Sphynx cats make unique pets and have been popular since the breed was introduced in the 1960s. However, they require a lot of extra and specialized care. Today the vets from Newtown Veterinary Specialists go over what you should know before purchasing or adopting a Sphynx.
Owning A Sphynx Cat
The Sphynx is a breed of cat known for being hairless. Hairlessness in cats is a naturally occurring genetic mutation, and the Sphynx was developed through selective breeding of these animals, starting in the 1960s in Toronto, Canada.
Sphynx cats have striking appearances and large personalities but they require special care that goes beyond the scope of typical cat ownership.
People interested in bringing a Sphynx into their life should learn about the breed and their special requirements before committing to be the owners of these unique cats.
The Sphynx Personality
Sphynx cats are known for being social and needing constant attention—so if you're looking for a cat that is aloof and content to sit on the windowsill all day you're probably not looking for a Sphynx! They love being near people and will take every opportunity possible to cuddle.
They are also generally very vocal cats and will quickly let you know if there's something they need.
Sphynx Cats Require Constant Care
Just because they don't have any hair doesn't mean they're less work than their furry counterparts! Here are a few of the considerations you must take before getting a Sphynx:
Sphynx cats require high-quality food to keep their skin looking good. If you feed them low-quality food you risk oil accumulating more quickly on their skin, which can lead to ongoing skin issues, ear wax build-up, and infections.
Sphynx cats tend to leave grease stains on areas that they frequent due to their oily skin. Although diet can contribute to controlling this oiliness, your Sphynx cat will need an occasional bath with a gentle shampoo to remove any accumulated dirt and grime.
After bathing your Sphynx will need to be quickly dried off with a soft, warm, towel to prevent their skin from becoming chapped. You don't want to bathe your Sphynx too often as this can cause dry skin. There are also specialized lotions that you can apply to your Sphynx if they're having issues with dry skin.
Sphynx are prone to ear infections you will need to be diligent about removing excess ear wax and keeping their ears clean. You should also clean their paws once or twice a week as dirt can accumulate between their toes and cause infections to develop.
Many purebred cats develop genetic health problems—and Sphynx cats are not the exception. The breed is prone to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a condition in which the heart muscle becomes abnormally thick so they should be regularly screened for heart issues.
Sphynx cats are also very prone to dental issues and need regular professional dental cleanings and you should brush their teeth at home about 3 times a week.
It is important when selecting a vet that you find one that is familiar with the breed and the potential health problems they face.
Protection From The Elements
You need to take extra care to protect your Sphynx cat from the cold because they don't have any fur. If you're cold, they are too!
Cat apparel made from soft fabric is available that will keep your cat warm without irritating their skin. However, it is worth noting that apparel will soak up oil from their skin and will need to be frequently washed to keep it clean. Special heated or covered cat beds and ample access to blankets are also options.
Sphynx cats should never be let outside as they are very prone to sunburns.
Sphynx Cats Are Not Hypoallergenic
It's worth noting that just because they don't have any hair doesn't mean Sphynx cats can't cause allergic reactions!
Most people are allergic to the secondary allergens found on a cat's skin as opposed to the actual hair.
Many people adopt these cats thinking they will be hypoallergenic and then have to rehome them when they realize they are allergic to their Sphynx.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.