Bringing Baby Home
Congratulations! You have taken the leap and decided to give a Sphynx baby a forever family and home. So, What's next....
Thing first thing I recommend is joining the Show Me Sphynx Owners Support Group on Facebook. The only way to join is to receive an invitation from me. You would need to go to our Facebook page and like the page. That allows me to send you an invitation to join the support group. It is a private and hidden group so that our babies owners identities are protected from strangers. It is helpful to new owners to have a connection with owners of cats from the same genetic lines to share experiences and helpful hints on dealing with things involving their kittens/cats. It is also really fun to share photos and watch your babies brothers and sister grow up too. Sharing in their Sphynxalicious journey and seeing what things they have in common is pretty cool...
Here is the Show Me Sphynx Facebook link: https://www.facebook.com/ShowMeSphynx
Once you like the page, let me know and I will send you the invitation to join the Show Me Sphynx Owners Support Group.
The second thing I recommend is acquiring the necessary items needed to care for you new baby. It is extremely important to already have the things you need on hand before bringing baby home. Especially with Covid issues and the possibility you won't be able to get the items quickly or even be able to get to a veterinarian in a timely manner when Stay at Home orders occur again. The following list of items are guidelines not requirements. That being said, having these items will help you deal with the variety of situations that pet ownership brings. Nearly all of the links listed here can be purchased from Amazon and/or Petco and be delivered to your doorstep for one-stop shopping without Covid exposure.
I will be sending each kitten home with a gallon baggie of the food they are used to eating each day. If you choose to buy a different food to switch them to, do it gradually over a 10 day period or the kitten may suffer GI issues with things like diarrhea and stomach pain.
To transition to a new food do the following steps:
The first three days, mix 1 part new food with 3 parts old food.
The next 3 days, mix a 50/50 ratio of old to new food.
The last 4 days mix a ration of 25% old food and 75% new food.
Pay close attention for changes in their stool and things like rashes that could be caused by an allergen in the new food. Pay close attention to the ingredients in the food you buy if you are switching brands and AVOID corn gluten, wheat, gluten, soy, poultry by-products or turkey by-products. These are very well known to make Sphynx kittens/cats have issues.
Unless they are Organic and Non-GMO, Corn, Wheat and Soy are now genetically modified and cause lots of trouble for humans and their kitties digestive tracks alike.
Avoid excessive amount of Tuna since it is known to be contaminated with Mercury which will accumulate in your kittens tissues and poison them. Salmon is a much better option.
Be careful to watch the ingredients of cat treats. We only use Greenies because it also has the added benefit of helping to clean their teeth. Little strips of fresh chicken that has been boiled and NOT seasoned makes great treats.
Many owners opt to go with the RAW diet for their Sphynx cats. What that means is that they give them only raw foods without added chemicals and preservatives. There is a group on Facebook called "Cats Completely Raw and Proud" Cat CRAP. https://www.facebook.com/groups/CatCrap use this link to join the group and learn more about it. Many folks share their personal recipes to help people new to the RAW Diet. Sphynx owners swear by it. They claim that their kitties poo smell goes way down and their cats are much happier and healthier as a result.
I am actually in the process of learning more about this diet in order to switch my cats over to the RAW diet. If I am successful, I will share the recipe with everyone on the Show Me Sphynx Owners Group on Facebook.
I recommend filtering your tap water before filling your cats water dish/fountain. The chlorine in tap water can cause systemic reactions for your cat. We use a Britta filter system and pitcher to filter all water used for our cats.
You should trim your kittens/cats nails weekly and more frequently, if needed. It is very important for the hygiene of your cat. It also minimizes the risk that a person or another animal will get an infection from being scratched. Invest in a good pair of nail clippers and a toddler toothbrush to clean their nails gently during or after bath time. The cheap ones may cause damage to their nails that could lead to further problems and a possible vet visit. A starter toothbrush will be included in the gift set at pick up
Here are the clippers that I get from Amazon:
We will be making some videos and posting them in the near future. Until then, there are lots of how to trim your kittens nails videos on YouTube.
Toddler toothbrush I get from Amazon:
Sphynx ears need to be cleaned weekly. Sphynx cats don't have hair in their ears to catch the oils and dirt so it builds up quickly. If you don't clean their ears weekly with a solution, you will end up with expensive vet bills dealing with ear infections and swollen lymph nodes or worse. I will send each kitten home with a sample of cotton swabs and cotton rounds. However, you will need to buy a good and safe ear cleaner.
Here is what I get from PetMD on Amazon. I use it on all the cats and kittens. It is safe for young kittens and works well. It also leaves their ears smelling clean and fresh. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0180A1CM6/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1
Since Sphynx cats are primarily hairless, they don't have fur to catch the oils produced. Their skins gets oily and that oil catches dust and dirt like a magnet. They are also prone to dry skin and skin conditions such as rashes, hives and dermatitis. Bathing your Sphynx baby weekly should be a top priority. Using a gentle shampoo/soap without alot of chemical is essential. I began with using Johnson's baby shampoo and body wash for consistency since the breeder I bought my cats from used it. I found that is does not always get all the thicker oil build up completely off. Then the eureka moment struck. Dawn dish soap is a degreaser that was also gentle enough to use on the baby ducklings caught up on oil spills in waterways. I put a drop on the washcloth with the Johnson's and presto...
I recommend getting a small travel size Johnson's baby wash and a small $1 bottle of dawn dish soap at least in the beginning for consistency so you kitten does not have any adverse reactions to products that have not been tried yet.
As I research and try new products, I will post updated of the results on the support group page. I will be sending each kitten home with a baby cotton wash cloth in their gift basket. They work much better than the large wash cloths on getting into the skin fold underneath the kittens.
