Kitties are known for having cute faces, silly antics, lovable personalities, and, of course, soft fur. However, Fluffy isn’t always fluffy! Some of our feline pals, such as the Sphynx and Peterbald, have little or no fur. Hairless kitties are just as sweet and lovable as any other cat. While for the most part, their basic needs will be the same as any other cat’s, there are a few things you’d need to do differently with bald cats. A Rochester, NY vet discusses caring for hairless kitties below.
Cats’ skin naturally produces oil, just as ours does. With most kitties, those oils pull dust and dirt out of their skin, and help keep their fur shiny and clean. Hairless cats don’t have that fur to absorb the oil, so they can get a little greasy. You’ll need to bathe your feline friend regularly. Be sure to use a hypoallergenic shampoo! Many human products contain harsh chemicals, which Fluffy could then absorb through her skin. Also, be sure to rinse your cat thoroughly, as otherwise she could end up with dried suds on her skin.
Another thing to keep in mind is the fact that, without fur, your pet can get sunburns. Your kitty may need sunscreen. Ask your vet for advice on this.
You’ll also need to keep your feline buddy’s ears clean. The hair in cats’ ears usually absorbs dirt and grease. Without it, they can get a lot of buildup pretty quickly. You can use a cotton pad and a cleanser made just for kitties’ ears.
Trimming your four-legged friend’s nails is also important. Normally, kitties’ fur will protect them from their claws. Without that protective fur barrier, hairless pets can hurt themselves, even just by scratching an itch. (Tip: get your cat used to her ‘pawdicures’ while she’s still a kitten.)
Another thing about hairless cats is the fact that they can get chilly very easily. Make sure that your feline companion always has warm beds to snuggle up in. You may want to get her a heated pet bed or a thermal blanket. In winter, your little buddy may appreciate having a jacket or sweater to wear. (Your pet will probably appreciate lap space as well.)
Do you have questions about caring for a hairless cat? Contact us, your local Rochester, NY animal clinic, today!