Sphynx Cat Q&A

Whenever people find out or see that I have a Sphynx cat there are usually A LOT of questions that I have to answer.  Ranging anywhere from obvious answers to more detailed explanations, people have some pretty good questions.  I thought I’d answer some of those here.


1.  Is that a skin-less cat? It doesn’t have any hair anywhere?

Well for starters they do have skin.  I think this is just a ‘slip of the tongue’ but I hear it a lot.  They also have hair – it just depends on the amount and texture.  Vladimir is a really nice ‘hairless’ cat in my opinion because he has softer fine hair all over except a small patch of short white hair on his nose.  Some sphynxes have more ‘tufts’ on their tails or paws depending on their own genetic make up.  One kitten in a litter could be more ‘hairy’ than it’s litter mates – it just depends upon each one.

2.  Why did you get a hairless cat?

To be honest I thought they were hypoallergenic – seriously.  I went and looked at some full-grown cats and fell in love with how goofy they were and decided to get one for myself.

3.  Does that cat give you allergies?

Yes. The allergens are actually in the cat’s saliva.  Vladimir grooms himself just like a normal cat and therefore is covered in allergens all the time.  Costco sells Zyrtec in bulk, so I’ve overcome this sometimes debilitating issue.

4.  What does their skin feel like?

Easiest answer like soft thick skin.  Also like a peach or smooth pig skin.

5.  Where do you buy a hairless cat?

There are breeders all over the world now.  In terms of buying locally – do your research.  Certain breeders can be more intense than others (i.e. wanting you to show your cat or adhere to strict care guidelines down to what litter to use).  Sometimes I think it could be worth it to buy from a long-distance breeder if you ‘click’ with their breeding and caring habits better.  I bought Vladimir from a great girl in Las Vegas and now Waldo (our new addition) is from a wonderful woman outside Milwaukee.  In the end, every breeder I have met has only wanted to insure the cat goes to a devoted and loving home.  However, I have seen some breeders make their customers sign really strict contracts like I mentioned ensuring you use a specific brand of litter or a certain type of food pending on ‘kitten-revocation.’

6.  What do hairless cats act like?

Amazing cats!  From the dozens + sphynxes I have met over the years I can describe them all as incredibly loving and friendly.  The best description of a sphynx is part monkey, part cat, part dog, and part human – I really agree with this.  They will run around and play/fetch like a dog.  Climb all over everywhere (including their person) like a little monkey.  Sulk around and be ‘irritated’ by their person like a cat.  Their personalities are so big and unique they really do act like their own little person – they even make their own noises.  Vladimir says ‘bbrrrruuummmmbbbb’ for most situations.  They also require a large amount of attention.  They are not like ‘traditional’ cats that could take or leave human interaction.  Sphynxes are known to sit on your lap for hours, sleep in the nook of your arm, and pretty much lay all over you.

7.  How much do they cost?

This varies slightly, but I would say the average range across the country is between $1050-$1300 depending on if they are ‘show’ quality, amount of hair and if they come spade/neutered.  It seems pricey, but if you are considering a hairless cat you need to make sure you are getting a high quality bred cat.  Their breed can have certain issues and responsible and smart breeders are the ones that insure you get a cat that you will have for a long time.

8.  Do you have to put lotion or sunscreen on your cat?
NO. Vladimir gets washed three or four times a month with Aveeno body wash.  He doesn’t really like bath time – there are some Sphynxes that love water, but not mine.  He just sits there and waits for it to be over.  They don’t need lotion because they produce their own oils to moisturize their skin.  I have never heard of a cat wearing sunscreen, but I guess if you had a cat that refused to stop sunbathing (which they love to do) to the point where they became sunburned you might have to use it. 
9.  Do they get cold?
Yes.  Very easily.  As many of you know, I knit quite a lot of outfits and sweaters for Vladimir.  He only really ‘enjoys’ wearing them if it is extremely cold outside and thus chilly inside.  His favorite shirt is a short AC/DC shirt for cooler days.  Otherwise he just finds a warm lap, a blanket to snuggle under, an open heating vent, or a sunspot.  Whenever I cannot find Vladimir I usually just look for a lump under the covers or any fabric and there he is!
10.  What’s going on with your cats nails?
Any cat owner has an opinion about de-clawing.  Obviously, owning a sphynx I am extremely AGAINST de-clawing.  In my opinion it is disfiguring, dangerous, and lazy on an owner’s part to de-claw a cat.  Essentially de-clawing ‘cuts off’ the cats finger just below the equivalent of their knuckle.  I’m sorry, but to me – seeing my cats ‘fingers’ everyday it’s horrific to think about the process.  We trim Vladimir’s nails at least every two weeks and he uses cat scratching posts to maintain them for himself.  Yes, Vladimir has ruined many shirts, countless pantyhose, a few upholstered chairs (sorry Dad and Cym) – but in the end it’s my fault for not covering them/trimming his nails more often.  (Saran wrap and fabric pins are essential for stopping scratching if they won’t leave a certain texture of cloth alone)
There are lots of comments – some nice, some ‘offensive’ – that come with owning a Sphynx.  Ultimately I don’t care what is said, because I love Vladimir so much.  He and his breed are such characters and so sweet I cannot believe anyone wouldn’t want to one day own a Sphynx. Here are some links if you’d like some more information:

Join the Sphynx Cult today!

Or if you have any other questions feel free to ask me now! You all know I love talking in Sphynx!


3 thoughts on “Sphynx Cat Q&A

  1. This was facinating. Vlad is so cute, I can see why you love him. We had a Mexican hairless dog (Paco) for a long time. He felt like a warm leather purse, and was always getting blackheads. There was much commotion in our home when my daughter, young at the time, wanted to look up information on Paco – and typed ‘Mexican hairless’ into the search.

    1. Haha! Vladimir is always getting little black heads on his chin! I’ve always been a fan of the Mexican hairless dogs and someone in our neighborhood has one I’ve been dying to meet.

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