Are Sphynx Cats Destructive? Full Explanation & Advices

The Sphynx, a breed known for its lack of fur and oversized ears, commands attention with its unique appearance. This breed, while adored for its friendly, outgoing nature, also piques interest for its seemingly more mischievous behavior.

Let’s delve into the world of Sphynx cats, trying to understand their behavior better and asking ourselves: Are they destructive? And if so, why and how can we channel their energy in a more positive way?

Are Sphynx Cats Destructive?

To understand Sphynx cats, it’s crucial to recognize that they are known for their playful, intelligent, and sometimes, assertive nature. These personality traits can occasionally translate into behavior that may be perceived as destructive.

However, the term “destructive” can be misleading. When considering this behavior, it’s important to remember that cats don’t have the same understanding of property or ownership as humans do. They are not intentionally destructive to upset their owners. Instead, what we might label as “destructive” is usually the cat’s way of interacting with its environment or expressing certain needs or feelings.

Indeed, all cats, regardless of breed, have certain behaviors that can be considered destructive. For Sphynx cats, these behaviors may be more noticeable due to their high energy levels and curiosity. It’s also worth noting that individual cats may vary greatly in behavior based on their personalities, environments, and experiences.

Finally, the question “Are Sphynx cats destructive?” should be replaced with “Why might Sphynx cats exhibit destructive behavior, and how can it be managed?” This question reflects a more accurate understanding of the issue, acknowledging that such behaviors are typically a response to unmet needs or stressors.

Types Of Sphynx Cats Destructive Behavior

Sphynx cats can show a range of behaviors that may be considered destructive. These behaviors are usually normal parts of feline life but may become problematic if they cause significant damage or occur excessively.

The following behaviors are some examples of what could be classified as destructive when exhibited in excess or targeted at inappropriate objects:

  • Scratching: This is a normal behavior for cats to mark territory, stretch their bodies, and shed the outer layers of their claws. It becomes destructive when aimed at furniture or other items.
  • Knocking things over: Sphynx cats are known for their curiosity. Sometimes, their exploration can lead to items being knocked off shelves or tables.
  • Chewing: Some cats may chew on objects like cords or plants. This behavior is often driven by curiosity, boredom, or even dental issues.
  • Urinating outside the litter box: While not as common, some cats may urinate or defecate outside the litter box. This can occur due to stress, medical issues, or problems with the litter box itself.
Sphynx Cat with a golden chain.
Red Clothed Sphynx Cat With A Golden Chain

What A Sphynx Cat Will Destroy

A Sphynx cat, if given the chance, could potentially damage a wide variety of household items. These may include:

  • Furniture: Cats, including Sphynx, may scratch furniture, particularly items covered in fabrics that are enjoyable to scratch, like sofas and chairs.
  • Houseplants: Cats may chew on houseplants, either out of curiosity or as a way to induce vomiting if they’re feeling unwell.
  • Cords and wires: Sphynx cats might chew on electrical cords or wires, which can be dangerous.
  • Toilet paper or paper towels: These items can be irresistible to cats, who find the act of unrolling and tearing them apart quite entertaining.
  • Carpet: In addition to furniture, cats may scratch or chew carpets, particularly around doorways or on stairs.

Why Do Sphynx Cats Destroy Things?

To understand why Sphynx cats may destroy things, we need to examine the potential underlying motivations and needs driving this behavior.


Sphynx cats are known for their high energy levels. They require a lot of mental and physical stimulation to keep them happy. Without enough activity, they can easily get bored, and they may resort to destructive behavior as a form of self-entertainment.

Regular play sessions can help curb this behavior. Toys that stimulate a cat’s hunting instincts, like feather wands or laser pointers, can be particularly effective. Interactive toys that the cat can play with on its own, like puzzle feeders or balls with bells inside, are also beneficial.

