The Hairless Cat
I own three Sphynx cats and am a huge fan of the breed. They are friendly, energetic, and playful pets. They're good with children and other animals, and, despite their strange appearance, they make warm and adorable cuddle buddies. However, many people don't know what they're getting into when they decide to get a Sphynx, which ironically needs more care than most cats because of its hairlessness.
Before you decide to buy your hairless companion, make sure you do your research! These cats are incredibly loving and will greet you at the door and sleep on your lap, but they also need a lot of companionship and regular grooming, which makes them higher maintenance than most cat breeds.
Sphynx Cat Care
If you have a Sphynx, be prepared to groom it at least once a week. "What?" you say, "But it's hairless; why does it need grooming?" In fact, Sphynxes groom themselves as often as regular cats, but since they don't have enough fur to absorb the oil secreted by their skin or their saliva, grooming leaves a sticky, sometimes crusty residue of oil, sweat, and spit on their skin. Think of them in the same way you would think of a baby. It's hairless, close to the ground, not designed to clean itself, and has special needs.
A Sphynx cat needs a bath at least once a week, and preferably in a medicated pet shampoo like Malaseb to ensure any bacteria or other nasties are killed during the bath. Most cats of this breed have been acclimated to regular baths by their breeder, which you can see in all the cat videos of hairless kitties happily playing in the bath. However, sometimes a Sphynx will retain its cat instincts and really dislike getting wet. Make sure your breeder has worked at acclimatising your kitten to a regular bath, and continue regular bathing to reinforce the habit. Special rewards during and after will help.
Even with the bathing, your new friend may leave marks on furniture, sheets and your fluffy white towels just out of the drier if they sleep there for any length of time. This is because of their oily sweat glands, which can cause reddish-brown oil to build up on their skin. Regular bathing will help, but it will not keep the cats from sweating, so if you cannot deal with the occasional oily brown sweat stain, this may not be the cat for you.
Sphynxes have no hair in their ear canals, which means dirt and debris collects in their ears more easily. They also produce copious amounts of dark earwax that is quite unsightly and can stain furniture and clothes. This wax will block the ear canal if left uncleaned. Be prepared to clean the gunk out of their ears with a cotton swab and some ear cleaner a couple of times a week. I won't lie to you; it is quite disgusting. If you are totally grossed out by the thought, then do not buy a hairless cat.
If you choose to trim your cat's nails, do so directly after its bath when the nails will be softer and easier to cut. Make sure to only trim the sharp ends and not the more sensitive pink part of the claws (called the "quick"). You can trim nails with any sharp nail clipper, and make sure to clean your cat's toes in the bath, as residue can sometimes build up!
Sphynx cats are among the most loving and friendly cats. If you want a cat who will sleep on your lap while you watch TV, snuggle up with you at night, and greet you at the door after work, this breed will not disappoint. They are gentle, easygoing, and good with kids, dogs, and other cats.
The flip side of all that friendliness is that they need companionship. This breed does not like being left alone, and they have a desperate need for attention. If you get one, you need to be able to return all the affection and love it gives you. If you aren't a very affectionate pet-owner, you'd be better off getting a more independent, stand-offish cat, like a Siamese.
If you are leaving the house for long periods of time, your Sphynx's heart is going to break. Unless you have a companion for it, it is going to become depressed. If you don't have other friendly animals it can interact with, and you know you'll be out of the house often, then you should either buy two or get a Sphynx and another, less high-maintenance cat as a companion. If you get both cats as kittens and they grow up together, they will certainly become best friends.
The Need for Heat
When was the last time you ran around the house naked? In countries that have cold winters, your power bill will need to rise as a Sphynx needs to be warm all of the time (not just when humans are in the house). If you don't leave the heaters on, then you will need to purchase a heated cat igloo or make sure they have a warm bed with pillows that gets plenty of sun.
If you look through pictures on the Internet, you are bound to find some of a Sphynx dressed in a warm jumper or t-shirt. Be careful when putting clothing on your new friend! Some cats are fine with it and appreciate the warmth, but many become confused and unhappy if you try to dress them. They might tip over, freeze in one place like a statue, or become withdrawn. If you decide to get your buddy a sweater, pay attention to how it is behaving and make sure it is okay with the change. If it doesn't like wearing clothing, you'll just have to make sure there are warm spots available for it to sleep.
Lastly, you must be able to love your hairless companion even when:
- they don't cover their poop in the kitty litter;
- their poop smells like the worst thing you have ever smelled and now you have visitors at the door;
- they have trodden on their soft poop and cuddled up to you in front of the guests, leaving poopy marks all over you;
- or let an eyewatering fart go when you are cuddling them in front of the guests and explaining how gorgeous they are as a breed.
If you cannot even contemplate being able to do those things, then do not buy a Sphynx.
But if you can, then welcome to the most loyal, gentle, and affectionate breed in the cat family!
Stephanie on August 08, 2020:
Id love to have one!!!! Kyle !!
ElenaBali on August 01, 2020:
I have a Sphynx cat. She was the most affectionate cat I’ve ever known. She had her first and last litter of kittens 4 weeks ago. Ever since she stopped coming and hanging out with us. She does not climb on my lap anymore. Does not snuggle with us. We were thinking of keeping one kitten from the litter and sterilizing both of them. But now I’m thinking to myself “if we will keep one kitten will she keep choosing the company of her feline friend over our?” We do love her very much and we are really missing her affection and spending time with her...any advice suggestions?
Sally on July 08, 2020:
U know I want one but I don’t no where they sell them;-;
F on July 06, 2020:
Great article, but perhaps do a little more research on Siamese, they are know to be even more affectionate and chatty, and attention needing then Sphynx cats.
ok!? on June 22, 2020:
I want one T^T
Cecil Baldwin III on June 12, 2020:
I love my Sphynx! He is about 3 years old, and still as playful as a kitten. If you do not want an active cat, this may not be the breed for you. Things I most enjoy about Cecil:
- He has a killer dad bod, man boobs and all, which in moments of despair makes me feel great about myself.
