Frequently Asked Questions About Elf Cats
I have allergies… Will I be able to live with an Elf?
A majority of people with allergies are able to live with an Elf. Approximately 50% of our kittens are placed in homes where allergies are an issue. It really depends on the individual, the severity of their allergies, and whether their environment is kept clean. It is HIGHLY advisable to visit a breeder or Elf/Sphynx owner for a ‘test’ cuddle in order to give you some answers, but keep in mind some reactions take a period of time to occur.
What type of temperament do Elf’s have?
Elf’s are very intelligent breed of cat. If they have bee properly socialized as kittens they are extremely friendly and people-oriented, to the point of following you around the house and waiting to be involved in everything that goes on. They normally get along very well with other cats and dogs as long as the other animal is willing to accept them and proper introductions are made. Children who have been taught to respect and appreciate animals are also quite compatible with Elf’s. Many Elf’s are easily leashed trained and most of them love to ride in the car and to be included in your vacation travel. They have an out-going personality and love attention, often times demanding it.
Do Elf’s need special circumstances to keep them from getting cold?
A general rule of thumb is to consider your comfort level. If you are comfortable enough in your home to walk around naked then they are usually comfortable too. If you are bundled up in a sweater or under the blankets to keep warm, an Elf’s would probably appreciate the same treatment. If they do get chill an Elf will seek out a place to get warm such as on top of the TV or computer monitor, under the covers on a bed, in a sunbeam, or in a covered pet bed. Many people keep (pet) heating blankets or pads, wrapped with a blanket, turned on low so their Elf can find a warm spot if needed. You can also find heated pet beds which most Elf’s love.
Why do Elf’s need a bath?
Elf’s must be bathed regularly because they do not have hair to absorb the natural oils on their skin. Most breeders acclimate their kittens to bathing at an early age, so once you get the hang of it, bathing them is a simple process. Some of the actually enjoy the warmth of the water and will join you in the tub….uninvited.
How do you bath an Elf?
There are many different ways to bath an Elf, from sponging them off in the kitchen sink , to wiping them with a warm washcloth, to soaping them up in the bathtub. Over the years, we have found the best way is this–run enough warm water in the bathtub that would just touch the cat/kitten to their mid section of their body while standing (Usually 4 to 6 inches). By using this amount of water, the Elf isn’t able to move around as easily as they would in shallow water, you can also throw in some little plastic cat toy that float and they will help keep the Elf distracted. Always run the water before you bring your Elf into the bathroom as to avoid scaring it. You can also put a small hand towel in the bathtub to give the Elf a less slippery surface to stand on, but I don’t always find it necessary. Place the Elf in the tub and wet its back with your hands. Keep one hand on the Elf at all times to help steady it and to provide reassurance. Place a towel over the toilet seat and remove your wet Elf and place on the toilet, Place a small amount of shampoo on a lufa wash cloth or bathing gloves and begin to lather the cat all over, paying special attention to the armpits and between the toes…. I don’t lather past the base of the ears to keep soap from getting in it’s eyes, ears or mouth. Wipe the Elf’s face with a warm washcloth making sure to clean the wrinkles on it’s head and around it’s mouth. Once you feel you have thoroughly cleaned the cat’s body all over,place back in the tub and rinse. Make sure you get all the soap off from under the cat’s neck and armpits or the residue that’s left will cause the Elf to itch. Next pick up and wrap in a warm towel (they LOVE a warm one just out of the dryer!). While still wrapped in the towel you can clean their ears, clip their nails, and clean the claw sheaths. Once you are done give your Elf a treat and lots of love.
How often should I bathe an Elf?
This really depends on the individual cat. Some Elf’s produce more oil than others and would need to be bathed more frequently, while others produce little to no oil and can go several weeks to months without a bath. As a rule I would suggest a monthly bath as a starting point and you can alter the schedule to fit the needs of your particular Elf.
I thought cats hated water… won’t my Elf be frightened of a bath?
