Care

General Instructions to help care for your new Sphynx!

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Going home

The transition to a new home, with a new family, can be very stressful for a kitten. For this reason, when you pick up your kitten, you will be provided with basically all of the supplies you’ll need for the first 30 days and specific instructions on how to care for your kitten. It’s very important that when you bring your kitten home you change as little as possible in their routine. Changing your kitten’s food, litter or not following vaccination protocols can have fatal consequences. 

Sphynx cats are extremely sensitive and things you may not even realize are important could be a matter of “thrive or survive” for your kitten. Your kitten has gone through lots of change in 3 short months.  At birth, they had to learn to nurse- which tends to be difficult for sphynx kittens; then they were weaned from nursing to eat on their own-which is a huge change for their digestive systems and often times requires antibiotics if they don’t transition well; and they’ve learned to use the litter box. Another concern in their first three months is reactions to vaccinations.  Vaccines can often cause them to become sick, developing viruses or upper respiratory infections that have a recovery period. Then finally, when they  reach 2.5 pounds, they get neutered or spayed, vaccinated again, and move to their new home. All of these mile markers and transitions are not easy on the kittens, which is why  I try to minimize change as much as possible when they go home with you. I do my best to have the kittens ready to go home at 12 weeks old, but every kitten is different, and sometimes it just isn’t possible if there are complications, or they don’t grow as quickly.

Food

You will be provided with plenty of food for your kitten. Please do not purchase any food before bringing your kitten home and do not change their food or feed them anything other than the food I provide for you.  Please note, it isn’t uncommon that a kitten may not eat for the first 24 hours due to anxiety over the transition of going home.  

The kittens are fed wet, canned cat food 2 times a day, which will be provided for you in your kitten care package. I feed a mixture of Royal Canin Baby cat, Science Diet AD, Life’s Abundance, and Special Kitty. 

In addition to the wet food twice a day, I also leave out dry food/kibble and they are fed Royal Canin Queen and Royal Canin baby Cat. I keep the dry food in separate dishes and they eat whichever food they prefer. They are basically the same, but Baby Cat is in smaller pieces. Both of these dry foods/kibble will be provided for you as well. 

Dry food/kibble wise, the kittens will eventually transition to Royal Canin Persian Kitten. Persian kittens, like sphynx kittens, have sensitive digestive systems. The Persian Kitten food is formulated differently than regular “Kitten”. The regular kitten often causes them to have loose stools. You will be provided with a bag of Royal Canin Persian Kitten in your kitten care kit.  As you are nearing the bottom of the bags of Royal Canin Queen and Royal Baby Cat, slowly begin to incorporate the Royal Persian Kitten in with it (combine all 3 types of kibble) to help them adjust, gradually increasing the amount of Royal Persian Kitten and decreasing the amount of the other two.   When you’ve run out of the Royal Canin Queen and Royal Canin Baby Cat, they should now be adjusted to the Royal Canin Persian Kitten.   

In addition to the bags of food, you will also be given a coupon for a free bag of Royal Canin Persian Kitten food in your care kit. When you are ready to purchase your first bag of food, register your kitten kit online on the Royal Canin website, and enter the breeder number on the front of your box BRD-003510-2. You will be able to print another coupon for Royal Canin.   If you have any questions about their diet, please contact me for clarification. 

Litter

I use wood pellets for litter. A bag will be provided for you to put in the litter box so that your kitten is able to identify the litter box. After a couple days, you can switch to whichever litter you prefer, but do not use a hooded litter box when you bring the kitten home. They will not know it’s a litter box. A plain, plastic, rectangular box is all you need and the kittens will recognize it. 

I prefer to use the wood pellets simply because I  do not personally care for clay litter. It smells like cats even when clean, it’s dusty, and it tracks all over-which ruins flooring if you have hardwood or laminate. If you’d like to continue to use pellets, I purchase the wood pellets used for wood burning stoves.

Where to keep your kitten

For the first few weeks, until your kitten is used to your home, you should move the litter box into the area the kitten is kept in. When the kitten is home alone it should be kept in one room, preferably your bedroom, with its bed, food, and litter. Your kitten will not enjoy being locked in your bathroom or being alone, so please try to limit its time home alone when it first transitions to your home. If possible, it is best if you let your kitten sleep with you. Initially, they may walk around crying and looking for siblings, and human companionship will help this transition.

Pet Insurance

You will be provided with a form to receive 30 days of free pet insurance. If you plan to keep the pet insurance, you must call within 24 hours of taking your kitten home. I do suggest having pet insurance. I believe the best plan is about $30 a month. Vet costs and bills can be considerably more expensive than that, and you will inevitably have vet costs when owning animals.

Vaccines

You will need to arrange for a 72 hour wellness check when you bring your kitten home.  When you bring your kitten in for the appointment, do not allow the vet to give vaccines. The type of vaccines I use do not require a series of 3 vaccines like most do. Your kitten is already under a great deal of stress in the first 72 hours, and another vaccine would be harmful (and potentially fatal) to your kitten’s health.  The immune system of a sphynx cat is far more sensitive than that of a cat with hair, and Vaccines and transition are extremely taxing for them.  

The only vaccine that your cat will eventually need to be given after bringing it home is the rabies vaccine. If you choose to give it the rabies vaccine, wait until the kitten is closer to 6 months old.  The vaccine is the same dose they give to a 50-pound dog, so the larger the kitten is, the better.

Bathing and Ear Cleaning

Contrary to what you may read, Sphynx cats should not be bathed once a week. When you bath the cats, oils are stripped from their skin and they quickly start over producing it to compensate, which is what can lead to an oily, dirty cat. It quickly turns into a vicious cycle. Sphynx clean themselves just like regular cats. Occasional baths are fine, but if you want your sphynx to stay clean and not get oily, it’s best to leave them to bathe themselves so their oils stay balanced. 

Although an actual bath is not necessary, ear cleaning is.  An ear cleaning kit will be provided in your kitten care kit.  I use mineral oil, q-tips, and baby wipes. Ears should be gently cleaned once a week.