As expert Sphynx breeders and all matters related to hairless cats, we are constantly bombarded by inquiries from newbies and aspiring first-time Sphynx owners. For most, the only question giving them sleepless nights as they await the arrival of their Sphynx cats is whether they are ready and adequately prepared to bring home a hairless cat.
So, what do you need to know before bringing home a Sphynx cat?
If you own a hairy cat and you are thinking of replacing your pal with a hairless cat based on the misconception that they don't need too much grooming, you are wrong. Being hairless increases grooming because oils, sweat, and saliva are absorbed by the fur of hairy cats. Without the fur, all the saliva, sweat, and excess oils mix with dust, dirt, and grime to solidify to create crusts on their skin. To address this unfavorable situation, you’ll need to bathe your Sphynx cat at least once a week using a mild, unscented, and all-natural shampoo like Burt’s Baby Bee shampoo and wash.
- Ear Cleaning and Nail Care
Before bringing your Sphynx cat home, you need to know that they are also hairless in their ear canals. Without hairs to capture dust and dirt, the build-up of wax combined with dirt in its ear canal occurs very quickly. You have to be prepared to clean your cat’s ear canals twice a week using earbuds such as Fast Life Cotton Buds. To attain the highest level of cleanliness, you'll use earbuds along with ear cleansers. Apart from ear cleaning, it is highly recommended that you trim your cat's nails once in a while to avoid injuring its sensitive skin with sharp claws.
- Appropriate and Healthy Diet
Apart from maintaining a high level of cleanliness, you'll also have to maintain the health of your skin through a healthy diet. Since their skin secretes excess oils without fur to absorb, you'll need to provide your Sphynx a healthy high-quality food like Royal Canin Savor Selective for an adult hairless cat or Royal Canin Kitten Dry Food for a Sphynx kitten. To enhance digestion, you can alternate dry and wet cat foods such as Royal Canin Digest Sensitive Thin Slices in Gravy for mature cats or Royal Canin Kitten Thin Slices in Gravy specially prepared for kittens. Providing these high-quality foods for your Sphynx cat will not only protect their sensitivity but also shield them from some avoidable diseases.
- Health Issues
Sphynx cats are purebred and can develop genetic health problems, with the most prevalent being hypertrophic cardiomyopathy where their heart muscle thickens abnormally. To be on the safe side, you should have a regular screen to manage the condition before it develops. Also, Sphynx cats are prone to dental issues, and they need regular dental cleanings or teeth extraction. You’ll have to find a highly qualified veterinarian with a strong background in purebred cats.
- Protection from the Cold
Being hairless, just like humans, means that Sphynxes need protection from the cold. First, be prepared to pay more for electricity during cold periods since your Sphynx cat will need the heaters in your home to be turned on 24hrs a day. Second, if you have to go out with your hairless friend, you’ll need to invest in comfy and warm sweaters. Lastly, you will require a warm place to sleep, which you can address by buying them a warm bed such as Precision Pet SnooZZy Mod Chic.
- Strict Litter Requirements
Sphynxes have a sensitive respiratory system and require additional protection from unhealthy chemical substances. For one, you can buy them a litter box like Catit Jumbo Hooded Cat Litter Pan and use an all-natural wooden litter that does not contain dusty chemical components. One perfect all-natural wooden litter you can buy is Feline Pine Cat Litter.
- Emotional Needs
Hairless cats have big personalities and need extra attention and time to meet all their emotional needs. For one, if you travel a lot, you'll need to provide them with a companion or just buy two Sphynx cats.