Frequently Asked Questions
Research shows that in Toronto Canada, 1966 a domestic cat gave birth to a hairless kitten. After some investigating it was found to be a natural genetic mutation, and the Sphynx cat came in to existence. This particular kitten and other naturally hairless cats were the foundation for this unique breed. Finding that natural genetic mutation made it possible for cat breeders in North America and Europe to breed the Sphynx for more than 30 years. The goal of such selective breeding was to create a genetically healthy cat with few health and genetic problems. It leads us to today, where we have a healthy linage of Sphynx cats.
These cats are known for their sleek bodies, striking eyes, and bat-like ears that sit tall directly atop of their narrow faces; so they were appropriately named the Sphynx as homage to the ancient Egyptian statues. To get more in depth the name Sphynx came from the ancient Greek work, Sphinx. The Sphinx is a mythical creature that has the head of a human and the body of a lion. “The Great Sphinx” is located in Giza where it guards the front of Khafra’s pyramid. The Ancient Egyptians believed that cats and sphinxes had special powers. It was because of this belief that even today; many statues and pictures of Sphinx can be found outside of tombs. The ancient Egyptians believed that these creatures would help guard their loved ones in the afterlife. It is no wonder that these regal looking animals were named after this mythical creature.
The Sphynx breed is known for their friendly personalities along with these other wonderful attributes: Friendly to strangers, loyal to their family members, great with children and other pets, they are the opposite of what people think of when it comes to cats….they usually meet their people at the door happy and excited, they love attention from their human and animal friends alike, they are great cuddle buddies and thrive on physical touch, they are known to be highly intelligent agile creatures 🙂
Our Sphynx kittens generally leave their cat mom’s between 10 and 12 weeks. However, there can be special circumstances that determine when a kitten is ready to move to it’s forever home. It is important to note that here at Beautiful Bennett Sphynx Cattery that we get all of our kittens use to water/taking baths before they go to their forever homes. Typically we bath all of our cats once a week. Taking care of your Sphynx kitten is going to be very similar to caring for an adult Sphynx. All Sphynx kittens/cats will need the following:
~A weekly bath
~They will need their ears cleaned out typically during their bath time routine
~Eye cleaning with a wet cloth every one to two days or as needed (remember they don’t have eye lashes)
~If your tempature at home is comfortable for you; most likely it will be comfortable for your Sphynx. However, it is also a great idea to provide them with a blanket and or a warm cozy place to lounge
~Ensuring that your Sphynx has enough to eat is also very important. Remember, their body temp is 4 times that of a normal cat. That extra temp also means a very high metabolism; meaning that they need lots of fuel to keep their little bodies healthy and happy. We recommend keeping food and water where they can reach it at all times, unless you are going to provide high fat meals at scheduled times every day. It’s important that this breed of cat eats 2 to 2.5 more than the average cat.
~Once your kitten comes home you may notice that it has stained teeth. This discoloration is from the oil on their cat mother’s skin. Their adult teeth will come in a beautiful pearly white!
~It is crucial that your Sphynx kitten/cat remain an indoor pet. Remember they are susceptible to freezing and sunburns!
~Lastly, it is important that all of our customers know that the Sphynx cat breed is known to be prone to Upper Respiratory Infections (URI) Colds. This is even more the case when they are in stressful situations….such as being moved to their new homes or being shipped. The great news is they usually get over this by themselves. However, there are times that an antibiotic is needed to clear it up. Your vet will know how to take care of this issue.
If we have not answered a certain question you have concerning care for your kitten please feel free to contact us directly!
There are a number of different cat foods that you can use. We recommend that you stick to name brand cat food. There are some great ones that can be found at Petco, Petsmart, your local veterinary office/local pet store, and even Walmart has a few great brands. We recommend that you only use dry cat food when feeding your Sphynx. The wet food is great for a treat, but we don’t recommend it for the main source of food. It is known to stick to their teeth and can cause decay and bad kitty breath. We encourage everyone to free feed their Sphynx. That means that your Sphynx kitten has access to a bowl of food at all times. Since they have high metabolisms; they eat small amounts of food through out the day. You can find products we recommend below the FAQ’s section.
Here at Beautiful Bennett Sphynx Cattery we ensure that each kitten is regularly groomed so that by the time they go to their forever homes; they are use to getting bathed etc. We find that this lay a solid foundation to your kitten enjoying bath time. Since it is important to bath your Sphynx once a week here are some tips to ensure a quick and easy experience every time…
Items that we recommend having on hand before you even bring your Sphynx in to the bathroom:
- -Wash Cloths
- -Animal/Baby Shampoo
- -Ear Cleaning Solution
- -Nail Clipper
- -A towel (or several, because just like when bathing a human baby this can be a messy process 😉 )
- -Your patience and a sense of humor 😉
Once you have all of your bathing items together, the next step would be to run the bath water before you bring your Sphynx baby in to the bathroom. The sound of running water may scare them or make them anxious so we recommend that this done beforehand. Fill the bath tub up to an appropriate height (make sure you don’t over fill to keep their anxiety level down) and that the water is at the same temperature that you would find appropriate for a human baby. Depending on the size of your kitten you may find it easier to do this in your bathroom sink until they out grow it. It is also a good idea to keep in mind the temperature in your house. If it is winter time you may consider turning the heat up a few degrees to ensure their comfort when you take them out of the bath.
