If you are thinking of adding a unique and unusual cat to your family, it is quite possible that the Sphynx breed is on your shortlist. But, if a cat’s personality is very important to you, you will first want to make sure that the cat is a good fit for your home environment.
So, are Sphynx cats mean? Or are they friendlier than the other cat breeds?
Sphynx cats are not inherently mean. However, they can be feisty, confident, and very demanding, which many cat owners find adorable. These cats are also a bit like the “clowns” of the family – they will never fail to make you laugh at their quirks!
Interested to know more about this cat’s lovely demeanor? Read on to find out!
What are Sphynx cats’ personalities like?
Sphynx cats generally have an incredibly good temperament, although not everyone might find them endearing due to their hairlessness. But, cat owners who have been won over by their unique appearance and quirks can testify to the many great aspects of having a Sphynx as a family member.
For one, Sphynx cats are known for being friendly and outgoing. These kitties love the company of their humans and would do anything to make them smile. Sphynx cats love the company of other pets, too, and will not hesitate to seek out new things to explore. They are smart enough to learn how to open doors or do tricks such as balancing on top of objects and jumping through hoops. Thanks to their quirks, these hairless cuties are truly a source of entertainment for the whole family!
Are Sphynx cats friendly?
One trait that makes Sphynx cats such wonderful pets is their friendliness. These cats have no issues getting along with their human and feline housemates, and they love being the center of attention. They are also known for being among the cuddliest of cats, although that may be due to their lack of fur and need for warmth!
Are Sphynx cats mean?
Although they can be very demanding of attention, Sphynx cats are not inherently aggressive. However, some people might occasionally mistake their feistiness for aggression.
Like other cats of different breeds, Sphynx cats can become mean if they are provoked. Their aggression can be caused by fear, past trauma or abuse, or physical pain. Hence, before you judge a cat, it is very important to understand its background and learn what triggers any aggressive behavior.
Overall, though, Sphynx cats are loving and rarely display aggression towards their humans and other household pets.
Aggression in Sphynx cats – the root cause
Some Sphynx cats can have aggressive tendencies based on early life experiences and their level of early socialization. Listed below are some of the common factors that might influence their aggression:
Cats can display fearful behavior if they have been exposed to trauma or abuse in early life.
When a cat sees someone or something they perceive as a threat, they might respond in three ways – freeze, flee, or fight. In some cases, a cornered cat may not be able to flee from the situation, leaving it no choice but to attack. Fear aggression often happens if a cat is not properly introduced to a new person or pet.
If your Sphynx cat shows signs of fear, you should ask yourself – was your cat adopted as a stray or from a cat shelter? Or did you adopt it from someone else? If the answer is yes, then the cat may have experienced trauma at the hands of its previous family, or suffered the harsh conditions of the streets as a stray.
It is also possible that the fear is triggered by the cat’s current environment. This could be due to a new pet in the house, a family visitor, young children who are not properly taught how to interact with cats, or other pets bullying your cat. Make sure to investigate the root cause and try to eliminate or reduce your cat’s exposure to these triggers.
Cats struggling with pain will generally not want to be touched on the affected areas of their body. They may hiss at, bite, or scratch anyone that attempts to come close to them. In an effort to prevent the pain from worsening, the affected cat will likely avoid interactions or activities with other pets or family members.
Some causes of pain-related aggression include osteoarthritis, urinary infections, physical injury, and other underlying medical issues. If you suspect your cat is hiding an illness or injury, do not delay a visit to your vet for a proper diagnosis.
Unfortunately, even after the treatment, the experience of the pain might cause some cats never to want to be touched on the affected areas again.
3. Environmental changes
Just like other cats, Sphynx cats do not do well with changes in their environment. For example, the stress of moving into a new house can have debilitating effects on your feline friend. Even subtle changes like new furniture, a new daily routine, sudden loud noises, or the arrival of a new family member can be too much for a cat. Unfortunately, the stress brought by these changes can trigger feline behavioral issues such as aggression.
4. Redirected aggression
Redirected aggression is an unpredictable feline behavior. It often happens if your cat is aroused or upset about something, such as seeing a rodent outside the window or having an altercation with another pet in the household, and not being able to respond to the stimuli. The experience can be very frustrating to a cat and can cause them to attack anyone within paw’s reach.
While this feline behavior can be frightening, understand that your furry companion has no intention of hurting you or your other pets. More often than not, redirected aggression is a reflex that is beyond your cat’s control. Hence, the best thing you can do is avoid your kitty until they have calmed down. If the agitated cat starts a fight with other pets, make sure that you can safely distract or separate them.
You have probably experienced a time when you were having a loving moment with your feline friend, cuddling and stroking them, when all of a sudden they nipped at your fingers and ran away! Sound familiar?
Sphynx cats are known for their sweet and friendly temperament, but they can also be extra sensitive due to their lack of fur, and can have trouble with aggression when overstimulated.
Petting-induced aggression is a common behavior in cats. Often, it results when the cat is touched for too long, especially on its sensitive body parts like the head, back, and neck. The agitated cat might react by scratching, biting, or clawing, all of which can be painful and frightening.
To avoid such incidents, you need to understand your cat’s petting threshold and avoid touching its sensitive areas.
6. Rough play
Cats play rough with each other to establish dominance and expend their energy.
When they play, they will often use their claws and teeth to inflict minor injuries on one another. These wounds are not usually serious, but they can be painful. Unfortunately, cats who were not properly socialized, or were taken away from their litter too early, will not learn how to control their bite.
Therefore, it is very important to teach your cat not to play with human hands, especially if they bite too hard. To avoid injuries, encourage them to use toys instead.
What to do if your Sphynx shows aggression
Aggression in cats is a common issue and can be related to many different factors, as we have seen. There are many ways to manage this aggression, but the best way to deal with it is by not provoking or encouraging it. Cats will often act aggressively when they feel threatened or scared, and keeping them in a confined space will only make the situation worse.
Other ways to stop aggression in Sphynx cats are:
- Paying a visit to your vet to ensure that there are no medical conditions involved.
- Distracting the cat before the aggressive behavior escalates, by whistling, throwing a toy, or gently spraying them with water.
- Giving your Sphynx cat enough exercise to release its pent-up energy.
Not everybody finds Sphynx cats attractive pets, thanks to their lack of fur. Some people also misunderstand their boldness and spunky personalities for meanness, but this is completely untrue. In fact, this cat breed is one of the friendliest and cuddliest! So, if you are looking for a unique pet with a big personality, you should definitely consider a Sphynx cat.
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