Xherdan is a 6-year-old sphynx cat from Rüti, Switzerland, whose appearance may seem frightening at first. Yet, he’s taken the internet by storm, because underneath his smooth, wrinkly body and eerie blue eyes, he’s as lovable as they come.
Xherdan’s owner, 47-year-old Sandra Filippi, explained in an interview with The Sun UK that he’s been exceptionally wrinkled—even for a sphynx cat—from the time he was a kitten. It was his unique appearance, with his wrinkles and brilliant blue eyes, that drew Filippi in.
“When I first saw him, he immediately stole my heart,” she said. “His wrinkled pink skin, as fine as a peach, and his turquoise eyes, I was in love!”
He can come across as intimidating at first, but Filippi explained that people warm up to the feline as soon as they get a chance to get to know him. His outward scowl obscures a cuddly, chatty nature on the inside—so although he looks a bit mean at first, he’s always just hungry for some hugs and conversation.
“Xherdan is a very active cat and he talks a great deal, in all pitches, when he is excited, when he is hungry, when he plays or while cuddling and falling asleep, he is like a child and his character is very lovely,” Filippi said.
Thanks to all of his wrinkles, he’s picked up a number of comparisons on the internet. Some think he looks like a brain, with a pink head that looks a bit like a pile of noodles, while others have made the alien comparison, a vampire (just look at those extra-sharp teeth and pointy ears!), or even baby Yoda.
Mostly, though, people can’t seem to get enough of his wrinkly, but adorable, furless appearance and all of the pictures Filippi posts of him on his very own Instagram account.
Named after the Swiss footballer Xherdan Shaqiri, the cat loves to watch his namesake on TV with his owners while getting plenty of cuddles. Sphynx cats also tend to be particularly high maintenance in order to keep them healthy and happy.
“I regularly clean his eyes, ears and feet, even the claws I have to cut,” explained Filippi. “Sphynxes take up a lot of time, they always want to be where their humans are, that should not be underestimated.
“Xherdy makes me and other people laugh, no matter in what moments, and that’s the most beautiful thing there is.”
Even with the amount of TLC he requires, though, it’s clear that Xherdan leads a well-cared-for life. And although it may not be a simple task to keep him content, it’s more than worth it to see him sitting pretty in everything from his custom Xherdan Shaqiri Liverpool FC jersey to his sweet, cozy hats.
And once you’ve seen him, he starts to grow on you—and it’s easy to see why Filippi developed love at first sight for this wrinkly, furless family member!