Now it’s time to get to bathing! Remember they have more wrinkles than other cat breeds so it’s important to help them out, and clean underneath each little wrinkle. We like to wash our cat’s faces/heads last to ensure they aren’t shaking their heads/bodies during the bathing process. It is also a good idea to use a couple of different wash cloths during bath time so that you don’t get soap in to your baby’s eyes. Once you have given them a nice scrub and you have ensured that you have rinsed all the soap off; you take them out, wrap them in a cozy towel and give them some love/cuddles!
We realize that not everyone is comfortable clipping their animal’s nails. Here at Beautiful Bennett Sphynx Cattery we actually offer the service to all of our local families. It’s a $5.00 charge, and we recommend you clip your Sphynx’s nails at least once a month or as needed. If you are out of state, and you still would prefer someone else clip your cat’s nails; you can contact your local vet or any local groomer will be able to provide this service. Now if you are one of those people that prefers to do it yourself; we have plenty of tips to help you clip them correctly every time.
If you are clipping your Sphynx kitten’s nails after bath time, we recommend you keep your baby wrapped up in their towel, only exposing one paw at a time. Once the paw is out, push the pad of your kitten’s paw to expose their nails. With a wash cloth wipe every nail until it’s clean. Depending on your personal preference; you can then repeat this for their other paws, or simply do each paw and the cleaning/clipping process one at a time. Now that the nails are clean; you are going to expose the nail, and take the clippers and trim. It is extremely important that you are careful and do not trim the nail too short. This can make your Sphynx bleed and ensure a traumatic experience for you and your baby. You also want to make sure you do not cut in to the pink. Once you have done your research, and have gotten the first time out of the way; you will soon be an expert nail clipper! Also, remember we are here for you at Beautiful Bennett Sphynx Cattery to help you adjust to all of your kitten care taking. 🙂
Items you will need:
- -Ear Cleaning Solution (see our product suggestions for some we recommend)
Just like with the nail cleaning/clipping process, if you are going to clean their ears after bath time; keep them wrapped in their towel. Considering that their ears need to be done weekly; it would be more convenient to do these things simultaneously. Once you have your kitten bundled; put them between your legs (it is most comfortable to sit in a straddle position). With the ear cleaning solution get the end of your Q-tip moist, but not soaking wet. Using the Q-tip gently clean their ears. You will use several Q-tips during this process. You will repeat on the other ear. We encourage you to ask us to walk you through the ear cleaning process if you aren’t feeling very confident. Remember, you can also ask your vet if you have any questions/concerns about cleaning your Sphynx’s ears.
As a cat owner it is very important to educate yourself on Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM). This is such a frustrating elusive disease. It is found in all cat breeds, not just the Sphynx. HCM is the most common heart disease found in all domestic cats. This is generally a genetic disease that can happen at any time, to any breeder regardless of scanning and precautions. HCM is a thickening of the heart’s left ventricle wall causing it to become enlarged. Many cats that have heart conditions show no outward symptoms when checked by a non-specialist vet. The reason that HCM is not always able to be identified is the HCM gene(s) has variable expression and can express itself at any time. Meaning that just because a cat has a normal scan once or even multiple times, doesn’t mean that the cat will never develop HCM in it’s lifetime. Here at Beautiful Bennett Sphynx Cattery we scan our cats every year. Even though there is no genetic test available to date, we will continue to be proactive to ensure the health and well being of all of our cats. It is important that every responsible cat owner educate themselves, provide their cat with an echocardiogram if they have concerns, and know the symptoms of this disease so they know what to look for. Here are some common questions that we get asked concerning HCM:
The most common symptoms are: heart murmur, fatigue, poor appetite, panting or labored breathing without exertion, weakness or paralysis of the back legs. It is also important to remember that cats can also be asymptomatic, so we highly recommend trusting your gut if you feel something is off.
A board certified veterinary cardiologist is a licensed veterinarian who has obtained additional training in veterinary cardiology. They also have been certified by the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (ACVIM). These specialist must go through years of rigorous training and keep their skills up to date by participating in continuing education programs. It is crucial to take your Sphynx to a veterinary cardiologist versus a regular vet to be scanned. When it comes to HCM a board certified cardiologist is the only one knowledgeable enough to give a correct scan.
The Sphynx breed is equally at risk of having this disease as any other type of cat. That is why scans are crucial.
Here at Beautiful Bennett Sphynx Cattery we recommend when your Sphynx is one year.
Now that we have gotten the scary stuff out of the way; we want to encourage you not to be fearful! There is power in knowledge. If this if the first time you are hearing about HCM you are now equipped with the knowledge of what it is, what to look for, and what kind of vet to see for scans. If you are still wanting to know more, please bring all of your concerns to your local vet. They can further educate you on the disease, and refer you to a veterinary cardiologist.
At our cattery we usually have available kittens. So unless you are wanting something very specific; we have lots of adorable Sphynx kittens for you to choose from! However, if you know you are going to want a certain color, sex and or eye color; it is crucial you contact us immediately. Once we are in communication; we can then let you know if we have what you are looking for available. If for some reason we do not have the kitten that you desire; it would be then that you would need to go on a waiting list. It will vary as far as length of time. It will depend on when your specified kitten arrives. As you know each new litter is a complete surprise! 🙂
Still have more questions? Please don’t hesitate to contact us!
Some Of Our Favorite Products
Food and Feeding
These are just some of the products that we recommend. There are multiple high quality cat foods on the market today. We Understand that each Sphynx is different; along with each person's budget. When choosing a food for your Sphynx kitten/cat here are some questions to ask.
- Who formulates your cat food?
- Where do the ingredients come from?
- Where is the food made?
- How did the brand relate to industry standards?