You might have seen stories online featuring Sphynx cats playing in their tubs. But do Sphynx cats actually like water?
Like most felines, Sphynx cats are not naturally great fans of water. Plus, it can easily make them cold, due to their lack of fur.
That said, their hairlessness does actually necessitate frequent bathing and cleansing. Hence, it is rare to see a well-cared-for Sphynx that has a strong aversion to water. Most hairless cats have become so used to bathing since they were young that they have learned to feel comfortable in the water.
If you are curious to know more about Sphynx cats and their grooming needs, read on as we might have just the information you need!
Sphynx cat bathing essentials you should know
Sphynx cats are not the same as typical household cats with thick, fluffy fur. Due to their hairlessness, this breed often requires special skincare routines to keep them healthy and clean.
As you might know, they have very little fur to protect themselves from the varying weather conditions. What they do have is a very fine layer of hair that is not enough to keep them warm during the cold months or cool during the hot seasons. Moreover, the lack of fur makes their skin oily and sweaty, which means they can easily become a magnet for dirt, dust, and pollen particles.
Hence, a Sphynx cat should be bathed at least once a week so that their skin remains healthy and radiant. Veterinarians do not recommend using hot water, even during the cold months, as this will only cause skin burns and dryness. Plus, it is important to find a medicated pet shampoo suited for your cat. Of course, consider a product without any strong scent or perfume; otherwise, your Sphynx might resist the bath!
Keep in mind that bathing your Sphynx cat is a part of giving them the care they need. You will also have to make sure you invest in the best shampoo and conditioner to keep their skin soft, supple, and healthy. Always speak with your vet beforehand in order to determine the best products for your cat.
Do Sphynx cats like water?
Like any cat, your Sphynx might love the water for fun, but totally hate being submerged in it if they are not used to it.
So, the answer to the question can be both yes and no.
Sphynx cats do not like baths, but yes, they can learn to tolerate them if they have been trained from a young age. And, like any other cat, your hairless friend can absolutely enjoy the water, batting and splashing the crystal-clear stream flowing from your kitchen faucet. In short, Sphynx cats like water if they are allowed to interact with it on their own terms.
But we all know that proper bathing is an important part of your Sphynx’s hygiene. Because most of these kitties are so used to bathing, it is no surprise that most of them have learned to tolerate water. In fact, many cat parents share photos online of their adorable Sphynxes enjoying their baths!
But then again, every cat is unique – some cats will naturally love the water while others will forever detest it. So, if your bald friend hates the water and you are bathing them for the first time, then you and your kitty are sure to clash! You cannot blame them for this innate nature, so patience is a must.
But, once your Sphynx gets used to the water, bath time will no longer be a daunting task! Plus, your feline friend might actually learn to love – or at least tolerate – bath times, as they are pampered with lots of love and attention from her favorite human.
Is it hard to bathe a Sphynx cat?
Just because Sphynx cats are hairless, this does not mean they are easier to maintain! Yes, it is true that they do not need a fancy dematting brush or comb. But they will need more baths than a typical house cat, not to mention the special skin care they need to prevent sunburn and skin dryness.
The presence of hair usually helps distribute oils evenly and away from the skin. But this is not the case for Sphynx cats. Because they are hairless, they can easily pick up dirt and particles on their skin. Licking will not help them much either, as this grooming is not usually sufficient to get rid of the extra oil on their skin.
And imagine how much dirt they can pick up on their little feet after using the litter box! If you do not clean them up regularly, they can easily spread dirt and germs all over your house, including on your pillows, carpets, and bedsheets.
On top of being high-maintenance cats, these baldies may not find bathing a pleasant experience. For this reason, it is best to start bathing your cat while they are very young. Otherwise, you will have to face the challenge of breaking their fear of water later on in their adult life. Also consider talking to your vet to learn about the best shampoos, soaps, and wipes to keep your hairless companion clean and in tip-top shape!
How do I get my Sphynx cat to like water?
There is no easy answer to help your cat get used to the water, as all cats have unique personalities and preferences. But, as mentioned before, the best and easiest way to bathe your cat is to introduce them to the water at a very young age.
But, if you are bathing an adult Sphynx for the first time, your next best approach is to use positive reinforcement. A trick that most cat parents swear by is to use your cat’s favorite toys and treats as incentives for staying longer in the bathtub. Try to soothe your cat with a calm voice. Never shout or “punish” the cat if they seem to act aggressively during the bath.
And lastly, your kitty will probably need a lot of time to learn to tolerate the sensation of being bathed, so patience is key!
Other tips to care for your Sphynx
Hairless cats, as we all know, are prone to skin irritations, acne, sunburn, and other skin issues. But do not worry – we have summarized below the essentials you need to know to keep your feline healthy and comfortable.
On top of their weekly baths, hairless cats also need a proper skincare routine. Some of the basics might include:
- Cat-appropriate skin moisturizers to protect their skin from dryness
- Skin-safe sunscreen to avoid sunburn, especially if your cat is allowed to play outdoors
- Proper soap, shampoo, or cleansers for bathing
- Cat wipes, as their skin is constantly exposed to the elements and you might need to wipe them from time to time
- Mild antibacterial soap to treat blackheads, as their skin can be really oily which makes them prone to acne
2. Cleaning their eyes and ears
Sphynx cats do not have hair around their eyes or ears, making it difficult for them to filter out dirt. Although they are predominantly indoor cats, it is worth checking their ears and eyes from time to time to prevent dirt build-up, especially inside the ears.
Use pet wipes or a clean, damp cloth to remove dirt, pollen, and ear wax. You can also ask your vet to recommend cleaning drops and where to buy them.
3. Sphynx cat clothes
UV-protection clothes can be your cat’s lifesaver during summer. Aside from sunscreen, these little get-ups can protect them from nasty sunburn, especially if you let them stay outdoors. Just make sure to keep an eye on your little friend when they have their swanky shirt on. And always provide access to a shady area where your pet can lounge, to avoid the sun’s harmful rays.
4. Feed them more!
Hairless cats tend to have a higher metabolism as their bodies work harder to regulate their core temperature, especially during winter. Try to accommodate your cat’s racing metabolism by feeding them more nutritious food. Do not worry – most Sphynx cats are not finicky eaters compared with their hairy counterparts!
Sphynx cats generally like (or at least tolerate) water, since most of them have been used to bathing since they were young. Plus, water can be a fascinating toy to play with! Remember that these hairless beauties are no different from other cats – they, too, love batting and splashing at water. Just make sure that the water is not too hot for them, and use the right soaps and shampoos to protect their sensitive skin from irritations.
Image: istockphoto.com / Natalie_magic