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Stepping on my soapbox... *rant alert*

Monica

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Can I gripe for a second?

Many of you know, I’m getting my first sphynx late this month, after five long years of waiting! I am over-the-moon and excited to finally have one of these coveted creatures join my tribe!! I LOVE and adore everything about this breed; from the giant lemon eyes, big gremlin ears, and velvet skin with wrinkles galore. Not to mention, their puppy-monkey-baby personalities!

Being that I’m so in love, I’ve already started scouting for a female playmate for Kenzo. I have my eye on a very specific, hard-to-come-by pattern/eye color combo, so I’m putting feelers out early. My intentions aren’t to purchase until 1 year or so from now, at the very earliest.

Anyways, as I was perusing through various cattery sites, both locally and abroad, I stumbled across something that disturbed me. Many of the notable, top sphynx catteries have switched into the direction of ‘extreme-typing’ breeders. Instead of the classicly-iconic sphynx standard we know and love, they are pushing a parody of a sphynx, with faces similar to a cartoon bulldog. Extremely short, heavily and abruptly sloped nose-bridges, teeny tiny heads with huge bulbous eyes, and so many wrinkles that the cats resemble a brain more than a cat! Besides it’s hairless quality, this cat is nearly indistinguishable from the sphynx I’ve known and loved. Not only that, the exaggerated nasal passage surely looks as though it’s counterintuitive to normal breathing.

My fears are that, because these extreme-type sphynx are being bred, sold, and supported by such reputable breeders who, not only frequent the show ring, but frequently WIN the top titles, that this new standard will slowly become THE standard. I’ve seen their prefixes on multiple Kings and Queens of sphynx breeders all over the world! It reminds me of what happened with the Persian or the Siamese. I suppose there’s no way to control the trends, especially if the top producers are pushing this new look, but I truly hope that the breed standard remains somewhat true to how it is now.

That was a little more than a second, lol. I said my peace, I will step off my soapbox, for now. Thank you for taking the time to read my rankings!

Edit: If you have one of these extreme-type sphynx I’m describing, I mean not to offend! I’m sure your baby is as adorable, lovable and precious as any other. My intentions were to only state that I hope that look does not become the new breed standard.
 

Yoda mom

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@Monica Curious what the prefix titles are ?
I have learned something new - thank you for sharing
I always worry too about these things

(I share a similar rant for my dogs breed
I get asked is he American , German or "gladiator " really gladiator ?)

Hugs

Keep us posted on your Search
 

Monica

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@Yoda mom Yeah, similar to the whole pit bull phenomenon also! They’ve been so horribly “typed” to look like steroid pumped bullies. People don’t even recognize the classic American pit bull anymore.

I can’t reveal the prefixes publicly without exposing the catteries I’m talking about. I will say they are primarily from Spain and Russia. Their other, “regular” sphynx cats are absolutely exceptional! I don’t understand the reason for the transition...
 

Catzzzmeow

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Interesting topic. @NinaGato I am tagging you because you and I have shared with one another how we both love the classic old school Sphynx features.

Our first boy was my heart cat and he had that classic Sphynx physique. My guess is the changes come about due to a couple of things. Money of course, trying to create something unique that makes them standout and then of course outcrossing. Oh and of course there is the fact of how social media/computers have changed the world. If you look at most of the “different” animals online in things like Instagram etc, they are the ones that get the most attention and followers. Once people see these animals, many one like it....look at Grumpy Cat and want one similar. People are designing animals in a sense. Years ago before computers looking at other cats in other countries wasn’t a thing. Now breeders are buying from sites online and adding to their programs. They truly are developing their own looks for their catteries.

Gosh I remember our first Bengal we got was when the breed was first recognized. We thought his rosettes (spots) were crazy as no other breed really had them at the time. Fast forward to when he was 20 years old, his spots looked nothing like how the spots do on the breed now...crazy amazing how they were able to change the breed and really change the look.