- He drinks water excessively, like 3 full bowls a day.
- He's a shadow, this breed always wants to be in the middle of whatever may be going on. Nothing is off limits; don't even try.
- I can take him for walks (with skin protection from the sun) on a leash.
- He plays fetch. All. The. Time. He will bring every toy in the house and drop it in your lap if you won't participate.
- This breed loves to climb. Cats posts, humans, the wall, it doesn't matter. Having perches is a must. Also, your shoulders will constantly (and unintentionally) always be scratched.
Sometimes he's a parrot, monkey, dog, demon...but he's always sweet.
They really are the most loving breed. I've owned many cats and can honestly say his personality, and the others of the same breed i've been in contact with, are truly special. They needs lots of love and attention, and will give it all back in return.
Gisele on June 02, 2020:
My friend was hanging out with Sphynx and she noticed it had poop all over his paws and he was walking around with poop on his paws all over the place and she did have to clean it up while crying. But she loves him to death and he's amazing to cuddle with and it's fun giving him baths.
Kyle on May 20, 2020:
I got my fiancé a sphynx for Christmas and it’s the worst thing I have ever done. It cannot be trained, constantly climbs on the countertops where we eat, and regularly smells horrific even after baths. It cries at the bedroom door but it cannot sleep with us because it will pounce on you in the middle of the night when you are fast asleep. I almost think there might be something wrong with the cat. We have tried everything to keep it off the countertops and out of our food and nothing works. I really really regret getting this breed. I have never experienced a cat like this. I really dislike the cat more and more every day and don’t know what to do.
School kid on January 30, 2020:
I own 2 sphynx kittens are they are LOVELY. around noon is when they are most active. This article helped a lot and so did the comments. THX!
Marnie on January 23, 2020:
Please make sure to get this breed checked by a cardiologist regularly. I just lost my little Lotus at the age of 6 from congenital heart disease and it was the hardest thing I've ever had to go through as it progressed so quickly. This breed in specific is more susceptible, I would completely get another in a heart beat but I would try and do an extensive background check into the breeding pair as much as you can and specifically ask about CHD . This breed is so loving and affectionate be ready to have them try and sleep on your neck all the time. They are well worth the investment! No other breed can compare to the love you will get from your own hairless baby. Mine loved to sit on my shoulders as I cleaned dishes
Judith Rietcheck on November 15, 2019:
We recently brought home a 3 yr old, 3 days ago. She is terrific! So loving. We have 2 dogs she hasn't met yet. She is downstairs they are upstairs.
Her eyes water constantly. She's had all shots, seems fine. Is this maybe a Spynx thing?
cherry turner on August 13, 2019:
how in the world do you train a cat to use the toilet? I would love to have a sphynx
Wendy Hansen on January 08, 2019:
I jut lost my Harry to CHPD, 5 years old and the absolute lite of my life.
He died in my arms, 5 minutes in to taking him to a emergency clinic that is not in my town, that is a 45 minute drive.
Harry is missed and loved by is furbie family, Ashton, Jennie, Reubin and Gracie...also is missed by the mortgage payers and Wendy and Adrian. RIP my sweet prince, you are with me always
Lesley on November 29, 2018:
we have 3 bichon miniature dogs age 5,6,8. We have adopted a sphynx kitten that we will receive in 2 weeks. Our question is , is it better to adopt two kittens or just the one? We have been told that a sphynx should have another felin companion. Thanks
Bill on November 09, 2018:
My cats neck locked up last night while he was sleeping . I had to crack it and he was very clam for about 20 min. Anyone ever had that happen?
Unicornxx on October 24, 2018:
They're so cute to have so I'm doing a documentary about it!
Lenchika on September 19, 2018:
To the author: If your cat is farting often it's not the breed's fault like you make it sound, it means your cat has digestive problems and you should consider either switching to a different dry/wet food or to a raw diet altogether (for ex. Primal Nuggets, Chicken & Salmon - my cat's preference). This should also improve the consistency of his stool (you seemed to complain a lot about his poop). And I'd recommend teaching him how to use a toilet (my Sphynx is toilet trained since she was 4 months old and it was the best decision ever).
Overall, due to many digestive issues that your cat seems to have, your article make it sound like Sphynx are poopers and farters. And what's up with claiming they're not designed for cleaning themselves (the opposite is actuallu true - they are cleaning machines! My cat's tongue is very efficient at making her super clean/soft/velvety to the point of her not needing a bath for up to 3 weeks!). I have to doubts your negative experience/comments turned some potential sphynx parents off this amazing cat breed. And they might never experience the unbelievable magic of having a Sphynx in their life...!
i love all cats on June 01, 2018:
i really want a sphinx cat!! they are adorable, and not ugly at all!! i’m only 13, and my parents say that they look like rats or for the black sphinx cats, bats. idc what they think,, i love them!! i would totally care for it, and still researching the breed,!
Laura on May 27, 2018:
I live with a Sphynx, she is 1.5 yrs old. She has lived with other cats and a dog. They are incredibly loving and don't want to let you out of their sight. A few points:
- their poop smells no different from any other cat breed (what are these people feeding them?!
ur haha mom on April 23, 2018:
i have a sphynx & i love her, but there's so many things my sphynx does differently.
i would consider this i reliable source, & i recommend these cats, but i just want to share some facts of Khaleesi Sacajawea Coilette Parks.
firstly, her pee & poop.
she LOVES peeing on annoying people or people she doesnt like.
she has peed on everyone in my family but me. (there is 9 people total in my family, & 1 dog & 2 cats..)
she likes pooping on the floor no matter WHAT bc she is a B.A.B
she HATES other cats more than anything, but she is okay with dogs, little dogs that aren't too hyper.
she pees on other cats
her pee stinks, not like cat pee, but rotten.
