We’ve been a little behind in posting on Best Life Pets these last few weeks due to unforeseen circumstances beyond our control!
You see, a dear friend of mom’s passed away 3 weeks ago and bequeathed mom his cat. She always knew that she was to inherit his cat, but his passing from natural causes was sudden so immediate mobilization was required to get into the house the next day to rescue the cat who had been hiding since his owner passed away.
Well, suffice to say, Beau and I were in complete shock when mom and “the cat” arrived and we saw it was a hairless cat! Mom never told us that our new brother was going to be a Sphynx cat! His name is Bouvier and he is a 3-year-old neutered male raised as an only cat. Oh meow!
As soon as he arrived, he was whisked into the downstairs studio apartment where our pet sitter, Karlton, is staying coincidentally. And there he lived for the next 7 days catered to by his own personal sitter and mom, who went downstairs to visit him regularly so he would know her scent.
During that week, he was aware that there were other animals nearby, and we knew that this alien looking creature had arrived.
We got fleeting glimpses of each other when the studio door would open, but that was it for a week. Mom spent quality bonding time with him, but keeping it short and limited to 10 minutes, several times a day.
Beau and I perched on the stairs down to the studio hoping for more than a glance but no such luck!
On the 8th night, our cat uncles, Mark and Ranjit who are neighbors up the block and have 9 cats, came over and videoed Bouvier’s formal introduction to me and Beau. Thus, started a week’s worth of daily introduction sessions of about 2 hours depending on how the “meet and greet” was going.
Some were okay but most were stressful for mom who felt she had to run interference between us two street cats and this very delicate purebred naked cat! He is almost half our weight at 7.7 lbs.
Once Beau and I got over this strange looking animal and accepted it as a feline, after all we never saw one of these on the streets or in the shelters, we decided that we needed to let him know who is in charge! We deployed a volley of hissing and growling matched with some superior stalking to really set the right tone.
But I have to say, he gave it back as good as he got! Our growls and hisses were clearly matched by his and he had no issues with stalking us when our backs were turned!
In the middle of us getting used to the fact that Bouvier was not going anywhere as mom was falling in love, she was also starting to absorb the reality of being the pet parent and caregiver to a hairless cat with unique needs.
Taking Care of a Hairless Cat
Remember the old saying that cats have staff! Never is it truer than in the case of a hairless cat.
Mom has always known that these felines need special grooming and care, but now she got to experience it firsthand.
Simply said for those who don’t know, hairless cats need weekly baths and toe-clipping, daily wiping of their eyelids for gunk, couple times a week of cleaning their ears to control the wax build-up, and a wipe down of the wax build up on their cuticles a couple times a week.
Having no fur has issues that cat owners would never think about with their cat with fur obviously. Cats with fur absorb the wax and oils which their bodies produce, but the hairless cats have no fur to absorb it. Humans have to step in and do the job. He grooms himself a little bit, but not like Beau and I who are superior groomers!
Hairless cats can scratch themselves easily with their claws since they have no hair. Or if I want to give Bouvier a swipe, mom is on high alert to be sure it is with a closed paw! She keeps the Manuka Honey Wound Care ready for any scratches, that so far have been self-inflicted.
Getting to Know Bouvier
By the end of the second week, we reached détente pretty much with us 3 cats sitting around the living room ”socially distanced” but for different reasons, as we studied each other and got used to the idea that this was how it was going to be. It was one big “stare-fest”.
Beau and I have also started to recognize that Bouvier is different and being so much tinier than us, we know he is delicate somewhat and have to take it easy with him. Maybe not too much rumbling and tumbling with him, we will see.
Mom says that Bouvier is very tough, smart, clever and fast. He is very muscular yet refined, her words not mine! He has the strangest tail I have ever seen, it is like a whip! Whack-whack-smack! And then he curls it into a circle and hugs it close to his body. Weirdo! What cat does that!
Last week mom started to let us all mingle together for most of the day and through dinner and the evening. Still supervised but for the most part, it’s us 3 cats just working it out.
There are a few hisses and growls depending upon what is happening, but generally we are definitely co-existing. No overnight privileges yet as that is too much time unsupervised, but maybe in a couple of weeks!
The biggest issue at this point is Bouvier going from being an only pet-child cat to now being part of a 3-cat posse! He really does not know how to be around other cats, as this is all new to him.
He has picked out some “safe spots” around the kitchen and living room on which to take his position when he wants to hang out and yet feel safe from possible attack. His latest spot is behind the drapes where he is exposed to direct sun! That’s a no-no when you are a naked cat!
It’s going to take time but mom is up to the challenge of taking care of a hairless cat and we all think he is kind of cute so it’s okay with us if he sticks around!
Mom says she is “smitten with this kitten” and he’s here to stay!