When you picture life as a pet owner, you probably see yourself sitting in a comfy chair, your cat on your lap, stroking his soft fur. Unfortunately, you’ll never have that experience with a Sphynx cat. It’s not because they aren’t sweet and affectionate – it’s simply because they have no fur.
- Rich in real animal protein
- Blend of omega-3
If the idea of a hairless cat sounds strange to you, you’re not alone! The Sphynx is certainly a sight to behold. Though it may look hairless, however, these cats actually have a very fine layer of fair hair similar to peach fuzz. Not only are they unique in appearance, but they are affectionate, curious, smart, and more than a little amusing to keep around.
In this article, we’ll explore the history of the strange but beautiful Sphynx cat breed. We’ll also touch on the different aspects of Sphynx cat personalities and physical qualities and talk about their common health problems. From there, we’ll discuss the nutritional needs of these cats and you’ll see our top picks for the best cat food for Sphynx Cats.
What Is The Best Cat Food For Sphynx Cats?
- NomNomNow Fresh Cat Food Delivery
- Taste of the Wild Canyon River Grain-Free
- American Journey Minced Chicken Recipe
- Nutro Wholesome Essentials Chicken
- Wild Frontier Senior Open Valley Recipe
- Instinct by Nature’s Variety Limited Ingredient
- Ziwi Peak Chicken Recipe Canned Food
- Blue Buffalo Wilderness Indoor Chicken
- Earthborn Holistic Primitive Feline
History of the Sphynx Cat Breed
Hairless cats have a long history dating back to the Aztecs. In modern times, however, the Sphynx is the first breed to be specifically bred to be hairless. The breeding program for the Sphynx breed began in Ontario, Canada in 1966 when a pet cat unexpectedly gave birth to a hairless male kitten. Though Ontario is the home of the first hairless kitten, most Sphynx cats bred today are descendant from three hairless kittens who were found in Toronto in 1978.
The hairlessness for which the Sphynx breed is known is a natural mutation. In order to develop the breed, the kittens found in Canada and other hairless cats found throughout the world were bred to cats with normal coats and then bred back to hairless cats in order to create a larger gene pool. Some of the other breeds that played a role in the development of the Sphynx breed include the Devon Rex and the American Shorthair.
The Cat Fanciers Association (CFA) granted the Sphynx breed provisional status in 1970 because, at the time, there were a few problems with the line. The gene pool was still fairly limited and some kittens had died from undiagnosed health problems. The CFA’s recognition was withdrawn in 1971 as a result.
In 1978, when the three hairless kittens were found in Toronto, breeding operations resumed. The breed was accepted by The International Cat Association (TICA) in 1986 but wasn’t recognized again by the CFA until 1998. Today, the Sphynx breed is recognized by all North American cat associations as well as the Federation Internationale Feline (FIFe).
Sphynx Cat Health and Personality
The Sphynx has an exotic appearance, so it may be surprising to learn that these cats are actually quite down-to-earth. They are medium-sized cats, growing to an average of 6 to 12 pounds. Females of the breed are a little smaller than males and, despite their hairlessness, these cats come in all colors and patterns including classics like tabby, pointed, solid, and tortoiseshell.
All cats have a curious nature, but the Sphynx breed is particularly inquisitive. These cats use their toes almost like fingers to investigate anything that catches their eye. The Sphynx breed loves to spend time with people and makes an excellent lap cat, though they may just be trying to steal some warmth. These cats will do just about anything for attention, whether it’s acting like a complete clown or chewing on the shoes you accidently left out.
Many people assume that the Sphynx is a hypoallergenic cat breed, but that isn’t quite true. It’s not cat fur that’s the problem – it’s dander. Sphynx cats do have a very fine covering of fur and their skin cells still shed like any other cat, so there’s no scientific evidence to show whether the breed is more or less allergenic than any other breed. What you do need to know about your Sphynx being almost hairless is that he may be more susceptible to cold and he has unique grooming needs to keep his skin healthy.