When physical issues are due to just wanting to get “a look” it is sad. Many breeds in both cats and dogs have changed so much over the years. Just the overall health issues as well, often due to back yard breeders. 10-15 years ago HCM was not even on the radar for Sphynx.
 

Xandria

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I just wanted to chime in with another "I agree too". Particularly when such forced evolutions are physically harmful. I know many dog breeds have endured this too and likely still do with these exclusive breeding programs.

I always remember something someone said many years ago to me: express your support with your wallet.

Hugs to you @Monica , and I hope you find that perfect playmate when the time is right.
 

NinaGato

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I really believe we should not be changing the head shape of a sphynx at all. This will change their sinus cavity.
I love the old style sphynx look. I think that is why I feel in love with Wolfgang right from the start. He is a great mix of old and new but has that great old style head.
I wish the first people were thinking about was health of the breed.
I really can live with change if it enhances the life and wellness of the breed and eliminates things like HCM.
 

Sheldon13

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I really can’t for the life of me understand ANY breeding just for appearance. Don’t get me wrong, I do love my little girl’s naked skin. But, I’d be absolutely fine with her having hair, too. The reason I love the Sphynx breed is because of the open, loving personality and need that the have to form a relationship with their humans. Aloof Sphynx’s are uncommon. Breed the hair back into them for all I care. I’m interested first in personality and health, then way on down line is a teensy weensy give a care about how they look.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Monica

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Here are some examples of the extreme-type sphynx that I’m talking about:

17F7D153-F035-4CC2-A49C-A4C29149A8A4.jpeg
1412FEA6-D503-42C0-9749-0489D74EB8EE.jpeg
8E33CF32-1479-4EE4-9B0B-9625EE658558.jpeg
27559815-02FC-4A27-9C65-CFC4B757C524.jpeg


Don’t get me wrong, those cats are endearing and cute in their own way, but that’s not a sphynx. :shifty:
 

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Monica

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My hopes are that, like the ‘monster bully’ pit bull dogs, this look stays in the novelty pet category, and does not transition into the show ring. That way, the beauty of the breed will remain to the same standards, while those who enjoy their cats to look like a caricature can purchase and post away on social media, without it damaging the breed at it’s core.
 

Bailey21

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@Monica Thank you for attaching some pictures! I couldn't picture in my head the features you were describing. I really don't understand why some people, any breed of animal, breed solely for looks rather than health of an animal. Makes me think of how poorly those poor pug dogs have been bred and evolved into what they are now: poor health qualities. I hope the sphynx does not also become that way. I enjoyed your rant!
 

Monica

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@Monica Thank you for attaching some pictures! I couldn't picture in my head the features you were describing. I really don't understand why some people, any breed of animal, breed solely for looks rather than health of an animal. Makes me think of how poorly those poor pug dogs have been bred and evolved into what they are now: poor health qualities. I hope the sphynx does not also become that way. I enjoyed your rant!
I agree. I think that if a cat with extreme features is born in a litter and someone wants it, then great! It’s unique, and I’m sure many people would share appreciation for such a one-of-a-kind creature. However, I do not agree with establishing a whole breeding program to duplicate those extreme features. I do think what @Catzzzmeow stated about social media influencing the trends in breeding holds a lot of merit. Xerdan, the wrinkly grumpy sphynx, gets thousands of likes and followers a day because he’s so unique. I even follow him because I like his posts. Does that mean sphynx breeders need to start recreating that look and breeding those features into their lines? No, I don’t think so.
 

kauna

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@Monica thank you for posting the pictures! I wasn't sure how to picture them in my head. I feel the same about the bambino sphynx and mean no offence to anyone that has them, but those legs do nothing to help the poor cat. It's the same with dogs, bulldogs before used to be more athletic and not so squished faced and short, german shepherds didn't have such a big slope to their back/legs, I can go on and on. Unfortunately, we like to exaggerate some features in our pets as a society and it really takes away from their overall health and quality of life sometimes.
 
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