SPHYNX BREEDER & CARE INFO
Please only support ethical breeders who are HCM
(hypertrophic cardiomyopathy) scanning annually.
Ask if their cardiologist is board certified. Have them show you PROOF of scans, whether in person or copies.
WHAT TO EXPECT FROM A BREEDER
Show a recent up to date HCM scan on both parents by a board certified cardiologist
Have a health guarantee
Proof of UTD vaccines
Dewormed & negative fecal
Kittens should NEVER leave the cattery before 12-14 weeks
The kittens must be Spayed/ neuter before leaving
Kittens should be microchipped
If breeders claim they PCR panel their cats, ask to see the results
Breeders should have at least 3+ years of breeding experience
Make sure your kittens are registered, if they claim to be a registered breeder, ask with what association.
There should be lifetime breeder support
Sphynx require a veterinarian that is familiar with the breed.
I cannot stress the importance of this enough.
Please read and review the following facts and tips to educate yourself on how to provide the best care for your Sphynx.
Sphynx have little or no hair. Amount, thickness and texture may vary by cat and by the time of the year, hormones, and environmental factors. Multiple variations are normal and expected. Do not worry; your Sphynx will never be a “coated cat”.
• Nose and Sinus
Most cats have hairs in their nose. Sphynx do not. For this reason, many Sphynx cats sneeze more often. Excessive sneezing, coughing or any colored discharge is not normal, and your veterinarian should be contacted.
Sphynx cats also do not have hair in their ears. As a result of this, the natural oil production in the ear canal doesn’t have a way escape the ear.
Dependeding on the quantity of oil production in the cat, some cats may have very little to excessively thick debris.
The oil will vary from light brown and thin to dark brown and sticky. It is best to clean their ears once weekly with Zymox Cleaner and Q-tips. Do not dig deep in the canal. If they require cleaning more often than weekly, a trip to the veterinarian may be in order to confirm there is no infection. If their ears seem overly itchy, red, have an odor or shake their head excessively, a quick trip to the veterinarian may be in order.
Cats use their whiskers to sense things around them. Sphynx cats lack whiskers. Sometimes they use their feet like hands to feel things because they don’t have whiskers. Sphynx will even dip their front feet in water to feel depth.
Sphynx kitten’s teeth are often brown or black because their baby teeth are very porous. They absorb oil from their mothers’ skin during nursing which makes them brown. Some veterinarians are not familiar with this and believe there is a dental or diet issue, there is not. It is simply staining and will dissipate.
• Nails / •De-clawing
I do not allow my Sphynx cats/kittens to be declawed, This is inhumane. They use their front feet as hands to feel and pick things up. Many veterinarians do not explain to cat owners what really occurs in a declawing operation. The procedure is essentially ten complex amputations. It consists of amputation of the ﬁrst knuckle. cat must remain anesthetized for the entire procedure, increasing operative risk. A cat's claw is a complex digit. It is not just a ﬁngernail as it is with humans. The nails retract and are actuated by muscles and tendons. By cutting into these, you raise the risk of serious long-term physical and emotion impacts for your cat. Declawed cats in effect are reduced in their ability to gain traction and to walk properly. They have to move with their weight shifted backwards from their natural posture.
Claws exist for many reasons:
To stretch out muscles and spine.
To help exercise and stay ﬁt.
To provide defense against mistreatment or other animals.
To provide traction and grip in all sorts of environments.
The consequences of declawing are larger than many people realize. Cat's behaviors can change. Declawed cats no longer have their primary defense mechanism and turn to biting as default behavior. Physical ailments such as premature arthritis, cystitis, or perennial skin disorders can occur.
Reasons they are scratching:
To mark territory.
For sheer pleasure. Be sure to trim kitties nails.
Weekly nail trims are a must. Start trimming your cats’ nails early so they are more likely to cooperate long term. The nails require cleaning as well. Sphynx oil get trapped and build-up around the base of the nails. I recommend non scented baby wipes, Neutrogena makeup remover wipes (BLUE pack) as well as Garnier Micellar Cleaning Water on cotton balls to clean the nail beds.
