Sunday, January 15, 2012

Sphynx Cats Eat, Eat, Eat ...

by Autumn-Argus

Sphynx, like any other cat, are obligate carnivores, which means that they need muscle-based meats in their diets. They have a higher than normal body temperature, have no fur coat and consequently they eat quite a bit and often.  While you are sound asleep in the middle of the night, these cats are at the kibble bowl gnawing away.  They love to lounge in the windows for the sunlight during the day, play around, eat and rest some more. Their metabolisms burn off calories faster.  So what do you feed your loving cuddly bares?

I am not a feline nutritionist, nor am I a veterinarian, but I have bred, shown and lived with them for over twenty years and have learned from my experience what works with these cats. Surely there are others that may debate a point or two, but I am not writing this to debate the "purrfect" Sphynx diet, just what works for us.  I am so convinced of what I feed, that I include 90 day contractual diet recommendations with any Sphynx I place. I do this because it is important to the health of the animal if the new caregiver is obligated to follow a diet for at least 90 days.  I am hopeful the pet I placed stands a better chance of avoiding dietary issues down the road and the caregiver that gives the diet a chance may not switch over to something else.

I have tried numerous brands of dry cat food. I keep coming back to Royal Canin Special 33 because my Sphynx love it and it loves their systems.  It has Taurine in it and is easily digestible. Although theoretically, they might get enough protein from plant material to exist, they need the amino acid Taurine in order to thrive. Taurine is found primarily in the muscle meat of animals. I have a multiple cat environment, so I have several “feeding stations” located in my home. I free feed and just keep the bowls from becoming empty and do not overfill to prevent the product from becoming stale. They like it fresh and available.

Raw meat is especially important to cats and especially Sphynx. There are quite a number of articles in support of this fact and I have them throughout my website.  If you are not sure about feeding raw meat, then I encourage you to read up on the facts before you think this is bad. Okay, I do not buy high priced raw meat from healthy pet food stores. Why? It is a waste of money. I buy lean ground chuck from the grocery store and serve it at room temperature to my Sphynx three or four times a week. They devour it!  It boosts their immune systems and gives them a bump in their metabolisms. Do not cook it at all, go raw broken into small chunks. Do not free feed it or leave it out to spoil.  I buy five pound tubes and break it down into small tubs for easy handling throughout the week. These carnivores need the meat and the taurine, and this supplies it.

I also provide yogurt and cottage cheese once or twice a week to bump up their immune systems. There is nothing clever here, just plain yogurt and small curd cottage cheese served on a small plate. Try it and you will be glad you did.

Now for those Sphynx that seem to be off their game and has not eaten in the last 24 hours, I use a large syringe and force them baby food meat right out of the jar.  I do this lovingly and try to get at least half a jar in them. If you have a couple jars of this around the kitchen, you may very well save a life until you can get to the vet if there is a medical issue causing them not to eat.

There you have it - a simple diet that works and keeps your Sphynx healthy.  After all, is that not what we all want for our loving suede hot bods?