A sphynx cats skin is VERY sensitive to most detergents because of the chemicals and dyes in them. Be on the lookout for rashes and hives after contact with fabrics like towels, wash cloths, clothes and blankets. We use a chemical and dye free hypoallergenic detergent call Seventh Generation Free and Clear on all the towels, wash clothes, clothes and blankets used on our cats/kittens. A number of Sphynx owners have had issues with Tide. We have never had a cat or kitten get rashes or hives from this detergent. Wash all new clothes, sweaters before putting them on your kittens. I recommend having a dedicated towel for your kitten/cat.
We use Greenies dental treats to help keep our kitties teeth clean.
Sphynx babies get cold easily and need warm places to cuddle up and stay warm when not cuddling with their family members. All our cats/kittens prefer hooded beds over the open beds. The hooded beds/igloos retain heat better and they seem to feel more secure having their own little cubby to hide in. We get the Harmony Igloo hooded bed from Petco and have them delivered. The pad inside is removable and washable. They have different colors available for boys or girls.
Here is the link:
NOTE: Be very careful getting anything heated that does not have a cord protector on it. If your kitten bites the cord, it could go very badly for both of you.
LITTER AND LITTER BOXES:
We use unscented litter for our cats. The chemicals in scented litters can be inhaled by tiny kittens and affect their breathing. Litter is a matter of personal preference but if you get scented litters, you might find that your kitten will find alternate areas of your residence to use for peeing and pooping instead. For consistence sake during the stressful adjustment period the first month after you bring your baby home, I would use the same litter we use for familiarity and a higher success rate of avoiding accidents elsewhere in the house. We use "The World's Best Litter, unscented" It is made from renewable whole-kernel corn so there is very little dust and it is less messy for small kittens climbing in and out of the litter box. According to their website, The World's Best Litter is "Tested and proven flushable* and safe for septic and sewer systems! So you can skip the trip to the trash." This is a great feature for when you have to stay in a hotel room or at someone's home while traveling. We get is shipped from Petco. Here is the link:
We had been using open top high sided 2-part litter boxes to help keep the kittens that like to dig and throw litter from making big messes on the floor. I have switched to stainless steel boxes but due to the higher cost of stainless steel, some of you might not be able to invest so much in the beginning. For plastic litter boxes, I was buying the IRIS Open Top Cat Litter Box from Target.com. It comes with a litter scoop that fits into the top for ease. The top is removable for easier cleaning. Here is the link:
Because plastic litter boxes continually get scratched up and absorb odors over time, I had to replace them every several months due to the number of cats we have using them. I began searching for stainless steel litter boxes and only found one on the market with the high sided top that goes with it. Behold my new favorite litter box in the world. Here is the link:
Amazon.com: iPrimio Enclosed Sides Stainless Steel Cat XL Litter Box Keep Litter In the Pan - Never Absorbs Odor, Stains, or Rusts - No Residue Build Up - Easy Cleaning Litterbox Designed by Cat Owners - Patented: Pet Supplies It is sooooo amazing. I am permanently replacing all my plastic litter boxes with these. It is a one time investment versus having to keep replacing stinky scratched up plastic litter boxes.
Here is the amazing long handled litter scooper that I found to help me clean litter boxes even while stuck with my walker and unable to bend over to the floor. Here is the link:
Amazon.com : Yangbaga Metal Cat Litter Scoop with Deep Shovel and Long Handle, Detachable Stainless Steel Non-Stick Cat Litter Sifter with Foam Padded Grip Handle, No Bending Back Heavy Duty Cat Litter Scooper : Pet Supplies
For traveling with cats, we use the portable litter box by Litter Genie. We get in from Amazon.
CAUTION: You might want to consider avoiding the walnut litter if you have people visiting your home that are allergic to tree nuts. You would not want a kitten causing an anaphylaxis in someone.
CAUTION: If you buy the boxes with the hoods and flaps, you could be creating breathing problems from the trapped vapors inside the hood. Some kittens will also be too scared to go into a hooded box and will find another place to relieve themselves.
Vet Wrap self-adhesive gauze rolls https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07YCGP38X/ref=ox_sc_saved_title_3?smid=A2980MD82BE8GN&psc=1
Hydrogen Peroxide in a spray bottle. Used to spray on wounds to clean them out.
Antimicrobial Wound Spray
Tweezer set for removing ticks stingers, splinters or embedded foreign objects.
Over the counter hydrocortisone cream or spray for itching and hives.
Infants dye free, alcohol free, sugar free Benadryl liquid. Check with your vet to provide dosing instructions for treatment of allergic reactions and hives.
A liquid medicine syringe will be included in the gift set.
I recommend a scratching post to help keep your cat from scratching your furniture. You can get cat trees that have the sisal posts built into them.
Double-sided Scratch Deterrent Tape for furniture. Works great for us.
As you have seen in pictures I have sent out. The kittens love the Hey Brothers cat tree with the baskets for sleeping in. It also has a great scratching post built in. Here is the link:
Hypoallergenic Baby Wipes to clean kitties feet after stepping in poo and things.
Johnson's hypoallergenic hand and face wipes to clean their noses and the boogies from their eyes.
Training clicker that does not scare the cats: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07Y2RYBLS/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1
Chest harness for car trips or walking outside. Be very careful to buy one that fits properly to avoid them slipping out and getting lost, stolen or run over. We use:
For the safety of your pet, a carrier will be required to pick up your kittens. It is advisable to get a TSA approved carrier if you intent on traveling with your kitten/cat.
For Vehicle, carpet and upholstery accidents or vomiting, we use both Resolve Pet Expert stain and odor remove and Nature's Miracle Advanced Severe Mess Enzymatic Formula stain and odor eliminator.
Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil for skin and feeding in small amounts