Devon Rex vs Sphynx: Differences and Characteristics

Two of the popularly in-demand cats all over the world are the Devon Rex and the Sphynx. Both cats share a wide array of similarities but differences exist between them as well. They are unique and pleasant hence why most cat lovers opt to get either one of them.

For those who are looking at potential cat breeds to bring home, a long list of factors needs to be considered first. It includes size, overall appearance, needs, and most of all, personality. To know which cat is right for you, we’ve written out a comparison that highlights their traits and individuality.  

Breed Origins

Devon Rex

Photo from: pawshcatclub (IG)

Based on how he’s named, the Devon Rex originally comes from the Devonshire region of England in 1960. Records suggest that a female short-haired cat mated with a stray tomcat whose coat was out of the ordinary as it was curly. One kitten out of the litter carried on the peculiar feature and was named Kirlee. 

People thought that Kirlee shared the same genetic pattern as the Cornish Rex and so, breeding between two breeds occurred to produce more kittens with the same curly fur. Sadly, the experiment wasn’t successful since the litter was born with straight coats. It was found out eventually, that genetic mutation was what caused the odd quality of hair.

Another breeding program was carried out and this time, goals were achieved involving Kirlee. The US had its first imported Devon Rex in 1968 and the breed eventually got recognized by the Cat Fanciers’ Association in 1979. 

Sphynx

Photo from: fallen536 (IG)

Ancient Aztecs bred hairless cats in the past, but surprisingly, the cats they developed had nothing to do with the Sphynx breed. Instead, this one comes from Toronto, Canada way back in 1966. A genetic mutation happened, thus the remarkable nude appearance of the feline. 

Breeders who took a liking to the Sphynx’s odd looks continued to breed those who constantly delivered hairless offspring. 

Originally, the breed was known as the Canadian hairless cat. When he made his way to the US, experts further developed him until they achieved the image they have in mind. Until now, the Sphynx remains to be a popular choice in Northern America and his fame is gradually spreading throughout Western Europe.

Several cat clubs like The International Cat Association then recognized the Sphynx as an official breed in 2005. Meanwhile, other registries refuse to recognize the feline based on its genetic abnormality that might have an impact on the cat’s health in the long run. 

Size, Appearance, & Coloring

Devon Rex

You can effortlessly distinguish the Devon Rex based on his mischievous look, long ears, and large round eyes. He’s a small-to-medium cat with an average of 6 to 9 pounds in mass and 10 to 12 inches in height. His features combined make him look cutely alien-ish and that’s what most people are drawn to. His peculiar appearance includes high cheekbones, a long neck, and a slender body. Of course, his well-known trait is his distinct curly coat that looks like he just got out of the salon.

He is covered with short fur which gets less dense on certain areas like the ears, neck, head, chest, abdomen, and paws. you might often mistake the Devon as the Cornish Rex breed, but upon closer look to the length of their coats, the latter has it longer.

All-natural colors found in this breed are:

  • Cinnamon
  • Black
  • Blue
  • Chocolate
  • White 
  • Lilac 

Sphynx

Although we often think that the Sphynx cat has no hair at all, the contrary is true. He is still covered with hair, but it is too fine to get noticed. Some have sparse eyebrows that help him express his emotions, while others don’t have anything at all.

Considering his measurements, the Sphynx is a medium-sized cat who can weigh at least 6 to 14 pounds. Looking past his nudity, other features that define him are his finger-like toes, large ears that almost resemble that of a bat, a big, round belly, and eyes that are lemon-shaped. Another characteristic known about the Sphynx is his wrinkles, but they are just evident due to the lack of hair.

The Sphynx can be in various colors which may include:

  • White
  • Black
  • Chocolate
  • Red
  • Lavender

Temperament

Devon Rex

Nothing is more outgoing than the Devon Rex! He loves to spend most of his time playing and making friends with the other pets or kids in the house. Although that’s the case, he might shy away from rough plays and avoid aggressive playmates. 

True to his impish looks, the Devon Rex indeed has clownish behavior. He loves to do anything that will catch your attention and entertaining his loved ones is his ultimate goal daily. At times, he can act too overwhelming and demanding, but this is just part of his character.

Study shows that this English cat retains most of its kitten qualities even when he gets old and that ticks the box for most cat owners. 

Sphynx

Despite the nudity, the Sphynx breed is not shy at all! If he needs something, he’ll communicate it with his owner right away. He’s outgoing as well, so making friends with new pets isn’t a challenge for him. Another trait of his is his curiosity. Paired with his level of intelligence, he will search for answers to his inquiries. 

For those who love to chat with their cats, the Sphynx will surely give you his response. He’s extremely vocal so expect to hear his voice all over the house. He can be clingy at a point since he always says yes to a cuddle with his favorite humans. For some, the cat’s need for attention may seem too much to take in, but for those who can tolerate it, they are listing themselves up to a great life with the most loyal companion ever! 

Exercise Needs

Devon Rex

Photo from: tortifique (IG)

The Devon Rex cat breed is far from complex. When it comes to exercise, they wouldn’t be requiring too much. Just simply provide him various opportunities to play and have fun while at the same time keeping the weight down. It would be nice to have trees in your yard or a cat tower inside your home where he can constantly climb on.

If you want him to have mental exercises as well, incorporate training such as playing a game of fetch with him or learning certain behaviors. 

Sphynx

The Sphynx cat breed has high activity levels but the exercise requirement is low. The cat does well by just cuddling and spending time with his family, but of course, it is mentally and physically beneficial for him to get moving from time to time. He’s a natural athlete and he’d just need an area to showcase it. 

Bring him toys to play with and you’ll see how excellent his hunting skills are.

Grooming Requirements

Devon Rex

The breed’s thinly dispersed coat is highly prone to breakage so it would need proper care and if possible, avoid brushing the cat often. You can instead resort to wiping his coat with a damp cloth to keep it clean and tidy. Since the Devon Rex’s hair also constantly gets greasy, baths can be executed. Use cat-appropriate shampoos that are mild and rinse the product off with lukewarm water. 

Sphynx

The lack of hair doesn’t mean less need for grooming. Since there isn’t enough fur to absorb the natural oil, the Sphynx’s skin must be groomed regularly. To prevent oil build-up, give him a wash weekly. Don’t forget to reach the in-betweens of his skin folds to ensure that he’s 100% clean. 

Health Problems

Devon Rex

A lifespan of 9-15 years is common to the Devon Rex breed. However, despite being healthy, risks can still affect his health sooner or later depending on his lifestyle. With the right care, the Devon Rex may avoid getting the following:

  • Patellar luxation
  • Infections
  • Allergy
  • Dermatitis

Sphynx

Sphynx cats enjoy about 9-15 years, but just like other breeds, they are susceptible to several health issues like the following:

  • Respiratory issues
  • Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy
  • Infections
  • Hereditary myopathy

Cost per Kitten

Devon Rex

Adoption: $75 to $150

Reputable Breeder: $1,200 to $1,800

Sphynx

Adoption: $75 to $175

Reputable Breeder: $1,500 to $3,000

Which Cat Is Right for You?

Both cats are not that hard to take care of. They have almost the same personalities with their quirky and silly natures and playful sides. Grooming needs are different, but neither one of them is high on maintenance. They can do well on their own when it comes to exercise too. You can consider how they both look to ultimately decide which cat suits your preference and of course, see what lifestyle you have that can support either one of them!

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