The Sphynx is a unique cat in both personality and appearance. Known for their hairless body, this fun-loving feline hails from Canada and can now be found worldwide. Have you noticed the sheer variety of Sphynx cat colors?
Cat breeders in North America and Europe have bred the Sphynx cat to standard-coated cats and then back to hairless cats since the founding of this breed. This selective breeding helped develop a healthy cat with a large gene pool. Because of this breeding, you’ll find the Sphynx to have any coat possibility available to cats. We look at some of the possible Sphynx cat colors in this guide, both common and rare.
Originally dubbed the Canadian Hairless, the Sphynx cat originated in Canada. In 1966, a domestic shorthair named Elizabeth gave birth to a hairless kitten. This kitty, named Prune, was recognized for the genetic mutation that gave her a bald appearance and was later used to develop the Sphynx breed.
When you see a Sphynx, you’ll notice a few distinct physical characteristics: a bald body, saggy skin, and a pot belly. It may surprise you to learn that these cats are muscular, playful, and quite athletic. The Sphynx is a super social cat that gets along with everyone, including children and other pets. You’ll usually find the Sphynx listed among the most-friendly cat breeds.
The Sphynx is a medium-sized cat weighing six to 12 pounds. These bald beauties have wedge-shaped heads, prominent cheekbones, and square muzzles. The Sphynx has huge ears and large, lemon-shaped eyes. The breed’s body is well-rounded and muscular, with wrinkled skin, long limbs, and firm bellies.
Sphynx cats are distinguished by their coats, or more accurately, the lack thereof. While Sphynx cats are not always totally hairless, they do appear “naked” compared to the average cat. Some Sphynx cats have fine, downy hair that gives them the feel of a warm peach. Some have short hair on their nose, ears, tails, and toes. As these cats are predominately bald, when looking at the colors and patterns of this breed, we are referring to skin color.
Sphynx Colors & Patterns
According to the Cat Fanciers’ Association, the Sphynx breed standard includes all colors and patterns during any stage of maturity. This means that all colors and patterns found in cats are acceptable to the Sphynx breed. In competition, a Sphynx may be divided into one of four color classes:
- Solid: A uniform coat of black, blue, cream, chocolate, cinnamon, fawn, lavender, red, or white.
- Bi-Color: Includes any color or pattern with white.
- Other Sphynx Colors (OSC): Any different color or pattern variety.
- Any Other Variety (AOV): A new color/pattern variation that has not yet been accepted for competition or a cat that mimics another breed too closely and, therefore, cannot be shown.
A solid Sphynx cat has no apparent pattern on the skin or coat. The Sphynx may be any solid color that is recognized in cats.
- Black: A black Sphynx is one tone from end to end. This kitty will have black nose leather and black or brown paw pads.
- Blue: Blue is the name geneticists and breeders give to gray cats. A blue Sphynx will be the same tone from tip to tip and will have blue nose leather and paw pads.
- Cream: Officially called cream, this category includes cats that are yellow or beige colored. Like all solid-colored cats, the cream Sphynx will have one hue throughout their body. The nose leather and paw pads of this kitty will be pink.
- Chocolate: Chocolate describes a brown cat. These kitties may also be called sable, chestnut, or sepia. A chocolate Sphynx will have brown nose leather and brown or cinnamon paw pads.
- Cinnamon: Cinamon describes cats with warm, light brown coats. True to its name, think of a cinnamon stick when imagining this breed color. This feline will have matching cinnamon nose leather and paw pads.
- Fawn: A fawn Sphynx is light pink from end to end. The nose leather and paw pads are pale fawn.
- Lavender: Lavender describes a light-gray cat with a pinkish tone. Experts often include lilac, platinum, and frost under the lavender-colored category. Lavender Sphynx cats will have lavender-pink nose leather and paw pads.
- Red: Also including orange-toned cats, the red Sphynx will have a deep, rich coat without markings. The nose leather and paw pads are brick red.
- White: White felines vary from white to pink. Nose leather and paw pads will be pink.
Bi-color describes a cat with solid areas of white along with another color or pattern. When imagining bi-color, think of cats that have patches of black and white, blue and white, or red and white. A bi-color feline may also have a tabby pattern along with white, such as brown tabby and white.
Bi-color van refers to predominantly white cats that still have another solid color or tabby pattern. Most of the color will frequently appear on the ears and tail, with the rest of the cat’s body appearing white.
- Bi-Color: A bi-colored Sphynx will be a solid color and white, pointed and white, tabby and white, tortoiseshell and white, etc.
