Sphynx cats are known for their pixie-like face, huge batty ears, and furless wrinkled skin; but rumor has it that they are also known for being smelly. How true is this?
Are Sphynx Cats Smelly? While it is quite rare for cats to stink given their love for grooming, some breeds such as the Sphynx are more prone to smell than the others. For the record, not all Sphynx cats stink; but due to their genes and other external factors, they can give off a strong smell if you’re not careful.
Does your Sphynx cat stink? In most cases, a foul-smelling feline is a surefire sign that something is amiss. There are various factors that can contribute to a Sphynx cat’s odor or lack thereof. From hygiene to diet to everything in between, let’s take a closer look at each one of them.
Top Reasons Why Your Sphynx Cat Stinks
Cats are notoriously clean creatures. They spend most of their waking hours meticulously grooming themselves, so you probably might be surprised to know that Sphynxes can get smelly. As mentioned earlier, there are several reasons as to why your Sphynx cat stinks. Here are some of them.
1. Poor hygiene
Since Sphynx cats have no fur to protect them from taking on too much heat, they tend to “sweat” and accumulate a layer of a greasy film on their skin. This greasy residue can pick up dirt, dust, and other debris, which causes them to get dirtier and stinkier over time.
In addition, they also cannot clean themselves properly, so they are pretty much dependent on their human companions for their hygiene.
If you want to know the basics of cleaning Sphynx cats and what you need for that, read this guide on 11 essential Sphynx care products!
2. Poor diet
Your Sphynx cat’s odor may also be attributed to what they eat. Diet plays a major role in the health and overall wellness of your cat. Sphynx cats, in particular, are very high maintenance when it comes to their nutrition.
Poor diet can trigger a slew of health issues such as digestive problems, allergies, ear infections, and skin issues, which can all cause your cat to smell.
Read our Sphynx cat feeding guide here if you wanna avoid any problems.
3. Mouth issues
Just like with us humans, cats can develop bad breath. Bad breath in cats is usually caused by tooth decay, gum infection, or a chronic illness such as kidney disease. Their foul breath can affect the quality of their saliva, which can cause them to stink.
When their saliva comes in contact with their skin as they groom themselves, odor-causing bacteria can spread all over their body making them a walking stinkbomb.
4. Ear issues
Most feline ear infections have odors associated with them. If your Sphynx cat smells musty or fetid, try checking their ears. Yeast infections, bacterial infections, and ear mite infestations are some examples of ear conditions that may emit foul odors.
5. Rear end issues
Bladder issues such as urinary tract infections and incontinence can also cause your Sphynx cat’s rear end to smell malodorous. Furthermore, tumors and other conditions that affect the anal glands of your cat can also result in persistent odors.
How to Prevent Your Sphynx Cat from Getting Smelly
1. Bathe your cat regularly
Although not all Sphynx cats get oily and dirty as quickly, biweekly or monthly baths are generally recommended for optimal hygiene. It’s a good idea to be mindful of your cat’s skin and check if there’s an accumulation of dirt, which often results in a reddish tone in its skin.
The small folds in your cat’s skin should also be checked regularly as dirt and bacteria build-up can cause scabies or other skin problems. Also, it’s crucial to use only products specially formulated for their breed as some products may irritate their ultra-sensitive skin.
If you need a shampoo for you Sphynx cat, read our Sphynx shampoo guide!
2. Feed your cat high-quality food
Unlike other cat breeds, Sphynx cats require a special diet. One thing people don’t realize when they get their Sphynx cats is that they have very sensitive digestive systems. Common cat food brands often cause Sphynx cats to have runny or very putrid smelling poop.
A raw diet is highly recommended to prevent, or at least minimize food intolerance issues. It also promotes better skin health and produces less stinky poop. It’s important to eliminate all possible allergens and avoid high-waste ingredients such as grains and other high carb fillers.
Cheap cat food may fill your feline friend’s belly, but it won’t digest properly and will just result in dreadful stinkbombs.
3. Consider your cat’s dental hygiene
Cats teeth are not that difficult to care for. However, when left disregarded, plaque can build up quickly, which can cause bacteria to accumulate in your cat’s mouth. To prevent bad breath and plaque build-up, consider starting a regular dental regimen for your cat.
A good toothbrush and toothpaste for cats—using human toothpaste is a huge no-no—should do the job just right. There’s also a wide selection of dental cat treats available in the market today that can help with your cat’s dental hygiene.
4. Clean your cat’s ears regularly
Apart from following a regular dental regimen and bath schedule, it’s also important to clean your cat’s ears frequently. Sphynx cats have more ear wax than most cats because they have little to no hair in their ears.
This means, dirt, oils, and ear wax accumulate more quickly compared to other cat breeds with fur. Their ears have to be cleaned on a weekly basis, ideally after bath time. You can use cotton swabs to gently clean their ears.
5. Screen your cat for possible health problems
Health problems such as swollen anal glands, skin and ear infections, kidney problems, and oral disease can all cause your Sphynx cat to stink. Screening your cat for these health conditions can prevent, or even treat your cat’s persistent odor.
Odor issues aside, Sphynx cats make great pets. They share some of the best qualities of both cats and dogs (they are great with dogs as well), which make them wonderful pets to be around with. As long as you keep them healthy and clean, their odor wouldn’t be much of an issue.
What health problems do Sphynx cats have? Sphynx cats are predisposed to various health conditions such as respiratory issues, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, hereditary myopathy, and sensitive digestive systems. They are also prone to developing infections and skin problems due to the highly sensitive nature of their bodies.
What do sphynx cats feel like? Contrary to popular belief, Sphynx cats are not completely hairless. They have very fine fur that makes them feel warm and velvety to the touch. Some say they feel comparable to a warm peach or warm suede leather.
Can sphynx cats be left alone? Definitely not. Sphynx cats don’t like being left alone for long periods of time. They often suffer from separation anxiety and depression when neglected by their human companions. It’s a good idea to pair them with another cat if you’re not staying at home for the most part of the day.