The Sphynx cat is definitely a head-turner with its very unusual features. At first glance, they look like hairless cats, but the truth is they have soft fuzzy hair on their body especially in particular areas such as ear tips, nose, and feet. Whilst most Sphynx cats have fine hair, there are also some cats that are completely bald.
Are you wondering if the Sphynx breed is your ‘purrfect’ match? They look magnificent with their one-of-a-kind appearance, but these extraordinary creatures have special care requirements.
The breed’s striking features: coat and skin
If you touch the Sphynx cat’s skin, it will feel like chamois leather and not the typical furry texture. However, this does not mean that they don’t require to be groomed.
Instead of fur, they naturally produce natural oils.
Sphynx cats have oily skin that serves protection against the elements. The said natural oils are being distributed from root to tip. However, it is unavoidable that some oils stay on the skin. It is important to regularly check her skin for any potential problems such as rashes, irritations, and spots.
This special feature challenges many owners to manage their condition carefully. They are sensitive creatures when it comes to temperature. Read further to learn how to manage their special needs.
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1. Keep them warm.
Sphynx cats don’t have an undercoat, which is layers of fur that help in keeping their bodies warm. This means that due to the lack of fur, they get cold easily. It is amazing to know that as if to compensate for the lack of fur, their body temperature is four degrees hotter than the normal feline body temperature. They will naturally favour all spots near heat sources, and they could even snuggle with you for warmth. It helps to dress them up, not for pet fashion alone but to keep them warm and healthy.
2. Protect your furless companion from the sun.
Generally, cats are susceptible to sunburns and skin cancer from too much exposure to direct sunlight. Since Sphynx have little hair, they are more at risk. They have unique skin sensitivity to the sun with their colours. The light-coloured variety may be affected more easily and quickly than the darker ones. To lower the risk of getting sunburn or skin problems, the Sphynx cat must have limited exposure to the sun. Here are some pointers to remember to ensure your cat’s safety outdoors:
- Ask a specific pet sunscreen for this breed from your veterinarian. Remember not to use human sunscreen on a Sphynx.
- If you have a field where cats can run around, create shaded places for these cats.
- Frozen marbles can be placed under their beds in an enclosed pillowcase to keep them cool in the summer.
- Try putting ice cubes in their water dish. Make sure fresh water is available at all times.
- Consider putting a light shirt on her body when you take her outdoors. Don’t forget to keep her on lead to prevent her from running away.
- Do not let her walk on hot surfaces such as concrete, metal tools, outdoor furniture, and others on a hot day.
3. Follow a strict bathing schedule but do not over bathe.
A good rule of thumb to follow is a bathing routine every seven days. It is important to prevent any build-up of dust, dirt, and grease on their skin. Encourage your hairless feline to bathe by showering her with rewards afterwards. This would ensure willingness and consistency.
The challenge with this breed is that you need to bathe them in such a way that it does not strip out too much natural oil from the skin. Overbathing could result in a grimy appearance due to overstimulation of their skin, causing to produce more oil.
How to bathe your Sphynx:
- Set just the right water temperature, which should neither be too hot nor too cold. Keep the water level low which will not put him at risk of drowning.
- Gently place her in the tub.
- Slowly pour water all over her body.
- Use a shampoo that is particularly formulated for Sphynx cats and spread it all over the body. Avoid putting chemicals on her ears and eyes.
- Pour water again to rinse off the shampoo.
- After that, pick her up and gently put her in a soft absorbent cloth or towel.
- Finally, don’t forget to give her treats!
4. Their ears need special attention.
Most Sphynx cats are likely to produce more earwax than other breeds. On top of that, due to their lack of ear hair, dust or debris get into their ears easier. This may lead to a blockage in the ear canals. Prevent the chances of infection by following a weekly cleaning routine.