Speaking of health, the Sphynx breed has a number of health concerns, as any cat breed does. Here are some of the most common health issues seen in Sphynx cats:
- Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy – A common form of heart disease in cats, this condition is characterized by thickening of the heart muscle.
- Urticaria Pigmentosa – This is a skin disease that causes crusty sores to form on the body.
- Hereditary Myopathy – As the name implies, this hereditary disease affects muscle function and may cause death in cats that lose the ability to swallow.
- Cutaneous Mastocytosis – This is a condition characterized by mast cell tumors.
- Periodontal Disease – All cats are prone to dental disease, but Sphynx cats seem to have a higher instance than other breeds.
What is the Best Food for Sphynx Cats?
When it comes to Sphynx cat food, there are several considerations to keep in mind. First and foremost, remember that cats are obligate carnivores and they have a biological need for meat in their diets. A high-quality source of animal protein should be the first ingredient in anything you feed your cat.
Second, you need to make sure that your cat’s diet supports his skin health. All cats produce natural oils to keep their skin lubricated and their coat soft and shiny. In Sphynx cats, excess oil can clog the pores and cause ongoing skin problems. The higher the quality of your cat’s food, the less likely your cat is to produce excess oil, so look for a recipe made with wholesome natural ingredients.
Something else to consider with Sphynx cats is the impact of their hairlessness on their energy requirements. Sphynx cats have very fast metabolisms and they burn through energy very quickly to keep themselves warm. For this reason, a high-calorie diet is recommended to provide the energy your cat needs. Protein is also very important to help your Sphynx maintain a healthy body weight despite his high calorie burn.
In addition to plenty of protein and calories, your Sphynx requires certain nutrients including vitamins and minerals. These are best obtained from natural sources like whole grains, vegetables, and fruits, but you should also try to limit the carbohydrate content of your cat’s diet. Look for a recipe that contains animal sources for protein and fat with limited carbohydrate content to provide natural nutrients and added vitamins and minerals as needed for nutritional balance.
How Do We Choose the Cat Foods?
The truth of the matter is that most cats would do perfectly well on a high-quality commercial cat food. Different cat breeds do not have significantly unique nutritional requirements, so any formula that meets AAFCO requirements according to their food nutrient profiles could work for your Sphynx. You just need to pay attention to the considerations mentioned above to be sure you’re picking the perfect diet for your cat. That’s all we want for you!
When it comes to how we make our recommendations, please know that we’d never recommend something for your cat that we wouldn’t feed our own cats. We look for high-quality, natural ingredients in nutritionally balanced formulas. We know that cats do better with diets that are primarily animal-based with limited carbohydrate content to provide natural sources for key nutrients. Synthetic supplements are not preferable but are generally required in commercial cat foods to ensure that the minimum nutrient requirements are met.
Here are some of the general requirements for a cat food to receive our recommendation:
- A source of high-quality animal protein as the first ingredient
- At least 30% crude protein for kittens and at least 26% for adults
- A minimum of 9% crude fat for kittens and adults
- A balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, primarily from animal sources
- A rich blend of nutrients from natural sources and supplements, as needed
- Limited carbohydrate content from digestible sources (like whole grains and veggies)
- No low-quality fillers, by-products, or artificial additives (preservatives, dyes, or flavors)
Now that you know how we make our recommendations, you’re ready to see them! Read on to see our top picks for the best Sphynx cat food.
