The Sphynx is a hairless-looking rare breed of cat, which is, despite popular belief, not hairless. The skin of the Sphynx feels quite silky; it is covered with a very fine, soft down which is hard to perceive by seeing or feeling. The Sphynx may have very short hair on the ear, tail, muzzle, feet or eyebrows. Some have whiskers and some do not. The skin of the Sphynx is the color that their fur would be if they had it, and their skin can be patterned as well.

The Sphynx is known for its sturdy, heavy body (sometimes with a pot belly), a wedge-shaped head, and a very alert temperament. Although the Sphynx standard varies in different registries, all Sphynx cats come from one of two lines of natural mutations.

The Sphynx gene is different than the gene that produces the Devon Rex, despite contrary opinion.

The lack of Sphynx cats’ hair increases their production of body oils, so the cats are not maintenance-free and regular bathing is necessary. The Sphynx can also develop a sunburn because its skin has no covering. For this reason, and because they can not retain body heat if left in the cold, the Sphynx should not be left outdoors unattended for long periods.