The bald and wrinkly Sphynx cat is much unlike other felines in terms of looks. In terms of behavior, however, these kitties can be just as affectionate, curious and playful as any other cat! Keeping a Sphynx means that you’ll need to devote time to giving the cat the attention it craves for. But how much of attention, exactly?
Do Sphynx Cats Need A Lot Of Attention? Sphynx cats are not shy to demand attention from its owners. This friendly breed loves interacting with humans. Therefore, owners of Sphynx cats can expect to devote much time at home in the presence of their cat, be it while having lap time on the couch or while actively playing with the kitty.
Let’s find out more about what it’s like living with a Sphynx cat, whether you can leave the Sphynx cat alone in the house, and how to deal with an overly attention-seeking Sphynx cat.
The kind of attention that Sphynx cats will love
You won’t know what it’s really like to have a Sphynx cat… until the day you get one. Still, you can have a good idea as many among this breed subscribe to certain characteristics!
For one, these cats are well-known to be highly sociable. They do not stay in a corner and keep to themselves. Instead, they’d greet you at the door and then proceed to trail behind you from room to room. When you’re doing something, the Sphynx cat wants to join in any way that it can!
As you cook in the kitchen, for example, it might hop on and perch on your shoulder. And when you’re reading a book, the Sphynx cat would help itself to your lap space – after all, these cats have been nicknamed “the velcro lap cat” for a reason!
When it comes to playing, you can’t go wrong with a piece of string attached to something feathery at the end. The Sphynx cat loves running and chasing. They have also been known to play a game of fetch just as dogs do! Because they’re always up for a play session, it’s good to set aside 20 minutes a day playing with them.
At night, the Sphynx cat is likely to be found sleeping under the covers beside their owners – partly due to their lack of fur and the need for warmth, and partly due to their love for human company.
The Sphynx cat is not a shy breed. They don’t need time to get cozy with strangers; any house visitor will be welcomed with the utmost enthusiasm! On top of that, this breed is energetic and intelligent. It loves to clown around the house and perform acrobatics, drawing laughs (and mini heart-attacks) from its human companions.
Put all these traits together and what you have got is a handful of a kitty!
The type of extra care needed for Sphynx cats
Apart from attention in the form of love and affection, owners of Sphynx cats also need to pay special attention to these cats’ physical needs.
While you may think that a Sphynx cat’s lack of coat means that it’s very low maintenance, this is not the case. Here are some of the hair- and skin-related issues that you should take note of:
- While you don’t need to comb your kitty, you do need to keep your Sphynx cat’s bald body moisturized with a gentle, feline-friendly lotion or oil. (Or coconut oil as you can read here)
- On top of this, the oils secreted by the cat’s skin will remain on its body. If you don’t want your furniture to be coated in greasy spots, you should give your cat weekly baths or gently rub it down with baby wipes. (Here is our shampoo guide)
- Due to a lack of hair, dirt can easily accumulate in the cavities of a Sphynx cat’s ears. Apart from wiping its skin, cat owners should also routinely wipe the cat’s ears with a washcloth to remove the ear wax build-up.
- Prolonged sun exposure is not a good idea for Sphynx cats as their skin is prone to damage and sunburn. Without the protection of fur, plus the many dangers of the outside world, Sphynx cats are best kept indoors.
Special care should also be given to ensure that your Sphynx cat remains warm. Understandably, these cats get cold easily, even though it may feel warm to the touch. In chilly weather, it’s kind to have a source of heat in the house or to put a sweater on your kitty. Remember this: if you feel cold, chances are, your cat is feeling cold too!
(Read more about whether Sphynx cats need clothes.)
Lastly, a Sphynx cat tends to be very particular about the cleanliness of its litter. If you want to ensure that your cat does its business where it’s supposed to, you’ll need to keep the litter box spick and span.
Leaving a Sphynx cat alone in the house – yay or nay?
Despite its innate desire for human attention, when left alone, a Sphynx cat can spend hours entertaining itself. What happens behind closed doors? Chances are, your kitty will be wandering around the house. Epitomizing the phrase “as curious as a cat”, the Sphynx will poke its nose in quiet corners and explore higher grounds.
In essence, these cats can be left alone the way you’d leave a pet to go for an office job. What you cannot do, however, is to leave your Sphynx cat alone for days on end. These cats will get bored and lonely without someone to socialize with.
And when you do leave your cat in the house alone, it’s best to ensure that the home environment is stimulating. Here are three ideas:
- The first suggestion is to leave toys around the house. Your cat will love any form of puzzle toys that will challenge its mental abilities, as well as teaser toys that will challenge its athleticism. Just rotate the toys once in a while so that your cat will not get tired of the same old ones.
- Sphynx cats will also appreciate set-ups like cat trees and perches. This breed loves jumping and climbing, so owners can go all out when building a cat playground. You can even put kitty shelves near the ceiling as long as you’re confident your kitty will be safe up there.
- Another excellent way to keep loneliness at bay would be to get another pet! Sphynx cats are known to get along well with other Sphynx cats, other cat breeds, and also friendly dogs. Chances are, your Sphynx cat will appreciate having a friend to play with. Just bear in mind that even though your cat will have a new friend, it will still want attention from you!
How to deal with an overly attention-seeking Sphynx cat
An attention-seeking cat can be cute at times and annoying the rest.
If you’ve got yourself a Sphynx cat that is overly demanding of your attention, it’s natural to feel overwhelmed. Just do not lash out at your cat for not leaving you alone; this would be detrimental to the trust you’ve built up with your little friend.
A Sphynx cat cannot help itself for wanting company. It was born as a social creature, so it doesn’t like being alone for too long. On top of that, it’s always seeking warmth – and your body heat is a convenient answer. Understanding this will help you be more patient.
If your Sphynx cat has been displaying behavior that is unwanted, you can teach the cat to stop. For example, if your cat meows aggressively or knocks things down for attention, your first step would be to ignore the cat completely.
No matter what kind of reaction you give the cat, it will be a reaction nonetheless – and this is exactly what your cat will be looking for. Even punishment can be interpreted as attention!
Next, you can reward your Sphynx cat when it’s behaving just how you want it. Give it some treats when it’s calm, relaxed, and not being so needy. When you do this often, your intelligent cat will realize what kind of behavior will allow it to receive treats.
While you take these steps, you should work cohesively with everyone in your house. Your family members must behave the same way as you: ignore the cat’s unwanted behavior, and reward its positive behavior. This way, your cat will not be confused and your efforts will not be undermined.
How much does a Sphynx cat cost? Adopting a Sphynx cat costs between US$75–100 while buying one from a breeder can cost upwards of S$1,000. That said, there are many factors affecting the price, such as your location, the reputation of the breeder, and the condition of the cat.
If you want to know more about that and how much it costs to keep a Sphynx, read this article.
How often should you bathe a Sphynx cat? The recommended frequency of bathing your Sphynx cat is once a week. If you notice a quick buildup of dust and dirt on your cat, you can bathe it more often. Be sure to get under the folds of the cat’s skin.
How long do Sphynx cats live? Sphynx cats live an average of 8 to 14 years. This is shorter than the average lifespan of indoor cats, which would be 12 to 18 years. However, plenty of Sphynx cats reportedly live beyond 20 years of age.