The Ultimate Sphynx Cat Care Guide
Sphynx cats have no fur and very little downy undercoat. They have wrinkly appearances and can be in one of two different color patterns: mitted or bicolor. The mitted variety has a white muzzle, and chest with a patchwork of color on the body, while the bicolor has color on their head and tail only.
The Sphynx is an intelligent and friendly breed, but they can be very needy, even demanding affection. Bred to be companions, they are loyal to their parents, making them excellent lap cats. Sphynx are typically more affectionate than other breeds because they crave human contact. They love to follow their parents from room to room and often jump up on tables after food or attention. They are very active, so they need plenty of toys and scratching posts. They enjoy playing fetch as well as any game that involves human interaction.
How to care for my hairless Sphynx cat?
Sphynx cats need extra care since they lack the layer to protect their skin from both heat and cold, and since they cannot get natural oils from their fur, they can be more vulnerable to skin conditions. Here are some tips and advice to keep your hairless cat clean and healthy.
Avoid overheating. Sphynx cats can overheat quickly because their bodies are exposed to the elements, and they don't have fur to protect them, so keep them indoors or in shaded areas to avoid this. If your cat has a hard time regulating their body temperature, try to keep them cool with a water-filled baby pool, frozen water bottle, or a fan near their bed.
Avoid sunburns and skin cancer. The Sphynx cat has virtually no protection from the sun, which means they can get sunburned and develop skin cancer very easily. Make sure to use sunscreen on their ears and noses.
Bathe your Sphynx cat weekly. Sphynx have very little fur to protect their skin from irritants and allergens. This lack of protection causes them to overproduce their own oils as a protective mechanism from foreign substances coming in contact with the skin. Oily skin has more pores than dry skin, thus making it easier for dirt and bacteria to get trapped in pores, resulting in acne breakouts. For that reason, Sphynx cats require frequent cleaning and bathing. The following are the steps for bathing your hairless cat:
- Tear gently around the ears and on the paws, taking care not to injure them. Use a cotton ball and rub it gently in the direction of the grain to cleanse the outer ears.
- Next, you can wipe down the paws with a damp cotton ball or swab. You want to clean around the nails, in between their toes, and make sure they are clean and dry. Do not use anything scented or artificial, as this can irritate their sensitive skin.
- Use warm, but not hot water when bathing your cat, just like you would for a baby. If you use too hot water, it can burn their skin. Again, take care to avoid getting water in their eyes as this could cause irritation due to the sensitive nature of their skin.
- Towel dry your Sphynx cat as soon as possible after the bath. Do not rub the cat vigorously with towels because this can damage their delicate skin. It's also important to let your kitty air-dry instead of blow-drying it. The heat could burn their skin or cause other problems.
Keep your Sphynx cat warm. Sphynx are more susceptible to changes in temperature, and they require extra attention and care to stay warm in the wintertime. They have less hair than regular cats, and they don't produce their own body heat like other furry animals. They should be kept indoors during the winter. You may also want to consider putting some clothes on your Sphynx cat, as an added layer of protection against the cold. And make sure you pay attention to a couple of things when dressing them in sweaters, dresses or vests.
Keep your Sphynx cat's nails clipped. Sphynx have a tendency of scratching themselves. It is simply because their skin is so much more sensitive than that of most other breeds. This scratching can cause the nail to overgrow, and if the nail grows too long, it can break and bleed. It is best to trim your Sphynx cat's nails when they start to curl under or get snagged on fabric. You should also check your kitty's nails once or twice per month to see if they need trimming at all.
The good news is that caring for a hairless cat is not all that different from caring for a cat with fur. You’ll just need to make sure you factor in the extra steps discussed above. And if your unfurred friend needs some extra love and attention, don’t hesitate to make them the star of the show!