Sphynx cat FAQ
Q: Are sphynx cats hypoallergenic?
A: No. Despite popular belief sphynx cats are not hypoallergenic though they some people are not allergic to them. If a person is allergic to cat hair they will likely not have a reaction after interacting with a sphynx cat. However a person allergic to cat dander or saliva will still have a reaction though it can be lessened by making sure the sphynx in question is bathed often.
Q: What is the average life span of a sphynx cat?
A: Sphynx cats will live as long as any other breed, one of the oldest living cats was a sphynx who was rumored to be 32 at the time of his death.
Q: Do sphynx cats need baths? And how often?
A: Yes they do. Most sphynx cats require a bath approximately twice a month, though some need more and some less. Alice gets a bath once a month and her ears and nails cleaned/trimmed weekly. Just like humans some sphynx get dirty faster (like children).
Q: Do sphynx cats get sunburns?
A: Yes if left in direct sunlight for too long sphynx cats will get sunburns and “tan”, turning darker in color.
Q: Do all sphynx cats have HCM?
A: No. But HCM is a problem in the sphynx cat community and it is very important to have your sphynx’s heart scanned if you suspect illness.
Q: Why are sphynx cats hairless?
A: Actually sphynx cats aren’t hairless. They have a thin down all over their bodies, some more than others. Their hairless appearance is caused by a genetic mutation that causes their fur not to grow in.
Q: Should I put sweaters on my sphynx cat?
A: That is a complicated question. The answer is yes IF your sphynx cat will tolerate it and if you feel that he or she is cold and will benefit. If you’re cold so is your sphynx. If your sphynx cat will not tolerate clothing then no, I do not recommend it.
Q: My sphynx cat likes to ride on my shoulder. Does he/she believe they are a parrot?
A: Maybe, we've know a few sphynx cats that often ride on the shoulders of their humans. Mine do it to me all the time. Especially when I’m brushing my hair.
Q: What kind of cat would be a good companion for my sphynx cat?
A: Sphynx cats do get lonely if they don't have someone to play with, so another cat is a good idea. Another sphynx cat is recommended but if you can't find another sphynx, perhaps another cat of a similar energy level, such as a cornish rex.
Q: My sphynx cat chews on his nails, sometimes it looks like he's trying to pull his toes off. Is this normal?
A: Yes and no.
Chewing on thier claws is a way for them to clean them if they think they are dirty. So maybe you aren't cleaning his nails well enough? Are you cleaning them weekly and getting most of the black stuff off?
If you are cleaning them properly and he is still chewing on them, then rub the nails gently after bath time to see if any extra nail comes off. As sphynx cats (or any cat for that matter) ages their nails thicken, if too much nail is remaining it could be causing discomfort. Leaving thick nails untreated can cause damage to the nail bed.
If neither of these things stop the behavior, but he isn't injuring himself I would assume it is just a behavior he enjoys, if however, he is drawing blood or begins to limp because of the behavior, take him to the vet immediately.
Q: Do Sphynx cats get cold?
A: Yes. If you took off your clothes and wandered around your house you might be too. So make sure your sphynx cat has some blankets to curl up in.
Q: What happens if a sphynx cat breeds with a regular cat?
A: By regular I assume you mean furry. The offspring would most likely just look like fuzzy sphynx cat, or regular kittens. The gene that makes sphynx cats hairless is recessive so unless the furry cat also carried it the kittens would look as you say “regular” but there is a chance that one or more of the kittens could be naked.
Q: Is it okay to let my sphynx cat outside unsupervised?
A: No. Sphynx cats don't have hair, so they are very susceptible to heat and cold, letting your sphynx cat outside is like letting your toddler outside naked. Even if your sphynx cat seems to want outside, do not allow it unless they are wearing a harness and leash with you holding the leash. I cannot stress this enough. Too many sphynx cats get stolen when allowed outside, or get disoriented when the temperature changes and wander away from home in search of more comfortable conditions. Please, do not let your sphynx cat outside alone!
Q: Are there differences between the behavior of a male sphynx cats and a female sphynx cats?
A: Yes and no. That really depends on who you ask but from what I've seen, males can be more territorial if they are not fixed, but females can become, excuse my language “bitches” even if they are fixed. Becoming major drama Queens (like Alice) and refusing to get along with other females. Fixed males are very cuddly and can get along well with other cats, including other male sphynx cats. Female sphynx's have more of a history of disliking their own gender but it does depend on the cat and its upbringing as to what behaviors it will have.
Q: My sphynx cat eats the dogs food, is that normal? Will it hurt him/her?
A: Sphynx cats are naturally very curious, and they will usually try anything once. Dog food isn't the healthiest thing she could be eating and I would recommend moving the dog food out of her reach but I doubt it's going to make her seriously ill if it's just a few pieces.
Q: I'm having a baby, can I still have my sphynx cat?
A: Of course you can! Some old wives tales will tell you that cats are dangerous to babies and will suck out the breath and kill them. This is just not true. Though cats will lay on or with children and should be supervised, they are unlikely to kill the child, they are just curious and wanting to cuddle with the new addition.
