An important consideration in caring for your Don Sphynx ( Donskoy) is attention to the temperature in their environment. If you are comfortable in the temperature of your home your cat will be comfortable too. To ensure your cat has adequate heat we do recommend a heated bed or pet heating pad that they will have access to at will. Cozy blankets and cat igloos for them to cuddle in are also good additions to their environment. As friendly as they are, they will likely want to crawl under the covers with you at night, but the heated bed or pad should be available to them, particularly in colder months. I personally like the sunbeam-heating pad available at Walmart. There is only an on/off switch and it does not get hot enough to chance burning your cat. I place this under the bedding in their cat hut or sleeping mat. Additionally, getting a few sweaters is a good idea if the room environment is excessively cold or if you need to transport your cat outdoor in frigid temperatures. The cats often take some time to adjust to wearing a sweater, but will usually accept them. While a sweater can be used, it is not a necessary requirement for your cat. Remember, if you are comfortable in your environment your cat will be comfortable too. Not putting your cat in a sweater may actually help develop a healthy immune system.
Please note that Don Sphynx (Donskoy) are an indoor cat. Their skin sheds heat so readily that their internal temperature can drop precipitously. They are prone to sunburn since they do not have a protective layer of hair. If you take your cat outside in a supervised area please ensure that he is protected from getting sunburn and the chance of skin cancer by keeping him in a protected environment.
Indoor vs. Outdoor Cats
A pet is a wonderful thing to have. Many people choose their pet based on where it lives in their household; indoor, outdoors or a combination of the two. One of the two most common domestic pets is a cat. The question, though, is whether it is better to have an indoor or outdoor cat. There are pros and cons for both sides of the question that directly affect the health of a cat. Indoor cats are known to have a longer lifespan than outdoor cats; on average, an indoor cat can live anywhere from twelve to twenty years while the average lifespan for an outdoor cat is a measly little five years. The two primary reasons outdoor cats have a shorter lifespan are traffic and disease.
Most households have easy access to a roads, the main access to vehicles and drivers that may not see the curious feline darting across the pavement. With the inherent curiosity of a feline, traffic is a huge danger. Cats are drawn to small, fast moving objects and do not instinctively know that the pavement of the nearby road can pose a danger in the form of fast moving vehicles whose drivers may not automatically be looking for the beloved pet of a nearby home. There are several other dangers for an outdoor cat. Many diseases and parasites can be found lurking in an outdoors environment that affects an animal’s health that people may not be aware of. The diseases are mostly immune deficiency diseases such as Feline Leukemia Virus, Feline Immunodeficiency Virus and Rabies. Most diseases can be easily prevented with vaccines and immunization booster shots given by the veterinarian. While parasites such as fleas and ticks can be prevented by the use of over the counter, topical medications that have to be reapplied every month or by the use of collars and sprays infused with chemicals that keep the parasites away. There is heartworm prevention for cats now that also kills some parasites. All of these should be considered carefully with respect to the risk factors in your environment under the guidance of a respected veterinarian.
Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV), is a serious disease. The FeLV virus is shed in many bodily fluids, including saliva, nasal secretions, urine, feces and blood. FeLV is most commonly transmitted through direct contact, mutual grooming and through sharing litter boxes, food and water bowls.
Many owners do not even know their pet has this disease until it is too late. The cat’s immune system is being affected. Signs, if any include weight loss, loss of appetite, pale gums, fever, seizures, changes in behavior and many more. After infection, most cats only live three years. However, there are vaccines and boosters that can be given by your veterinarian that help to prevent this disease. Have any new cat tested for FelV you bring into your family.
Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV), like the human version, HIV, is a serious immune system disease that inhibits the animal’s inborn immune system from preventing other diseases or protecting from infections. Like FeLV, FIV is spread from cat to cat contact, mostly through bites given by more aggressive cats. Unlike FeLV, the only preventative measure for this disease is to keep the animal away from other infected animals; in other words, keeping your FeLV negative cat indoors.
Rabies is a serious and deadly disease. Infected animals are normally wild or undomesticated animals such as raccoons, squirrels, bats or skunks, and spread the disease to other animals through bites. Rabies makes an animal aggressive, avoid light or water and dangerous to other animals and humans. Rabies is almost always fatal, but can be prevented by keeping your animal immunized and by keeping it indoors.
