Are Sphynx Cats Destructive? What You Must Know Before You Buy One.

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Sphynx cats are not your average domesticated cats and should never be treated like one. They have a very peculiar appearance with robust personalities which goes against the expected standards of a cat. For this reason, this breed is not for everyone. If they aren’t properly taken care of they can misbehave which can lead to destructiveness.

The sphynx breed is not regarded as destructive but is prone to exhibit destructive behaviour if not properly taken care of. They require a lot of time, attention, mental stimulation and affection. Failing to provide these basic requirements can result in destructiveness which can lead to other behavioural issues.

First-time sphynx owners should be prepared for what this breed requires before they can choose to buy/adopt to ensure their cat is taken care of and their belongings(furniture) are safe while away.

Let’s face it, all cats have a destructive nature. After all, they are animals and they are wired in a certain way that makes them behave the way they do. Likewise, with scratching, it can be seen as destructive from a human perspective but to your feline, it’s a way for them to keep their claws in shape while stretching.

Some cats may scratch as a way to vent when they feel aggressive or excited or simply to display emotion. These actions of theirs are involuntary almost like a natural urge.

The problem starts when they take it further by presenting with extreme destructiveness like excessive biting, chewing, scratching, destroying furniture and misbehaving.

What Causes Destructive Behaviour In Sphynx?

Even though they aren’t known for being destructive, it’s possible for a sphynx cat to display destructive behaviour. Sphynx cats are smarter and more agile than normal cats. This makes them more at risk for destructive behaviour because they are always on the go, there are many opportunities and objects that can stimulate their curiosity. Click on this to learn more about their high energied hyper personality.

These destructive behaviours normally have underlying issues or lack that are left a void in their routine. These causes include:

  • A lack of interaction.
  • Medical issues.
  • Obesessive compulsive disorders
  • Lack of supervision and attention.
  • Not enough mental stimulation.
  • Not enough activity/daily exercise.

These kinds of voids in their daily life make them idle and more curious. This just results in them trying to entertain themselves by interfering with anything that is in their environment.

Over time this prolonged state of idleness and boredom can result in either destructiveness or depression. Yes! you heard right. Depression is a real thing for sphynx cats, click on this link to read more.

These conditions can become more severe and lead to behavioural issues. In most cases, the problem starts with just one bad behaviour pattern and if not recognized and dealt with it can become more serious over time.

In some cases where there is an identified medical condition, often the destructive behaviour goes away once the medical issue is resolved.

It’s always advised that you become attentive so you can notice any changes in their behaviour. Early diagnosis can save your hard-earned furniture and belongings.

Symptoms And Types of Destructive Behaviour.

1. Primary Destructive Behaviour.

  • Scratching carpets
  • Scratching furniture
  • Eating household plants.
  • Litterbox issues.
  • Jumping on counters.
  • Excessive clinginess and demanding.

2. Secondary Destructive Behaviour.

  • Things were ruined to get the attention of the owner.
  • Obsessive-Compulsive related destruction.
  • Excessive grooming.
  • Frequently eating non-food items.


Sometimes behavioural issues such as destructiveness are covered up by underlying medical issues. Diagnosing the problem will require you to visit your local vet for a consult. Your veterinarian will need a complete medical and behaviour history so that patterns can be established, and so that physical conditions that might be linked to the behaviour can be ruled out or confirmed.

Things your veterinarian will need to know include:

  • When the destruction first started?
  • How long it has been going on?
  • What events seem to set off the destruction?
  • It is also important to tell your veterinarian whether the destruction has been better, worse or remained the same since it was first noticed.

During the physical examination, your veterinarian will be looking for signs that your cat has a medical problem. The vet will run all sorts of tests and screening to make sure that any suspected medical issues are ruled out. If no medical problem is found, your cat will be diagnosed with a behavioural problem, which a feline behavioural specialist will be able to assist.


If a medical problem has been confirmed, that problem will be treated first. Usually, treating the illness will resolve the behavioural problem. If your cat does not have a medical problem, your veterinarian will develop a plan to treat your cat’s behaviour problem.

