Sphynx Health Care
All cats sweat. In nearly every other breed, the cat’s coat absorbs most of the secreted oils, which helps keep their coat vibrant. Sphynx, however, because they lack hair, collect dust, dirt, and other detritus that winds up sticking to the oil on their skin. Because of this fact, Sphynx cats need frequent bathing. How often depends on how much dirt the cat collects in its travels.
The cleaner you keep the cat’s surroundings, the less you will need to bathe your sphynx. Remember, however, that they will always need bathing eventually. When bathing, it is not a good idea to use harsh soaps or other cleaning materials. Although you don’t want grit and other stuff sticking to your cat, you also don’t want your cat to lose the natural oils that are necessary for healthy skin. Use a mild, notoxic soap or shampoo to bathe your sphynx. We both use and recommend a shampoo called Earthbath.
You never want to strip oil from the skin. If you do, the cat’s endocrine system will overcompensate, and you will wind up with a cat that’s dirtier and oilier than ever. If you prefer, you can dress your Sphynx in a light sweater of porous material to protect the skin.
Both cat and owner should have fun at bath time. It is a great time to bond with your cat. Because of the necessity of periodic bathing, and because of cats’ famous dislike of water, you should begin the bathing process as soon as a Sphynx kitten is weaned.
That’s when we begin in our cattery. By the time they go to their forever homes, they’re old hands at it. Never immerse the kitten’s or cat’s head entirely. Even though the Sphynx won’t drown from a short immersion, the water can get into the cat’s ears and cause painful inflammation or, possibly, infection.
To be comfy, cats will need water that is slightly hotter than their body temperature, which is roughly 103 F. The water will be hotter than you’re used to in taking your own showers and baths, but it is nevertheless crucial that you keep your hand on your cat at all times during bathing.
First, when trimming your cat’s claws, only ever trim the white part of the nail. The part of the nail that is pink is fed with blood and will bleed both painfully and profusely if you cut it. The clippers should be designed specifically for trimming cats’ claws.
All you need to do is to hold the paw loosely and gently squeeze each pad in succession to extend the nail. Clip quickly and let go in between each pad squeeze so that your cat doesn’t become anxious. Should you wish, you can also use plastic tips for the claws.
Be sure to give you cat access to a scratching post, climbing tree, or both. Without a place to scratch comfortably, your cat will turn to other objects, such as your couch or bed.
Sphynx cats’ ears are hairless. They are even hairless inside, which means that more foreign matter can get in than with other breeds. Because of this, Sphynx cats make more than a normal amount of ear wax. You should clean the cat’s ears at least once every two weeks, which is, coincidentally, the same amount of time, usually, between baths. Combining the two is a good idea. You will need some ear cleaner. During bath time, put one or two drops in each ear. When the cat shakes its head because of the noise of dissolving ear wax, it will usually fling the wax out of the ear canal onto the ear itself. From there, it’s easy to wipe away with a washcloth or cotton ball. Never clean the cat’s ears deeper than you can see.
Maintaining the Cat’s Temperature
Sphynx have no hair. Therefore, during the winter, they must be kept warm with a blanket, cat-shaped sweater, or both. Because they love warmth, they’re prone to crawl into bed with you and go right to sleep.
Because Sphynx have no hair, they are prone to sunburn, which is extremely painful for them. They also have little to no protection against insect bites or scratches from plants or other animals. We recommend NOT allowing them outside. But, if you must, it’s a great idea to have a cattio with a solid roof for your Sphynx to play in.