Hairless breeds must be groomed. Sphynx produce oils on their skin like any other hairy cat, but the oil doesn’t have any hair to be dispersed through. For this reason, occasional bathing is necessary. There are no “rules” that your Sphynx needs to be bathed weekly. Bathe your cat when it is dirty. I prefer to use Cetaphil Gentle skin cleanser. It is available on Amazon, Target or Walmart. Baby shampoo is not an acceptable shampoo for cats. Sometimes cats get blackheads on their tail and chin, which is normal. You can use witch hazel to clean the area and also use metal or ceramic bowls. Plastic bowls harbor bacteria which can cause breakouts. My kittens start having bi-weekly baths at about 4 weeks of age. Some Sphynx produce more oil than others and would need to be bathed more frequently, while others produce little to no oil.
Their skin should always be soft and smooth. Any rashes, scales, or marks should be attended to. Sphynx skin does have a unique odor. I personally think they smell like Lays potato chips when they are warm!
• Skin Care
In terms of sunscreen and topicals, always remember a Sphynx is a cat and cleans itself with its tongue. This means anything you put on them will be licked off and digested by the cat. This can be dangerous to their health so do not put any skin products on your cats’ skin. I recommend UV sun shirts, you can find them on ETSY. Sphynx should be kept indoors only. If you choose to take your cat with you outdoors, they should be on a leash and harness or crated under your supervision at all times with limited sun exposure.
Unlike normal hairy kittens that open their eyes at two weeks, Sphynx kittens open their eyes between one and five days old. Since they don’t have hair around their eyes to keep dust and allergens out, you can expect some occasional watering of the eyes is normal. However, if it persists or has any color other (other than thin, light brown discharge) or squinting, contact your veterinarian. The hairless breeds also lacks eyelashes, which can result in dirt , 'goop' or 'eye-boogers' in the corners of their eyes. This is completely normal for the sphynx breed. Use a clean soft washcloth with warm water and gently wipe the eyes and face.
• Cat Litter
I use a scoopable litter. (The most dust free litter I can find)
• Dr Elsey's Unscented
• Tidy Cats
A Sphynx will always feel warmer to the touch than other cats, but their temperature is just like any healthy cat. It usually ranges from between 101.0 and 102.5. If it is outside of that range, consult your veterinarian.
Always make sure your kitten has a healthy appetite. The Sphynx’s favorite thing to do is eat. They also tend to drink more than your average cat. RAW IS BEST. Lack of appetite or thirst is a very sign that your cat is sick. Call your veterinarian immediately. I suggest a water fountain, Amazon has a good variety.
Fleas are not very attracted to the Sphynx cat since they don’t have a hair coat. If you take your cat outside or have a catio, you should treat your cat with flea prevention. I recommend Revolution. Kittens go home with a Negative fecal, tested for all parasites before going to their new home.
Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy is a heart disease. Unfortunately, it is very prominent in Sphynx as well as all cats. As a breeder, I do all that is possible to try to maintain healthy lines. I have all my breeding cats and also my pet cats scanned yearly with a veterinary cardiologist.
This is a devastating disease but being aware and informed helps minimize the risks. To ease my pet owners’ concerns, I have both parents scanned each year. I only breed cats that have been scanned negative and have healthy normal hearts at time of breeding.
It is highly recommended that you do not give any vaccinations for at least several weeks, to allow your Sphynx to settle into his or her new home and routine. Many times, kittens can develop sneezing or eye discharge if they become stressed. The only vaccines your kitten will need is the last FVRCP and rabies vaccine. I am always available to answer any questions or address concerns not addressed in this document. I hope to continue a lasting and trusting relationship with all my Sphynx kitten adopters.
Scratching is a normal behavior for cats, you can't keep your cats from scratching. Cats don't understand physical punishment. In addition to it being wrong to hit your cat, punishment simply doesn't work and is likely to make your situation worse. As clever as your kitty is about many things, she won't understand that you're punishing her for scratching the couch. She will only compute that sometimes she is treated badly.
This may make her insecure and stimulate her to scratch more or develop other undesirable behavior problems. Eventually, you will break the trust and security that is the basis for your cat's relationship with you, and you will find it very difficult to catch her for any reason at all. Cats have excellent memories and hold serious grudges. If your kitty still persists in scratching the furniture, try squirting her with a spray bottle set on stream. Another option is a loud whistle or other noisemaker. You must employ these deterrents while she is scratching for them to be effective. The point is to establish an aversion to the spot you don't want her to scratch. Weekly nail-clippings, gentle discipline along with the availability of a scratching post or mat will eliminate scratching problems.
Remember, Kittens are like children. Be sure to kitty proof.
Put away all cleaning supplies.
PLEASE, TAKE THE TIME TO TRAIN YOUR KITTEN.