What Is Outcrossing?
While the Sphynx are generally healthy cats, a carefully designed outcross program introduces new gene pools and thereby should increase the overall health of the Sphynx breed. The Sphynx gene pool is still limited due to the fact Sphynx are still considerably rare (there have only been a small handful of naturally born naked cats). Outcrossing should be done by those with years of experience and carefully done as outcrossing is still tricky. While many believe that outcrossing is the answer, the true ramifications of outcrossing will not be known for years to come. In our cattery we have noticed a very big difference in the overall health of our outcross kittens vs. our kittens from two Sphynx parents with full pedigrees (with no outcross cats in the immediate pedigree).
The gene for the hairlessness is recessive. The first generation of the Sphynx outcrosses are all normal haired, but carrying for the bald gene. They also have the wonderful Sphynx personality!! They are simply Sphynx with hair! Coated kittens also cost less then a naked Sphynx. If you are considering adopting a Sphynx - please consider getting a less expensive companion with hair! Two are better than one! We often have retired coated outcrosses and coated outcross kittens available to pet homes. If you are interested in adopting a coated baby, please send us an email to find out when we will have one available.
The accepted outcrosses allowed by CFA are Domestic Shorthairs (DSH). The accepted outcrossed in TICA are American Shorthair, Devon Rex (although few, use Devons for a Sphynx outcross anymore because the Devons have their own set of health issues - such as luxating patella, spasticity and Vitamin K bleeding disorder). Here at our cattery we have chosen to work mainly with DSH. We have recently added a beautiful American Shorthair boy to our program. He comes from very old bloodlines, so we are very pleased to have him! We treat our outcrosses just like our Sphynx, meaning they are also scanned for HCM. All of our outcrosses are registered with either CFA and/or TICA. Just because they are coated does NOT mean they cannot be registered!
This is a general table of the progression of what happens with a
Sphynx outcross program...
(Not all breeders follow this program exactly):
DSH x Sphynx= F1
All kittens will have fur because the hairless gene in the Sphynx is recessive. All will carry for the hairless Sphynx gene.
F1 x Sphynx= F2
Statistically, 50% of kittens should have hair, 50% should be hairless. Typically, a breeder will choose to keep a hairless one for her breeding program, but there may be reasons to use the one with hair too. I have chosen to keep coated F2s in my program when I have felt that the coated kitten had something better to offer my breeding program then the naked siblings. All haired kittens will carry for the hairless gene.
Hairless F2 x Sphynx= F3
All kittens should be hairless. Most of these kittens should start to look like a typical Sphynx, meaning that they will begin to look more like TICA & CFA's "Sphynx Breed Standard".
Hairless F3 x Sphynx= F4 These (bald) kittens are considered pure-bred Sphynx by both TICA & CFA.
***Note: You might wonder what the "F" in "F1", etc stands for.... it means filial. And filial means "the successive generations of progeny in a controlled series of crosses, starting with two specific parents (the P generation) and selfing or intercrossing the progeny of each new (F1; F2; . . . ) generation".
Most of the above information was used with permission from Emily Greene's informative website- www.citizenkat.com. I have added/edited some of the information for my website. Do not use or copy the above information without written permission from Emily Greene and Brittney Gobble.