Cats have always enjoyed a reputation for being independent and hassle-free pets. In fact, cat parents vouch for their scant needs, making them an ideal pet for urban busybodies.
And then come the Sphynx cats, to dispel all that you knew or assumed cats to be like. They’re virtually hairless, need dedicated, weekly grooming sessions, and are quite the chatterboxes, with some of them getting quite surly if left alone all day.
Rest assured, the Sphynx is unlike any other cat, in the sense that they do depend on you for a lot of their basic needs, owing to their physical makeup. If you’re looking for a mind-his-own-business kind of a pet cat, this is your cue to exit. If not, here’s all you need to know about grooming and caring for this unique pet.
Cats are probably wired to hate water, and go to great lengths to avoid it. Furry cats are expert groomers, which negates the need to bathe them as often. But the Sphynx, being hairless, is not habituated to self-grooming. Due to the lack of fur, the natural oils secreted by the skin stay on the surface, attracting dirt and dust, and stains everything the cat comes in contact with.
This obviously calls for weekly bathing sessions, which may or may not be something you look forward to, depending on your cat’s outlook towards it. Some do enjoy it immensely, whereas some simply try to murder you in cold blood while you’re at it.
- Begin with the right water temperature―neither too hot nor too cold. A few baths and you should get this right.
- Very gently place your cat in the tub; the water level should be low enough so that she doesn’t drown.
- Pour water over her at a slow pace, and keep petting her only if it helps her relax (it may not).
- Lather up the shampoo (use the one specifically formulated for Sphynx cats) and spread it over her body. Be careful to avoid her ears and eyes.
- Pour water gently again to rinse off the product. Gentle, encouraging words can help here.
- Once this is done, pick her up and place her in a soft absorbent towel or cloth and pat dry. No vigorous rubbing is allowed at all.
- That’s it! Your kitty deserves a treat as a part of positive reinforcement.
Contrary to all the cutesy cat memes doing the rounds of the Internet, these cats do not like to be clothed. Parents often make the mistake of clothing their Sphynx cats with the purpose of keeping them warm. This is certainly ill-advised, as it tends to confuse the cat to no end, and makes them rather uncomfortable. If you live in cold climes, you will have to keep the heater on even when you’re not in the house, so as to keep it comfortable for the cat. Alternatively, you may want to buy a heated igloo for your cat to snuggle in or sleep.
Speaking of sleep, Sphynxes are legendary snugglers, and love to curl up with their owners at bedtime. Potential owners, be warned that waking up and getting to work the next day will be tough with a cuddly cat in bed with you.