
Whether your Sphynx sprouts more hair or not doesn’t alter its skincare regime. You will still need to bathe it regularly and look after its skin as usual.
Don’t think you can skip this care in the winter just because it’s chillier. Make sure your bathroom is warm and have a soft, fluffy towel at the ready as soon as bathtime is over.
More about Sphynx hair
Sphynx cats are hairless because of a natural genetic mutation. The breed was developed through a program of selective breeding in the 1960s. Though Sphynx cats are virtually hairless, they always feel warm when you touch them because their body heat is escaping.
The hairless gene is recessive which means it is not dominant. What this means is if a Sphynx and another type of cat breed it is likely that just 25% of their kittens will be hairless.
Sphynx Cat With Hair – Conclusion
It is possible for a Sphynx to grow a little extra hair from time-to-time. This is generally because of cold weather or hormonal changes. You might inhibit this growth in two ways: by making sure Sphynx never feels cold and by having it spayed or neutered.
Don’t worry about this hair growth. It isn’t a sign of anything ominous and won’t do your Sphynx cat any harm.