However, it should be noted that certain bacteria can collect in the litter box of a cat that can be harmful to a pregnant woman so while pregnant woman can own cats, they shouldn't change the litter boxes (or should wear dust masks while doing so, and wash their hands immediately afterword). So have your partner do the litter box cleaning for a few months.
Q: I love sphynx cats and I'd like to meet more people who share my interest, where should I go to meet other sphynx cat lovers?
A: Well, cat shows are always a good place to meet other cat owners. But if you have none in your area that could be difficult. I'm a member of Sphynx Reteat (social networking for sphynx lovers). Feel free to join and befriend me and others.
Q: Sphynx are cats, but don't cats hate water? Is it dangerous to bathe a sphynx cat?
A: It's true, sphynx cats are cats. And cats usually don't water, but if cats are raised being bathed regularly they learn to tolerate them, some even enjoy their baths. The key is to get your sphynx cat into the water early.
Q: My sphynx cat has eye crusties, is that normal?
A: Yes, some eye goo is normal, but if it's yellow, green or red, it is abnormal and your sphynx cat should see a vet. Clear eye goo isn't usually anything to worry about since without eyelashes sphynx produce eye goo to keep their eyes clean.
Q: My sphynx kitten has REALLY bad gas, is that normal? What do I do?
A: Unfortunately that's a pretty normal complaint. Sphynx cats have sensitive stomachs and just like baby humans, baby sphynx cats get a little gassy as their bodies adjust. So my first question is, are you giving him or her milk or other dairy products? Despite what cartoons tell us, kittens should not drink cow milk, they can't digest it so it will give them gas. If you aren't giving your kitten milk, try changing their food in case they have an allergy to something in the food (grain allergies are quite common).
If neither of these things are the culprit, try taking your little sphynx to the veterinarian for a visit just to rule out anything serious. And invest in some air fresheners.
Q: My sphynx cat is always hungry, how often should I feed him? I don't want him to get fat!
A: Most cats should eat twice a day, but sphynx cats have higher metabolisms than other breeds so they do consume a bit more food.
Some cats prefer to eat small portions throughout the day, and some prefer to eat at the same times everyday so it's about finding out what your sphynx wants. Some owners leave bowls of food out during the day and feed wet food at night so their kitty isn't always hungry, but this can lead to obesity if the cat over eats. So if you choose to free feed, monitor how much you put down so your kitty doesn't over eat.
However! Kittens under five months should eat approximately four times a day since their little bodies are still growing, don't worry if your kitten starts to look pudgy since he or she is still growing.
Q: I'm a vegetarian, and I really don't approve of eating meat so it makes me sad to think that when I feed my sphynx cat (name removed) meat and fish. Can I feed her a vegetarian diet like mine? I saw on your site that you have some raw recipes but none are veggie.
A: While we respect your choice to be a vegetarian. No you can not feed your cat a vegetarian diet. Cats are carnivors and must have meat to remain healthy. Cats require at least twice as much protein as dogs for basic health maintenance. Proteins are made of amino acids such as taurine, which is vital for the prevention of blindness and some heart diseases. Cats get their necessary taurine from meat.
Furthermore, the fat in meat provides cats with linoleic acid, which cats cannot produce on their own. Linoleic acid assists in the production of red blood cells and helps with bodily functions such as blood clotting. Meat is also a cat's only source of vitamin A, which is also important for normal bodily functioning.
So in short no, I'm sorry but you'll have to get over your sadness about the animals that are dying for your sphynx cat. It's them or her.
Q: My Sphynx cat loves chicken and fish. Can I give him the bones to chew on?
A: Absolutely not. Cooked chicken bones can splinter in his mouth and cause serious damage. Smaller fish bones can even get lodged in his throat! If he has a strong urge to gnaw on something, try chewy treats.
Q: Is catnip bad for my cat? Someone told me it's like a drug.
A: Catnip is completely harmless herbs. Catnip is said to contain a chemical that resembles the scent of a substance released by unspayed females.
Q: Why does my sphynx cat knead me, with her claws?
A: Just like purring, kneading is a sign of happiness. It is a throwback to when they were kittens. Kittens knead at their mother's teats to speed the flow of milk. Purring usually accompanies kneading and adult cats normally knead when sitting on a favorite person's lap or settling down to sleep.
Q: What is the best harness for a sphynx cat. I want to take mine outside.
A: Since sphynx cats are hairless, harnesses made of soft fabric are best so that it doesn't irritate their skin. A regular harness with soft fabric wrapped around it can also often suffice.
Q: Why are they called "sphynx" cats?
A: Have you heard of the sphinx in Egypt? Well the sphinx is a mythical creature that is said to have the body of a lion and the head of a human. There was also a sphinx in Greece that was said to be a demon with wings and a tail. Both creatures are said to have been created by taking parts from several different animals. Sphynx cats are sometimes said to be part dog, part human and part
monkey, a hybrid of three other animals. Just like the sphinx's of Egypt and Greece. But spelled differently.
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