These three diseases (and others not mentioned in this article) are good reasons to keep a pet indoors, The best preventative measure for any disease is avoidance of infected animals; a good policy for suspected infected animals is to contact the local animal shelter or pound to help capture said animal so it will not endanger others or have to live through the pain and discomfort of a diseased life. Not all health problems exist only for the outdoor cat. There are some health concerns for the indoor cat as well. All of these problems can be easily prevented with attention to the animal and often do not require veterinary care as the outdoor cat would. Some of the most common health issues for indoor cats are: increased number of hairballs, overgrown claws, and intestinal issues caused by incorrect diet. Most indoor cat health issues can be prevented by grooming; the overgrown claws can be prevented by allowing a cat to sharpen their claws on a proper surface or by simple trimming the animals nails and cleaning the nail beds. Hairballs and other intestinal issues can be prevented by a proper diet, a grain free or raw diet is best for cats. A supplement of probiotics, goat milk kefir for example is a good source to help keep the intestinal track healthy and help prevent infection by boosting the cat’s immune system.
In summary the easiest way to prevent accidents or contracting disease is to keep it indoors. There are also ways to build enclosures to allow a cat to be “outside” while preventing it from having access to the dangers of the world at large. Many people feel the work needed to build a cat enclosure is either too expensive or two extensive. Unlike most pets that keep to the ground and only need a simple fence to keep them enclosed; cats require a full enclosure that provides screening on all sides, including the roof. These enclosures can be expensive and must be maintained to prevent animals from digging in or escaping. However, they allow a cat to experience the outside world, such as access to plants, scents and views of other animals they may not have access to indoors. There is a belief that a strictly indoor cat becomes bored or lazy with the same environment every day. The enclosure can help with this,
But indoor cats can have plenty of exercise through play and climbing.it is also suggested that cat toys be changed every other week just to keep the animal’s mind active and involved in their smaller environment. Playing with your cat with feather toys, balls, small noise making toys, giving them a tall cat trees to encourage climbing, cat wheels to encourage play and running ,all will keep your cat exercised and healthy indoors.
Currently there is no pet safe sunscreen on the market for cats, remember cats are fastidious groomers and will lick off the sunscreen. Many experts agree that coconut oil can give some protection, blocking approximately 20% of the sun's harmful UV rays.
(If ingested, it is harmless coconut oil actually has many health benefits).
The Cat Hospital of Fairfax, Inc. shares the following
recipe for a homemade sunscreen for cats:
6 tbsp almond oil*
3 tbsp shea butter*
1 tsp beeswax
1 tsp soy-lecithin
2 tbsp aloe vera gel*
2 tbsp rose water
3-5 drops coconut oil*
Melt oils, butters and beeswax in a double boiler over low heat, only until melted. Add the soya-lethicin, stir until mixed. Remove from heat. Warm the aloe vera and rose water. While still warm, put the water mix over ice, drizzle in the oil mixture while stirring rapidly with a small whisk. Should cream quickly. Add coconut oil and mix well. Store in a clean, airtight jar.
Don Sphynx cats are best for someone that will make this cat an indoor pet and supervise any outdoor activity and exposure.
We feed our cats a raw diet staying as close as possible to the form and nutritional composition that our cats would eat in a natural setting in the wild. We feel this is best for their overall health and immune system. Here is link to Dr. Lisa Pierson’s article on feeding your cat, a comprehensive article about feeding , addressing the advantages and disadvantages of all sources of food for your cat. Take the time to read her article with many helpful links included.
Feeding your cat:
Most cats enjoy water, or at least tolerate it .Start them at an early age with the routine so they get used to bathing. Bathing should be done in warm water; use your elbow or wrist to sample the water temperature before immersing the cat. It should feel just a bit warmer than you would prefer. A mat at the base of the tub or sink is a good idea as the cat will feel more secure when standing. Turn off the water before you place your cat in the bath. They tend not to like the sound of the running water.
First, place the cat in the water and wet all the skin, avoiding getting water in the ears.
