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My sphynx cat is hairy and fuzzy! Why?


Staff member
Jan 13, 2009
Sphynx tend to get the "fuzzies" in the winter months no matter if your climate is cold or warm. Also, not being spayed or neutered can cause hormone changes like growing hair or fuzz at different times in the year. There is never a guarantee of hairlessness in the sphynx breed, they can become hairy at any stage of their life - One never knows, so don't be surprised when your cute bald sphynx gets a case of the "fuzzies!"

The hairs you most likely encounter on the sphynx breed are of the Vellus type - See below for explanation.

Here is a better explanation on "fur" or "hair" on a cat.

The Types of Cat Hair and Coats

Like all hair, cat hair originates in the epidermis (under the skin), and the type of hair determines the structure. There is a muscle next to the root, just under the skin, that is extremely sensitive to temperature. In cold weather, or when a cat is frightened or alarmed this muscle contracts, causing the attendant hair to "stand straight up," causing that "Halloween cat" look that is so familiar. Cats may have from one to three types of hair in their coats, referenced sometimes as "double coat," or "triple coat," plus those distinctive whiskers, which are also hairs.

Whiskers (Vibrissae)

Long, thick, tactile hairs extending from the sides of the muzzle, above the eyes, the cheeks, and at the outside of the lower legs on cats. Whiskers are extremely sensitive, and play an important role in cats' ability to gauge openings, find their way around in total darkness, and they may even contain a scent-sensing ability. Whiskers are also an important factor in revealing cats' body language.

Guard Hairs

The longer, stiffer hairs that extend out past the "base coat" (awn hairs). These are the hairs that usually determine the basic color of the cat. Guard hairs help in retarding water to keep a cat dry. Undercoat, also called "Down" Softer, fluffier hair that provides warmth. This is the hair that tends to mat if a cat is not groomed regularly.

Awn Hairs

There are several different definitions of awn hairs, depending on the breed of cat, but awn hairs usually form the basic coat. In some breeds, the (finer) awn hairs may be the same length as the guard hairs, while in other breeds, such as the Manx, the guard hairs are longer.


Sparse, baby-fine hairs, such as those found on the Sphynx cat. (Humans also have vellus on all but a few body parts.)
Curly Hair vs Straight Hair As in humans, curly hair in cats has flattened shafts while straight hair has round shafts.
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