When you think of an animal that has no hair, you probably think that they do not require much maintenance. Surprisingly, that isn’t true! Sphynx cat care includes frequent baths, nail trims, ear, face and feet cleanings and teeth brushings. They are also very high in energy and love affection.
These cats are very unique and make amazing pets, although do think twice if you believe that they aren’t going to be a lot of work.
They also tend to be quite pricey, and I know the amount that a breeder asks for can sound unreasonable, but for breeders to produce healthy, genetically tested kittens, it costs a lot for them. Reputable breeders don’t make very much off selling these kittens and most do it solely for the love of the breed. Sphynx cats, among many other unique breeds, are susceptible to an increased risk of heart problems, therefore breeding cats must be tested yearly to ensure the production of healthy kittens, which is among the many costs that go into being a reputable breeder.
Keeping These Dirty Kitties Clean
These wrinkly little friends tend to be quite dirty animals. Not in the sense that they roll around in mud or anything but their lack of hair leads to oil build up on their skin. It builds up between their toes, around their nails and in their wrinkles and armpits.
As for my regular cleaning routine with my hairless cat, Neptune, I first clean his feet with hypoallergenic grooming wipes to remove the oil buildup around his nails and in between his toes. I also take the opportunity to trim his nails at the same time so that he doesn’t scratch me in the bath.
Next, it’s best to fill up a tub or sink with warm water so that they don’t get too cold (it must be so cold for them to be naked all the time!) and use a face cloth to lather them up with soap. Personally I use Aveeno Baby Soothing Relief Creamy Wash as it’s a gentle but effective wash for a Sphynx’ sensitive skin.
When cleaning them, don’t forget to clean their armpits and in between their wrinkles, while ensuring not to get water inside their ears.
After your Sphynx is all rinsed off, wrap him in a towel to keep him warm. Baths usually need to be done about once a week to keep them clean.
At this point, I take out my Q-Tips and my coconut oil to clean his ears. Coconut oil works great to remove their oil buildup, especially inside the folds of their ears. The first couple weeks that I had Neptune, I tried to clean his ears without coconut oil and the waxy buildup just wouldn’t budge so do yourself a favour and get some coconut oil!
Keeping Them Warm
Sphynx’ are pretty much naked all the time, if you think about it. Other cats have their fur to protect them, so these cats actually do get cold! Some people put shirts and sweaters on their Sphynx’ to keep them warm but they usually just end up flopping on their sides and refusing to move.
At night, they will usually curl up under the blankets with you. Speaking from experience, mine always wants to spoon with me and steal my warmth at night. During the day when I leave for work I feel so bad to leave him alone by himself because when I am home he’s always curled up against me. I always make sure to warm up his microwavable heating pad before I leave and put it among some nice cozy blankets for him. He curls up on it all day and it stays warm for 8-10 hours. It’s truly a lifesaver and puts me at ease to know he’s warm all day without having to worry about him getting caught on something if I put him in a sweater or that he’s cold throughout the winter. The Snuggle Safe Microwave Heating Pad would also be great for puppies and other pets that are always seeking out a heat source. What’s great about it too is that most heated pet beds are 60-100$ because they need to be plugged in but this one gets heated up in the microwave and stays warm for a long time.
The BARF Diet
Sounds gross.. I know. But very healthy for your cat (and dog)! BARF stands for Bones and Raw Foods or Biologically Appropriate Raw Foods, depending on who you ask! Either way, the BARF diet consists of feeding your pet raw meats, bones and organs. This diet has been quite controversial, but is said to produce healthier skin, cleaner teeth, an increase in energy levels and smaller, healthier and less smelly stool. It is also theorized to contribute to a healthier pet overall who requires less vet visits!
If you’re on the fence about feeding your pets raw food, check out a great book written by Dr Ian Billinghurst that explains the evolutionary principles behind the need for pets to be fed raw diets. It is called “The Barf Diet: Raw Feeding for Dogs and Cats Using Evolutionary Principles”. Definitely worth a read!
Bouncing Off the Walls
You think that toddlers have a lot of energy? You’ve apparently never met a Sphynx cat. These cats are always up to something and have an endless amount of energy!
My first recommendation is to get your kitty a nice interactive cat tree because they love to climb, jump and sun tan by the window. Having a cat tree for your Sphynx gives them a place to do all the climbing and jumping they want, which doesn’t involve getting on top of your TV, onto your counters and anywhere you don’t want them to go. Don’t get me wrong, they’ll still get on top of all those things anyway, but this at least gives them a place to climb and play where they won’t be yelled at for it.
While my cat is extremely fascinated by hair elastics, Q-Tips and pens, he also enjoys interactive laser toys, scratch boxes and mice toys. I’ve got to admit, I too enjoy these toys because it means he can play by himself and I can have some time to myself without him trying to eat my hair or run away with the draw-strings that are still attached to my sweater!
It’s also a good idea to get him some little balls and/or wands for when you want to play directly with them. They’re always up for a good play session!
Don’t Want Your Cat to Scratch Your Couch? Don’t Get a Cat
Cats love to scratch furniture. It’s in their nature, they can’t help it! A lot of people don’t actually understand the process of declawing a cat. It is not just the removal of their nails, it is the removal of their entire first joint. That’s the same thing as us humans having the top joint of our fingers removed. Sounds morbid, right? Because it is!
Many cats who have been declawed suffer from arthritis and chronic pain for the rest of their lives after having their claws removed. Some cats actually have bone fragments and claws grow back, which causes excruciating pain and leads to the need for another surgery. In other cases, declawing a cat can lead to aggression and litter box refusal.
For these reasons, many states and provinces have begun to ban this process from veterinary medicine. If you live somewhere where it is not yet illegal, please take these scientific facts into consideration before making this commitment.
Is a Sphynx Right for You?
I know I’ve probably made it sound like Sphynx’ are so much work, and it’s true, they can be! But so are children and most people still decide to procreate.
Sphynx cats are so affectionate, loving and cuddly that they will become like your children. They love to receive kisses and they will snuggle up under the blanket with you at night.
I refer to them as “The dogs of the cat world” because I am almost convinced that they are just dogs in a cat’s body. And the best part about a dog in a cat’s body is.. you don’t have to walk them at 6am when they need to pee or get mad at them when they bark at a car passing by the house. These expensive kitties are definitely worth it.