The Sphynx is a rare breed of cat, which appears to be completely hairless, but is actually covered with short fine colorless hair. Due to the lack of a coat, a Spynx huddles with people and other animals to keep itself warm. With its intriguing look, and it being very people friendly, the Sphynx is finding its way into many households. Here are 10 things to look out for while caring for your Sphynx:
Though one may think that the absence of a proper coat would make a Sphynx more easy to maintain, it is actually the other way round! As the Sphynx doesn’t have fur to absorb the natural oils of the body, regular bathing is important, otherwise dirt will build up. A bath once a week is generally sufficient. While bathing your cat, always use products approved by your vet. Human shampoos and soaps are strictly prohibited as they contain much stronger chemicals than the feline ones.
The ears are the breeding grounds of several bacterial diseases. Proper cleaning of the ears is essential for the grooming of your cat. It is easiest just after their baths, when they are covered in their towels. First, put a few drops of an ear cleaner and massage the base of the ear, to loosen the dirt. Then use a Q-tip to gently remove all the visible dirt. Never go beyond what you can see, otherwise you may perforate the ear diaphram. Ask your vet to show you how to do it properly.
As your Sphynx does not have any eyelashes, the natural dirt trapping mechanism of the eyes is absent. Hence to prevent the accumulation of dirt in the corner of its eyes, use artificial tear drops and wipe the eyes with a soft towel.
As Sphynx cats do not have a luscious coat of hair, they eat constantly to regulate their body temperature. Do not provide them with cheap grocery cat food. To keep them healthy, feed them high quality cat food. Also be sure to provide them with fresh water twenty-four hours a day. Consult your vet for a healthy diet plan.
Do not under-estimate the importance of vaccinations for your cat, how so ever he is reluctant to take them! You must properly follow the vaccination plan given by your vet.
Maintaining the temperature
The Sphynx is an indoor cat and sunburns very easily. You must protect it from the elements. Sphynx cats and kittens like a temperature of about seventy degrees Fahrenheit. They like to sit on a windowsill, and bask in the warm sun. You can also apply a solution of baby cream to their ear tips and the bridge of their nose to prevent excess sunburn. During winters provide them with warm blankets or a heated bed.
Cleaning toe nails
You will have to clean their toe nails weekly. Gently press the inside of their paws so that their claws stick out. Using a soft wipe, clean the nails. Also, to prevent them from destroying your furniture, you will need to trim their nails from time to time. While trimming them, look out for the pink inside of their nails. Be careful not to cut into that part, else it might bleed or cause soreness.
If you are not a breeder, neutering your Sphynx is always the best option. A female in heat will have behavioral issues and you will also have to tackle the problem of your cat marking territories with urine. The male will roam around the house in search for a mate, and will howl at night. So it is best to visit your vet and neuter your cat. Also, contrary to popular belief, a cat usually lives longer if neutered.
Using litter boxes
Sphynx cats are very intelligent, it won’t be much of a problem to train them to use a litter box. Also Sphynx cats are usually very conscious of their personal hygiene. Hence it is important that you clean their litter box at least once a week and sterilize with a solution of bleach and water.
Fleas are a problem for all animals. For Sphynx’s they are relatively easy to pick, as there is no body hair. But they look especially ugly on a Sphynx, and may cause rashes. So use a flea prevention product on your cat, and wipe the floors with a diluted solution of the same. Also properly vacuum the places where your cat generally sleeps.