Reputable breeders bathe their Elf/Sphynx kittens from an early age so they are accustomed to a bath once you bring them home. Many Elf/Sphynx seem to like the water and will even sit on the side of the tub when their humans are bathing, or play in the water left in the shower when you are done. If your Elf happens to be timid at bath time, you should be reassuring, while also making it clear to the kitty that he will have a bath…. then give lots of love and a treat when you’re done as a reward for putting up with this necessary part of Elf grooming.
How do you trim the nails of a Elf?
You can buy nail trimmers made especially for cats at most pet stores. Make sure they are sharp, as a dull trimmer will splinter the nail instead of making a clean cut. To begin, hold the cat’s paw in your hand and press the top of the toe until the claw is extended. If the claws are light colored you can see a ‘pink’ area inside, you can clip up to this ‘pink’ area, but not into it which will cause pain to the cat and bleeding. If the claws are dark enough that you can’t see this ‘pink’ area, it’s best to only clip off the sharp tip at first, and with experience you will learn how far up you can cut with out hurting your Elf.
What is the black ‘gunk’ an Elf gets at the base of it’s claw and how do you clean it?
The black ‘gunk’ is created by a combination of the natural oils produced in the skin, dirt caught between the toes when walking around, litter, dust etc. You can remove it by extending the cat’s claw and wiping the dirt away with a Baby Wipe purchased at Target or Walmart… This specific brand has lanolin in it. For some reason lanolin removes the ‘gunk’ much easier than anything else I have tried.
How do you clean inside the ears of an Elf?
Put several drops of ear cleaner, I like Wax-O Sol you can find at www.entirelypets.com , into the cat’s ear and massage the base to work it down thoroughly. You can place a piece of cotton in the ears so the cleaner doesn’t get all over everything when the cat shakes it’s head. Take the cotton and wipe out as much wax as you can get with it. Use cotton swabs to get what you can’t reach with the cotton ball, be very careful inserting the cotton swab in the ear, and keeping it at a vertical angle. Only wipe what you can see, and do not try to make sweeps or jabs into crevices to avoid damaging the ear. I always show my pet buyers how to do this, but if you are unsure please have a vet show you how to clean their ears.
What should you feed an Elf?
Elf’s, like all cats, should be fed a high quality diet, nutritionally complete diet made for felines. At Lluvatar Elf Cats, we feed raw appropriate food for obligate carnivores. this means that your cat was built by Mother Nature to get her nutritional needs met by the consumption of a large amount of animal-based proteins (meat/organs) and derives much less nutritional support from plant-based proteins (grains/vegetables). It means that cats lack specific metabolic (enzymatic) pathways and cannot utilize plant proteins as efficiently as animal proteins. If you choose not to feed raw I recommend Blue Buffalo WILDERNESS dry food found at Pet Smart. We have tried other high cost foods but found them to be too rich, causing unpleasant gas, and runny stools. For wet food we feed Authority.
What colors do Elf’s come in?
Elf’s come in all colors and patterns found in the cat world including pointed, mink sepia, tabby and bi-color. A cat’s color isn’t just in ti’s fur but goes completely down to the pigmentation of its skin as a Sphynx/Elf easily demonstrates.
What is the lifespan of an Elf?
Elf/Sphynx have a normal lifespan and don’t suffer from any special health problems. Although, as in any breed, there are unfortunate early deaths, many Sphynx have enjoyed a full lif into their late teenss or twenties.
What is the average size of an Elf/Sphynx cats?
Generally adult females weigh 6-8 pounds while males are 8-10 pounds, however this can vary to some extent either way.
What causes Elf’s to grow fuzz?
Much depends on the gentic background of the particular cat, no cat is truly hairless but hormone changes may sometimes cause your Elf to grow a small amount of fuzz as it matures (for whole cats). Early spay/neuter will lessen the chances of this happening. It may come and go with the changing season or remain intact. Mother Nature will often have the last word.