Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Will the personality of my Sphynx be like other domestic cats?
A. Yes and no. The sphynx cat has basic traits like other domestic cats but differ in that their personalities are VERY intense. Intense loyalty, intense playfulness, intense curiosity. They are also one of the most intelligent breeds. They crave human interaction and are very quick to become like another family member. They love to play with and interact with dogs sometimes more than other cats, assuming the dog is "cat-friendly." Sphynx are very fond of riding and sitting on your shoulders which is very unlike most other cats.
Q. Will a Sphynx be a suitable pet for my children?
A. Sphynx cats are very sensitive and keenly aware of their environment. They will NOT tolerate being handled in an aggressive manner. Very often young children have not learned how to interact appropriately with animals. Even if your child is relatively mild tempered with no signs of aggressive behavior, many times a new pet can be over stimulating and cause actions that are not normally particular to your child. Teaching them how to interact with animals using a Sphynx, is NOT a good choice. You MUST be willing to supervise at all times when the child and pet are interacting. Most parents do not suspect their child would be guilty of pulling tails or ears or mishandling, but most all children under the age of 4 have a strong likelihood of doing any one of these things. This kind of treatment should never be allowed without a very strong reprimand for the child. Sphynx are not to be purchased and used as a "toy" for your child. Even if your Sphynx does tolerate aggressive, abusive actions such as being pulled by the tail, ears or carried around by the neck, and does not immediately retaliate, it will most certainly and very quickly become detached and withdrawn. As an adult it will more than likely be resentful towards the child and refuse to interact. Not only will your child be disappointed (and possibly injured from scratches and bites), but you will never come to know and appreciate the tender love and affection the Sphynx breed is known for.
Please Be sure to know how your child will interact with small animals before deciding on a Sphynx. If you do not have children, but expect to have them in your future, then establishing a good relationship with your Sphynx before the child arrives will often work out OK. Your Sphynx will have the opportunity to bond and feel safe with other family members before the child is able to begin interacting. Using wisdom in making your decision will insure happiness for everyone involved.
Q. What should I feed my Sphynx?
A. For at least the first year you will want to feed them a good quality kitten food purchased from a pet store or online. Some breeders feed raw diet which we highly recommend, but keep in mind that raw diet must be made with regulations for a balanced diet. There are many raw diet recipe's if you choose to make your own, and there is also numerous companies who now specialize in making raw diet and distribute to local pet stores, or deliver it directly to your home. Reading material about feeding raw can be obtained and purchased online.
We personally feed raw meat to all of our adults and kittens. Keep in mind that cats are obligate carnivores and thrive on 100% raw meat. They have all of the necessary enzymes in their digestive system to digest raw meat. Assuming it is fresh and you have practiced safe handling, feeding raw meat is 100% nutritious and safe. Statements have been made that "if we don't eat raw and we are animals, then neither should our pets." Or, I don't feed my pet anything I wouldn't eat." ???? ..... Well, I don't know about you, but I would not ever eat commercial pet food, canned or dry (especially with today's safety issues and food recalls) nor would I be caught licking my feet and other body parts to clean them, as cats do.
Cats digestive systems are very different from ours and are equipped to handle bacteria that humans are not. I have personally seen health conditions such as IBD, food allergies, and food sensitivities, simply disappear within a matter of 2-3 days when feeding a strictly raw diet. Many vets also recommend feeding raw for optimum health.
WHAT TYPE OF LITTER IS BEST TO USE?
We highly recommend using a large grain, non-clumping, non-perfumed litter. Automatic self-cleaning litter boxes, such as the litter robot are easy to use and your sphynx will appreciate a constantly clean litter box. We use pine shavings for small animals, found in pet stores and Walmart, as it contains natural antibacterial, natural odor control and low dust. It is light weight and easy to handle. We do not scoop the litter, just use a small amount and change every other day.
Q. Is there any maintenance with my Sphynx?
A. The sphynx breed is known to secrete an oily substance to prevent drying of the skin. This can become a problem if it is not maintained properly. Each individual sphynx as with humans secretes a different amount of oil in the skin. Bathing the sphynx is important in order to prevent clogging of the skin pores. Un-bathed sphynx can also cause stains on fabrics and furniture because of the oil on the skin. Most cats require a bath about once every two to three weeks but some may need to be bathed as often as once a week, especially in the hot summer months. Bathing is usually not their idea of fun and recreation, but its not impossible. The best method I have found is to first draw a small amount of water in the sink and then stand the cat on the side of the sink. Using a wash cloth and soap, wash the cat holding it by the back of the neck if necessary. Then using a second wash cloth, rinse the soap off, followed by a warm towel to hold them in for a few minutes. Some sphynx actually enjoy a bath if they are started at a young age and are consistently bathed as adults. It also depends some on the temperament and personality. They all are enormously curious about water so making bath time a fun time produces the best results. Just like a kid!
Q. Can I allow my Sphynx to go outdoors?
A. The Sphynx are very vulnerable to outdoors for a number of reasons. Because of having no hair the skin of a sphynx can be sunburned if outdoor exposure to the sun is allowed. They can also very easily get stung or bitten by a bee or spider or other insect, causing severe reactions, due to having no hair for protection.
During the cold winter months the sphynx will absolutely not be able to tolerate the cold weather. A good rule of thumb is ---if you are cold, they are cold. Sphynx move very quickly and are extremely curious. Allowing them outdoors even for a few minutes can potentially be dangerous. They can very quickly and innocently become distracted by the simplest thing and quickly wander off. They can climb backyard fences like a pro. Allowing them in a screened porch area during very warm seasons is acceptable.
Q. What about having my Sphynx de-clawed?
A. Is is strictly forbidden by our contract to have your sphynx de-clawed.
Very often scratching can be prevented by a few simple alternative methods. Although scratching can be annoying it can be easily avoided with a little time spent with discipline. I personally have not found it to be a big problem and neither will you if you are committed to your pet. For ideas and alternatives go to www.stickypaws.com some of my personal favorites are:
1. Keep claws trimmed using a device designed for trimming. These can be purchased at all pet stores and some department stores. About once every 10 days is usually sufficient.
2. Use a spray bottle filled with water and spray them when they are scratching. This form of discipline can also be used for other persistent undesirable behaviors.
3. If you find a spot that is particularly attractive use a piece of clear, wide tape to cover the area until they lose interest in the area. You may need to repeat this process if they return to the area after a period of time. Using a product called "Boundry" (found in most all pet stores) can also be helpful.
4. Provide a scratching post using jute rope and/or berber carpet. This seems to be their favorite. Also using old wicker or rattan baskets, or a welcome mat seems to be attractive.
Q. What is the life expectancy of my Sphynx?
A. Life expectancy is approximately the same as other domestic cats. Depending on the genetic line your sphynx could live as much as 16-20 years or more. With proper care you should enjoy at least 12-15 years or more.
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