Here are some frequently asked questions about our cats, Joy of Sphynx Cattery and Sphynx cats in general:
How much are your Sphynx kittens?
Our kittens are $1800.
Why are Sphynx cats expensive?
Most purebred, rare animals are sold at a premium price. Sphynx are no exception. There are many factors to consider when naming your price as a breeder that would not occur to potential clients. Factors include the price of premium cat food (Queens eat more when pregnant and nursing), litter (LOTS of it!!) and top of the line veterinary care: preventative care, treating illness, vaccinations, sterilizations for the kittens, etc. Adult breeders have to be tested yearly by a board certified veterinary cardiologist to ensure their hearts are healthy enough to breed and rule out HCM. Being a good, caring and responsible breeder takes time and effort. That means no time off when you have kittens in the house! Vacations have to be put off, children’s sporting events are missed etc. And that is if things goes well….. if you end up with kittens that won’t nurse or need special attention, you can add sleepless nights and bottle feeding every 3 hours to the list. It is a huge commitment and responsibility to be a good breeder. If someone asked you ” how much is your time worth?” how would you respond? The price may seem high to those that do not think of all that goes into producing healthy, well socialized kittens. But I guarantee the love and care your kitten is shown during the first 3 months of it’s life here at Joy of Sphynx is more than worth it!
Are Sphynx cats truly hairless?
Most are not. They are covered with a soft fuzz, like a peach. Their bodies feel like they are covered in suede. Sphynx can have hair on the tip of their ears and sometimes on their toes too. There are some Sphynx that ARE completely hairless – they are referred to as a “sticky bald”. Our former queen Sticky Buns is completely hairless and actually feels “sticky”. Most people do not prefer the “sticky” cats – they can be somewhat awkward to pet!
Are Sphynx cats hypoallergenic?
To answer that, we first have to understand what “hypoallergenic” means. Hypoallergenic, according to Wikipedia, means “below normal” or “slightly” allergenic. Dictionary.com says “designed to reduce or minimize the possibility of an allergic response, as by containing relatively few or no potentially irritating substances”. So basically hypoallergenic means “less allergens”. Sphynx still have the protein in their saliva (just like any other cat) that cat allergy sufferers are allergic to. What seems to help is that Sphynx do not have hair to lick, so no hair traveling all over the house, in the air, on your clothes, furniture etc. Most people with cat allergies CAN tolerate Sphynx, as long as the cats are bathed regularly, their bedding is washed regularly and the allergy suffer remembers to wash their hands after handling the cat. Also make sure you use a low dust litter, like walnut or pine. Stay away from litter with lots of perfume and deodorant that will coat your kitty when digging in the litter box. 🙂
Do you need to feed Sphynx a special diet?
That question is open to interpretation. There are many schools of thought on what is best to feed a Sphynx. Some breeders I have met feed exclusively raw food, referred to as the BARF diet. (You can google that to get more info.) Other breeders have special brands of food they are loyal to. I have tried many commercial foods on the market over the years and the one that has worked best for me has been Whole Earth Farms (my cats prefer the duck and turkey). My Cattery has always done well with grain free food. You want to make sure the kibble has at least 35% protein or more. Too much protein can sometimes cause loose stool. Feeding too much canned food can also cause loose stool. The goal is to have a cat that has a good body tone (not too heavy, not too thin) and produces firm stool. For my Sphynx, I leave kibble out 24/7 for grazing and feed canned food once a day in the morning. Sphynx have a high metabolism and will eat A LOT so they need to have food and fresh water out at all times. Not all Sphynx are the same, so you may have to try a couple types of food to find the one that works best for you kitty!
Why are the kittens spayed/neutered before they leave the cattery?
If you are not planning to breed your cat, there is just no good reason to leave the cat intact (whole). Our veterinarian Dr. Katz takes great care of our kittens during the sterilization surgery and provides them with pain medication afterwards. By the time your kitten comes home, the whole process is a distant memory and they are all healed! Trust me – it works better this way! Females call (excessive meowing and screaming) during their heat cycle and, during the summer months, can go in and out of heat every other week. They are miserable and restless. They will also mark their territory if another intact male or female is nearby. It is not healthy for them to constantly cycle; they can develop pyometra and other reproductive complications. Males will spray their environment if not neutered. Their urine also has a stronger smell if left intact and they can become aggressive if a female in heat is nearby – even a neighbor cat a few houses away.