Next, her behavior.
she likes sleeping. she sleeps all day, & when shes not sleeping, shes screaming like a banshee for NO REASON.
she drinks 4 bowls of water a day & fills her litter in one day, i think she has diabetes.
she likes licking butter.
she EATS catnip.
she smells like fart.
^ unless i bathe her with baby shampoo, any other shampoo doesn't help.
she has bad blackheads on her chin.
she purrs really loud.
this is the LAZIEST sphynx you'll ever meet, she only ever plays if its a hoodie drawstring, & i HAVE to be wiggling it for her.
she is great to cuddle with, sleep with, & hold.
My cat seems horrible, & she is, but i love her so much.
i recommend getting one, my cat is just really crusty dusty rusty musty.
clicks2018 on April 07, 2018:
i own a sphynx, more i am owned by a sphynx and i do not agree with a number of comments about the breed.
1. they DO NOT require weekly bathing with MEDICATED shampoos at all ( please remove that point as it not accurate & can unbalance their natural skin oils). i bath my sphynx once a month with Johnson baby shampoo, he has no 'nasties' on the skin just like we dont? wipe regularly with unscented baby wipes soaked in wrung out warm water.
2. their pooh doesnt stink more than any other cat & he does not gas, cats on the wrong diet may do this but a healthy sphynx covers his pooh, does not stink and rarely if ever gases.
3. they are not stand offish, unless they have been neglected or badly treated, this breed is the most loving, sweet affectionate creature you will ever meet. BUT, as a human you have to be extra empathetic and aware of the COLD. sphynxes require special homes, they love constant company, from humans, cats & dogs alike.
Hullabaloo on March 29, 2018:
I think these seem like a lovely breed and would love the opportunity to care for one. However, as someone who has had 6 Siamese cats it is not accurate to describe this breed as stand offish. They are very affectionate and intelligent. Much more than an average cat. Whilst articles such as this are important to highlight breed traits prior to ownership, it is not right to comment on other breed characteristics if you provide misleading information. Everything you have described applies to Siamese cats as well!
GLaDOS on March 27, 2018:
Beerus from Dragon ball super is based on a kiss toriyama's sphinx cat, that's why he looks like a cat.
libby wilding on March 15, 2018:
I love the facts u told us about.. and I AM GETTING OONE!!!
Butt hurt popo on February 22, 2018:
when they say standoffish it means they are more independent and dont need lots of attention (though some do)
hi lol this is not my name on February 09, 2018:
im so confused!!!!!
samiamays on January 26, 2018:
i really am a pet lover and i want nothing but the best for animals
to Jj on January 23, 2018:
for this type of cat you need to bathe it or else it will get so dirty you couldn't even touch it would also smell disgusting also if you don't clean it could get the cat sick. you obviously don't know what your talking about
meep cat person on January 19, 2018:
i love them so much
Annoyed reader of comments on January 16, 2018:
Each cat is different. For everyone saying that the person who made This page is wrong for saying something about an animal, stop. Each and every animal is different. There is absolutely no cat that is 100% more friendly than another. It all depends on the cats personality. Just because you sphynx isn’t as loving doesn’t mean another persons isn’t. This site is supposed to help give tips. Not give ignorant people something to complain about.
KC on December 28, 2017:
Excuse you; I have a Siamese and he acts just as affectionate as you say a Sphynx is! “Stand-offish”?! You don’t know wtf you’re talking about
The on December 25, 2017:
The cat shits demons it’s terrible great cat but a lot of work I’ve never smelled anything so Wretched
Jj on December 24, 2017:
This article is ridiculous.. and FALSE.. it's not good to bathe any type of cat or dog regularly once a week like this recommends. This will make your animal less immune to it's environment, eventually causing them to get sick.
Sharri on December 05, 2017:
I WANT A HAIRLESS CAT EVEN MORE NOW
stacy masstue on November 19, 2017:
i want a hairless cats so much and i feel like this breed and it warms my heart seeing animals happy i am going to ask all my family if its ok to get one . i love cats and family members with asiema ans allergies to cats and dogs so i was happy to find out that all this is not that and hard i am going to get this sxpinx and thanks on the tips on how to maintain it .
olivia cullen on November 11, 2017:
hi i really wont a hairless cat but every one i tell disagree with me and tell they say that my two 11 month old labs not sure if mixed breed will not get along with the cat, they most of the time get along with other dogs but never normal cats so i want to if dogs get along better with hairless cats more then a normal car. and im 10 years old by the way
Iraj Gardner on September 23, 2017:
I now have two Sphynx cats, along with a Siamese and a Domestic Shorthair. I've had the Sphynx for about 4 years. They came from different places, one from a breeder and one rescued from an abusive household. My other one, Mitsou, is as sweet as pie, very cuddly and affectionate.
Speaking of bathing, I do not recommend you bathe a Sphynx unless they are visibly dirty. The author stated that many are used to baths. This is untrue. They don't like baths any more than a cat with hair, this is instinctive for all cats. A wet, struggling Sphynx is very difficult to handle, especially when covered in soap. They don't "get used to" baths just because they're bathed more than other breeds. Overbathing dries out the skin and antibacterial soaps are the worst for that. It also depletes the skin's natural bacteria which help to protect it from infections. And do you really want your cat licking and ingesting disinfectant chemicals, or absorbing them through their thin skin? Use the mildest shampoo you can find if you must bathe your Sphynx. Better yet, use mild unscented baby wipes to spot clean dirty areas as opposed to dunking the whole cat in water. Facial wrinkles and eyes must be cleaned daily as well, otherwise they'll quickly get infected.