The Sphynx’s high intelligence level means they may enjoy more complex games and puzzles. These could include treat-dispensing toys that require the cat to figure out how to get the reward.

Attention Seeking

Sphynx cats are social animals who crave interaction with their human companions. They may resort to destructive behavior as a means of attracting attention, especially if they feel they are not receiving enough.

This attention-seeking behavior can often be mitigated by spending more time interacting with your cat. Play sessions, petting, and even talking to your cat can all help fulfill their need for attention.

However, it’s also important not to inadvertently reward destructive behavior with attention. If your cat learns that they can get your attention by scratching the couch, they’ll continue to do so. Instead, try to ignore the unwanted behavior and give your cat attention when they’re behaving well.

Lack of Appropriate Scratch Surfaces

All cats have a natural urge to scratch. It helps them mark their territory, keep their claws healthy, and stretch their bodies. However, if a Sphynx cat doesn’t have an appropriate place to scratch, they may turn to furniture or other household items.

Providing plenty of suitable scratching surfaces can help to resolve this issue. These could include scratching posts, cat trees, or even cardboard scratchers. It’s a good idea to have multiple scratching surfaces available, and to place them in areas where your cat spends a lot of time.

Observing your cat’s scratching behavior can also be useful. Some cats prefer vertical surfaces, while others prefer horizontal. Some like rough surfaces, while others prefer something smoother. Understanding your cat’s preferences can help you provide scratching surfaces that they will enjoy using.

Stress or Anxiety

Changes in a cat’s environment can cause stress or anxiety, which may result in destructive behavior. Moving to a new home, the arrival of a new pet or baby, or changes in the owner’s routine can all be sources of stress for a cat.

To minimize stress, try to keep your cat’s environment as stable as possible. When changes are necessary, introduce them gradually, and do what you can to make the process positive for your cat.

There are also products available that can help to reduce stress in cats. These include pheromone diffusers, calming collars, and even certain types of cat food designed to promote calm behavior.

Marking Territory

Cats have a strong instinct to mark their territory, and one way they do this is through scratching. When a cat scratches an object, they leave behind visual marks and scents from their paw pads, signaling to other cats that the territory is claimed.

Although this is normal cat behavior, it becomes a problem when they start to scratch furniture or other valuable items in the house. Understanding this need to mark territory can help in addressing this behavior. For instance, placing a scratching post near the furniture the cat tends to scratch can offer an alternative place for the cat to satisfy this need.

In multi-cat households, providing multiple scratching posts and ensuring there’s plenty of resources (like food bowls and litter boxes) can help reduce the need for territorial marking.

Using feline pheromone products can also be beneficial in reducing territorial scratching. These products mimic the natural facial pheromones that cats use to mark their territory, helping the cat feel that the territory is already marked and reducing the need for scratching.

Sphynx Cat in a harness.
Sphynx Cat In A Harness

Do Sphynx Cats Like Scratching Furniture?

Sphynx cats, just like any other breed of cat, may be inclined to scratch furniture, but it’s not a breed-specific behavior or preference. Scratching is a natural behavior for all cats, serving multiple purposes. It helps them keep their claws sharp and healthy, enables them to stretch their muscles, and allows them to mark their territory with scent glands located in their paws.

While a Sphynx cat might be seen scratching furniture, this isn’t an indication that the breed has a particular fondness for furniture destruction. Instead, it’s often a sign that the cat lacks more appropriate alternatives for scratching, or that the furniture is situated in a location the cat wishes to mark as its territory. By understanding these motivations and providing your Sphynx cat with suitable scratching surfaces like scratching posts or cat trees, you can often prevent or minimize furniture scratching.

Why Do Sphynx Cats Scratch Furniture?