Do you sell kittens intact with breeding rights?
Rarely. It takes a lot of trust to sell a breeding cat to someone for a number of reasons. First off, anything that cat does will carry the “Joy of Sphynx” name and will reflect on my Cattery, positively or negatively. There are good health practices (such as the HCM scanning, blood panels, PCR testing) that might not be important to another breeder wishing to cut corners. I have no control how often the new owner will breed their new cat or if they will sell breeders to inexperienced new owners from their cat without proper screening and counsel. If you really want to get into Sphynx breeding, we can talk. But make sure you have done your homework first. This is not something you get into to make some quick, easy money or just so your kids can see a litter of kittens born to a family pet. Developing strong, healthy lines with friendly, good natured Sphynx takes years, not weeks, to achieve, and there are many ups and downs along the way.
Why do the kittens have to remain at the cattery so long?
Our kittens stay with us for approximately 11-12 weeks. This ensures that they are potty trained, weaned and sterilized before they go home. Kittens have to be at least 2 pounds before they can safely be spayed/neutered – they are normally about 8-9 weeks when this happens. They receive at least 2 vaccines for FVRCP to boost their immune systems before they leave. The remaining time after sterilization is spent recovering from the surgery and socializing with the family and other pets in the home. Smaller kittens may need to stay longer.
Why do you use a courier instead of shipping your kittens for out of state deliveries?
Simply put, it’s safer for the kitten. My courier has possession of the kitten every minute of it’s journey home. The kitten is monitored constantly and flies in the climate controlled cabin with the other passengers. The courier then hand delivers the kitten to you, their new owner. Cargo planes are not always closely monitored or climate controlled (hanger doors are left open during the loading and unloading process). The flights are longer (often not direct flights) and the animals are not always separated according to species. The courier is a bit more expensive ($200-$400 depending on where you live in the US), but it is much safer and less traumatic for our kittens. If a courier is not available I will deliver the cat myself.
Do you ship internationally?
Again, I don’t ship my kittens. If you would like to fly to AZ and pick up your kitten, then fly home with it “in cabin”, that would be fine.
Do you have a waiting list?
I maintain an email list of potential clients that wish to be notified when kittens are born.
Do you welcome home visits?
Not at this time. After the weaning process, the kittens’ immune systems are more susceptible to illness. Viruses can be brought in on shoes and clothing of visitors so we try to minimize the risk to the kittens as much as possible. I am happy to provide video and pictures until it is time to meet your kitten!
Do male or female cats make better pets?
I am asked this all the time. The simple answer – both make great pets! As long as kittens are sterilized before reaching sexual maturity, there really isn’t much difference between the sexes. Most people are under the impression that males spray no matter what you do. As long as you get them neutered as a kitten, they should not spray to mark territory. Females are just as friendly and affectionate as males. Males are just as playful and loving as females. I think it really depends how well the cats are socialized and what type of environment the kittens are raised in. To add a kitten to an existing family, I would recommend an opposite sex pairing. They seem to do the best. Adding a female to a home with an existing female can get kind of tricky. Males are generally (although not always) more accepting of a new kitten, regardless of sex. As long as everyone is sterilized!
Are Sphynx cats good with other pets?
Yes, they are great with other types of cats, cat-friendly dogs and even bunnies! I’m sure you can add to this list as well. Sphynx are great!
Why do you prefer email contact versus chatting over the phone?
I don’t mind talking to potential clients on the phone about the cats, but I have limited time available and often times I find people call me to ask questions that can easily be answered by reading through the website. My prices and availability are clearly posted on the website and updated regularly. I also prefer email contact so that all communication has a written record of what is said and agreed upon. It eliminates any confusion about the Buyer/Seller expectations and responsibilities. All that being said, if you prefer to speak on the phone, email me your phone number and request a call, letting me know a good time to call you. I will contact you when I am available and please don’t ask me questions that can easily be answered by clicking on the tabs at the top of each page. Thank you 🙂