The Sphynx cat is well-known as the one that has no fur. Who would desire such a cat you might ask? Many people, apparently. These naked little kitties are in high demand, but sometimes for the wrong reasons.
People are fascinated by Sphynx cats and give a variety of reasons for wanting to get one, though not all are well-informed choices. We explain what owning a Sphynx cat really involves and why many people might not want to get one after all.
15 reasons why a Sphynx might not be the cat for you
1. You want a cheap cat
As Sphynx cats are in high demand, they command a high price. It’s rare to find an affordable one. So if you’re on a tight budget you should probably not fall in love with the idea of owning a sphynx.
2. You can’t afford to heat your home 24-7
Even if you do manage to save up enough to buy a Sphynx or some well-meaning person give you one as a gift, there’s the cost of keeping one warm to seriously consider. This breed must be kept warm. It has no fur coat to keep it cozy! You know how cold you feel undressing when there’s no heating on? A Sphynx feels the cold like that all the time! Let one get cold, and it might become ill. The lowest temperature a Sphynx is comfortable at is 68 °F. So whereas you might have your heating on 8 hours per day when it’s cold you will have it on all the time – so your heating bills will treble. You might think you can just put a few layers of clothing on your cat but they really don’t like this. You could buy a heated bed like this Thermo Kitty Heated bed (click the link to read reviews on Amazon) but a Sphynx won’t be as comfortable and happy as it is if the ambient air temperature is lovely and warm.
3. There’s no way you can afford annual heart scans
Sphynx cats are known to suffer from a genetic form of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM). Regular HCM scans are the only way to catch any developing symptoms. These are not cheap.
Like all cats, Sphynx cats need annual health checks along with booster vaccinations to protect them against diseases, even if they never go outside – so more expenses that some people can’t afford.
4. You don’t want to brush a cat’s teeth every day
Sphynx cats are susceptible to periodontal disease. If you don’t clean their teeth on a daily basis you will probably need a vet to do this from time to time resulting in more vet fees. Quite often extractions become necessary which is another expensive process.
5. You can only afford regular inexpensive cat food
Sphynx cats need good quality food in the name of keeping their skin healthy. A poor quality diet can lead to excessive oil production and skin problems. Unfortunately, the best food comes at a price – one that might be above the average owner’s cat food budget.
6. You hate smelly cat poop!
One thing many owners say about their Sphynx cat is that they don’t cover their waste after eliminating in the litter box. Another thing they say is their waste is really smelly. So if you gag at the scent of cat litter boxes you might want to rethink owning a Sphynx.
7. You work long hours
If you have a job that keeps you out of the house for long hours every day a Sphynx is not the best choice of cat for you. Sphynx cats get lonely and sad when left alone. The best solution is to have a companion cat, another Sphynx – a sibling is ideal. Double the expense!
8. You don’t like bathing cats
I’m not an advocate of bathing cats but for Sphynx cats, it’s a necessary evil. With no fur to absorb the oil produced by their skin, they become very greasy. Dirt and dust stick to the oil and they quickly become smelly. They also stain everything they lay on. You have to discipline yourself and bathe a Sphynx cat at least once a week. If you don’t like the sound of this, get a furry cat instead.
9. You don’t like cleaning gue out of cat’s ears
The lack of hair in the ears of a Sphynx means lots of wax builds up which can block their ear canals. This is also another source of staining. Owners really need to gently remove this wax at least twice a week and it’s quite an unpleasant task that some people might not be able to stomach.
10. You can’t see yourself regularly cleaning a cat’s feet
A Sphynx gets filthy feet too. Apart from the fact they are prone to stepping in their poop in the litter box, dirt, in general, accumulates between their toes and must be cleaned out regularly to remove the risk of infection occurring. If you aren’t delighted at this idea you are definitely not looking at your ideal cat.
11. You don’t like clipping claws
A Sphynx cat’s claws generally need trimming on a regular basis, maybe every 10 to 14 days. Owners cand learn how to do this but have to be careful to trim just the right amount off at the correct angle. If you don’t want to do this yourself, you’ll have to pay a fair amount for someone else to do it. Please don’t ever think of having a Sphynx (or any) cat declawed to avoid having to trim their claws. It’s a painful amputation procedure that leaves a cat having to relearn their whole way of walking without their first toe joints, and can also lead to behavioral issues such as scratching, biting and refusing to use a litter box.
12. You have a cat allergy
Most allergies triggered by cats are related to their dander (dead skin cells), urine, and saliva, not their fur. So the less fur a cat has the more likely you are to be exposed to these allergens. The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) states there is no such thing as a hypoallergenic cat (click the link to their site to read more).
If you think a Sphynx will not aggravate your cat allergy you’re probably wrong – but do spend a few hours schmoozing with one before you buy – as long as your cat allergy isn’t life-threatening of course.
13. You want an independent cat
Sphynx cats love to be close to their owners a lot of the time. If you don’t envisage spending endless hours relaxing with a cat on your lap (stealing your heat) choose a more independent cat.
14. You are proud of your clean home
Even when a Sphynx is bathed on a regular basis, it can still leave an oily brown sphynx-shapes imprint wherever it lays. You can attempt to cover your chairs and sofas but you can’t possibly cover every inch of your carpets. Anything white will not remain white for long.
15. You want a cat that can go outside
Sphynx cats are really best kept as house cats. They can’t go out in the cold and they are at risk of sunburn in summer. If you like a cat to have the freedom to come and go, a Sphynx won’t really suit you.
If you are wondering if Sphynx cats get fleas then our article Do Sphynx cats get fleas makes a very interesting read.