Sphynx Cat Rescue Guide: Everything You Need to Know

Updated April 13, 2022
Sphynx Hairless Cat Sit On A Fur Blanket

If you are looking to adopt a distinctive-looking hairless kitty, don't forget to check out national or local Sphynx cat rescue shelters. Sphynx cats are given up for various reasons, but they can make excellent companions for the right person willing to give them a second chance. Going this route will allow you to save on breeder fees and give a wonderful pet a loving home.

Sphynx Cat Information

The Sphynx is a breed of hairless cat, the result of a natural genetic mutation. Some characteristics of the Sphynx include:

  • Oily skin, which requires frequent attention
  • Friendly personalities
  • High degree of intelligence
  • Social, outgoing nature

Reasons for Sphynx Cat Rescue Shelters

While this cat breed is friendly, playful, and unique, the Sphynx is not for everyone.

  • Many times, a Sphynx is mistakenly adopted by an owner who does not realize the amount of care and maintenance these cats require.
  • Due to their lack of fur, a Sphynx can become greasy or oily to the touch. This oil can stain furniture or clothing if the cat is not properly groomed and cared for.
  • Too much grooming, however, can lead to skin problems, meaning that a Sphynx owner will need to pay close attention to the cat, its health, and bathing needs.
  • Sphynx cats may be at risk for genetic conditions which can require costly medications or care, an expense that may not be feasible for some owners.

Allergies and the Sphynx

Sphynx cats are also frequently thought to be hypoallergenic due to their lack of fur. Unfortunately for those owners who did adopt one of these cats for that reason, this is untrue.

  • While the cats don't shed large amounts of fur like other felines, they still shed skin cells and droplets of saliva, both of which contain allergens.
  • Owners who have adopted a Sphynx thinking that the cat may be a companion for a highly allergic family member may have to surrender the cat.
Sphynx hairless cat lying on bed

Considerations for Adopting a Sphynx

Before deciding to adopt a Sphynx cat, make sure you are aware of all the regular maintenance this cat needs.

  • Talk to other Sphynx cat owners, breeders, as well as to professional groomers and veterinarians about what's involved in their care.
  • Most breed rescue groups are eager to provide potential adopters with information to help them make an informed choice. Visit their websites and contact volunteers to see if they would be willing to provide insight into owning a Sphynx.
  • If you live in a cold climate, you'll need to be sure to keep your cat warm as they lack the coat of "regular" cats.
  • Likewise, if you live in a hot climate, these are cats that should remain indoors because of their skin issues, and you'll need to make sure their delicate skin is protected from the sun.
  • If you have furniture or carpeting in your house that can be stained by a Sphynx's oily skin, consider changing them out to more practical items or invest in pet furniture coverings.
Sphynx Hairless Cat Lying On Bed

How to Find a Hairless Sphynx Cat for Adoption

While a breeder is always a great place to find a pet, consider using Sphynx cat rescue shelters if you are planning to adopt a Sphynx cat. And if circumstances require you to surrender your pet, locating a shelter which specifically handles the Sphynx breed will ensure that your cat receives the best possible care while awaiting their new home.

Locate a Sphynx Shelter

There are several ways you can find a Sphynx cat for adoption.

  1. Start your search with local veterinary clinics. Veterinary clinic staff are typically kept up-to-date on the shelters and programs in the area and can direct you to a rescue nearby that has Sphynx cats if one exists.
  2. Contact other pet professionals in your area, such as groomers, pet sitters, and pet supply stores. Often the staff will be aware of cats that need homes, as well as what local rescue groups are like.
  3. Visit the website of the Cat Fanciers' Association and the International Cat Association to find a directory of breeders. Contact breeders to see if they have information on Sphynx cats available for adoption. Many breeders are active in rescue for their beloved breeds and will even have cats they have taken back from owners or that they are fostering for rescues.
  4. Look for cat breed shows held nearby your location. You can visit a show and talk to breeders who specialize in the Sphynx to see if they know of cats that need homes, as well as gather more information about Sphynx care.
  5. Use the Petfinder and Adopt-A-Pet websites to search for rescue groups nationwide. You can search by breed to find groups that are either dedicated to that breed or that work with many breeds and have a Sphynx cat available.
Sphynx cat on shelf

Long Distance Adoptions

Since the Sphynx is not as common as your average cat, you may not be able to find one available for adoption close to you, so this may require you to travel by car to adopt your cat. Be prepared to send photos of your home and complete an extensive questionnaire or interview in lieu of a home visit. Many shelters will not ship cats due to the stress it places on them, and many will also not allow far away adoptions. A local shelter or one within a few hours of traveling time is likely the best option.

Compassionately Rehome a Sphynx Cat

Rather than surrendering a Sphynx to a standard animal shelter, if you are forced to give up your pet, the best place may be a private rescue group that caters to the Sphynx breed.

  • A rescue that deals with Sphynx cats on a regular basis will make sure that these cats get the grooming, socialization, and attention to their health that the breed requires.
  • A Sphynx rescue can also educate potential owners to help ensure a proper match. If they are well versed in Sphynx information, this could ensure potential owners know how high maintenance the breed can be and that the cat is not hypoallergenic.
  • If you're unable to locate a rescue that only caters to the Sphynx, look for a cat rescue that works specifically with purebreds and understands how to care for the breed.
  • Talk to your veterinarian as well, as many veterinary clinics will post flyers about animals needing homes, and they may be aware of other current clients looking to adopt a Sphynx.

Adopt Your Own Sphynx Cat

Finding a Sphynx cat for adoption can take more effort than more common cat breeds, as they're less likely to be found in rescues or shelters. Make sure you do all your research on the breed and cast a wide net to find your cat through networking with veterinarians, breeders, groomers, and shelters. You may need to be patient, but in the end, you'll find your new hairless feline friend!

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Sphynx Cat Rescue Guide: Everything You Need to Know