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Best Cat Food For Sphynx Cats

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comments-icon Medically reviewed by  JoAnna Pendergrass, DVM
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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

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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.

Overall Best
10.0
Picked by 31 people today!

Smalls Ground Bird Fresh Cat Food

  • Fresh cat food made with human-grade ingredients
  • Packed with animal protein
  • High moisture content
GET 35% OFF ENTER "CATS35" TO GET 35% OFF YOUR FIRST ORDER
Runner Up
9.8
Picked by 31 people today!

Stella & Chewy’s Duck Duck Goose Dinner Grain-Free Freeze-Dried Cat Food

  • Harnesses the nourishing power of raw meat
  • Made with a slim ingredient list
  • Formulated with probiotics for digestive health
BEST BUDGET
9.5
Picked by 25 people today!

Wellness CORE Natural Grain Free Smooth Turkey & Duck Canned Cat Food

  • 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
Best For sensitive stomach
9.4
Picked by 21 people today!

Instinct by Nature’s Variety Original Grain-Free Real Duck Recipe

  • 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
Best For Picky Cats
9.3
Picked by 18 people today!

Primal Turkey Formula Nuggets Grain-Free

  • Made from minimally-processed raw meat
  • Freeze-dried for safety and shelf-stability
  • Low in carbohydrates and made without fillers
Best For Weight Loss
9.2
Picked by 31 people today!

Ziwi Peak Air-Dried Beef Cat Food

  • Made from highly-digestible meat
  • Minimally-processed food locks in the nutrient value of raw meat
  • Protein-rich and calorie-dense

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.

#1 Smalls Ground Bird Fresh Cat Food

Small Fresh Ground Bird

Sphynx cats demand a low-residue diet and Smalls delivers, with an ingredient list that focuses on natural, human-grade meats as the first several ingredients. Very small amounts of green vegetables are included, mimicking the digestive contents found in natural prey. Overall, it’s meat-centric and low in carbohydrates.

High moisture plus a complete spectrum of added nutrients round out the list. Smalls cat food is grain-free, supporting sensitive Sphynx digestive systems. Simply complete a questionnaire about your cat, and Smalls formulates your pet’s food to order before delivering it fresh to your door. You can adjust your cat’s meal plan at any time through the customer portal or by contacting Smalls customer support via email or text message.

Ingredients

Chicken, Chicken Liver, Green Beans, Water Sufficient for Processing, Dried Yeast, Tricalcium Phosphate, Kale, Magnesium Proteinate, Potassium Chloride, Choline Chloride, Dandelion Greens, Dried Kelp, Taurine, Zinc Proteinate, Iron Proteinate, Cod Liver Oil, Salt, Niacin Supplement, Vitamin E Supplement, Vitamin A Supplement, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Thiamine Mononitrate, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Folic Acid, Sodium Selenite, Biotin.

Ingredients We Liked: Chicken, Chicken Liver, Cod Liver Oil

Ingredients We Didn’t Like: None

Guaranteed Analysis

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Crude Protein: 13%
Crude Fat: 8.5%
Crude Fiber: 1.5%
Moisture: 73%

Dry Matter Basis

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Protein: 48.15%
Fat: 31.48%
Fiber: 5.56%
Carbs: 14.81%

Caloric Weight Basis

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Protein: 34.54%
Fat: 54.84%
Carbs: 10.63%

Pros

  • Fresh cat food made with human-grade ingredients
  • Packed with animal protein
  • High moisture content
  • Low in carbohydrates

Cons

  • Only available as a subscription plan
  • No phone support (text and email only)

#2 Stella & Chewy’s Duck Duck Goose Dinner Grain-Free Freeze-Dried Cat Food Review

Nourish your Sphynx’s active appetite with this high-energy blend of bone-in duck, goose, and turkey.

This freeze-dried food harnesses the species-appropriate nourishment of raw meat and organs while eliminating the pathogens that might hitch a ride. Because it’s freeze-dried, the food is shelf-stable and safe to handle, making it a more convenient choice than raw food.

The recipe is 98% poultry, organs, and bone. The rest of the recipe includes probiotics to support your Sphynx’s digestive health, along with additional vitamins, minerals, and amino acids.

Ingredients

Duck With Ground Bone, Turkey With Ground Bone, Turkey Liver, Goose, Turkey Gizzard, Pumpkin Seed, Potassium Chloride, Sodium Phosphate, Choline Chloride, Dried Pediococcus Acidilactici Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Acidophilus Fermentation Product, Dried Bifidobacterium Longum Fermentation Product, Dried Bacillus Coagulans Fermentation Product, Taurine, Tocopherols (Preservative), Dandelion, Dried Kelp, Zinc Proteinate, Iron Proteinate, Vitamin A Supplement, Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin Supplement, Copper Proteinate, Riboflavin Supplement, Sodium Selenite, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Biotin, Manganese Proteinate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid, Vitamin B12 Supplement.

