Sphynx cats are considered to be one of the most expensive cat breeds in the world, averaging between $1500 and $3000. But why are Sphynx cats so expensive? There are several factors that go into the price charged by a breeder, including cat quality, gender and costs to raise the cat. As such, you will find variations in the price, but be aware that you get what you pay for and if you want quality, you’ll have to pay the price.
Factors Affecting Sphynx Cat Price
As mentioned before, there are a few factors that affect the price you pay for a Sphynx cat. Some of these will present viable options for you to choose from that will change the price of the cat, and others are non-negotiable, like quality of the breeder.
An unspayed female cat of breeding quality will fetch the highest price because it means that you will be able to breed your own Sphinx cat clan. Besides that qualification, you won’t find much of a difference in price between male and female Sphynx cats that have been neutered.
With most purebred cats there is a way to classify the quality of the Sphinx cat. This quality classification goes by the breed standards laid out by any of the major cat associations (e.g. TICA, CFA, etc.) and considers whether the cat is eligible for competitions and shows.
- Pet Quality: This is the lowest quality of Sphynx cat, and simply means that the cat is does not meet breed standards physically or temperamentally. Color and skin quality are two of the biggest reasons for price differences with sphinx cats. Some Sphinx kittens will have some patches of fuzz on them, which is outside of breed standard. It doesn’t mean there is anything fundamentally wrong with the cat, but simply that they won’t be able to compete in shows.
- Show Quality: By contrast, show quality sphinx cats meet all the strict criteria for the Sphinx breed and are suitable for cat shows. The most expensive show quality cats can be upwards of $10,000!
- Breeding Quality: A breeding quality cat is simply a show quality cat that is still able to breed (has not been fixed) and will fetch a higher price because they can reproduce.
Any breeder that’s endorsed by one of the major cat associations such as TICA or CFA is likely to be a good breeder. This is because cat associations not only have standards on the physique and temperament of the cat, but on how the cat is raised.
These strict standards control when the cat is old enough to be sold, whether they can be declawed, types of toys that should be provided, etc. Therefore, a high quality breeder is one that will put a lot of time and money into raising the Sphynx kitten, and will incur a lot of costs along the way that will ultimately raise the price of the kitten.
Typical costs for the breeder include:
- Vet visits
- HCM heart scans
- FIV/Flv testing
- Blood tests
- Fecal exams
- Spay or neuter
- Supplies (toys, litter boxes, cat trees, etc)
- TICA/CFA registration papers
- Nutrition (kitten food, formula, vitamins/supplements)
- A customized environment for the cats and kittens
- Cleaning supplies
- Medical procedures or C-sections for the mother during birth
- Purchasing a high quality female breeder ($3500 – $6000)
Sphynx kittens are usually only sold between 12-16 weeks of age and will all these costs the breeder must at least break even. And even after all these costs have been incurred by the breeder, there’s no guarantee for them that the breeding cat they purchased doesn’t have genetic deficiencies or the kittens are completely disease-free. In these cases, the breeder must simply eat the loss of the kittens that cannot be sold.
And finally, it’s important to remember these are all necessary costs to raise a healthy, well-adjusted kitten.
Like anything else in the supply chain, high demand can jack up the cost of a Sphynx cat. Without a doubt, Sphynx cats are a very popular breed, and there are only a limited number of breeders out there. At the end of the day, many breeders will charge a premium because they can; people will ultimately buy their kittens.
Additional Costs After Taking the Sphinx Cat Home
Aside from the hefty price tag from the breeder, there will be additional costs to consider even after you take your Sphynx cat home. All purebred cats have maintenance and care costs, but Sphinx cats are particularly expensive.
Special Skin Care
Because they lack hair, Sphynx cats require special care for their skin. Perhaps the most notable is their oily skin. If Sphinx cats are not bathed often with special soap, the oil will build up on their skin and rub off on furniture and items in your house, and it makes the Sphynx a but stinky.
Also, because they don’t have hair, they’re more susceptible to sunburns, scratches and being cold, so you’ll have to provide them with appropriate clothing and outfit your home to be Sphynx-proof.
High Quality Diet
The dietary needs of a Sphynx cat can be expensive as they will require a specialized diet due to their tendency to have irritable bowel syndrome, goopy ears and skin infections. They also have fast metabolisms and will need more food than the average cat.
Either a specialized or raw diet is needed for the Sphynx, which is not a cheap cost.
Annual HCM Scans
Although most cats require frequent vet visits, Sphynx cats have an additional requirement of needing an HCM scan every year. This is because Sphynx cats are particularly predisposed to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), a heart disorder where part of the heart thickens and makes it harder to push blood throughout the body.
Vets can conduct a scan to search for heart murmurs or other indications of HCM. It’s important to do these scans at least once per year because catching HCM early is vital, but HCM scans can cost around $500 per scan on average.
Regulated House Temperatures
Sphynx cats can also be a drain on your heating bill as they require a house temperature range of 68 °F to 77 °F at all times.
Since they have no hair, it’s difficult for Sphynx cats to regulate their own body temperature, so you must keep your house at that very specific temperature range. On the flip side, they will require constant AC if you live in a place with a hot climate as they’re more prone to heat stroke.
Are Sphynx Cats Worth the Price?
Whether or not a Sphynx cat is ultimately worth the price is completely up to you. Indeed, they’re beautiful cats with incredible personalities, but they’re not just objects to admire, they’re real cats that need real care.
If you’re unsure whether you’ll be able to support the high costs of owning a Sphynx cat, then is might not be the breed for you. There are plenty of other breeds and domestic cats in need of a good, loving home.