Woman That Buys Expensive ‘Sphynx’ Kitten Brings It Home And Detects A Problem

 

Before you bring a new pet into your home, it helps to look the animal in the eyes. You want to meet it, rub its belly, hear it purr or bark or chirp, and only then can you know if the animal's right for you. As two women found out, foregoing this in-person meeting can end poorly.

Shayla Bastarache and Shaniya Yung, both from Alberta, Canada, found the perfect cute little Sphynx kittens online. After they made their purchases, however, both women noticed something strange about their new cats...

Before bringing a pet into your home, it's important to do your research on where your potential new family member will be coming from. If you're going to a shelter, what history do they know about your new pet? If you're going to a breeder, are they licensed and follow regulatory practice?
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Recently, two women, Shayla Bastarache (pictured below) and Shaniya Yung, from Alberta, Canada, were looking to purchase a new feline friend. Both women, who were total strangers prior, purchased a Sphynx cat, or better known as a hairless cat.
Jeff McIntosh / Canadian Press
The Sphynx cat is a designer feline developed through selective breeding in the 1960s. Their skin feels leathery to the touch. Their skin coloration also correlates to the color fur they would have had and follows typical cat markings like solid, point, tabby, tortie, etc.
Loki The Grumpy Sphynx
Sphynxes tend to be a more social breed of cat and display extroverted behavior. They have high energy levels, extraordinary intelligence, increased curiosity, and affection for their owners. They can be described as a dog-like cat compared to other cat breeds.
So it's understandable that Shayla and Shaniya both wanted to add a Sphynx to their homes. Due to the designer aspect of this breed, they would need to go through a breeder to obtain their new kittens. Sphynx cats are expensive and can cost up to $1,000.
So Shayla and Shaniya, separately, began searching the Alberta area for a Sphynx breeder. It was difficult to find a breeder due to the expensive nature of reproducing a hairless cat. So they looked elsewhere.
Charles Dharapak
In the process of hunting for kittens, both girls stumbled upon the website Kijiji.com, an online classified site. The price for a hairless kitten was about half of what others were asking for. It was a deal too good to resist.
Both women got in contact with the person responsible for the classified add and set up a pickup/drop off date to complete the transaction. They met in a nearby parking lot and paid cash for their new pet.
After receiving their new pets, both Shayla and Shaniya noticed bumps and cuts on their cats' skin, but, initially at least, didn't pay it much notice. After two weeks, though, it was evident something was terribly wrong with their kittens.
They brought their kittens to the vet. They were both utterly shocked when they were informed that the kittens' hair had likely been removed with a combination of a razor and the hair removal product, like Nair, which was causing the skin irritation.
Shayla and Shaniya were confused. But sure enough, soon after, hair started growing on the cats' skin! This should not happen to a true Sphynx, so the new cat owners realized what the breeder had really sold them.
hairless-cat-2
The Star
Unfortunately, it became clear that the online breeder was a scammer and that they purposefully shaved, by whatever means, these poor kittens to make them look like true hairless cats.
Scammers like this are quite skilled at their practice and commonly take advantage of people who don't know any better until it's far too late. While you're stuck wondering how you were duped, they're making off like bandits.
According to the Canada SPCA's community manager, Roland Lines, "Sphynx cats typically sell for more than $1,000 each. Because enough people are willing to meet in a parking lot to exchange money for animals, the counterfeiter can expect to get away with the deception."
Shayla and Shaniya have now turned their focus to warning others about the potential dangers of purchasing animals from unreliable online breeders. Not only is it a financial scam, but these cats were put in danger in an effort to pass them off as a true Sphynx.
Nevertheless, both women did plan to keep their cats despite being a breed they hadn't expected, as the animals were completely loving pets. The women were, however, quick to warn others of the troubles they may run into when purchasing pets online.
There are certainly several ways to be absolutely certain about the origins of a potential pet you're adopting. Chief among them is to adopt an animal from a shelter. That way, you get the exact animal you want, the shelter can screen you, and they get to give that furry friend a loving home — it's a win-win!
If a breeder is something you'd prefer, be sure to do your research first. Many breeders will allow you to visit their facility and meet with the potential parents first before placing your name on the waiting list for an animal. More so, they allow you to meet with your new pet prior to taking them home to be sure it's a good fit.
The Alberta SPCA had just one thing to say about all of this: "If you want to be sure you're not giving money to a criminal," a spokesperson said, "I suggest you go to a humane society to adopt an animal. Don't meet a stranger in a dark parking lot."
The two cats are well cared for and showered with love. Both Shayla and Shaniya have put this scam behind them to provide the best home for these fake kittens. And most importantly, the cats did not suffer permanent damage from having their coats removed.

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