Sphynx cats may scratch furniture for several reasons:

  • Marking territory: As mentioned earlier, cats scratch to mark their territory both visually and with scent glands in their paws. Your furniture may be in a prime location for your Sphynx to mark.
  • Maintaining claw health: Scratching helps cats remove the outer sheath of their claws, promoting healthy growth.
  • Stretching: Scratching is also a great way for cats to stretch their bodies, particularly their back and shoulder muscles.
  • Boredom or anxiety: Sometimes, scratching can be a result of these emotional states.

How To Stop Sphynx Cat Destroying Furniture

To prevent your Sphynx cat from destroying furniture, consider these strategies:

  • Provide alternative scratching surfaces: As discussed, cats have a natural urge to scratch. Offering a variety of scratching posts, pads, or cat trees can provide an outlet for this urge.
  • Use deterrents: Products like sticky tape, aluminum foil, or certain sprays can make your furniture less appealing to scratch.
  • Regularly trim your cat’s claws: This can help reduce the damage caused by scratching.
  • Use pheromone sprays: These can mimic the scent marks that cats leave when they scratch, making your cat feel like the furniture has already been sufficiently marked.
  • Positive reinforcement: Reward your cat when they use their scratching post or other appropriate scratching surfaces.

Ways To Discipline A Sphynx Cat

Disciplining a cat is more about teaching them what behaviors are appropriate and less about punishment. Here are some effective methods:

  • Positive reinforcement: Reward your cat when they exhibit positive behaviors. This could be a treat, petting, or praise.
  • Redirect unwanted behaviors: If your cat is engaging in an unwanted behavior, try to redirect them to a more appropriate behavior.
  • Avoid physical punishment: It can be ineffective and damaging to your relationship with your cat. It might also cause fear or aggression.
  • Provide appropriate outlets for natural behaviors: As we’ve discussed, many “destructive” behaviors are normal for cats. Providing appropriate outlets for these behaviors can prevent damage to your property.

Are Male Cats More Destructive?

It’s a common misconception that male cats are inherently more destructive than females. In reality, a cat’s behavior is likely to be influenced more by its individual personality, environment, and experiences than by its gender. Both male and female cats can exhibit destructive behavior if they are bored, stressed, or lack appropriate outlets for their natural behaviors.

It’s worth noting, however, that unneutered males are more likely to engage in certain behaviors, such as spraying, which can be considered destructive. Neutering can reduce or eliminate these behaviors.

Sphynx Cat Is Destructive At Night

Sphynx cats, like most cats, can be more active during the night. This nocturnal tendency can mean that they may engage in destructive behaviors while their human companions are asleep.

One strategy to mitigate this is to adjust your cat’s sleep-wake cycle to match yours. You can encourage this by engaging your cat in vigorous play in the evening, followed by a meal. This can make your cat more inclined to sleep during the night.

Another strategy is to provide toys or other forms of entertainment that your cat can use without causing disruption. However, be mindful that some toys can be noisy and may cause disturbance.

Ensuring that your cat has ample opportunities for play and exploration during the day can also help to reduce nighttime activity. This can help to tire your cat out, making them more likely to sleep during the night.


Bringing the discussion to a close, it’s important to remember that every cat is unique. Though the Sphynx breed may be more prone to certain behaviors due to their energetic and curious nature, not every Sphynx cat will exhibit destructive tendencies. Understanding their behavior is key to ensuring a harmonious co-existence.

In the event of continuous or sudden destructive behavior, it’s always best to consult with a veterinarian or a professional animal behaviorist. Often, behavior can be an indicator of underlying health issues or stress, and it’s important to address these issues promptly to ensure your feline friend is both happy and healthy. Remember, understanding is the first step to resolution.

About The Author

Jennifer Terell, a valued author at Allpetsville, is an experienced cat owner and breeder. Her deep understanding of felines, coupled with a passion for writing, contributes to her insightful and engaging articles.

Her expertise in cat behavior, health, and breeding offers readers a comprehensive guide to feline care. Through her writings, Jennifer’s love for cats resonates, making her a reliable resource for cat owners and enthusiasts on their pet parenting journey.