Sphynx History

 

 

The Aztecs are known to have had hairless cats like the Sphynx centuries ago, and they also bred Hairless dogs (known as Xoloitzcuitlis.) They still appear


The hairless cats were called Mexican Hairless. Because the gene responsible for the virtual absence of a coat in these cats is recessive, it may be passed down through many generations of cats before it comes to light. It is only when two cats that both carry the recessive gene for baldness mate that one or more of their kittens are hairless. It is believed that there are ordinary domestic cats in both Mexico and the United States carrying the naked gene of the Mexican Hairless in their genetic baggage. It is therefore not particularly surprising that two cats with normal coats occasionally produce hairless kittens. The normal-coated American cat Jezebel was an important progenitor of the modern Sphynx bloodline in the United States. The progenitors of the Sphynx lines in Europe were Punkie and Paloma. Paloma pictured here when She was 16 years old.


An animal lover found these two females roaming the streets of Toronto, Canada, at the end of the nineteen-seventies. The man wondered whether these kittens were suffering from some disease because they were particularly bald, and got in touch with a cat breeder he knew, who soon established that these were Sphynx kittens. She sent the kittens to Hugo Hernandez in the Netherlands, because she knew Hernandez had a Sphynx tom and was looking for queens. In the early stages the breeding base was not particularly broad, so the cats were crossed with both domestic cats and Devon Rexes, which are not dissimilar in terms of type. These Cats are still used on a limited scale in order to prevent in-breeding problems.

(Encyclopaedia of Cats ISBN 190109416-2)

 

Paloma