In severe cases, a Feline behaviourist will be required to help fix the problem. A combination of training and medication will be necessary. Medication alone does not usually solve the problem.

With the sphynx breed, they will also cover the cat’s routine to make sure the sphynx is properly stimulated. They will also make sure that the cat receives enough attention and affection from their owners since it’s a requirement for this breed.

Once all voids have been filled and everything ruled out, proper training and discouraging of bad behaviour are required. Positive reinforcement is a great tool to reward good behaviour and discourage bad behaviour.

Ways To Prevent Destructiveness In Sphynx Cats.

Due to their high social demands and interactive requirements, it’s important to make sure they are in an environment that will promote growth both mentally and physically.

Make sure they have enough interactive toys to keep them entertained. Normal toys will not interest them, they require motion-sensor toys that can trigger their predatory instincts. They also need a scratch post or tree to satisfy their natural urges.

Spend time with your sphynx daily of at least 30min to make sure they are getting enough affection and reassurance. These cats love attention and they can demand it if it’s not given freely.

A pair of sphynx cats will greatly assist in keeping each other company and preventing boredom. Also, another compatible pet will be great as a companion.

Ensure your sphynx is getting enough exercise and is kept active. These cats do eat a lot and stored energy can be used to cause destruction if not drained accordingly. You can initiate play, walk them for a few minutes or involve them in sports.

Ways To Control Destructive Sphynx Cats.

With destructive behaviour, there is no magic pill that the vet can give to make the problem go away. You need proper management and control to totally eliminate this behaviour. It can be stressful and daunting at first, but once you establish a proper routine it will get better.

It’s important to note that while destructive behaviour can be severe, declawing is not recommended. In fact, the latest studies show that cats who have been declawed are at greater risk for biting and aggression and litterbox issues. In other words, declawing is not a solution it will just make things worse.

1. Be Patient.

It will feel daunting at first but with all things, the beginning is always hard. Try to be patient whilst still displaying love and affection even though they are destructive. Sometimes your assurance can help ease this unwanted behaviour.

2. Never Punish.

At times things can become so bad that you will be tempted to punish them or shout but this always worsens the situation. These cats are intelligent and will resent you for treating them bad. Any sort of physical or verbal abuse can be detrimental to the progression of this bad behaviour.

3. Enrich Their Environment.

A scratching post of significant size can help with their natural urges. Look for something interesting that has height and room for exploring. A scratch post tree is great product to keep them busy. You can also Provide an assortment of toys and puzzle feeders for your cat. The more toys your cat has to choose from, the better. Rotate different toys often so your cat doesn’t become bored with the same ones

4. Satisfy Their Social Needs.

The sphynx breed is very socially dependent and socially demanding. They thrive on human interaction and loves to be involved in everything. Make sure you are spending enough time with them so they arent feeling left out or deprived. A simple touch or polite speaking can be reassuring.

5. Identify Changes In Their Behaviour.

Be observant so you can identify the triggers and correct it. Most of the time your sphynx may display destructive behaviour while you away or at night. In some cases they can be destructive when they are overly excited. There are many triggers, but once you recognize it you can provide a suitable place and way for them to display such behaviour without causing destruction to furniture and personal belongings.

6. Reward Good Behaviour.

Positive reinforcement is way that cats learn. When they do something good or use an appropriate object for an appropriate use you can give them a treat to encourage that behaviour. For example scratching on a scratch post is encouraged instead of scratching furniture. Using the litterbox and not urinating on the floors.

These are all examples of good behaviour that must be rewarded to encourage it. With repetition this good behaviour becomes an habit and apart of their lifestyle.

Final Thoughts.

With all honesty, the sphynx breed is not for everyone. They are the complete opposite of domesticated cats. I highly advise anyone who is looking to buy or adopt a sphynx cat to research as much about the breed as possible. Even though they are quite a fine and unique breed they come with high-maintenance requirements.

These cats almost exhibit dog-like behaviour. They are active, hyper, robust and very family orientated with high levels of social needs. They must be cared for and trained properly, if not you open the door to a side of them that is aggressive, destructive and demanding.

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