Monday, August 13, 2012

The Sphynx

Ever hear of the Sphynx. I'm not talking about the monument in Egypt that sits among the pyramids. The sphynx is a domestic house cat that is all but hairless. The gene that gives rise to the lack of hair is recessive and may be passed down to many generations of cats before it comes to light.
Sphynxes are affectionate and intelligent animals that soon establish a close bond with their people. The character of the sphynx has been described as part cat, part dog, part monkey and part child, and this is certainly not far from the truth. Sphynxes are sociable and love human company and also get along well with cats and other pets.
You should never condemn the sphynx to a solitary existence because they need lots of contact and attention to keep them happy. If they don't get it, they will mope and in some cases quite literally die of loneliness.
Care consists of bathing, cleaning the ears a little and clipping the claws a bit. This cat must be bathed or it will begin to stink. This is because sphynxes perspire just like people, and they produce a lot of sebum. (Sebum is an oily substance secreted by the sebaceous glands in mammalian skin. Its main purpose is to make the skin and hair waterproof and to protect them from drying out. An excess of sebum, however, can make the skin or hair oily, and it can begin to smell when broken down by bacteria outside the body. The sebaceous glands are usually attached to hair follicles, but they also exist in some hairless areas of the human body, such as the eyelids, where they add sebum to tears to keep the eye moist.) Sphynx owners should wash their cats twice a month with a neutral pH shampoo.

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