Are Sphynx Cats Controversial?

Have you ever come across a Sphynx cat? These hairless felines have been making waves in the pet world lately, thanks to their unique appearance and quirky personalities. But with fame comes scrutiny, and Sphynx cats are no exception. In fact, they have become quite a controversial breed.

On one hand, some people argue that Sphynx cats are unnatural and prone to health issues due to their lack of fur. Others claim that breeding them can be problematic, with some breeders resorting to inbreeding to produce the desired traits, which can lead to genetic defects.

However, there are those who argue that Sphynx cats are just as healthy as other breeds and that there is no inherent cruelty in their breeding. They also point out that these felines make wonderful companions and possess an unmatched intelligence.

So what’s the truth? Are Sphynx cats really controversial or just misunderstood? In this blog post, we’ll delve into both sides of the debate and shed light on the controversy surrounding these unique creatures.

What are Sphynx cats?

Sphynx cats are a captivating breed that has been gaining popularity in recent years. Their hairlessness is caused by a genetic mutation that prevents them from growing fur, and this unique feature makes them one-of-a-kind pets. Despite their unusual appearance, Sphynx cats are beloved by many for their expressive eyes, large ears, and active personality.

These felines have a muscular build and are typically medium-sized. They love to play and explore their surroundings, making them entertaining companions for those who enjoy an energetic pet. However, potential owners should note that while Sphynx cats are often associated with being hypoallergenic, this is not entirely true. They still produce allergens that can trigger allergies in sensitive individuals.

Furthermore, Sphynx cats require specific care due to their lack of fur. They are more susceptible to skin infections and sunburns, which means they need regular bathing to keep their skin clean and healthy. This can be time-consuming and costly for some owners. Additionally, Sphynx cats were created through selective breeding in the 1960s, which can lead to genetic health issues if not done carefully.

Despite these concerns, many Sphynx cat owners argue that these cats make loving and affectionate pets that bring joy to their lives. With proper care and attention, the health concerns associated with their lack of fur can be managed. It’s important for potential owners to do their research and choose a reputable breeder who prioritizes the health and well-being of their kittens.

Reasons Why Sphynx Cats Are Controversial

Sphynx cats, also known as Canadian Hairless, have a distinct appearance that sets them apart from other breeds. However, this uniqueness comes with its own set of controversies and challenges. Here are five reasons why Sphynx cats are considered a controversial breed.

Health Concerns

The hairless trait in Sphynx cats makes them susceptible to various health issues, including sunburn, skin infections, and respiratory infections. These cats require special care and attention to keep them healthy, and their health concerns may make them unsuitable for some households.

Breeding Practices

Sphynx cats have been selectively bred for decades to produce the hairless trait, which can lead to genetic health issues if not done responsibly. Some breeders may resort to unethical practices such as inbreeding or selling sickly kittens, raising concerns about animal welfare.


While some people find the Sphynx cat’s hairless and wrinkled appearance endearing, others find it unattractive or even “ugly.” This perception has led to negative stereotypes about the breed, with some people believing that they are not “real” cats due to their lack of fur.


Despite not having fur to shed or mat, Sphynx cats require regular grooming to keep their skin clean and healthy. This grooming can be time-consuming and challenging for new cat owners who may not be prepared for the extra work required.


Sphynx cats are rare and expensive to purchase, with some kittens costing upwards of thousands of dollars. They also require specific food and care, which adds to their overall cost. Additionally, because they are prone to health issues, they may require frequent visits to the vet.

Health Concerns of Sphynx Cats

As an expert on Sphynx cats, let me enlighten you on the potential health issues that you should be aware of before adding one of these bald beauties to your family.

One of the primary health concerns for Sphynx cats is skin issues. Without the protection of fur, their delicate skin is more susceptible to sunburn, infections, and irritations. To prevent these issues, regular bathing and moisturizing are crucial. However, it’s worth noting that not all cats enjoy regular baths, so be sure to introduce this routine slowly and make it as comfortable as possible for your feline friend.

Dental problems are another issue that many Sphynx cats face. Due to their unique oral structure, they are more prone to gum disease and tooth decay. Regular dental check-ups and cleaning can help prevent these issues from escalating into bigger problems down the road.

Sphynx cats also have a higher risk of respiratory problems such as asthma and bronchitis. Their lack of fur means they are more vulnerable to airborne particles, which can trigger respiratory issues. Keeping their environment clean and free of allergens can help reduce the risk of respiratory problems. Additionally, investing in an air purifier can help improve air quality in your home.

Finally, it’s essential to note that Sphynx cats may be prone to certain genetic disorders such as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) and progressive retinal atrophy (PRA). Ensure that you obtain your Sphynx cat from a reputable breeder who screens their breeding cats for these conditions.

Breeding Practices of Sphynx Cats

The hairless coat of this relatively new breed, which emerged in the 1960s, has captured attention for its unique appearance. However, this trait is not natural and has raised questions about the welfare of these cats.