The 9 Best Cat Foods for Sphynx Cats
Generally speaking, your Sphynx cat would do well on a high-protein, calorie-dense diet made with wholesome natural ingredients. There are hundreds of cat foods that meet these requirements, however, so we totally understand if you’re a little overwhelmed. To help you make a choice, we’ve compiled a quick list of our favorite options for you to consider:
|Our 2020 Picks: Best Foods for Sphynx Cats|
|NomNomNow Fresh Cat Food Delivery
|Taste Of The Wild Canyon River
|American Journey Minced Turkey
|Nutro Wholesome Essentials Chicken & Brown Rice
|Wild Frontier Senior Open Valley Recipe
|Instinct by Nature’s Variety Limited Ingredient Diet
|Ziwi Peak Chicken Recipe Canned Food
|Blue Buffalo Wilderness Indoor Chicken Recipe
|Earthborn Holistic Primitive Feline
Our Top Overall Pick: Many pet experts recommend fresh food because it is higher in nutritional quality as well as moisture. NomNomNow is our favorite fresh cat food company because their products are extremely high in quality and they are conveniently sent right to your door. Simply provide some information about your cat’s breed, age, weight, and activity level and NomNomNow will calculate his calorie needs and send you pre-portioned packages of cat food. Their food is prepared fresh in small batches and sent out immediately to ensure optimal nutritional value. If you find that your Sphynx needs more calories to maintain his weight, simply let NomNomNow know and they’ll adjust his portions.
Most Popular Cat Food for Sphynx Cats: Canned cat food tends to be higher in protein and moisture than the average kibble while being lower in carbohydrates. This Taste of the Wild Canyon River Grain-Free Canned Food fits the bill and is an excellent choice for your Sphynx cat. It features real animal proteins like fresh trout, and ocean fish and smoked salmon to ensure plenty of real fish flavor. It contains plenty of natural fatty acids as well as sunflower oil to provide the right balance of omega-3s and omega-6s. This recipe contains fresh fruits and vegetables like sweet potatoes, tomatoes, and blueberries to provide natural sources for key nutrients. It is also supplemented as needed to ensure optimal nutritional balance.
Most Affordable Cat Food for Sphynx Cats: Quality cat food can be expensive but American Journey is a very affordable brand. This Minced Chicken Recipe in Gravy canned food is a great option for Sphynx cat food because it is rich in premium animal ingredients and full of natural flavor. With fresh chicken as the main ingredient and chicken liver for supplemental protein, this formula provides a dry matter value of 50% crude protein (9% as fed). You’ll also find this formula rich in healthy omega fatty acids to support your cat’s skin health as well as the essential nutrients needed for optimal nutritional balance.
Best Sphynx Cat Kitten Food: You want your Sphynx cat kitten to get the best start possible, so consider a recipe packed with animal protein and fat that more than provides for his minimum nutritional requirements. This recipe features fresh chicken and chicken meal as the primary ingredients with fish meal for supplemental protein, adding up to a minimum of 36% crude protein. Chicken fat provides a nutritious source of essential fatty acids and whole brown rice adds fiber and healthy nutrients. This recipe is formulated specifically for kittens as well, so you know it will support your kitten’s healthy growth and development.
Best Cat Food for Senior Sphynx Cats: Though your Sphynx cat may be getting older, his needs for protein won’t change. Protein is essential to help your cat maintain a healthy body weight and this recipe has plenty of it – 42% to be exact. Though your Sphynx still needs enough calories to support his metabolism, you want to avoid excess calories to prevent obesity. This formula contains a moderate number of calories per cup (391) with plenty of supplemental protein added to the chicken main ingredient. This recipe contains added fiber as well to support your senior cat’s digestion and contains all of the vitamins and minerals he needs.
Best Cat Food for Sphynx Cats with Sensitive Stomach: Whether you’re concerned about Sphynx cat food allergies or your cat simply has a sensitive stomach, a limited ingredient diet could be the right choice. This turkey recipe limited ingredient diet from Instinct by Nature’s Variety. Made with a single source of animal protein and a limited number of ingredients, this recipe is highly digestible with a low risk for triggering food allergies. Cage-free turkey provides a flavorful source of essential amino acids with turkey liver as a rich source of added nutrition. This formula is calorie-dense at 108 calories per 3-ounce can as well, making it great for Sphynx cats.
