Sphynx cats are obligate carnivores, like all domestic cats. But, there are some subtle differences between their diet and other cat breeds. Their fine downy fur makes them look completely bald, and they get cold easily as a result. Their bodies need to work hard to keep them warm and they have a high metabolism, meaning they need more regular and higher calorie meals.
What Do Sphynx Cats Eat?
Our pet kitties diets should be high in protein and fats, and low in carbohydrates. They can eat any good quality commercial wet or dried food, or even thrive on a raw diet if you know exactly what you are doing.
Avoid brands that use a lot of filler or that are high in sugar, you ideally want something that is as close to nature as possible. However, this is true for all breeds of cat. The thing that really sets the Sphynx apart from the more common house cat is the amount they can get away with eating.
How Their Lack of Fur Affects Their Diet
Have you ever been out for a walk in the cold, or shovelling snow in the backyard. Even with winter gear on, by the time you get back indoors you are freezing. And what’s more, you are hungry. Physically when you are cold you can feel your body shake and shiver, but there are hidden ways it is working to keep you warm too. And that extra effort really takes it out of you.
To replenish your lost energy you need to eat more in winter time than you do in summer. However, there is a limit. And that’s where the problems crop up for Sphynx cat owners.
How Much To Feed A Sphynx Cat?
An adult Sphynx cat will usually benefit from three meals a day. Morning, midday and early evening. Use the serving suggestions on the packet to begin with. I always recommend making at least one of these meals wet food to avoid the risk of UTIs and to add some variety to their diet.
Alternatively, Sphynx cats can cope well on a grazing style diet, where food is constantly available. But, just becauyse they need more than average food, doesn’t mean they need limitless food. Like your average moggy, they can still be greedy and over eat. You must monitor their weight carefully if you choose to feed them this way, and be sure not to leave wet food out for more than two hours at the most.
Maintaining a Healthy Weight
Feeding more can run the risks of gaining too much weight and even becoming obese – which is a huge problem for many domestic cats. Luckily, studies into feline obesity have found that Sphynx cats are regularly rated as having one of the lowest body condition scores, and therefore seem less prone to becoming overweight or obese.
Is My Cat The Right Weight?
Checking the body condition of a furry kitty can be tricky, as their fluff gives a false impression. A hands on or scales based analysis is better. However, you can see your bald cat’s shape much more easily.
Ideally a Sphynx cat will be athletic in form. You should be able to feel their ribs and spine, although not excessively, and not see them.
One study suggested that Sphynx cats could be at a higher risk of developing diabetes mellitus than some other breeds. This is a condition in which your cat’s pancreas fails to produce enough insulin. Affected cats will have trouble controlling the level of glucose in their blood.
If your Sphynx cat has diabetes, they may need to receive insulin shots, and some veterinarians will recommend putting them on a strict, regular diet. So, in these cases, you should avoid extra treats altogether.
Digestive Issues and Intolerances
Another consideration to make when feeding your Sphynx cat is that they may have certain digestive issues and intolerances. Sensitive stomachs and sensitive skin are also possibilities. Some commercial cat foods are designed to help cats that suffer from sensitive stomach issues or sensitive skin.
These issues can be easier to see on Sphynx cats, since their coats aren’t thick enough to hide any skin issues. But, digestive problems can be harder to spot.
All cats have their own individual preferences. Some may prefer fish proteins, whilst others prefer chicken. Some may love the taste of tuna, and others may be more interested in the yogurt you eat!
You will find that they suddenly stop wanting to eat their usual food sometimes too. This is totally normal and a natural behavior that encourages a wild animal to find a healthy variety of food sources. To avoid annoyance and waste I usually rotate at least two or three different brands of food pouches that I know my cat will eat. I swap between them on a weekly basis, to keep his interest and make sure he doesn’t start refusing one of them and leave me with a load of meals I can’t use!
What About Treats?
Treats are a funny thing. They’re great for training and bonding, but depending on what you choose not so great for weight or dental health. The best way to bypass the bad and get just the good is to use meat based treats.
Tiny bits of unseasoned meat or cheese can achieve your recall or cuddle time aims, without the dreaded downsides. It can be fun to try out new flavors with your cat too, so use a new brand or type of food as treats initially to spark their interest.
What Do Sphynx Cats Eat?
Sphynx cats have high metabolic rates and need plenty of high protein food to keep their body temperatures at the right level.
They still need the same carnivorous diet as other cat breeds. But, make sure you monitor your cat closely to stop them from putting on too much excess weight!
If you’re ever unsure about your Sphynx’s health or diet, your veterinarian should always be your first call.