What we lack in hair, we make up in personality!!
A sphynx cat is a wonderful addition to many familes. They are very social, docile and loving, however; they do have some special requirements distinct to the breed. Please consider carefuly before making the decision to purchase a sphynx, will you be able to properly take care of their additional needs?
Because the sphynx is a hairless breed, they do not have a coat, which means that the oils their skin produces stay on their skin, rather than going into their fur. Because of this, I recommend bathing your sphynx often, ideally, once a week using a tear free baby shampoo (I use Noodle and Boo mixed with Dawn dish soap to cut the oils). Surprisingly, our sphynx cats don't mind this process, and actually enjoy it (Mojo has been known to hop in the shower with us!)
Also, even though the sphynx cat is a hairless breed, they are not 100% hypoallergenic. Sphynx have a fine, soft coat of hair all over their bodies (they feel like a very warm, peach or chamoise.) If it's the hair you have an alergy to, you may be able to tolerate the sphynx, but; if it's the dander (saliva), you may still have an allergic reaction to this breed, although, it might be less severe. My suggestion would be to come for a visit, to see if you can handle being around the breed before making an obligation to purchase one.
First and foremost, I do not recommend feeding dry catfood at any time, not even the most expensive brands, even if your vet recommends it or prescribes it. PLEASE READ THE FOLLOWNING INFORMATION:
Sphynx have a very high metabolism. Because of this, they require a high calorie diet to maintain their body heat. The best source of nourishment for any cat is a canned or raw homemade diet, please see my page for information about feeding raw.
I discourage feeding dry kibble as it is devoid of all water and contains fillers which are bad for your cat's digestion. Cats receive about 85% of all of their water, in the wild, from their food sources. When they are fed dry kibble, they get none of their water from it and are forced to drink more water to maintain their hydration, this is very hard on their kidneys and can lead to many health issues.
I feed my cats twice a day, morning and night. They should be fed 4-6 oz per feeding, per cat.
Ears and Nails
Again, due to the hairlessness of the breed, sphynx do not have the hair in their ears or their feet and they will get a waxy buildup inside their ears on on the nails.
I recommend cleaning their ears with a gentle ear wash everytime they are bathed, to help reduce the possibility of yeast infections. my cats do not mind the drops. I use a few in each ear and a warm washcloth to wipe out the loose waxy buildup. You may also find that if your vet is not familiar with the breed, that they may think the animal has ear mites. I recommend the vet look at a sample under the microscope to verify that the kitten has mites, before treatment is administered.
You can also clean their nails after each bath using a soft cloth and mineral oil. I discourage families from having their kittens de-clawed. It is a major, unecessary surgery, with negative consequences for the kitten. Instead, make certain the kitten/cat has adequate scratching posts in your home, redirect bad behaviors by spraying with a water bottle when they scratch in a bad area, and give treats for them scratching in an area that they are allowed to. Also, Soft Claws are a wonderful invention, I use them on my cats, they are easy to maintain, save wear and tear on our furniture (and us!) and they have great designer colors!
Care of Teeth
Proper care should be taken to avoid plaque build up on your sphynx's teeth. You can provide raw chicken chunks as a snack which will help them keep their teeth clean and jaws healthy. You should also brush your cat's teeth once a week and schedule dental cleanings with your vet as needed.
Sphynx kittens, like us, are for the most part, bald. If you are cold, chances are that your sphynx kitten is cold too. They are very resourceful and you may find them on your lap top, next to the heating vent, or under your covers. I recommend having at least one heating pad for your kitten and consider a sweater for the colder months.
Sphynx should NEVER be allowed outside without supervision. They are very susceptable to temperature fluctuations and will become ill or succumb to extreme temperatures very quickly. They can also become sunburned. Care should be taken to avoid exposure to direct sunlight. Sunscreen, even for infants, should NEVER be used on a sphynx as many of the ingredients are poisonous to cats. Instead, invest in UV blocking shirts and hats for your sphynx.
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