One thing to be aware of is the teeth. Many Sphynx lack tooth enamel, or have very little enamel. It's a side effect of the hairless gene. You can tell by looking at the teeth, if they look brown or grey there's no enamel. This leaves them open to decay and bad breath, so it's imperative that you keep an eye on their teeth and gums, as untreated tooth or gum infection WILL lead to kidney failure and death. There's a good chance you'll have to have their teeth pulled by the time they're 5-7 years old. I recommend that if your cat has no enamel they should be fed wet food - NOT kibble. Kibble will wear their teeth down in no time. Contrary to pet food company hype, kibble does not clean teeth, it only wears them down and leaves a thick layer of sticky plaque behind.
Dressing a Sphynx is a dumb idea because it's unsafe for the cat. They try to groom themselves through the fabric, because their skin is irritated by the fabric they groom even more. Their barbed tongues pull fibers and threads from the clothing and they swallow it, leading to surgery for bowel blockages. Clothing also catches on things, and they can suffocate if they get hung on something or panic and twist the clothing around their necks. If you want your Sphynx to be warm, all they need is a few blankets around the house. They are experts at tunneling under a blanket if they feel cold. They can also find other heat sources like a heater or a sunny window.
Re personality. They are like stubborn little monkeys, experts at finding things to get into and destroy. Once they fixate on something, the ONLY way to keep them away from it is to take it out of reach or put up a barrier. I've had to attach big pieces of cardboard to the sides of my fridge and dishwasher because they were getting up and knocking things down at night, breaking things and making a mess. You will need baby latches for cupboard doors otherwise they get in and throw the contents onto the floor. Any appliance with buttons located on the top must have a guard installed over the buttons (I duct tape a small box over them). They can even rip down plants hung from ceiling hooks. Plus, everywhere they go they leave a mess of gunky brown footprints.
Think twice about getting a Sphynx if you have smaller pets or fish tanks. They are masters at breaking into cages, knocking lids off of fish tanks, or sitting on them and harassing the occupants by sticking paws in through the bars and swatting the sides of the cage. Because of their stubbornness, they WILL. NOT. STOP. until they break that cage open. I've tried booby traps and spraying the miscreants with water - they ignore the booby traps and wait until you're gone to attack the cages again. I have bird cages which must now be hung on hooks on the wall, close to the ceiling. I left a ladder folded and propped on the wall near a cage, they climbed the ladder in the middle of the night and tore the cage off the wall. Ironically, my Sphynx get along fine with my guinea pigs and rabbits. They hang out in the cages and share the hay with the animals.
Sphynx are very affectionate - often too much! They decide how they show affection. At the same time each evening, Yoko climbs up onto my left shoulder and starts licking my ear. Trouble is, she drools when feeling affectionate, so it gets annoying really fast. She focuses her rough licking on one spot until it bleeds (if I let her). The claws digging into my shoulder don't help. Mitsou climbs all over my body, with a radar in her paws that helps her to locate the most painful and sensitive spots. She whips her hard little tail from side to side, hitting my eyes and face. She tries to climb up my chest to tuck herself under my chin for a cuddle (her idiot breeder taught her this habit as a baby) and in the process she digs claws into tender areas. If she's pushed away she comes right back, many times. Until I had Sphynx, I've never had a cat whose affections were painful or annoying, but this is something to consider if you are thinking of getting one.
Overall, I love my Sphynx cats but I'm not sure if I'd want another one. They are lovely and interesting cats, but is all the extra hassle, dead small pets, mess, stench, flesh wounds and breakage really worth it?
Lut on September 20, 2017:
I have 2 hairless cats for 9 years. My daughter has one I have from an Russian breeder. I love the breed but you have to make sure you can make lots of time for them. They need human contact and want to be involved in what you do. The bathing and the greasy spots are a fact ,but they are sooo awesome. My cats love routine. They know when I come home ,when I get up etc. I think that the most important thing to know for people who consider buying a hairless cat is that there is allot of maintenance !!!! But so worth it !!
G on September 15, 2017:
Can you tell me where could find a reputable breeder that wont be selling and inbred cat or one that's infected with the feline herpes. I was told that all sphynx have the herpes virus
Pamela Rayon on September 13, 2017:
Thank you reading about the Spinks cat and watching the videos was great I still want to Spinks cat thank you very much for all the information but was wondering how long what day Spinks cat live just recently lost my cat she was 21 years old
Barbara on September 09, 2017:
These cats look creepy. I wouldn't be able to sleep..Sorry
not my type of animal...They look almost human.
Bibi von Sternberg on July 25, 2017:
I adore these cats but have a black cat that could unwillingly hurt the naked skin.
Camila on June 17, 2017:
I really want one and all i need is 270 dollars left to get one!
Gina on June 07, 2017:
Thank you for this very informative overview of owning a shpynx. We are about to get our first and I was very lucky that the breeder happens to be a very good friend of mine who is a responsible one, she not only told me exactly almost word for word what this said but, told me to do all the research I could and let her know in a week if I still wanted one. I had been a professional groomer for 8 years so the high maintenance and knowledge of bathing ect. Was no problem. Needless to say we get our little beauty on the 4th of July!!! We will be staying home and sound proofing our room as much as possible from neighboring fire works , and cuddling all night with her and her big brother, Murphy the toy poodle.
Yesenia213i on May 19, 2017:
Where I can find one
VERONICA on May 09, 2017:
This has been very helpful and educational, I have been wanting this kind of cat but I`m rarely home because of my job and I don't want my buddy to get heart broken cause I`m not home just that alone breaks my heart.
