Care

Bathing

Bathing

Bathing

Your Sphynx will require regular bathing, because unlike coated cats that have fur to absorb their natural body oils, these accumulated oils can often give your kitten an orange dirty look. Bathing your Sphynx should be a simple task. D’Nile Sphynx kittens are bathed regularly so that your kitten should be well adjusted and often even enjoy the water. D’Nile recommends filling the bathtub before the cat enters the bathroom first to avoid raising your kittens stress level by the loud noise of the bathtub filling. D’Nile Sphynx recommends skin to skin contact in as many situations as possible during bath time skin to skin contact cannot be stressed enough. Trying to bathe a kitten in a sink from a kitten’s point of view has several problems. One, the kittens sees the easy potential for escape. Two, you are very far away from your kitten and it is scared. Three, sinks are often slippery. Instead D’Nile Sphynx raises its kittens from as young as possible to be used to being bathed in the following manner. Fill the bathtub with warm water and assemble any supplies you may need. We recommend Johnsons Baby Shampoo or Johnsons Natural Lavender Baby Wash. However, any tear-free cat shampoo may be used. Chubb’s bar soap is also a great one for Sphynx who get very greasy. I sometimes also like to rub down my Sphynx lightly with pure coconut oil five to ten minutes before bath time. 
​The coconut oil helps to melt off the grease and dirt in the wrinkles and keeps your Sphynx soft and prevents it from getting dry, irritated skin from frequent bathing. After I have allowed the coconut oil to soak in, I enter the bathtub and sit down. I either ask one of my children or my husband to then hand me my kitten that I then stand gently between my legs. If I am alone, I gently sit down with my kitten and place it between my legs after I sit down in the water. It is best if the water is at least to a level above the kitten’s belly. I can then gently hold the kitten by squeezing my legs together if I need to. I then hold the kitten gently around the shoulders with one hand and pour the shampoo along the kitten’s back with the other hand. I can then use both hands to scrub down my kitten. I simply raise the kitten’s front end up to get its belly and under each leg and neck and chest. Make sure you don’t get any soap higher than the base of the ears. Stand your kitten back in the water making sure all four feet are firmly on the bottom so that it doesn’t slip. Then you can again place one hand over its shoulders, and use the other hand to use a cup to gently pour water over the rest of the kitten to completely rinse your kitten off. Make sure not to splash any water in your kitten’s face. It’s very important that you keep every bath time as calm and positive as possible. Try to have a warm towel ready to wrap your kitten in to pat or rub dry. You can put towels in the dryer while you bathe your kitten or simply set them in your kitten’s bed on top of its heating pad. Never bathe your kitten when you are rushed for time. In between baths, D’Nile Sphynx recommends keeping water a positive aspect in your Sphynx life. During supervised times, fill the bathtub with an inch or two of warm water and add a few pool or bathtub toys for your kitten to play with. Never leave your kitten unattended with standing water in the bathtub or sink!

Skin

Skin

The skin of the Sphynx is not totally hairless but should feel like warm suede. The skin of the Sphynx is affected by environmental conditions due to the lack of protective layer of fur. Do not let your Sphynx go outside in the sun or they will get sunburned, even through windows. You can apply a sunscreen that is approved for small babies, however, these do contain chemicals that can trigger an allergic reaction. Your Sphynx will be a perfectly happy indoor cat. Oily-skinned Sphynx require more frequent bathing to ensure that the skins pores do not become clogged and they do not develop blackheads or pimples. Some Sphynx can develop hair depending on how cold their environment is and hormonal factors. Older Sphynx also tend to be more likely to develop some fuzz. Face The head of the Sphynx is a modified wedge that should be slightly longer than it is wide. Its prominent cheekbones should stand out, like its distinctive whisker pads. The Sphynx face should be well wrinkled as part of the breed’s characteristics. Make sure to clean between these wrinkles to avoid skin irritations. A Q-tip can be helpful with these touch ups. Also check your Sphynx chin often for leftover food or kibble.

Eyes

Eyes

Sphynx should have large, well-formed, lemon-shaped eyes. They should be set wide apart with a slight slant at the upper corners. They are completely lacking eyelashes. Sphynx often produce extra protein discharge from their eyes that needs to be whipped away daily. This discharge does not cause any discomfort and is not a sign of any health problem. It is merely a bothersome breed trait. Some Sphynx can have red or irritated eyes due to the lack of eyelashes that aid in filtering out irritants. These cats may find relief with simple eye-lubricating drops found at any local pharmacy. Like any cat, if the eyes are particularly watery and the third eyelid is visible, then a trip to the vet is advised.

