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Animal Scene - - CONTENTS - Text by STEF DELA CRUZ, MD Pho­tos by JEF­FREY C. LIM

It’s not from Egypt, and it isn’t hair­less. Dis­cover more about the friendly Sphynx by turn­ing to

The world can’t quite make up its mind about what to do with body hair: shave it, wax it, laser it, or keep it? The Sphynx cat, on the other hand, does not share mankind’s con­fu­sion. Born with an ap­par­ent ab­sence of hair, it is quite com­fort­able in its own skin. While known to many as a “hair­less” cat, the Sphynx is ac­tu­ally not com­pletely devoid of fur. At close 2 ! warm skin.

GEN­ERAL

Hair­less­ness is a dis­tinc­tive fea­ture, but with hair on the ears and the nose Medium size, with fe­males usu­ally smaller than males Body is warm and soft; skin feels like a soft peach Amenable to han­dling, lively, with a sweet tem­per­a­ment

EXTREMITIES

• Well-mus­cled, sturdy; medium in pro­por­tion to the body Rear legs slightly longer than the front Oval paws with well! and four be­hind Thick paw pads, as if walk­ing on cush­ions

NECK

• Medium-length, well-mus­cled, rounded with a slight arch In adult males: al­lowance to be made for heavy mus­cu­la­ture

BODY

• Medium length, hard, mus­cu­lar Broad, rounded chest; round ab­domen • Mus­cu­lar and well­rounded rump • Back line rises just be­hind the shoul­der blades to ac­com­mo­date longer back legs when stand­ing • Bon­ing is medium

EARS

• Large to very large • Broad at the base, open and up­right • When viewed from the front, the outer base of the ear should be­gin at the level of the eye, nei­ther low set nor on top of the head. Ear in­te­rior is nat­u­rally with­out fur­nish­ing

MUZ­ZLE AND CHIN

• Whisker break with prom­i­nent whisker pads • Strong chin that forms per­pen­dic­u­lar line with up­per lip

HEAD

! it is wide Prom­i­nent cheek­bones Whisker break and pads give the muz­zle a squared ap­pear­ance • 7 < in front of the ears Straight nose, with a slight to mod­er­ate pal­pa­ble stop at the bridge of the nose

CHEEKS

• Round, prom­i­nent cheek­bones that ! 4 cheek­bones form a curve above the whisker break

EYES

• Lemon-shaped, large • Has wide-open cen­ter while com­ing ! on each side At a slight up­ward an­gle, align­ing with the outer base of the ear Set wide apart, with the dis­tance be­tween them at least as wide as one eye All eye col­ors ac­cept­able

Q: WHY DOES THE SPHYNX LOOK THE WAY IT DOES – THAT IS, HAIR­LESS?

A: The [ap­pear­ance of the] Sphynx came from a ge­netic mu­ta­tion. The breed started in [the] mid-1960s when a hair­less kit­ten was born to a short­haired queen. The kit­ten was mated back to its mother, which pro­duced more “naked” kit­tens. Some may cringe at the seem­ingly “freak­ish” ap­pear­ance of this ap­par­ently fur-free cat, but it is just as adorable as its < " > more about this fas­ci­nat­ing fe­line. Q: ARE SPHYNX CATS TRULY HAIR­LESS? A: They ac­tu­ally have a very short downy coat, which can of­ten be hard to see or feel. Q: HOW AFFECTIONATE ARE THEY? A: They are very vocal, es­pe­cially when in heat. They are so­cia­ble, lov­ing, and play­ful. In fact, they are + "

Q: HOW WOULD YOU DE­SCRIBE THEIR PER­SON­AL­ITY?

A: They are sweet-tem­pered and very af­fc­tion­ate. They also very lively.

Q: WHAT NEEDS DO THEY HAVE THAT MAY NEED EX­TRA AT­TEN­TION?

A: They need weekly baths. Their skin pro­duces oil, ! + " @ skin is also more sen­si­tive than other fe­lines. They get eas­ily scratched.

Q: WHAT ARE THE IN­TER­NA­TIONAL CAT AS­SO­CI­A­TION (TICA) STAN­DARDS FOR THIS BREED?

A: The skin should have the tex­ture of chamois. It + ! im­per­cep­ti­ble to both the eye and the touch. On the ** ! hair is al­lowed. [A] lack of coat makes the cat quite warm to the touch. Whiskers and eye­brows may be present, or may be to­tally ab­sent. The cat should not be small or dainty. The Sphynx is lively, in­tel­li­gent, and above all, amenable to han­dling.

Q: ARE THEY EX­PEN­SIVE TO KEEP?

A: No, they are not. Just give them good food, clean wa­ter, and plenty of love.

Q: ARE THEY SIM­I­LAR TO ANY OTHER BREEDS?

A: Other breeds Sphynx are the Bam­bino, Don­skoy, Levkoy and Peter­bald. They are all “hair­less”.

Q: ARE THEY HYPOALLERGENIC?

A: They are not hypoallergenic. They still pro­duce pro­tein in cat saliva and skin se­cre­tions that causes al­ler­gies.

Q: WHAT MYTH ABOUT SPHYNX CATS DO YOU OF­TEN HEAR?

A: That they are from Egypt.

Q: HOW CAN A PO­TEN­TIAL OWNER TELL IF A SPHYNX FOR ADOP­TION IS HEALTHY?

A: [It should have] clear eyes and very lively, clean skin. Its body should not be very thin [and it must have a healthy ap­petite].

Q: HOW DOES ONE EN­SURE THAT A SPHYNX COMES FROM ETH­I­CAL BREEDERS?

A: Right now, I think there are many im­porters and breeders here in the Philip­pines. Do some back­ground checks on them be­fore you [make a de­ci­sion].

Q: ASIDE FROM PRO­VID­ING ITS NEEDS, HOW ELSE DOES ONE CARE FOR THIS BREED SO THAT IT LIVES A LONG AND HAPPY LIFE? A: Give [them plenty of] at­ten­tion. Play with them and cud­dle with them.

Q: WHAT FAC­TORS SHOULD ONE CON­SIDER BE­FORE DE­CID­ING TO GET A SPHYNX?

A: [Ask your­self] if you have the time to give it weekly baths. Con­sider the space where they [will] stay. Think about your ! + 4 they are a bit on the ex­pen­sive side. [Re­con­sider adopt­ing a Sphynx] if you don’t have time and space.

Q: DO YOU KNOW OF ANY SPHYNX CATS THAT STARRED IN MOVIES?

A: I think the most pop­u­lar one is Mr. Big­glesworth in Austin Pow­ers. He is Dr. Evil’s pet.

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