Then remove the cat from the bath and apply pet shampoo made for cats, NOT HUMAN shampoo or a shampoo with Tar, which is toxic to cats. If your cat is comfortable in the water apply the shampoo with a sponge in the bath. Place the cat back in the bath if you have shampooed him out of the sink/tub and rinse off all the shampoo. Make the final rinse a clean water rinse. When all of the shampoo is removed take the cat out of the water and wrap in a warm towel. You can put a few drops of ear dry in each ear and gently clean the ears with a soft Q-tip, or use a little shampoo to clean the ear and wipe it out with a clean wet cotton ball. Be very careful to not insert the Q-tip deeply into the ear, only into the folds to clean any wax you see. A cotton ball is a much better choice with less risk of damaging your cats’ ears. (Your vet or I can demonstrate for you) You can use a few household items to clean their ears. A vinegar solution, one part vinegar mixed with two parts water, will clean excess earwax and additional dirt. A few drops of coconut oil in each ear on a cotton ball will help lubricate and clean it effectively. Add a few drops of your chosen cleaning solution to each ear, massage the base of the ear to loosen the built-up dirt, and use a cotton ball to wipe it clean. You will find the best combination of products and technique that works for your cats personality. Be sure to gently clean your cat’s eyelids daily as they do not have lashes. Since the Donskoy lacks eyelashes, dirt can more easily get in. Clean the eye gently with a cotton pad, cotton makeup removers work well. Eyes cleaning should be done every 1-2 days. Occasionally condition the skin with grape seed oil or coconut oil, apply then wipe off the skin. Allerderm, by Virbac can be applied after a bath. It is an exclusive blend of ceramides and fatty acids similar to those found in normal healthy skin.
NAIL CLEANING: It is easiest to wrap your cat gently in a towel until he becomes comfortable with nail trimming and sit on your lap without trying to escape. Take the paw out from the towel and clean each toenail bed with a soft cloth, makeup pads work well here too, taking care to be gentle, as the nails are sensitive. Trim nails, avoiding the quick, and clean the toes removing built up dirt and yeast. Repeat for all four paws. (Your Veterinarian or I can demonstrate nail clipping, as well.)
Be sure to clean the face with a soft cloth, washing all the wrinkles. This breed requires no brushing, but regular cleaning with a damp face cloth or unscented cat wipe is necessary. Remember the ears/eyes have no hair around them to trap dust and dirt, again, remember they will also need occasional cleaning in between baths.
TEETH: daily brushing with a Veterinarian approved toothpaste will help avoid future periodontal disease and tooth decay. http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/cat-care/ten-steps-dental-health
WHEN USING ANYTHING CHEMICAL (SHAMPOO, EAR CLEANING SOLUTION, COMMERCIAL FOOD) IT IS ALWAYS ADVISED TO CONSULT YOUR VETERINARIAN IN ADVANCE)
You should have one more litter box than the number of cats you own.
Cats prefer an unscented litter
We use the Breeze system with our cats, but there are many choices of litter boxes on the market: our favorites:
Ten Most Common Pet Toxins of 2014
The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) in Urbana, IL., handled more than 167,000 calls involving pets exposed to possibly poisonous substances in 2014. Nearly 16% of those calls were from pet parents whose pets got into medicines intended for human use, putting this category at the top of the toxin list for the seventh year in a row.
Here are the 10 most common pet toxins of 2014 ranked in order of call volume:
1. Human prescription medications are most often exposed to pets, as mentioned above. The prescriptions that caused the most concern correlated with the most popular medications prescribed to humans.
2. Over-the-counter medications, including herbal and other natural supplements, attracted greater concern this year than in previous years resulting in approximately 25,000 calls. This category is exceptionally large, encompassing more than 6,900 different products.
3. Insecticides dropped to the third slot this year, comprising 9.1% of calls to the APCC (15,000 cases). These products can be very dangerous, especially if the label directions are not followed.
4. Household items were the cause for concern in more than 13,500 cases, especially paints and cleaning products.
5. Human foods are appealing to pets, especially dogs. Dogs can get into serious trouble by ingesting onions, garlic, grapes, raisins and xylitol, a sugar substitute which can be life-threatening for animals. Approximately 13,200 cases involved human foods in 2014.
6. Veterinary medications made up 7% of total cases in 2014. Pet parents should be aware that chewable medications are very tasty and pets might ingest an entire bottle if it is not kept out of their reach.
7. Chocolate ingestion is very common. At the APCC, chocolate calls make up 6% of the total call volume—more than 30 calls a day! The darker the chocolate, the more potential it has to do harm.
8. Plants represent approximately 5% of the calls to the APCC and moved up a spot since 2014. Most of these calls involve cats and houseplants.
9. Rodenticides are made to kill mice and rats, but they can also kill pets if ingested. APCC handled more than 7,500 calls about rodenticides last year.
10. Lawn and garden products round out the top ten, accounting for about 2.7% of all calls. Many of these exposures occurred because people did not store lawn and garden products out of the reach of pets.
Want more poison control information at your fingertips? Download our free APCC by ASPCA mobile app, which features a searchable database of more than 275 toxins as well as helpful information for pet parents of dogs, cats, horses and birds. The app helps users quickly and accurately identify common hazards.
If you have any reason to suspect your pet has ingested something toxic, please contact your veterinarian or the Animal Poison Control Center’s 24-hour hotline at (888) 426-4435.
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