A Canadian woman bought what she thought was a hairless Sphynx cat only to find out she had been sold a regular housecat with his fur shaved off and whiskers plucked out. And she’s not the only one who appears to have been duped.
JoAnne Dyck of Red Deer, Alberta, wanted a hairless Sphynx cat. So she went on Kijiji, Canada’s local version of Craigslist, and searched for Sphynx kittens, CBC News reports. Lo and behold she found one for $700, which was below the average asking price of around $1,000. The seller made arrangements to have a friend deliver the cat, and when the hairless kitten got to Dyck’s house, he looked like a Sphynx, for the most part.
“He was like a little tiny kitten, no more than 8 weeks old, and he was naked. Completely hairless,” Dyck told CBC News, of the kitten named Vlad.
Unfortunately, Vlad didn’t get along with Dyck’s other cat. So she sold the hairless kitten to another woman, Shaniya Yung of Blackfalds, Alberta. When Yung got the cat home, she noticed that it had a huge gash on its tail and a few cuts on its body, according to The Star. The next day, she took Vlad to a veterinarian, who told her his tail was in danger of amputation because of the infected wound — and it likely wasn’t a Sphynx.
“She was like this could be possibly from razor burn or a hair removal product, but she couldn’t say one way or the other,” she told The Canadian Press, as reported by The Star.
One week later, Vlad had grown a coat of orange hair.
After posting her story on social media, Dyck said she was contacted by two other women who say they were victims of a similar scam.
Holly Rattray of Bawlf, Alberta, told CBC News she also bought what she thought was a hairless Sphynx from someone on Kijiji. The seller, who called himself Tim, met her at a parking lot in Red Deer and agreed to take $550 instead of the $700 asking price. Once she got the cat home, Rattray realized it had small cuts all over its body and was completely hairless.
“Even underneath its legs, it was so clean-shaven that my husband did question it,” Rattray, who is familiar with Sphynx cats, told CBC News.
The kitten’s wounds have since healed and has started to grow fur. Her name is Stripes, and she is now a beloved member of Rattray’s family.
Rattray told CBC News she is considering contacting the authorities. Dyck did contact the Alberta Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, and she is warning those in search of purebred cats to be careful where they get their pets.
If you are in the market for a purebred, do your homework and find a reputable, responsible breeder. Reputable breeders typically will ask you a lot of questions to determine whether the kitten will be a good fit for your home, and they can refer you to other people who have bought kittens from them. For more information on finding reputable cat breeders, visit:
- Cat Fanciers’ Association’s website
- The International Cat Association’s website
- The Canadian Cat Association’s website
You could also go the adoption route and check with breed-specific rescues and your local animal shelter.