Sam on April 25, 2017:
Sphynx cats are the most disgusting creatures on this planet (:
Cool on April 18, 2017:
I am having a sphinx cat in a month and you helped very much thank you
Baby ariel on March 20, 2017:
Thank you for giving really good information about sphnx cats.
Someone on March 16, 2017:
That 2 percent that got a sphinx and hate it are going to burn in hell.
animal lover :3 on March 13, 2017:
thnx for the advice! tbh i think Sphynx's are really adorable :p
Arlene on January 24, 2017:
We have had a Sphynx for 15 years and love this breed. We were never able to bathe the cat ourselves so she had to go to the groomers, but most groomers generously note that it only takes them a few minutes to do the job and don't charge much more than $25 (and that was Manhattan). The ears and nails were also taken care of at the groomers. The stains are based on the oiliness of the cat and ours has gone through many phases, including a very greesy adolescence where weekly baths were a must. Now that she is older once a month is fine. We never put clothes on our cat, but always made a nice nest in her favorite place near a heat source. Never ever let her nest area go below 70 and that's with lots of blankets!
Multicatkid on January 23, 2017:
Thank you. And actually I like this breed more then others now knowing that if I get it I'll be really helping it. And it'll return my affection
Debbie Lemay on December 22, 2016:
The only thing that you do not tell people is how to tell if it is a true sphynx or a fax. The ease I bring it up is there are people that shave cats and sell them as sphynx.
This has happened twice in Alberta Canada.
Verruca Salt on December 21, 2016:
Siamese are not stand offish mine is a loving chatty companion. Plus he doesn't require high maintenance.
Candice on November 21, 2016:
I want a sphinx! Although I have a Siamese adult female! Should I do it?! HELP!!
Ando on November 20, 2016:
I have a Burmese boy and a female Sphynx. My Sphynx is totally aloof and only seeks attention when it wants something. So much so that we feel like it is an un domesticated cat. Our Burmese is loving, super affectionate and loyal. I really don't believe the "friendliest" cat label for Sphynx and suggest this was more of a fashionable answer to the survey. The Sphynx in my experience is an interesting cat, but most definitely not friendly. Energetic definitely. But very very aloof. I actually regret buying her given the ridiculous price tag. If you want the worlds friendliest and most affectionate cat breed, buy a Burmese.
Seth on October 23, 2016:
I have a 7-year-old Bengal female cat with high temperament that needed a companion, so decided to get her a hairless buddy just last autumn.
He is the cutest thing I know, loving, cuddling, sociable, etc but yes... his toilet is disgusting and apparently has been having a number of health issues since the day we first got him...
so so stressful and sad as I am so attached to him now and it's hurting my heart to see him suffer...
The vets keep telling me that it's the breed that has a very low immune system although I have never read anything similar from other sphynx owners and I can say that I research a lot.
Thought it would be a good idea if I shared my experience with the breed as the only things I could find about sphynx cats are the good things everyone is loving them about.
In regards to grooming though, it really depends on your Sphynx genes and how much oil they produce. Some are fine with a couple times a month but mine definitely needs once a week (every 5 days or so) as he completely changes colour from the oil he produces.
I'd recommend that you ask your breeder A LOT of questions before you decide that it's the right one for you... If I'd ever got a kitten again I'd ask them to show me the medical history of the parents - not kidding!! :(
Mia on October 23, 2016:
I have a question:
Does the oily residue come off of furniture, or does it stain forever?
kitty on September 06, 2016:
what can a sphynx interact with because i have a turtle and she is very lonely
cat lover on September 06, 2016:
i read your tips and now im really scared about the poop . What should i do about the poop stains.I NEED HELP!!!
Lola on August 10, 2016:
This is a well intentioned article-- more of a cautionary tale as the author clearly loves her cat, but I guess not written well enough or thoroughly enough to be really effective either way.
I have two Sphynx (we call them rat cats in this house!) and a few things:
-no need to bathe every week. A few times a month is fine. You do need to clip and clean nails and ears/eyes once a week. I clean faces every few days.
Mine are on a raw diet and have no waste odor issues whatsoever.
They are extremely inquisitive, smart, needy...the list goes on. Be the kind of person who likes to play with your cat a lot. They will return the love tenfold.
Mine have light colored beds which after a few weeks you can see slight grease stains, but, that's it...pop it in the wash and no big deal.
Do much more research than this article before buying a Sphynx (and I would HIGHLY recommend getting two due to their attachment issues - even then they still miss you when you're out!) but if, like me, you fell in love and knew you'd be willing to do anything to have these amazing cats in your life, by all means go for it. The love, joy, silliness and companionship is unrivaled with any other pet I've had and I genuinely can't imagine my life without them now.
Dan on August 07, 2016:
A great article , my Sphynx is v smelly and disgusting but I don't mind nobody is perfect after all. I had to laugh at the Siamese comment though as a lifelong owner of Siamese cats I can assure you they are not standoffish and do everything the Sphynx does just with hair.
KristinAlyse on May 23, 2016:
I was just gifted an amazing little male Sphynx. He's 10 months old and I'm so excited to read all the information and care requirements! I'm looking forward to welcoming him to our family.
My question is twofold-
One: I have 2 one year old cats (one male one female and both are fixed); will there be an issue adjusting for long since he's not fixed?
Two: I haven't decided if I should offer him for breeding. I don't know where to look or where to start looking or if he will become more aggressive if he breeds. I've always spayed/neutered cats before.
Julia on March 02, 2016:
I am allergic to pet hair but I've always loved cats, I have been doing my research about the Sphynx cat and despite all the information I have collected, I still want to get it. There is just one thing, I am not home all the times, I am usually out of the house all day long and only come home at the end of the day during weekdays, should I still get one?
