Perhaps the most distinctive of domestic cats is the hairless Sphynx. To some, they’re like the ancient Egyptian pyramids embodied and deserve devotion. To others, this cat looks like a wrinkly old rat. In either case the Sphynx breed only emerged in the late 1900s, but since then their popularity has exploded. Pet parents say Sphynxes are remarkably affectionate—and researchers agree. There are some aspects of their affection that vary slightly from that of other cats but they are nonetheless stalwart companions. If you’re considering bringing a feline into your life or simply find yourself fascinated by the Sphynx, read on to learn more about these furless felines!
Many people develop an interest in Sphynxes during their search for a hypoallergenic cat. We’re sorry to disappoint, but if you have a cat allergy you’ll still suffer with a Sphynx around. This is because cat allergies are usually sensitivity to dander (dead skin cells), not fur. But, if you don’t have such an allergy or if it’s very mild you might still consider getting a Sphynx!
On the matter of hairlessness, it’s important to know that the Sphynx’s skin care routine will involve you more than other breed’s grooming would. Because there’s only peach fuzz on most Sphynxes, there’s no fur to absorb the oils naturally occurring in their skin. As a result, this breed requires a daily wipe down or “sponge bath” and a proper bath weekly. You’ll also want to invest in sunscreen since Sphynxes enjoy sun spots, just like any other cat, but are more susceptible to sunburn. Additionally, if your four-legged friend also happens to lack eyelashes, you’ll need to wipe around their eyes too.
Next, be aware that Sphynxes have rapid metabolisms compared to other cat breeds and as a result you’ll have to feed them more! This is simply a tradeoff for the hairlessness—Sphynx bodies have to work harder to stay warm. That said, you’ll likely get constant cuddles for that very reason, so it all balances out. We might also want to mention that this breed’s temperature sensitivity might necessitate a wardrobe if you’re in an even remotely cool climate.
As a breed Sphynxes are known for their curiosity and attention-seeking antics. While each individual has their own personality, this breed would be top in the running for class clown. Unlike some other cat breeds, Sphynxes cannot stand being alone. If you have a household in which somebody is always home, that’s ideal for this very sociable cat. They are among the more kid-friendly cat breeds too, although small children should never be left unattended with pets. If you’re looking for a constant companion in cat form, you’ve found your match! If, however, you’re looking for a low-maintenance pet, you might consider someone else.
Finally, while irresponsible breeding can put Sphynxes at a higher risk for health conditions such as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, if you choose a responsible breeder or reputable pet shelter and ensure that your new family member receives regular checkups, you can mitigate some of the risk. Whether you’ve already got a Sphynx who needs an exam or are bringing your new family member in for an initial exam, NOVA Pets is happy to help! Call us at (703) 378-9791 to schedule or make an inquiry, and don’t forget to ask about our Wellness Plans for cats!