Choosing vet for your Sphynx cat is really important. From routine check-ups, to vaccinations, to distressing times if your Sphynx is involved in an accident or suffers an illness, you want your vet to be someone that both you and your Sphynx trust and feel comfortable with. It is just like choosing your family GP and so this is not a decision that should be taken lightly. Be prepared that your vet will play a significant role in your sphynx cat health care.
How To choose a Vet For Sphynx Cat
The first thing to do in your search for your Sphynx’s vet is to ask around. Speak to people you know who have pets, ask people at cat shows, or enquire on online forums about recommended vets in your local area. Word of mouth is a very valuable tool as people are generally very happy to recommend professional with whom they have had a good relationship, and warn against those who have treated them or their pets badly.
Other people that you can ask include your breeder and local animal welfare organizations. You can also enquire at a local pet shop about recommended vets in the area. There are also many websites that review veterinary services by location and this can be a very useful guide. You will find tons of useful information about Sphynx cat vets and much more in the book “Sphynx Cats Make Great Pets”.
Questions to Ask a Potential Vet
Once you have made a shortlist of potential vets for your Sphynx you should then call each practice to find out more information about how they operate. Some of the questions that you might wish to ask them include the following:
- Do you have an ultrasound machine?
- Is it possible for the vet to do home visits?
- Does the practice have emergency provisions?
- What are the opening times and how does the appointment booking system work?
- Will the owner be involved in euthanasia procedures?
- What are the current rates for routine treatments and medication?
- Can I come and have a look around the practice before I make a commitment to bring my pet there?
- Is the vet a member of Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons? You will know that they are if they have the letters MRCVS after their name. This means that these vets satisfy professional standards relating to training, equipment, hygiene and pricing.
You’ll be able to take the right decision depending on answers and feel much more comfortable with your vet. Be sure that your sphynx will certainly feel your good attitude and definitely shows sympathy for the vet too.
Sphynx Cat Health and First Visit to the Vet
It is very important that you examine your Sphynx cat on a regular basis for any signs of potential sickness or injury. By regularly examining your cat you will be able to detect warning signs or obvious Sphynx cat health concerns at an early stage. Early detection can prevent the illness or injury from becoming worse, which can be a lot more distressing for your cat and for you.
Some people may think that a minor scratch or a small amount of discharge from the eyes are not serious enough injuries to warrant a trip to the vet. However, if left untreated these relatively minor conditions can become infected or become much worse. It is always better to err on the side of caution and either call your vet or take your cat in for a check-up. This simply task may save you a lot of anxiety (and money) should the situation get worse.
Advices for the Sphynx Cat Health Care
When you take Sphynx cat to the vet for the very first time, be sure to ask your vet for information about how to provide the best ongoing health care for the Sphynx.
They will be able to give you some great advice about vaccines, worming and any other cat health concerns that may be particular to your cat. Any time that you contact a vets clinic you will need to provide specific personal information and details about your pet. This may include the breed, sex, age, previous medical treatment and current symptoms. It is a good idea to keep a file handy which contains all this information about your Sphynx cat health in case it is even needed by your vet. Being carefully in tune with your cats behaviour is an important element of recognising when they are ill.
Cats are instinctively tuned to hide away when they are ill or injured so that they can avoid being further harmed or attacked by a predator. This means that your Sphynx may disappear or retreat from human company when they are ill and if you are not aware of this then you might not know that they are sick or in pain. Another obvious sign of illness with your Sphynx is if they are refusing food. It is still quite difficult, even for professionals, to assess the degree of pain experienced by a cat. Research into this field is still at a relatively early stage and cats do not assist in the process as they give little away when they are experiencing pain.
Another difficulty occurs as a result of the fact that the cats liver is biologically significantly different from a humans or a dogs. The enzyme pathway in the cats liver is not as effective meaning that current pain treatment medication is not very effective for cats. Hopefully there will be advancements in modern veterinarian medicine in the future so that we have a better understanding of the way that cats experience pain and how we can manage it.
The Sphynx and Cat Allergies
It is very important to note that Sphynx cats are not a complete solution for people with an allergy to cats. When people are allergic to cats, it can be one of two things that is causing the allergy. The first is the cat hair and the second is a protein (known as Fel D1) which is found in the cat’s saliva and urine.