Triumphfreak on February 29, 2016:
Sphynx are amazing family members one thing not mentioned here is Sphynx have a propensity for a genetic trait called HCM or hypretrophic cardio miopothopy a disease which effects the heart there are usually no outward signs of the disease other than sudden death we lost our first Sphynx to it at the age of 5 which was heart breaking as I discribe these cats as part dog part cat part monkey and part child and a hole lot more doing regular heart screening with veterinary cardiologist can help prevent possible problems
Johnny on December 14, 2015:
In between weekly baths we used flushable baby wipes to wipe oil/dirt build up on his skin. If you like your house clean of sand litter use "yesterdays news" cat litter, it's recycled news paper in the shape of cylinder pellets, no mess, I even flushed the poop down the toilet. Easy to care for, no fur balls on floor or furniture.
Rusana on November 05, 2015:
Thank you very much,for sharing your knowledge about the Sphinx cats,I really wanted one but your post make me think about it :)
Nomoresneezes on September 04, 2015:
The cats are around $1500
Justme on August 13, 2015:
I can't seem to find any rescues in northeast Indiana. Anyone?
CATFYHKWERHG on June 07, 2015:
How much are these cats?
Haired sphynx!! on May 26, 2015:
Several months ago, I rescued the cutest ugliest haired sphynx kitten from a local shelter. They thought she had some sort of skin condition, but it turns out she's just genetically mutated. Her frame and features are those of a sphynx. Her underside is completely bald, her tail is a wispy rat tail, and her topside, head and limbs are sparsely covered in long wispy silky white hair (with much wrinkly pink skin proudly showing through!). I have never seen a creature as beautiful as this, and she takes my breath away everytime she walks into a room. She has no undercoat and does not shed, but she is high maintenance. I have 3 regular hairy cats (two DSH and one Turkish Angora), and can attest to the fact that the sphynx requires more maintenance than the other three combined. Everything the author said describes my kitty to a tee, except that she doesn't leave the brown marks, probably because of her little bits of hair. She tolerates her weekly baths very well, loves her heated blanket, and is quite fond of wearing pretty dresses and sweaters. Despite the goopy ears, stinky chronic diarrhea, poopy footprints, daily eye boogers, biting habit, and propensity to wake me throughout the night yowling and demanding attention, I have not for a single moment regretted adopting this kitten. I look forward to many many years (I hope) of bathing, scooping, wiping, cleaning, clipping, swabbing, grooming, petting, holding, snuggling, loving, smiling and laughing. My sphynxy brings me unprecedented joy and I will be forever grateful to whoever dropped this awesome animal at the shelter for me to discover. I have been blessed! If you do not have the time or do not want to spend the time caring for an animal, do not get a sphynx. In fact, do not get any animal. Pet ownership, much like parenthood, is a big commitment and is not for everyone.
David on May 25, 2015:
I love my Don Sphynx - bought to placate my kids - and I never even liked cats - is my absolute love - truly my buddy - everything you read about their personalities - 100% true - mine doesn't get that waxy build up and I only bathe him once every 2-3 weeks - his butt gets kinda stinky, not sure if that's w every cat as this is the 1st I've had - and it's not bc I bathe him only every 2-3 weeks - not sure what the ruckus is about this article - it's fair and I didn't wet myself bc of the warning attitude. Great, great cat - just like article mentioned, if I could do it over I'd have gotten 2 of them so they could keep each other company. Hard to explain how wherever the family is, Tobias Gremlin just moseys over and hangs out w us - he shares a kitchen chair w my youngest, not disturbing, just hanging out. The article is fine. The cat is even better.
Anna Powell on May 24, 2015:
I've wanted a Sphynx for so long, not only because their appearance is beautiful and captivating, but because they do seem like such affectionate, loving cats. I am highly hesitant at getting one due to where I live, but I feel like I will get one when I get older and have a steady enough income to afford taking the best care of it possible.
Thank you so much for this article, it's something I probably wouldn't be prepared for until I found my perfect companion and I would've thought the poor furless baby was sick!
Amanda on April 11, 2015:
This is so over sensitive. Cats are low maintenance animals. This makes it sound like you're trying to care for an aircraft, it's a cat people. Take care of it as you would a normal cat with some additional bathing and it will be fine. Really cats trim their own nails (trees, scratching posts, etc.) I mean they did live just fine before human intervention.
Trisha on April 08, 2015:
Sorry for the typos in my above post... I type too fast. The baby wipes comment I wrote I meant for cleaning your sphynx nails.
Trisha on April 08, 2015:
Sophia - if you will toss a towel in te dryer for a minute te wrap your Sphynx in it she won't fidget or try to get away. Hold her close in the towel and only pull out one paw at a time. My girl loves nail time. I just use baby wipes to clean gets then a pedi - paw to cut them. Just be careful. They work better than clipping and less pressure to nails. I've had my girl for seven years. She will learn wit the litter box. To keep the litter and all from tracking through the house I bought a 4 ft bath "very shaggy" bath mat to put under her litter box door. Then once a week I take it outside and shake it off. Then watch it every 2 weeks. She will Lear the the dragging her tail and feet through te box. Mine was doing that and one I got her a large litter box she stopped whe she was young and scooping the litter box 2x a day helps greatly! Every morning and night. I've alwas own sphynx and I won't ever own a different breed. They are so precious and very affectionate and curious! She's like a little kid and gets into everything lol. Even if I go to the restroom she follows me. my girl doesn't like the sweaters. She falls over and turns into a log lol.during winter make sure you keep unfolded blankeys in random spots. On the couch, your made bed etc. Oh one thing that should have been mentioned: most Sphyn like body heat and LOVE to sleep under your blankets at night cuddled up as close as possible to you. Gotta love to have that bed cuddle buddy!!
josie on March 31, 2015:
Awe, everything you said is so very true. I have 2 Sphynx and I love them too pieces. Not a cat for just anyone, but for a selected few that are willing to love them as they are.