Sphynx cats are bred through selective breeding, where cats with desirable traits are mated to produce offspring with similar traits. In the case of Sphynx cats, breeders aim to produce hairless cats by mating hairless cats with those that carry the hairless gene. However, this breeding practice has led to some health concerns for the breed.

One significant issue is their lack of fur protection, which makes them susceptible to skin problems like sunburn and infections. Additionally, inbreeding and overbreeding can result in genetic defects and health problems, such as respiratory issues, dental problems, and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

Animal welfare organizations and responsible breeders advocate for better breeding practices to address these concerns. Regular health checks for breeding cats, careful selection of breeding pairs, and limiting the number of litters each cat produces are key practices to ensure the welfare of Sphynx cats.

Responsible Breeding Practices for Healthy Kittens

First and foremost, responsible breeders should prioritize the health of their cats over making a profit. This means only breeding from genetically sound and healthy cats. Genetic testing is a crucial factor in responsible breeding, as Sphynx cats are prone to specific genetic disorders such as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) and spinal muscular atrophy (SMA). Before breeding, cats should be tested for these conditions to ensure that they do not pass on the genes for these disorders to their offspring. Additionally, breeders should screen their cats for other common health issues like ear infections and skin allergies.

Socialization is also essential in ensuring that Sphynx kittens grow up to be friendly and well-adjusted adult cats. Breeders should make sure that their kittens are socialized from a young age and exposed to various people and experiences.

Proper care for Sphynx cats throughout their lives is essential. This includes regular veterinary check-ups, proper nutrition, and providing a safe living environment. Breeders should also have a plan in place for rehoming any cats that they are no longer able to care for.

In summary, responsible breeding practices are crucial for the health and well-being of Sphynx cats. Here’s a brief list of the practices responsible breeders should follow:

  • Prioritize the health of cats over profit
  • Genetic testing before breeding
  • Screen for common health issues like ear infections and skin allergies
  • Socialize kittens from a young age
  • Provide proper care throughout their lives

Advantages of Owning a Sphynx Cat

If you’re searching for a cat that’s both low maintenance and loving, look no further than the Sphynx cat. These hairless felines may be controversial in appearance, but they have become increasingly popular in recent years due to their many advantages.

First and foremost, Sphynx cats are hypoallergenic. They produce less dander than other breeds, making them an ideal pet for those who suffer from allergies to cats. Finally, you can enjoy snuggling up with a furry friend without sneezing and itching.

In addition to their hypoallergenic qualities, Sphynx cats are known for their playful and affectionate nature. They are social creatures who love to follow their owners around the house, curl up in laps, and even get along with other pets. They’re the ultimate companions.

Another advantage of owning a Sphynx cat is their low maintenance. Without fur to groom, they require minimal brushing and bathing, making them an easy pet to care for. Plus, their lack of fur reduces the risk of skin problems and parasites.

Proper Care and Attention for a Healthy Pet

If you’re thinking of bringing a Sphynx cat into your home, you need to know that these hairless felines require some extra care and attention to ensure their health and happiness. As an expert in pet care, let me guide you through the proper care and attention your Sphynx cat will need.

Firstly, let’s talk about nutrition. Sphynx cats need a high-protein diet with plenty of fats and oils to keep their skin healthy and supple. You should opt for quality cat food that meets their nutritional needs, avoiding table scraps or human food that can upset their sensitive stomachs.

Grooming is also of utmost importance. Without fur, Sphynx cats are more prone to skin irritations, rashes, and infections. Regular baths using mild, fragrance-free shampoo can help keep their skin clean and reduce the risk of skin allergies. Additionally, you should wipe down their ears and eyes regularly to prevent infections.

Oral hygiene is another crucial aspect of Sphynx cat care. Brushing their teeth regularly with pet-safe toothpaste can prevent gum disease and tooth decay. Moreover, providing them with plenty of toys and scratching posts can help keep their teeth healthy and strong.

Socialization is essential for Sphynx cats as they thrive on human interaction. So, make sure to provide plenty of playtime, cuddles, and attention to keep them happy and healthy.


In conclusion, Sphynx cats are a breed that has captured the hearts of many with their unique appearance and charming personalities. However, their hairlessness has also sparked controversy, leading to concerns about their health, breeding practices, appearance, grooming needs, and cost.

Despite these concerns, responsible breeding practices can help ensure the health and well-being of Sphynx cats. This includes prioritizing the health of cats over profit, genetic testing before breeding, screening for common health issues like ear infections and skin allergies, socializing kittens from a young age, and providing proper care throughout their lives.

Proper care and attention are crucial for any pet’s health and happiness. For Sphynx cats specifically, this includes nutrition tailored to their needs, regular grooming to maintain healthy skin and coat quality, oral hygiene to prevent dental problems, and socialization to foster positive behavior.

While some may find the appearance of Sphynx cats controversial or unusual compared to other breeds, many owners argue that they make loving and affectionate pets that bring joy to their lives. With proper care from dedicated owners who prioritize their cat’s well-being above all else, Sphynx cats can thrive as wonderful companions.