Guaranteed Analysis

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Crude Protein: 40%
Crude Fat: 30%
Crude Fiber: 5%
Moisture: 5%

Dry Matter Basis

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Protein: 42.11%
Fat: 31.58%
Fiber: 5.26%
Carbs: 21.05%

Caloric Weight Basis

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Protein: 30.11%
Fat: 54.84%
Carbs: 15.05%

Pros

  • Harnesses the nourishing power of raw meat
  • Made with a slim ingredient list
  • Formulated with probiotics for digestive health
  • Made without fillers, grains, and other high-waste ingredients
  • Made without any of the top cat food allergens
  • Moisture-rich

Cons

  • Freeze-dried food requires rehydration before serving

#3 Wellness CORE Natural Grain Free Smooth Turkey & Duck Canned Cat Food

The dry version of this food is recommended by Catological as one of the best foods for your Sphynx kitty. This Wellness CORE food is primarily made from meat ingredients, is rich in highly-digestible protein, and is free from grains, potatoes, corn, soy, wheat, and artificial ingredients.

The inclusion of omega-3-rich salmon oil helps to keep your Sphynx’s skin supple and minimizes inflammation in the body, while a trace of yucca schidigera extract may be able to minimize stool odors.

Ingredients

Turkey, Pork Liver, Turkey Broth, Duck, Cranberries, Guar Gum, Ground Flaxseed, Potassium Chloride, Choline Chloride, Taurine, Cassia Gum, Xanthan Gum, Dried Kelp, Chicory Root Extract, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Alfalfa Meal, Salt, Iron Proteinate, Zinc Proteinate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin E Supplement, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Sodium Selenite, Niacin Supplement, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin Supplement, Vitamin A Supplement, Biotin, Potassium Iodide, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Folic Acid.

Guaranteed Analysis

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Crude Protein: 12%
Crude Fat: 8%
Crude Fiber: 1%
Moisture: 78%

Dry Matter Basis

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Protein: 54.55%
Fat: 36.36%
Fiber: 4.55%
Carbs: 4.55%

Caloric Weight Basis

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Protein: 37%
Fat: 59.91%
Carbs: 3.08%

Pros

  • 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
  • Grain-free with no simple carbs or artificial ingredients
  • Moisture-rich

Cons

  • Contains alfalfa meal, a high-protein filler

#4 Instinct by Nature’s Variety Original Grain-Free Real Duck Recipe Natural Wet Canned Cat Food Review

Duck is a high-fat meat, making it perfect for your Sphynx’s high energy needs.
This meat-based pate is composed of 95% duck and turkey liver, so there’s very little in this food that isn’t highly-digestible, high-quality energy for your cat. No corn, soy, wheat, or simple carbohydrates contribute to the remaining 5% of the recipe.

The food isn’t perfect. Instead of fish oil, it’s made with ground flaxseed, which isn’t an ideal source of the omega-3 fatty acids that could help keep your cat’s coat healthy and limit inflammation.

Ingredients

Duck, Turkey Liver, Duck Broth, Ground Flaxseed, Montmorillonite Clay, Peas, Potassium Chloride, Carrots, Salt, Minerals (Iron Proteinate, Zinc Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Sodium Selenite, Potassium Iodide), Choline Chloride, Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Niacin Supplement, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin Supplement, Vitamin A Supplement, Biotin, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Folic Acid), Taurine, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate, Menhaden Fish Oil (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Artichokes, Cranberries, Pumpkin, Tomato, Blueberries, Broccoli, Cabbage, Kale, Parsley

Guaranteed Analysis

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Crude Protein: 9%
Crude Fat: 7%
Crude Fiber: 3%
Moisture: 78%

Dry Matter Basis

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Protein: 40.91%
Fat: 31.82%
Fiber: 13.64%
Carbs: 13.64%

Caloric Weight Basis

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Protein: 31.03%
Fat: 58.62%
Carbs: 10.34%

Pros

  • 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
  • Grain-free with no corn, soy, or wheat

Cons

  • Contains flaxseed instead of fish oil as a source of omega-3 fatty acids

#5 Primal Turkey Formula Nuggets Grain-Free Raw Freeze-Dried Cat Food Review

If, like many cat parents, you want to feed your Sphynx cat raw food, these freeze-dried nuggets might be a convenient solution. These raw nuggets are turkey-based and don’t contain any of the most common cat food allergens.