- Bi-Color Van: Like the standard bi-color, this cat will have two distinct colors/patterns, with one being solid white. The body of a bi-color van Sphynx will be predominantly white, with the other color on the head, tail, and legs. This cat may have one or two small patches of color on their body.
Calicos are tri-colored cats, usually white with patches of black and red. This patchwork kitty can also be a van or dilute. Dilute calicos have more subdued shades, with cream and blue patches.
- Calico: A feline with patches of white, black, and red. The underbody of a calico will be predominantly white. A calico Sphynx may also have color variations: chocolate calico, cinnamon calico, fawn calico, or lavender calico. These felines must still have a tri-colored coat to fit into this color group.
- Dilute Calico: Dilutes are white with patches of blue and cream. Like the standard calico, the underparts will be white.
- Dilute Van Calico: This cat is white with blue and cream confined to the head, legs, and tail. This feline may have one or two patches of color on their body but will be predominantly white.
- Van Calico: A standard van calico is a white feline with patches of black and red on their extremities. This cat may also have color variations: chocolate van calico, cinnamon van calico, fawn van calico, and lavender van calico.
A mink Sphynx will have a solid, dark body and slightly darker face, ears, tail, and feet shading. A mink-patterned cat will be born lighter in color, darken, and appear more solid as they age into adulthood. As adults, there will be minimal contrast between the color points of this cat and their body. What sets mink cats out from pointed cats is their eye color. A mink cat will have aqua eyes. A mink Sphynx may have a variety of colors and patterns along with their color points.
The pointed Sphynx cat slightly resembles a Siamese cat. These felines have color points on their extremities: face, ears, feet, and tail. A pointed Sphynx will have very light skin as a kitten that will darken with age. The eyes of a pointed Sphynx are bright blue. The nose and paw pads will vary based on the cat’s coat color.
A tabby-patterned Sphynx will have clearly-defined markings on their legs and tails. Unlike other breeds, the tabby pattern on the Sphynx tends to fade on the body.
- Classic Tabby: Also called the blotched tabby, a classic tabby has swirl patterns most often associated with the tabby coat. These cats have rings up their legs and tail. They will also have “necklaces” on the neck and upper chest. An “M” will appear on the kitty’s forehead and swirls on the cheeks. While not always visible, back markings consist of vertical lines down the spine and dark swirls of color on the side of the feline.
- Mackerel Tabby: Think of the mackerel tabby as the tiger of tabby cats. These cats have a coat of stripes clearly defined on the legs and tail, with lighter lines on the body. Mackerel tabbies will also have the classic “M” on their forehead.
- Spotted Tabby: The spotted tabby will have round, oblong, or rosette-shaped spots along with the typical facial marking of a tabby cat.
- Patched Tabby: Patched tabbies are those with both tortoiseshell and tabby patterns. Also called a torbie, the patched tabby may be a blue, brown, chocolate, cinnamon, fawn, lavender, or silver tabby with patches of cream or red.
Tortoiseshell describes cats with blotches or patches throughout their coat. Unlike calicos, torties don’t have white stomachs or legs.
- Classic Tortoiseshell: A black, chocolate, or cinnamon cat with red and/or cream patches.
- Blue-Cream: A blue/gray feline with cream blotches or patches.
- Lavender-Cream: A lavender Sphynx with cream patches or blotches.
- Fawn-Cream: A fawn-colored cat with patches or blotches of cream.
Other Sphynx Cat Colors
Sphynx cats can be truly any color or pattern combination. In competition, those cats that don’t fall within any of the other recognized divisions can still compete in the OSC class. For example, a cat with one, two, three, or four white feet may compete in the OSC class.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do Sphynx Cats Have No Fur?
Not all sphynx cats are entirely hairless. These felines are often covered with fine, soft hair that feels like peach skin or suede.
Do Sphynx Cats Have Whiskers?
Many hairless cats do not have whiskers. Your Sphynx may not be completely whiskerless, but the whiskers will usually be sparse or short.
What Is The Rarest Of Sphynx Cat Colors?
Overall, a calico coat is rarer than other coat patterns, making the calico Sphynx one of the rarest colors of Sphynx cats.
Do Sphynx Cat Colors Change?
Yes, the Sphynx can change colors. Sun exposure will intensify the color of the Sphynx’s coat, and many owners report that their kitties get lighter or darker with age. For example, the mink and pointed Sphynx are born lighter and darken as they become adults.
No matter which color of Sphynx cat you choose, they will give you plenty of love and affection. Curious about the colors of other popular cat breeds? Read our guide on Maine Coon cat colors or Bengal cat colors. Or, discover the 19 most-popular cat breeds in the world.