Jennifer on March 30, 2015:
Honestly, I read this "article" before I got my Sphynx and I'm glad I didn't let it dissuade me. This is an opinion piece, people. Not every Sphynx will be as "bad" sounding as this makes it out to be.
The only thing on this list that applied to mine is he's not fond of bath time. Otherwise he wears clothes with zero issues (btw there are other reasons to put a sweater on them than to "dress them like dolls" help them stay warm? keep the sun off them? The list goes on).
The maintenance things aren't a big deal - claw, eye, and ear cleaning take 5-10 minutes, tops (also claw trimming is something ALL cats need, not just Sphynxes). Bathing depends on the individual cat, most probably don't need a weekly bath, and actually more frequent baths are worse for their skin. Mine doesn't leave brown/oily marks anywhere.
This should really be called "Things to consider before getting a Sphynx" with a note that not all Sphynx cats are oily, sh***y monsters O.o.
d on March 06, 2015:
Sphynx lover on March 04, 2015:
I have 2 Sphynx cats. The youngest, 1 year, is using the litter all the time, however, he also uses the floor...a LOT! And, he urinates on anything that is left on the floor. HELP! What do I do? I have no carpets, and even my decorative bed pillows that have to go on the floor at night are ruined (as of this morning). Anyone have any tips? My whole family is ready to give this cat up, even the kids. And, he is a very lovable, playful, fun cat. We love him! But, we are all so exhausted from picking up his awful messes!
Sophia on March 01, 2015:
While I appreciate anyone trying to discourage people from getting any breed of animal just for the novelty of it, only to later realize that once the novelty wears off they're more work that they anticipated, I don't necessarily agree with the majority of this article. I have a sphynx kitten, and while I've only had her for about a month (she's 3 months now), she's been great.
She actually loves wearing clothes since they keep her warm. I don't get her weird frilly things, but right now she wears this almost sort of red fleece cap dress thing and it's very cozy. She also likes bathes, or at least tolerates them. As long as I groom her while she's sleepy, it's super easy to clip her nails and clean her ears. I deep clean her ears every once and a while but a couple times a week I take literally 30 seconds and quick clean her ears.
Really the only frustrating issue I've had with her is the litter box, for sure! She seems clueless on how to use it. She digs holes and then doesn't poop in them, then she steps in the poop and drags her tail in it. It's like she has the instinct to bury it but really has no idea how. She tracks poops and litter all over the house. I attributed it to the fact that maybe she was taken away from her mom before she really learned how, not that she's a sphynx. I figure shell learn eventually.
Anyway, at first when I got her I was constantly bathing her and grooming her and cleaning out her ears and eyes, and rubbing her with oil to get the grime off, but now I've eased up on the obsessive cleaning and she still seems very clean. Maybe I got lucky but her skin never gets oil or gross, the worst that happens is she gets a tiny bit of grime in the thigh pits and neck but it's almost invisible and doesn't get on anything (I have an all white bed).
So all in all, yes, higher maintenance than a normal cat, but way lower maintenance than a dog. Sphynxes are great cats so if you like having something to dote on and baby, then a sphynx might be the perfect breed for you. She honestly just seems like any other kitten and the issues I have are just normal kitten problems. Anyway, hope this helps!
Caroline Qualls on February 26, 2015:
they have trodden on their soft poop and cuddled up to you in front of the guests, leaving poopy marks all over you....really???? All others im ok with...
rhonda on February 07, 2015:
I have a year old pink sphinx named 'Hairy".... He is my first sphinx, and I wouldn't trade him for the world, he is worth all the fuss !!!!
JT on February 05, 2015:
My male Sphynx is the best cat I have ever been with....you don't own a cat, they bless you with their presense and love. He is like a child lol. We have a soft fuzzy blanket on every bed and sofa in the home, and he hops up and looks at us until we wrap him up just right. He doesn't mind his weekly bath or nail trimming, but does fuss about getting his ears cleaned, and he is STRONG! Lol. He meets me at the door each day when I get home, and is always at my feet, or on my lap if eating or watching tv. Yes, he is very demanding, requires upkeep often but, whatever love we have shown him he has returned it to our family ten fold! I think of him as one of our kids. I have had mutts, Siamese, many Persians, Maine Coon and Russian Blue, but even as sweet as our Persians are, our Sphynx is far more sociable and loving.
susan williams on February 05, 2015:
I've really been considering a sphynx, however, after reading this, maybe I'll just admire them on YouTube and stick with my siamese.
Irritated reader on January 28, 2015:
Your opinions can be rude while helpful and informational you do not need to insult someone who is just looking to find a loving let for their home. Turning people away from the breed is not the way to go my friend. If you're willing to insult people who view cat topics differently than you do not shame on us. Shame on you.
Tricia on January 27, 2015:
I baby sit my cousins sphnx cats and he only has them eat raw organic meat such as raw grass fed beef, ground organic turkey And now ground rabbit. Everything is raw. There kitty box never stinks up my house. They use feline pine Which is pine pelets and honestly I would say its the best cat liter ever. They have a box called clevercat which has a lid with a hole on top. Honestly I would tell anybody who owns a cat to feed them the same who can afford too but use the pine pellet litter Too. i'm very surprised that I cant smell "cat" when I walk in my house. There kitty box is even In my main stairway /entrance. They are very needy cats who need lots of attention and love. Make sure they have a friend if their alone even if its a dog they get along with.
Hannah on January 26, 2015:
Are you serious? All cats are designed to clean themselves, and if they do not cover their poop after using the litter box, it is not because of the breed of the cat, but rather you failed to train them correctly as kittens.
