How To Feed The Sphynx – A Hairless Cat With A Mighty Appetite?
In 1960’s Toronto, a shorthaired cat named Elizabeth gave birth to the kitten that would take his place in history as the progenitor of the Canadian Hairless breed, later called the Sphynx.
This unusual kitten was named Prune – a reference to the smooth, wrinkled appearance of his hairless body. After his owners recognized the breed potential of a kitten who looked like an alien prune, this kitten’s birth led to a decade of selective breeding. Eventually, the world’s first natural litters of hairless cats were born, and the Canadian Hairless cat was a reality.
Sphynx cats don’t have thick fur coats like most cats do, but are instead covered in a fine, soft fuzz. Some describe them as feeling like a warm peach to the touch. A few Sphynx cats are born with almost completely bare skin. These are described as “sticky bald” and feel a bit rubbery to the touch.
Their lack of fur makes the Sphynx a cat who can’t resist a fireplace or blanket fort – it’s not unusual for these cats to tolerate a sweater or jacket in cold weather. Perhaps because they require more external heat than most cats, Sphynx cats are extraordinarily clingy, always apt to snuggle up with a human.
At A Glance: Best Cat Food For Sphynx Cats To Buy
Want a quick look at the products reviewed in this article? In the comparison table below, we’ve highlighted some of the most important features of each product. You’ll find more detailed information about each product later in the article.
- Harnesses the nourishing power of raw meat
- Made with a slim ingredient list
- Formulated with probiotics for digestive health
- High meat content with muscle meat and organs
- Made without corn, soy, and wheat
- Features turkey, pork, and duck, none of which are top allergens
- Contains hearty amounts of animal protein and fat to fuel your Sphynx’s active metabolism
- 95% duck and turkey liver with minimal plant content
- Moisture-rich canned food
What Are Sphynx Cats’ Unique Dietary Needs?
Like all cats, the Sphynx breed requires a species-appropriate food that nourishes them according to their natural biological needs.
Because Sphynx cats have so little hair on their bodies, a healthy, high-quality diet is critical to maintaining the health of their skin. The skin produces natural, moisturizing oils. If a Sphynx cat is not eating a high-quality diet, their skin will compensate by overproducing oils, leading to skin problems.
In addition to the need to maintain good skin health, there are a couple of things to bear in mind when choosing food for your Sphynx.
They Have A High Metabolism
Because the Sphynx cat has no fur, their metabolism works overtime to keep their body warm without the use of a fur coat. The Sphynx’s skin temperature is about 4 degrees higher than that of the average cat.
Some Sphynx guardians observe that their hairless Sphynx kitties are both more food-oriented and less finicky than their furred housemates.
Because they have such fast metabolisms and, as a consequence, almost insatiable appetites, some recommend feeding Sphynx cats multiple small meals throughout the day. This is a good idea for the active Sphynx metabolism and appropriate for cats of every breed. As predators, cats benefit from eating multiple tiny meals throughout the day.
Because it’s easy and safe to leave kibble in a bowl all day, some suggest that dry diets are best for the Sphynx. However, using dry food to constantly satisfy your Sphynx cat’s appetite is a short-sighted approach. You’re supporting their ravenous appetite, but you’re also giving your cat a dehydrating food that may fall short of providing adequate nourishment.
So, What’s The Ideal Approach?
If you have the time, give your Sphynx three or more small, moisture-rich meals throughout the day. If you aren’t able to feed your cat that frequently, two meals a day will work just as well. Choose a calorie-dense food with hearty doses of fat and protein.
They Are Prone To Digestive Problems
Compared with other breeds, Sphynx cats are more prone to various digestive problems, such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome, because they have particularly sensitive tummies and intestines. The personal stories of Sphynx owners attest to this. After reading numerous stories on Sphynx forums and other sites, it looks like something is going on in the Sphynx digestive system.
Sphynx guardians tell stories of reeking litter boxes, paws packed with poop, and repeatedly refer to loose bowels. These stinky symptoms support a connection between the Sphynx breed and digestive issues.
If you find that your cat’s waste smells unusually foul, it’s time for a change in diet. Diets packed with grains and other high-carbohydrate ingredients contribute to the amount of waste that your cat produces. With more waste comes intensified odor in the litter box.
A low-residue diet would be ideal for your Sphynx. Low-residue diets are moisture-rich and primarily contain ingredients, such as low-fat animal protein, that are easy to digest. Thus, these diets give the digestive system a break and reduce waste.
Top 6 Best Cat Foods For Sphynx Cats
Most Sphynx cats need nothing more or less than the same high-quality food you might give another cat breed.
If your Sphynx suffers from digestive issues, though, consult with your veterinarian to determine the cause and figure out a treatment plan. For example, treatment could include a dietary change to eliminate potential allergens and avoid high-waste ingredients like grains and other high-carbohydrate fillers.
You don’t need to buy a breed-specific food for your Sphynx cat. Royal Canin sells a food made and marketed specifically for Sphynx cats, but this food is a dry kibble with brewers rice as the first ingredient.
Remember: Being hairless doesn’t mean that the Sphynx doesn’t require the same high-quality nutrition that every cat deserves.
In addition to performing our own qualitative analysis of the brands reviewed here, we submitted samples for analysis at an ISO 17025 certified food testing and analysis lab.
We bought the products at full retail price, and the entire testing process was funded by Cats.com without direct input or influence from the companies involved.
Analytical testing in a food chemistry lab gives us the exact macronutrient and micronutrient content of each recipe. The tests also look at microbial content, yeast, mold, and heavy metals, helping you ensure that you’re only putting the best in your cat’s bowl.