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Sphynx cats are most commonly known for their wrinkly and hairless appearance. They also have bat-like ears and can look a bit weird on camera if taken at the wrong angle!
You’re probably wondering, “do Sphynx cats smell?”.
Well, read on, and you’ll find out!
So, Do Sphynx Cats Smell?
Short answer: no.
Long answer: all cats, including the Sphynx, are generally pretty good at keeping themselves clean. What separates the Sphynx from other breeds is their hairless appearance.
Because of the Sphynx’s hairless appearance, they will have issues any other cat breed would not normally encounter because they would have hair.
A Sphynx cat can smell, but many factors would attribute to this. Things such as genes, skin diseases, and their diet can make a Sphynx cat smell really, really bad.
When you purchase or adopt your Sphynx cat, you should check their family history and the breeder that they came from. Unfortunately, breeders out there will breed cats with known defects, gene issues, or transmittable diseases. These breeders are highly unethical and will do anything to make a quick buck.
Please read on as we go into more detail as to why your Sphynx cat may smell!
Reasons why your Sphynx Cat Might Smell
Generally, cats are excellent at keeping themselves clean and smelling nice. Unfortunately, Sphynx’s need a bit of a helping hand to keep them clean.
Cats are also annoyingly good at hiding any discomfort or issue that may be causing them from a disease or something else.
Many potential problems could be causing your Sphynx to smell bad. Here are some of the most common issues to look out for:
Like humans, if a cat has a bad diet, they may experience health problems.
A good or excellent diet will contribute to your Sphynx cat’s overall health and happiness. An overweight Sphynx will put pressure on their joints, bones, and internal organs.
Suppose they stay overweight for a prolonged amount of time. In that case, the likelihood of them experiencing health issues later in their life increases dramatically. You can expect their lifespan to be shortened as well.
A poor diet will also affect their mouth and teeth. A common gum disease that affects not just the Sphynx, but all cats. The disease is called: Periodontal Disease.
Periodontal disease affects the cat’s gums and teeth. Their teeth will begin to decay or rot and eventually will result in teeth falling out if left untreated. Tooth decay or tooth-rotting will cause your Sphynx to have extremely bad breath. This could be a reason as to why your Sphynx cat is smelling.
As Sphynx’s have no hair, their skin is left vulnerable to many potential problems.
Because they have no hair to protect them from the elements or taking in too much heat, they will sweat and create a greasy film layer to protect them. The downside to this layer is that it will pick up dirt and any other debris that could cause their skin an issue or irritation.
Unfortunately, Sphynx’s are unable to properly clean themselves; they’ll need a helping hand from you!
If you buy any cat, you should always check the breeder out as well. Sadly there are many unethical breeders out there who will breed cats with potential unwanted genes or diseases without a care for the kitten’s wellbeing at all.
There are two genetic problems that Sphynx’s can have. They are called:
- Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM)
- Hereditary Myopathy
Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy isn’t exclusive to the Sphynx breed and is sadly the most common heart disease in cats. HCM is a disease that will cause the cat’s heart from birth to gradually thicken until the heart stops functioning.
Hereditary Myopathy is a neurological disease. The disease can become clear from anywhere between 3 weeks to 6 months of age. The disease will cause muscle weakness in your cat, and they may appear limp. The Sphynx will have issues in their head, neck, and shoulder blades. At this moment in time, sadly, there is no treatment for this.
Other Untreated Diseases
Sphynx cats, like any other breed, can experience problems with their bladder or rear end when pooping.
Common bladder issues such as urinary tract infections or incontinence can cause your Sphynx cat to smell. On a more serious note, they can also have tumors in their anal glands, which would be a reason as to why they and their poop smell very bad.
If you’d like to know how to prevent these issues, please read on!
How to Prevent your Sphynx Cat from Smelling
There are a few things you can do to help your Sphynx cat from smelling. They are:
Give your Sphynx Cat High-Quality Food
Sphynx cats have a very sensitive digestive system. This means that they require a special diet, which many don’t realize when they get a Sphynx!
Most common cat food brands aren’t suitable for Sphynx’s and can cause them to have abnormal poop. Runny or very, very bad smelling poop will probably happen if you don’t give them the right food.
Your Sphynx may happily eat the cheap cat food, but it won’t end well!
Generally, a raw diet is recommended so that your Sphynx can digest their food properly.
Give your Sphynx a Bath Regularly
It’s recommended that you bathe your Sphynx at least every two weeks or at the very least once a month. This will give your Sphynx the optimal hygiene needed to not smell bad.
If they aren’t bathed regularly, you should expect to see red rashes or patches start to appear on your Sphynx’s skin.
You should check the folds in your Sphynx’s skin to ensure that no dirt is building up that could cause them discomfort, pain, or more issues later down the line.
Lastly, it’s essential that you must only use products that are specifically for Sphynx’s. Using generic cat products or even human products is a big no-no. You could easily cause your Sphynx great discomfort.
Sphynx’s can experience problems with their mouths, teeth, and gums, as mentioned earlier in this article.
Using special food or a specially designed cat toothbrush and cat toothpaste can help reduce the chance of any dental problems. Make sure you do not use human products, though!
There are also dental treats that you can use to help! Something such as Greenies Feline Oven Roasted Chicken Flavor Adult Dental Cat Treats will do wonders to help. It’ll also allow you to play with your Sphynx and give them treats!
Clean your Sphynx’s Ears Regularly
It’s important to make sure that you keep on top of your Sphynx’s ears as well! By being a hairless cat, it literally means no hair anywhere, including their ears!
Having no hair in their ears means that wax, dirt, and anything else that might get in, there builds up very quickly. They build up so quickly that it’s recommended that you should clean them once a week.
You should have no problems using cotton swabs to clean their ears. Just remember to be careful!
Check for Common Health Problems
Checking for common health problems should be part of your regular routine as well. Problems such as swollen anal glands, kidney, oral, dental, skin, and ear infections should be on your lookout list.
By checking for these problems regularly, you will most likely massively improve the life of your Sphynx and their lifespan!
Do Sphynx Cats Sweat?
Yes, Sphynx cats do sweat.
They sweat as they have no fur. Their sweat creates a barrier between their skin and any potential foreign issues that could end up on their exposed skin.
When your Sphynx sweats, the sweat is turned into an oily barrier. This is good as it protects them, but this also means that the barrier picks up a lot of dirt and debris. Any dirt and debris that is picked up by their oily layer can cause them issues if left untreated.
Can you use Baby Wipes on a Sphynx Cat?
Ideally, no, you should not use baby wipes on your Sphynx cat. Some Sphynx owners have used unscented baby wipes on their Sphynx but be warned they could still irritate their skin.
You should use wipes specifically made for cats. A good idea would be to use Burt’s Bees Dander Reducing Wipes. These wipes have colloidal oat flour and aloe vera, which will help soothe your Sphynx’s skin when being wiped and cleaned.
In conclusion, no Sphynx’s do not smell.
They may only smell if they are having issues. Things such as not being bathed regularly, having a dental problem, or being given the incorrect diet will be among the most common reasons they smell.
About the Author
Hey there! I'm Jeremy and I’m the brains behind Pet Care Project, a website chock-full of pet-care know-how. I've got the experience and knowledge to help you keep your furry friends happy and healthy. And let's not forget about my own little fluffball, Lunar, my Ragdoll cat who keeps me on my toes.