Last month we had these four little wonders come in for their first veterinary visit!
They are pure breed Sphynx cats, two are female and two are male. Their owner, breeder Kelly Richard, also owns their mom, Pepper, and dad, Boss. Although Sphynx cats do not have any fur (they often don’t even have whiskers) they nonetheless have distinct colouring. In this litter, two are white, one is a tortoise shell and the other is a dilute calico. They all have blue eyes, which will likely remain blue into adulthood (taking after their dad).
You might think that the lack of fur makes Sphynxes a low maintenance companion compared to their fur-covered counterparts -after all they don’t shed or require regular brushing out, and no need to worry about hairballs. In actuality, Sphynx cats require quite a lot of upkeep. They produce oils to protect their skin, and with no fur to absorb them, the oils rub off and stains materials that they come into contact with. Sphynxes therefore require periodic bathing. How often must you bathe them? That depends. Kelly recommends a bath once every 45 to 90 days. In the past she bathed her cats more frequently (some say it should be done as often as once a week) but found that the more often she bathed them, the more oils they’d produce. Striping the oils from the skin on a regular basis causes the body to overproduce them to compensate. Less frequent baths prevent the body from having to pump out excessive amounts of oil. Although most cats are not big fans of water, Sphynxes grow accustomed to baths and tolerate water well as long as they are introduced to baths at a young age. Kelly recommends bathing them in the bathtub or the kitchen sink using a gentle shampoo intended for animals -nothing human- and towel drying them afterwards. Sphynxes also require weekly ear cleaning (not surprising –look at those big ears!) and their feet need regular wipe downs as their nail beds tend to accumulate extra oils.
Sphynxes may require a bit more work than furry felines, but they make up for it with their delightful personalities. They are outgoing cats, eager to meet just about anyone –humans, dogs, even other cats. They are extremely cuddly, taking any opportunity to snuggle in your lap (or amidst fresh-out-of-the-dryer laundry!). Kelly reports that they are instinctively gentle with kids and very playful. Sphynxes are easy going and even tempered cats that form a special bond with their owners, as well as with one another. Boss, now a year-and-a-half old, was devastated when his brother was adopted out when they were kittens. In fact this is what led Kelly to get Pepper –Boss needed a companion!
There’s no arguing that Sphynxes are unique in appearance, and not a breed that everyone falls instantly in love with. However, given time with one, I guarantee they’d steal many hearts!