All pets require a regular care routine, a healthy diet and periodic check ups to stay healthy and content. However, hairless cats, also known as sphynx cats, need you to go a step further.
If you thought that getting a hairless cat means less care, you couldn’t be more wrong. The absence of fur actually makes these cats more vulnerable and easily affected by outside elements compared to other furry pets.
To make your sphynx cat live a longer, healthier and happier life, here are five tips to take good care of it.
1. Take regular baths
Contrary to assumptions, Sphynx cats are not completely bald. They do have very short, soft fuzz. However, that velvety coat does not rival other cats’ fur.
Sphynx cats require frequent bathing to prevent oil buildup on their skin. A weekly, meticulous bath is a good starting point to take care of the grime and dirt build up on the cat’s skin. If left for long without bathing, sphynx cats may develop acne from clogged pores!
Make the first bathing experience fun and enjoyable for your cat because it is an activity you will be doing often together, and if your cat is not into it, it will make both of your lives miserable.
Also, use a gentle, scentless, natural shampoo designed specifically for pets. Don’t use regular soap or shampoo, cats, especially sphynx cats, can be quite sensitive to the chemicals and the harsh scents.
2. Don’t forget the ears:
Unlike other cats, sphynx don’t have fur around their ears to protect them from dust and dirt, which makes them sensitive and prone to wax buildup. Make sure cleaning the ears is part of your cat’s grooming routine to avoid ear infections.
The easiest way to remove the wax would be during or after a shower, when it is already softened by the warm temperature.
3. Protect your cat against outside elements:
Sphynx cats are very susceptible to the outside elements. They can easily get sunburns and are sensitive to low temperatures.
- To keep your hairless cat safe from the sun, consider keeping your cat inside most of the time or limiting its time outside. However, whatever you do, DO NOT USE HUMAN SUNSCREEN on your pet since some ingredients in them can be harmful to cats. You can find pet friendly sunscreen, but since cats groom themselves frequently, there's a chance they will ingest it. One solution is to get U.V. blocking films for your windows like this one.
- Body temperature: When the weather gets cold, you need to make sure your sphynx is kept warm and protected from the harsh temperature drop. A nice sweater and cuddling under a soft blanket is a good place to start.
Sphynx cats are liable to get dry skin, may even develop dandruff. Make sure your cat gets enough water intake and moisturize their skin. Keep it simple and natural by using good old coconut oil to moisturize your beloved cat or go a step further by getting pet friendly dander reducing wipes.
5. Don't leave them alone for long
Sphynx cats are very social compared to other cats. They love being with people and get along well with children and other pets.
If you get a sphynx cat and you’re not home often, you might want to think of getting another pet, because these hairless beauties hate being alone and may get depressed.
This cat breed is very affectionate and playful, which makes it great as therapy pets for people who have a lot on their mind.
6. Regular checkups
Purebred cats are prone to genetic health issues. Sphynx are especially vulnerable to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a heart condition. So if you have a sphynx cat, you should be very diligent in terms of keeping up consistent health check ups in general, and heart screenings in particular.
Also, sphynx don’t have the best teeth among cats. They need special attention, regular brushing and dental care.
Special tip: it’s always a good idea to make sure your vet is someone who is knowledgeable in purebred cats. Sphynx cats are very unique and some vets may not be aware of the special health problems they are prone to.
Sphynx cats are high maintenance pets. However, these playful, affectionate cats are definitely worth the trouble because you will be getting a life-long friend.
Comment down below if you have a sphynx cat or are thinking about getting one!