Fresh meat, organs, and finely-ground raw bones constitute 97% of the recipe. For an obligate carnivore, these are biologically-appropriate sources of vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, and amino acids. The recipe also includes sardine oil and cod liver oil for a skin-nourishing fatty acid boost.

Ingredients

Turkey, Turkey Necks, Turkey Hearts, Turkey Livers, Organic Collard Greens, Organic Squash, Organic Celery, Cranberries, Blueberries, Organic Pumpkin Seeds, Organic Sunflower Seeds, Montmorillonite Clay, Organic Apple Cider Vinegar, Sardine Oil, Taurine, Organic Quinoa Sprout Powder, Dried Organic Kelp, Organic Cilantro, Organic Coconut Oil, Cod Liver Oil, Organic Ginger, Vitamin E Supplement, Mixed Tocopherols (Natural Preservative).

Guaranteed Analysis

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Crude Protein: 48%
Crude Fat: 22%
Crude Fiber: 4%
Moisture: 9%

Dry Matter Basis

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Protein: 52.75%
Fat: 24.18%
Fiber: 4.4%
Carbs: 18.68%

Caloric Weight Basis

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Protein: 40.53%
Fat: 45.11%
Carbs: 14.35%

Pros

  • Made from minimally-processed raw meat
  • Freeze-dried for safety and shelf-stability
  • Low in carbohydrates and made without fillers
  • Calorie dense to support your Sphynx’s high energy requirements
  • Moisture-rich

Cons

  • Expensive
  • You’ll need to rehydrate the food before serving

#6 Ziwi Peak Air-Dried Beef Cat Food Review

For Sphynx cats who are miserable unless they can eat throughout the day, these jerky-esque bits of dehydrated meat make a perfect supplemental meal. Because this is a dehydrated food, it’s important to pair it with something moisture-rich.

This formula from Ziwi Peak is made with simply dehydrated beef muscle meat, organs, and bones, along with tripe and green-lipped mussel. Each scoopful of this calorie-dense food delivers an energy punch unequaled by almost any other food on the market.

Ingredients

Beef, Beef Heart, Beef Kidney, Beef Tripe, Beef Liver, Beef Lung, New Zealand Green Mussel, Beef Bone, Lecithin, Inulin from Chicory, Dried Kelp, Minerals (Dipotassium Phosphate, Magnesium Sulfate, Zinc Amino Acid Complex, Copper Amino Acid Complex, Iron Amino Acid Complex, Manganese Amino Acid Complex, Sodium Selenite), Salt, Preservative (Citric Acid, Mixed Tocopherols), Vitamins (Choline Chloride, Thiamine Mononitrate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Folic Acid, Vitamin D3 Supplement), DL-Methionine, Taurine.

Guaranteed Analysis

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Crude Protein: 38%
Crude Fat: 30%
Crude Fiber: 2%
Moisture: 14%
Ash: 12%

Dry Matter Basis

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Protein: 44.19%
Fat: 34.88%
Fiber: 2.33%
Carbs: 4.65%

Caloric Weight Basis

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Protein: 33.08%
Fat: 63.43%
Carbs: 3.48%

Pros

  • Made from highly-digestible meat
  • Minimally-processed food locks in the nutrient value of raw meat
  • Protein-rich and calorie-dense
  • Easy for your Sphynx to eat throughout the day

Cons

  • Moisture-depleted dehydrated food shouldn’t be the only product your cat eats
  • Expensive

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Note: The values in our nutrient charts are automatically calculated based on the guaranteed analysis and may not represent typical nutrient values. This may lead to discrepancies between the charts and the values mentioned in the body of the review.
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About Mallory Crusta

Mallory is the Head of Content at Cats.com and an NAVC-certified Pet Nutrition Coach. Having produced and managed multimedia content across several pet-related domains, Mallory is dedicated to ensuring that the information on Cats.com is accurate, clear, and engaging. When she’s not reviewing pet products or editing content, Mallory enjoys skiing, hiking, and trying out new recipes in the kitchen. She has two cats, Wessie and Forest.

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  1. Linda Halford

    My Sphinx‘Cleopatra, aka Cleo’ is 10 years old. She itches her neck a lot. I clean her neck and use Hydrocortisone on her. She needs a good wholesome diet. What do you recommend?

    Reply
    1. small mallory photoMallory Crusta Post author

      Hi Linda, good job recognizing that dietary changes may be able to help with her itchiness. The answer to this question really depends on the underlying cause of her itchy skin, though. For example, if her itchiness is caused by allergies, you’ll want to try a food trial to identify the allergen and then use a single-protein, limited-ingredient diet to minimize her exposure to irritants. You can find a few recommendations in this article on the best cat food for skin health.

      Reply