Ears

Ears

The Sphynx ears are large, broad at the base, open and upright. Dark waxy buildup is typical in the Sphynx breed. If this oil, wax, and dirt is not cleaned regularly it can create serious health problems, such as infections, ear mites, discomfort, and deafness. It is extremely important that you clean your Sphynx ears on a regular basis. Sphynx ears should be cleaned at least once a week. It is good to use a mild ear cleaner like Oti-Clens. This seems to help the wax become softened and then makes it easier to clean out of the ear. This can be purchased from a veterinary clinic or online. It is a gentle non-irritating, non-toxic, ear cleaner. Apply the ear cleaner to a cotton ball and gently massage the ball inside the ear from base to tip. This will help to loosen the wax and oil from within the ear. Then use a clean cotton ball to wipe out the excess dirt wax and grease. Then take a cotton swab and use the tip of it to gently clean the wax out of the upper and lower part of the ear. Use this to go around all the cracks and crevices in the outer ear. Be very careful in case your kitten makes any sudden head movements. Always make sure you have someone else who is assisting you and holding your kitten while you work with the ear. Never insert anything into the canal of the ear.

Warmth

Warmth

Warmth

Generally speaking, if the temperature is warm enough for you, your Sphynx is probably warm enough as well, although Sphynx prefer any source of heat they can curl up to. D’Nile recommends providing your Sphynx with either the heating pad provided in the kitten care package available for purchase or another pet-safe heating pad. Not only will your Sphynx enjoy this extra place to snuggle it may keep them from seeking out a more dangerous option such as a heat vent or a sunbeam where they may become sunburned. Many Sphynx love to burrow under blankets and warm laundry, just be careful they don’t sneak into your dryer. If you start when your Sphynx kitten is young, often Sphynx wear pet clothes well and can accumulate quite the wardrobe.

Paws and Claws

Paws and Claws

Paws and Claws

The feet of a Sphynx appear to be long-toed and sit up on large pads. The feet are quiet dexterous and your cat will use them to grab, hold and manipulate various items with them. The lack of fur on your Sphynx feet also means the fur cannot absorb the oil here as well. This means Sphynx build up a brown wax similar to that inside the ear. It is easiest to clean after the kitten’s bath with a Q-tip, or cotton ball. You may use the same Epi-Otic solution to help soften the wax. Simply wipe down each nail and let the solution sit for a minute then go back and wipe it back down. Nail trimming is recommended weekly for your kitten as well. However, D’Nile recommends you bathe your kitten on one day, clean your kitten’s ears on another day, and trim your kitten’s nails on yet another day since kittens have a very short attention spans. As your kitten grows older, you may begin to combine some of these grooming activities. Nail trimming prevents daily activities from turning into accidents such as scratching other family members or pets. It also discourages unwanted furniture scratching and keeps the kitten from injuring themselves. To trim your kitten’s, nails simply press down on the pad of the food to extend the nail. Then while holding the cat steady so they don’t pull away and cause injury to themselves, clip the nail like you would your own. Be careful not to come too close to the pink part called the quick, which is the equivalent of the human cuticle. File in a downward motion any rough edges. Always reward your Sphynx kitten for good behavior! Remember, only perform nail trimming or any grooming activities when you are in a calm and patient mood. Remember to speak soothingly to your Sphynx kitten. All of these grooming activities are encouraged to be practiced at each bonding visit after you have picked out your Sphynx kitten, before it goes to its new forever home with you. However, if at any point in time after you have purchased a D’Nile Sphynx kitten you would like to ask any questions, please feel free to do so. Unfortunately, although we would love to be able to visit with all of our past babies, they cannot return to D’Nile without a special scheduled visit with a full veterinary check up and some special testing to make sure any future D’Nile kittens can be as healthy, and have as long and healthy of lives as your new D’Nile Sphynx kitten.

Declawing

Declawing

Scratching is a normal cat behavior. Scratching serves both a physical as well as psychological need. Cats scratch to keep their nails in condition, mark their territory, and stretch their muscles. Declawing itself is the amputation of each front toe at the first joint. Problems caused by declawing can be physical complications such as partial claws growing back or shattered bone fragments left behind. Arthritis and balance problems can also become problems. Behavioral problems caused by declawing very often include cats that refuse to use the litter box due to sensitive feet. There are many acceptable alternatives to declawing. D’Nile recommends training your kitten early to use an acceptable scratching post of its own. Reward your kitten when it uses the desired scratching post. Catnip and toys can help make this scratching post more desirable. Furniture that you want your kitten to avoid can be covered with aluminum foil. Double stick tape or spray on antiperspirants. Adequate nail trimming also discourages unwanted scratching behavior. Soft Paws are also a final and sometimes colorful alternative.