Lance on January 24, 2015:
Sphynx are awesome! I have always wanted one and took on the commitment, what I think should be taken away from your article is that if you pay what I gave for mine from a reputable breeder, and mine is show quality, then you should take care of it as such. On another note, my little guy loves his shirts and does not change his personality at all. Thanks for the article though I enjoyed reading it.
Tara on January 22, 2015:
I Wanted A Sphynx Cat But Never Mind, I Am Not A Big Fan Of A Dirty And Unsanitized Home
Stacie L on January 19, 2015:
I am surprised how many non HP members are commenting...it really touched a nerve.
Some Sphynx cats are being decorated with tattoos to bolster their owners self esteem..like a vanity plate?
I wrote about the cruelty being inflicted upon these misunderstood felines and hope this obsession will soon be outlawed.
P on January 13, 2015:
I am the mommy of 2 Siamese LOVEABLE and not standoffish cats, just like some people do not know about Sphynx cats some apparently also do not know about Siamese.
Doug L Clement from Portland, Oregon on December 31, 2014:
I thought about getting one as a novelty...and because I love cats...But reading this changed my mind. Oh, and declawing your cat is inhumane and you shouldn't own any cat if that's your answer.
Jack on December 28, 2014:
Thank you for the well-written and thorough article! I was surprised that you did not cover dental work, or maybe you did, and I glossed over it at 3AM. Sensitive needs diet worked on diarrhea issues, but yes, those farts can be a room clearer. Still love our rescue Sphynx, and Stinky Moony will be a "For Life" pet.
Maria on December 22, 2014:
Thanks for your comments, I thought it would be a good fit for me but no. As for the Siamese being standoffish, let me tell you that you could be farther from the truth. I grew up with Siamese my first part had been taught to use the toilet and flush, blew our minds. Standoffish the Siamese were the most loving and affection giving cats. Only thing you have to show who's Alpha, but they are great watch cats.
alibeg on November 28, 2014:
one question... how they survive in wild ? :D
Cody on November 25, 2014:
Not to be rude or anything, but you need to change the title of this page. The title say why you shouldn't buy one. But through this whole page, I see nothing saying why people shouldn't buy them, only why you should think before you do. Next time, please reword the title a bit differently. Thanks.
Cheryl on November 21, 2014:
Thid article is 100 % accurate. However the part about wiping sphynx eyes everyday was not mentioed. I have two--a brother and sister. They just turned 8. They are a lot of work but you will never find a more loving or affectionate cat on earth and I have had cats for over 50 years.
kathleen on November 10, 2014:
I have a sphinx girl she is like a granddaughter has her nails clipped everyweek she has a bath and her bottom wiped all the time her ears cleaned on a very regular basis plus her eyes cleaned every day. She is spotless ....has the most loving nature and purrs as soon as I pick her up and carry her around in my arms. She eats kangaroo meat, gourmet tins of cat food and zd cat dry food her farts are not smelly at all. In fact I have ordered a friend for her another Sphynx due to arrive home in January 2015.
How were the Sphynxes bred?
The true history of the ancient hairless cats is unknown. The origin of the modern Sphynx is considered to be Canada, but there is no actual information from where these cats came from. Sources claim that the cats were known in Mexico, India, America and other countries.
The first mention of the breed can be found in Aztec paintings. Most likely, those were not Sphynxes but Mexican hairless cats, which disappeared in the early XIX century.
According to legend, the Egyptian Sphynx was a guide between the worlds of humans and gods. Unusual cat statues guarded the entrances to the sanctuaries of the Egyptian pharaohs.
The most recent history of this breed begins in the XX century. The cat reappeared in Toronto in 1966. It is not known how, but one of the ordinary short-haired cats gave birth to a hairless kitten.
There have been attempts to recreate this with similar species. This is how the modern hairless breed was bred with the distinctive features of not having any hair.
The first “domestic” hairless cats were bred by Tatyana Smirnova, who brought two cats to Russia from America.
Vidar Skauen, Animal Photography
Tetsu Yamazaki, Animal Photography
Vidar Skauen, Animal Photography
Vidar Skauen, Animal Photography
Vidar Skauen, Animal Photography
Vidar Skauen, Animal Photography
Vidar Skauen, Animal Photography
Vidar Skauen, Animal Photography
Vidar Skauen, Animal Photography
Vidar Skauen, Animal Photography
The Sphynx seems like a contradiction: a hairless cat? But people who come to know him soon fall under the spell of this bald but beautiful feline. His warmth, humor and exotic appearance all combine to make him a favorite with cat lovers.
It’s a good thing that the hairless Sphynx loves attention because he draws it wherever he goes. He is demanding of human attention and will do anything for a laugh.
See all Sphynx characteristics below!
You Want a Low-Maintenance Cat
Most cats are pretty low-maintenance. You don’t have to bathe them, clean them or really bother with them. They come to you when they’re looking for love, and depart your lap soon after because they’re bored with you. They sleep a lot. They just need to eat and drink and rest, and that’s all they really want from you, or will even tolerate from you. The sphynx, however, is not a low-maintenance cat. This is one that needs a weekly brush, a weekly bathe and a lot of ear cleaning. These cats have no fur, so dirt can cause issues that are not common in other cats.
They’re also free of hair in their ear canals, which means that these are cats that need to have them cleaned regularly. Hair prevents bacteria and other germs from entering the ear canals, and it’s kind of ugly. These cats produce more ear wax than others, and that means it’s not uncommon for your cat to have very dark, very foul smelling wax spilling from its ears on a regular basis. You will need to use a q-tip to remove this once or twice a week. If it gets out of the ear and onto your furniture or floors, it can stain. It doesn’t smell good, either, so it’s a good idea to get it under control before it becomes a problem. If you can’t stand the thought of cleaning your cat’s ears, this might not be the cat for you to have.
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