If the allergy is caused by cat hair, then a Sphynx can be a good solution as although they’re not completely hairless, they have a lot less hair than a regular cat.
If you suffer from the protein allergy then you will be also allergic to a Sphynx as any other cat. There is a common misconception that people won’t be allergic to Sphynx cats because they’re hairless.
Unfortunately, this has meant that many people have sadly had to give up their Sphynx after they have realized that a family member is suffering allergies. If you think that you or a family member may be allergic to cats, it is a very good idea to spend some time with a Sphynx to confirm this before you go ahead and welcome one into your home.
If you have carefully considered all of the factors outlined above and you are still confident that you would make a good owner for a Sphynx cat, then congratulations!! Welcome to the exclusive Sphynx cat community!
Now we can get into even greater detail about how to find your perfect Sphynx and how to best care for it.
Knowing Whether Your Sphynx Is Sick
There are several things that will guide you in understanding whether your Sphynx is in pain or ill. Look for any sudden changes in the behaviour or attitude of your cat as these may be an indication of a health problem. Some of the changes that you should be looking out for include:
- Loss of appetite
- Hiding and/or refusing to interact with humans and other animals
- Tiredness and lethargic behaviour
- Failure to groom OR excessive attention to a particular area of the body (such as continually licking or biting a wound or scratch)
- Sitting or lying in unusual positions or moving with stiffness and soreness
- Failure to use the litter tray where they have previously done so
- Changes in levels of vocalisation (making more or less noise than usual)
- Being more agitated or aggressive than normal
- Puffing, panting, wheezing or other changes to breathing patterns
- Unusual weight gain or loss
Another sign to look for are any general changes in your Sphynx’s overall attitude and behaviour. This, of course, relies on you having a good understanding of what the normal behaviour is for your Sphynx. All animals break up the hours in their day in a fairly consistent way, depending on their environment, breed and personality. For instance, a certain cat may spend about 16 hours a day, 5 hours playing and grooming and the remainder of the time eating and exploring. Take note of the way that your cat generally structures its day and then observe for any changes in this behaviour.
If you notice any of the warning signs outlined above, then there is a high likelihood that your Sphynx is ill or injured. You will then need to make an initial assessment of the seriousness of the situation and whether or not it needs immediate veterinarian attention.
If you believe the situation to be life threatening, then take the cat to an emergency vet clinic immediately. As with human health conditions, it is important not to tie up emergency treatment facilities and resources if it can wait to see the vet during regular clinic hours.
If you think that the situation is not an emergency then decide whether you are comfortable with treating your Sphynx at home or whether you will need to make an appointment to see your vet.
Declawing: Pros and Cons
Declawing is an optional surgery that some cat owners request to stop their cats from using their nails in a dangerous or offensive manner. This is usually in response to a cat who scratches people, other pets, furniture and other belongings in the home. Many people believe that this practice is cruel and inhuman and that we shouldn’t be putting our pets through surgery just to make them more convenient for our lifestyles. Many vets will attempt to suggest alternatives to declawing (such as providing a scratching post for the cat) and some will simply refuse to perform this procedure.
When a cat goes through declawing surgery the entire claw is removed from the toe. This include the cells that cause the claw to grow and part of the bone that connect the claw to the toe. It can be compared to removing a human finger from the first knuckle. The recovery process is a very painful experience for the cat. Declawing will generally only be done on the front feet as these are the ones that the cat uses for scratching.
The cat’s claws are very important in maintaining its balance and agility. Without the claws, the cat may experience difficulty with everyday movements such as walking, jumping, stretching or climbing. It will also be unable to defend itself should it find itself in a threatening situation.
Serious Risks of Declawing
There are some serious risks involved in the declawing procedure. During the surgery, the vet will apply a tourniquet to cut off the blood supply to the paw. This procedure can result in severe damage to the radial nerve which can lead to complete paralysis of the leg. There are also risks involved in the healing process as the wounds may open up and become infected. Mistakes in the surgical process have also be known to occur and this can result in misshapen claws growing back which can be very painful for the cat. The surgeon may also mistakenly remove too much or too little during declawing surgery which can result in infections and/or the need for further surgery.