Woman who brought the first sphynx cat to Britain 30 years ago has defended them after they were labelled the ugliest in the world – Cambridgeshire…

Posted: March 15, 2020 at 5:46 am

Jan Plumb has spent decades nurturing sphynx cats - the hairless felines - with an impressive 45 passing through her care over the years.

She currently owns six of her own who keep her busy alongside her role as secretary and welfare officer for The Sphynx Cat Club.

Jan, 75, raised her first cat after bringing it to these shores from the Netherlands in 1988 and then began breeding.

She now lives at home with her husband Les, 82, at their home in Christchurch, Dorset.

A fellow sphynx owner was forced to defend her wrinkly pet - as its face makes it look like it is constantly scowling.

Six-year-old Xherdan has a permanent angry-looking frown, leaving some people "a little bit scared".

But despite their poor reputation among some, Jan has loved the breed unconditionally for more than 30 years.

She said: "I'm very proud to have introduced them and of how they have become very popular.

"We started a society in 1991 [The Sphynx Cat Club] and now we have quite a big following.

"We got our first sphynx - Tulip - from the Netherlands in 1988.

"Our friends said they knew an owner after we had mentioned the cats. We had seen them in a magazine in 1984.

"We were then introduced and they said they had one for rehoming.

"We took it home and it was quarantined for six months before we could have it. We didn't have any problems from then on.

"[Sphynx cats] are proper lap cats. They are into everything, they can open doors and cupboards. They want to sleep in your bed. They are very friendly.

"There's nothing like a sphynx. Everyone that has got one has always ended up with more."

Expert Jan spent the next 32 years breeding and raising 45 cats.

She has become synonymous with the breed, founding the The Sphynx Cat Club and being heralded as an authority on all things related.

But she has slowed down in recent years and is now happy at home with just six: Meg, Mkai, Ruby, Willy, Perrrcy and Orion.

Jan said: "Sphynx cats can sell for anything from 700 to 1,200. That's because we have to do a lot of testing now.

"But it's no different to buying a Persian cat - you need genetic testing. That's why the price is like that.

"All of our cats now are neutered - I've been breeding for 32 years.

"As secretary and welfare officer I now deal with rehoming sphynx cats that come from abroad."

Although hairless cats have been around for generations, the sphynx is the first hairless breed that has been bred specifically for that trait.

The breeding programme began in 1966 in Ontario, Canada when a pet cat gave birth to a hairless male kitten.

However, most sphynx cats born today are descended from three hairless kittens found in Toronto in 1978.

It is thought there is now around 600 of the breed in Britain.

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Woman who brought the first sphynx cat to Britain 30 years ago has defended them after they were labelled the ugliest in the world - Cambridgeshire...

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