The sphynx is a hairless breed of cat that is known for its unique look as well as its energetic personality. Most people who don't own a sphynx wouldn't know that this breed requires as much or more grooming than a cat with hair. If you are a new owner or are thinking of getting a sphynx, here are a few things to know about keeping your cat groomed and healthy.
The unique sphynx:
The sphynx is a recent breed developed from a mutation. The timeline of its appearance varies, but it is usually placed some time in the 1960s or 1970s. Some individual sphynx are not completely hairless, rather they have a very short coating of soft, down-like fur. They also have whiskers and eyebrows. They can come in a wide range of colors including Siamese-like markings.
Caring for the sphynx's skin:
Experts on the sphynx breed say that this cat is high-maintenance when it comes to grooming. The lack of fur makes it hard for its skin oils to distribute evenly. This may also mean that oil will rub off onto your furniture and clothing. It can affect your cat's health by clogging pores and possibly causing skin infections. Therefore, have your cat bathed, either at home or at the groomer's, at least once or twice a month. Once a week bathing is ideal. After bathing, you or the groomer may want to use some pet-friendly moisturizer to keep the skin soft. Don't use moisturizers for humans on your cat as it could make them sick when they self-groom by licking.
Other grooming necessities:
Aside from bathing, sphynx cats need to have their nails wiped clean and trimmed about once a week. The nails can build up a waxy substance that can collect dirt and cause problems. Another critical piece of grooming is to have their ears cleaned at about the same frequency. Unlike other breeds, sphynx do not have hairs in their ears that help keep them clean and absorb excess ear wax.
A pet groomer will be able to assist with the basics of grooming your unusual breed of cat and make sphynx ownership a bit easier. Talk to your pet grooming specialist and your veterinarian about any special concerns, especially if you are a new owner or are thinking about getting this breed of cat. Keeping up with the grooming regimen will make sure your cat is healthy and happy.