Sphynx cats are one of the most expensive cat breeds in existence. Famously hairless, this distinctive cat with its angular face and oversized ears comes at a price. A sphynx cat will cost you anything up to $6000. And once you own one, the costs are ongoing. Have you ever wondered why the sphynx cat price is so high?
Why do Sphynx cats cost so much? Sphynx cats are expensive because they are rarely available. High demand means breeders can set the Sphynx cat price tag so much higher than other purebred cats. The cost of producing Sphynx kittens correctly is expensive which is also reflected in the price tag.
There are a number of factors that give rise to the wide variations in price for this popular breed. Let’s uncover the naked truth behind this naked feline’s somewhat extortionate price tag.
What Determines a Sphynx Cat’s Price?
Breeding Sphynx cats is an expensive business and this is reflected in the price of a kitten. The breeder has to recoup all costs incurred as well as make a profit.
A quality breeder will pay for the queen and sire to be tested for:
- Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM).
- Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD1).
- Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA).
- Feline infectious peritonitis (FIP).
- Congenital Myasthenic Syndrome (CMS).
- Feline leukemia virus (FeLV).
- Feline Upper Respiratory Disease (URD).
- Primary Ciliary Dyskinesia (PCD).
The HCM and PCD tests are particularly expensive as they are carried out by a specialist, not a general vet.
Breeders are obliged to spay/neuter all kittens before they are sold which incurs further costs.
Sphynxes bred in US catteries should come with paperwork from a recognized body such as The International Cat Association (TICA) or The Cat Fancy Association (CFA). Registration with these clubs comes at a price.
Kitten vaccinations and food for the mother and kittens also add to the overall breeding costs which have to be recouped in the sale price.
Male vs Female Sphynx
Unspayed female Sphynx cats are more expensive than males because of their ability to give birth to highly desirable and valuable Sphynx kittens. However, a spayed female Sphynx costs a similar price to a male. Most breeders insist on all kittens being spayed or neutered as part of the contract of sale.
The Type of Sphynx
Most people want a Sphynx cat as a pet but some want a cat they can enter into shows. There’s a world of difference in the price of the two types. Pet quality cats are perfectly healthy but don’t quite come up to the high standards expected of show cats.
What Owning a Sphynx Cat Costs
It’s not just the purchase price that’s high, a Sphynx cat costs a lot to maintain once you get it home.
A Sphynx cat costs a lot to keep warm
As a Sphynx cat does not have a cozy fur coat, it is important that it is kept warm in other ways. The easiest way to ensure a Sphynx does not become too cold is to heat your home constantly (day and night) so that it’s always in the range of 68 °F to 77 °F. You will definitely notice the effect this has on your heating bill so be prepared! If you allow this temperature to drop below 68 °F on a regular basis, your Sphynx will feel unhappy and uncomfortable and could become ill.
A cheaper alternative to leaving your heating on is a heated cat bed (click the link to read reviews on Amazon). I love the fact that this one is thermostatically controlled.
Some people buy Sphynx cat clothes. I’m not a fan of dressing cats so this subject is best left to personal opinion, but you can find a variety of clothes to get a Sphynx if you are having problems keeping one warm.
Sphynx cats need annual health checks
Sphynx cats are genetically predisposed to developing a heart defect known as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM). This can appear manifest at any time of life. Regular HCM heart scans are recommended to spot symptoms early enough to give treatment to manage the condition and slow down its progression as much as possible. Sadly, there is no cure.
To ensure you can afford any unforeseen medical costs, pet insurance is highly recommended. Before you buy a Sphynx, go online and get a few quoted from pet insurance companies to get an idea of what to expect.
Apart from HCM scans, a Sphynx cat should have an annual health check and booster vaccinations. Don’t forget to include this in your budget.
You’ll need to buy high-quality cat food
A Sphynx cat’s diet plays an important part in keeping its skin healthy. High-quality food helps to keep a healthy balance of oil in a Sphynx’s skin. If a Sphynx cat has too much oil in its diet, its skin becomes too oily and skin problems can result.
If a Sphynx cat’s skin becomes too oily you will notice oily marks wherever it sleeps and will have difficulty removing these.
A Sphynx cat requires special skincare
The right diet helps to control the oiliness of a Sphynx cat’s skin, to an extent, but dirt and dust still accumulate on the surface. This is due to the lack of hair which usually absorbs oils and prevents dirt from reaching a cat’s skin. To keep a Sphynx cat clean and to stop it from smelling, it usually needs a weekly bath. You’ll need a good stock of a gentle cat shampoo such as this Earthbath Natural Pet Shampoo (click the link to read reviews on Amazon).
To keep a Sphynx cat’s skin moist many people use a moisturizer such as ViVa Organic Fractionated Coconut Oil (click the link to read reviews on Amazon).
Before you apply any new product to a cat’s skin please do a spot test to ensure it doesn’t irritate it and also ask your vet if they have any better recommendations.
Sphynx Cats should stay indoors
A Sphynx cat’s lack of fur means it is vulnerable outside whether it’s cold, wet or sunny. Most people recommend always keeping a Sphynx indoors for these reasons.
Indoor life requires a cat litter box and plenty of good-quality litter – more expense. Apparently a Sphynx cat’s poop is quite smelly so a covered litter box is recommended. This one is great for odor control (click to read reviews on Amazon). Pick a dust-free litter that won’t cling to your Sphynx cat’s oily skin. This litter is dust-free and is reported to be great at sealing in odors.
A Sphynx cat prefers company
Sphynx cats love company and attention. Many people say you should buy a pair (huge expense here, obviously!) to keep each other company when you’re out. If you have one cat and are out for a long period of time each day, buy your Sphynx plenty of toys to entertain it. A scratching tree/condo provides excellent entertainment and exercise, especially one like this with a cozy den included.
Can you afford a Sphynx cat?
So now you know why Sphynx cats cost so much to buy and keep on costing a fair amount of money once you own one. So make sure you work out how much you will need to spend every year of owning a Sphynx, bearing in mind their lifespan can be 14 years and even more. You may never afford a holiday again, you probably won’t be buying designer outfits anymore, if your car breaks down you won’t be replacing it but you will be very happy with your gorgeous hairless kittie!
Find out much more about hairless cats in our article Do Hairless Cats Have Hair?