3 More Top Picks for the Best Sphynx Cat Food
Sphynx cats burn calories at an extremely rapid pace to keep their bodies warm. This is why many cats of this breed struggle to maintain their weight. If you’re looking for the best cat food for weight gain to help your cat regain a healthy body weight, consider Ziwi Peak Chicken Recipe Canned Food. This recipe is packed with premium animal protein – nearly 41% measured as dry matter. There are no added carbohydrate ingredients aside from chickpeas and organ meats provide natural sources for many key nutrients. Plus, this recipe is calorie-dense at 113 calories per 3-ounce can.
Many people wonder about the differing nutritional needs of outdoor versus indoor cats. That isn’t really an issue with Sphynx cats, however, because they are definitely an indoor-only breed. If you’re looking for the best cat food for indoor cats, we recommend Blue Buffalo Wilderness Indoor Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Dry Food. It contains all of the protein your cat needs from rich animal sources with healthy fats and over 400 calories per cup. This recipe also contains Blue Buffalo’s LifeSource Bits, a proprietary blend of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals to ensure complete and balanced nutrition.
Your Sphynx will do best on a high-quality diet, so choose one made with wholesome natural ingredients like this Earthborn Holistic Primitive Feline Grain-Free Natural Dry Cat Food. This holistic natural recipe features real ingredients like turkey and chicken meals with fresh fruits and vegetable to deliver natural sources of key nutrients. It contains several supplemental sources of protein with a rich blend of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids to support your cat’s skin health. Overall, it provides 40% crude protein and 18% fat at nearly 400 calories per cup.
Frequently Asked Questions:
- Do Sphynx cats need special food? Generally speaking, no. Sphynx cats don’t have unique nutritional requirements in comparison to other cat breeds, but there are some important considerations to factor in. The Sphynx cat breed has a very fast metabolism due to the high energy requirements to produce enough body heat. This means that your cat may need a high-calorie diet in comparison to the average housecat. Protein is also very important to help maintain lean mass despite a massive calorie burn.
- What is the average Sphynx cat lifespan? Sphynx cats are a medium-sized breed averaging 6 to 12 pounds. Though these cats are prone to certain health problems, they are not inherently less healthy than other breeds. The average Sphynx cat lifespan is 8 to 14 years. There are always cats who exceed these estimates, however, and feeding your cat a healthy and high-quality diet can help extend his lifespan.
- Do Sphynx cats have food allergies? When it comes to allergies, many people assume that Sphynx cats are hypoallergenic because they don’t have fur. In reality, it’s dander you have to worry about, and Sphynx cats have it in spades. In regard to Sphynx cat food allergies, it’s very easy to tell when your cat is suffering. Allergies in cats often present with skin symptoms which can be tricky to diagnose in a cat with fur, but it’s easy to see changes in your Sphynx cat’s skin condition. If you’re worried about Sphynx cat food allergies, consider switching your cat to a limited ingredient diet to reduce the risk of triggering a reaction.
- How much should I feed my Sphynx cat? The amount you feed your Sphynx cat depends on several factors, primarily his age, weight, and activity level. The average indoor cat needs about 20 calories per pound to maintain body weight but, as you know by now, Sphynx cats burn energy at a much higher rate. It’s best to feed your Sphynx a calorie-dense diet and follow the feeding instructions according to his weight. It’s usually better to err on the side of overfeeding with his breed but be sure to keep a close eye on your cat’s body weight and adjust his feeding if he starts to gain weight.
- How often should I feed my Sphynx cat? Most cats do well with two meals per day, but your Sphynx may need an extra meal to keep his metabolism up. Sphynx kittens should be free fed to ensure that they get the calories they need to grow and develop as well as the extra calories they need to keep warm. Many adult Sphynx cats do well with free feeding as well, though this breed is prone to obesity so you should be careful.
If you’re looking for a cat that is anything but average, consider the Sphynx. These charming, affectionate cats have an alien look about them, but their personalities are quite down-to-earth. The Sphynx is a family-friendly breed that loves to spend time with people, and they make excellent lap cats.
The thing to keep in mind with Sphynx cats is that they require plenty of calories to keep warm. Use what you’ve learned here to choose the best Sphynx cat food or simply follow our recommendations and choose one of our top picks above. Good luck!