|Care of the Sphynx
By Diana Scott Sundancenbare Sphynx Cattery
The Sphynx breed is very unique. Some Sphynx have a lot of hair while others have peach fuzz type hair on their bodies. Even though the Sphynx
appears hairless, they have a fine, down like hair on their body that sometimes is difficult to see. They almost always have hair around their noses.
The breed is also unique in the fact that they have a waxy substance that accumulates in their ears and on their claws. ITS IMPORTANT THAT YOU HAVE
A VETERINARIAN THAT IS FAMILIAR WITH THE BREED.
Many Veterinarians think the Sphynx have ear mites because the brown waxy substance in their ears is similar to the appearance of a cats ear with ear
mites. If your Veterinarian tells you your Sphynx has ear mites, explain that the earwax is a characteristic of the breed, If they still insist, ask them to
do a microscopic examination of the ear debris. Sphynx ears should be cleaned at least once a week. It's good to use a mild ear cleaner like Oti-Clens.
It seems to help the wax be softened and easier to clean out. This can be purchased at any Veterinary clinic or online from Drs. Foster and Smith, or
revivalanimal.com. It's a gentle, non-irritating , non-toxic, ear cleaner. You squirt a little bit into the ear canal and rub the external part at the base of
the ear. Then take a cotton swab and use the tip of it to gently clean the wax out of the upper and lower part of the ear. Gently insert into ear canal,
not too far and get as much wax as possible. You'll use several swabs in each ear. The wax also seems to collect on the claws of the Sphynx. This is
something that happens even when the kittens are very young. I've seen kittens that are 3 days old have a wax buildup on their claws.
CLAW TRIMMING AND CLEANING
The easiest way to get the buildup off the claws is to use a baby wipe. If the wipe has lanolin in it, the wax comes off easily with very little rubbing. This
should be done weekly. You can clip the cat's claws at the same time. When you purchase your Sphynx from me, it will have its ears and nails cleaned
and trimmed weekly from the time they are 1 to 2 weeks old. They will be used to it and if done gently, will submit to it easily. You can wrap them in a
towel and clean their ears, then take one foot out of the wrap at a time, trim the nails, and clean them. Unlike most cats, the Sphynx should be bathed
on a regular basis. Even though the Sphynx don't have hair to groom, they still lick themselves. Sometimes this contributes to their teeth becoming
brown. They can also get brown teeth when a kitten nurses from a mother that has a waxy skin. To clean the cats, I use a baby shampoo on their face
and A moisturizing body wash for the rest of their bodies. This gets them very clean as it cuts the wax and doesn’t dry out the skin. The baby shampoo
doesn't hurt their eyes and cleans their face nicely. The Sphynx doesn't have eyelashes so their eyes get a mild discharge in them and they should be
wiped with a clean, damp, warm washcloth as often as needed. I recommend cleaning them at least twice a week. If the Sphynx gets really dirty, and
you don't have time to bath it, you can wipe them down with a baby wipe. I don't recommend doing this all the time because regular bathing is
important, but mid-week it works out great. I start bathing the kittens at 4-5 weeks and by the time you get your kitten it will be used to bathing.
Warmth is very important to the Sphynx. They need to have a place to go that has a heated bed, mat, or pad. You'll notice that they will lie on heater
vents, computer tops, under your covers, and anywhere else that is warm. It's important that they have a heated bed of their own. This will help them
from being susceptible to upper respiratory infections. Your kitten will come with all its shots but regular veterinary examinations are important.
Nutrition is also important to the breed. The Sphynx as a rule, has a higher metabolism than normal cats. They are usually fed kitten food their entire
life. If obesity becomes a problem, it's easy to switch to a light food. High quality food is also important. We feed Royal Canin Baby Cat and Kitten Dry
food to the babies and older kittens. We feed Royal Canin Queen Pro to the adults. I give every cat a wet food treat daily. I mix LLyssine powder, Kitty
Bloom and a pro biotic that puts healthy bacteria in their digestive system.
|Alana Jacobs, Ph.D.