Sphynx Cats. History and origin
The mentions about bald cats can be found in ancient Age. Probably Aztecs have hairless cats. The representatives of the extinct ancient breed called Mexican hairless exhibited at first cat shows in the U.S. in the early XX century. The last pair of cats lived up to the beginning of the 30th and unfortunately did not produce an offspring.
According to the description, the Mexican hairless cats differed from today sphinxes: they had a long body, wedge-shaped head with amber eyes and long whiskers. A long hair grew on their back and tail in winter time, and disappeared in summer. The genetics of this mutation remains unknown.
The appearance of the breed of hairless cats associated with the 1966. In Ontario, Canada, a normal domestic female produce hairless kitten, named Prune. After a while Prune was breeded with his mother and normal and hairless kittens were born.
The result was two kinds of sphinxes that have a quite different appearance. In 1971 CFA withdrew the temporary status of Sphynx breed, given before. What was the matter? The breeding of Sphynxes has failed for several reasons: first, the breed was very small in number, and there was no hope of stabilizing it using the available for breeders number of animals. Moreover, breeders did not understand the genetics of sphinxes. They falsely believed that a hairlessness associated with the cat gender. Third, the Sphynx kittens appeared to be need more care than ordinary cats, and often died.
In 1975, Vadene, Minnesota an ordinary short-haired cat born a hairless kitten, called Epidermis. One year later another cat was born there. Both animals were transferred in the nursery Z. Stardust, where the Epidermis was the founder of the present Sphynxes. In the late 70th on the streets of Toronto three hairless kittens were found: black and white male cat, named Bambi, and two females cats. Unfortunately, the health of Bambi when he was found was very poor, so he did not become the progenitor of the breed.
But Bambi has become famous by another reason: he lived a longest life among the Sphinx cats and died at age 19(!). Two other cats named Pinky and Paloma, were sent to Holland, where they became the founders of the European line of Sphynx cats breed.
New spontaneous mutations of hairless cats occasionally occur today around the world. Such animals are much appreciated and the breeders try to maximize their potential for breeding. They usually are pride of cattery.