Sphynx cats look intimidating. But despite their appearance, they are energetic, friendly, and very playful. They are also good with children and other animals, and they make warm snuggle buddies. However, most people don’t know what they get themselves into when they decide to get a sphynx for a pet.
Research is very important before deciding to buy a sphynx for a pet. Why? They need more care than most cats primarily because they don’t have hair. However, they are very loving and social, and they’re great companions too. They’ll greet you at the door and even sleep on your lap. But bear in mind that they need regular cat grooming, making them pretty high maintenance compared to other cat breeds.
Sphynx Cat Grooming
Be prepared to visit the groomer at least once a week if you have a sphynx cat. Why do they need frequent grooming, you might ask? Sphynxes groom themselves more often than regular cat breeds. But since they don’t have much hair to absorb the oil secreted by their skin or saliva, their self-grooming leaves a sticky, sweaty, and crusty residue on their skin. They’re hairless and close to the grown; they have special needs too.
Bathing a Sphynx
Sphynxes need a cat wash at least once a week, and preferably using a medicated cat shampoo to prevent bacterial infection. While most of them are used to getting regular baths by their breeder, they sometimes retain their cat instincts where they hate getting wet. Before buying a sphynx, make sure that your breeder has already acclimated your kitten to a regular bath. Continuous regular bathing will reinforce the habit. Give special rewards before and after the activity.
It is important to note that your four-legged friend may leave marks on your sheets or furniture after bathing (when they stay there even just for a while). That is because their oily sweat glands release reddish brown oil that build up on their skin. While regular bathing can help, it will not keep your sphynx from sweating. Thus if you can’t deal with the occasional oily brown stain, this may not be the pet for you.
Cleaning the Ears of a Sphynx
Sphynxes are hairless right? Thus, they don’t have hair on their ear canals. That means there will be dirt and debris collection in their ears. They will also produce dark earwax that can be quite unsightly and may stain your towels or furniture. When left unattended, the wax will cause blockage to the ear canal. Be prepared to clean the wax out of their ears using a cotton swab and an ear cleaner. If you’re disgusted by the thought, then don’t considering buying a sphynx.
Clipping the Nails of a Sphynx
If you want to trim a sphynx’s nails at home, it might be easier for you to do so after giving him a bath because the nails will be softer and easier to cut. Ensure that you are only trimming the sharp ends and not the more sensitive pink part of the claws (referred to as the “quick”). Trim their nails using a sharp clipper. Also don’t forget to clean the toes of your cat in the bath because their might be residues building up underneath.
You must be able to accept the toilet habits of your hairless companion even when:
- They won’t cover their poop in the litter box
- They have walked on their soft poop and cuddled up to you in front of your guest, which leaves you with poop marks all over
- They fart when you are cuddling them in front of guests
- Their poop has the worst smell in the world
If you don’t like to be around that, then you shouldn’t consider getting a sphynx. However, if you think that’s fine with you, then you might as well start toilet training your sphynx while they’re still kittens; it’s much easier to teach them acceptable behaviors at a young age.
The Temperament of a Sphynx
Sphynxes are one of the most social cats there is. If you want a cat that snuggles you at night, sleeps on your lap, or greets you at the door, then this cat is definitely for you. They are gentle and good with kids and other animals.
The downside of all that gentleness and friendliness is that they need companionship. They don’t like to be left alone and they’re very demanding for attention. Thus, if you get one, you need to be able to reciprocate the love and affection they show you. If you aren’t very affectionate as a person, you’d be better off with an independent cat.
If you often leave your home for long periods of time, your sphynx have the tendency to become depressed unless you leave him with another human. If you are frequently out of the house and you don’t have any other animals, then you should buy two sphynxes or another cat breed as a companion. If you by two kittens and they grow up together, they’ll most likely become best of friends.
The Sphynx’s Need for Heat
In countries that experience winter, power bills may increase as you need to leave the heaters on to keep your Sphynx warm all the time. An alternative to heaters is a heated cat igloo. You also need to make sure that they have a warm bed with pillows that gets a lot of sun.
While putting clothes on your sphynx might be a good idea, you need to be extra cautious. Some cats may appreciate the warmth the clothing gives, but many may become confused and unhappy. They may become withdrawn or they may freeze in one place like a statue. If you decide to put a sweater on your friend, be mindful of its behavior and make sure that they are okay with it. But if they don’t like to wear clothes, make sure to give them warm spots for sleeping.
Those are the things you need to know about owning a sphynx. Remember, if you can’t accept their flaws and you can’t stand so much clinginess, you might as well look for other cat breeds.