Here you can find valuable Sphynx information and resources.
One of the most common questions we get is "What is the best diet to feed my Sphynx"? The biggest factor in your felines health besides genetics and environment is diet. Diet is the foundation of your cats health and its key to our Sphynx thriving in their every day life. Cats are predators that evolved to eat a diet of raw meat. Its only since the late 60's early 70's that we have tried to feed cats a diet based on foods unsuitable for a strict carnivore. Cats have absolutely no dietary requirements for carbohydrates. They evolved to get almost all of their fluid from the food they eat and that lack of moisture in dry food is responsible for so many kidney issues in cats. Grains, vegetable and plant matter, highly processed and cooked meat products are not what cats are designed to eat and they have been directly linked to diet related diseases. These types of diets have been the reason so many of our rescues have come to us with severe stomach issues. We strive to feed raw to all of our rescues and a raw diet has been the answer that so many of our rescues needed. We strongly advocate the same for all cats. A raw diet is always best for any feline and a good quality canned food with the least amount of grains, veggies and plant matter is second. Dry food is never ideal for any cat. Here are a few resources for information on feline nutrition.
What to look for in a Sphynx Breeder
Here is a list we put together to help you find a reputable Sphynx breeder that will do their best to provide you with a healthy, happy and long living Sphynx.
A Reputable Sphynx Breeder will scan their breeding cats for Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM) annually at a minimum. They will also know the HCM history for generations back of their breeding cats.* (See footnote)
A Reputable Sphynx Breeder is willing to work with an out crossing program and will work with only breeders who particiate in HCM scanning, genetic testing as well as testing for pathogens.
A Reputable Sphnyx Breeder will breed every pairing to better the health of the Sphnyx breed as a whole. This includes health and the look of the breed to match the breed standard.
A Reputable Sphynx Breeder will educate any potential buyers of HCM and what is involved in the owning of a Sphynx including routine care.
A Reputable Sphynx Breeder will do early alter of their kittens and retired cats are altered before being placed in a pet home.
A Reputable Sphynx Breeder places cats/kittens by contract.
A Reputable Sphynx Breeder places cats/kittens with a health guarantee for longer than one year.
A Reputable Sphynx Breeder insists and contracts the return of a cat/kitten should the purchaser be unable to keep the cat/kitten.
A Reputable Sphynx Breeder fully interviews prospective owners to ensure the cat/kitten are going to a knowledgeable and safe home.
A Reputable Sphynx Breeder happily answers questions regarding the breed and his/her breeding program.
A Reputable Sphynx Breeder will happily show proof of negative HCM scans of breeding cats, genetic testing and testing for pathogens (upper respiratory and internal).
A Reputable Sphynx Breeder does not have more cats/kittens then he/she is able to keep clean, healthy and socialized.
A Reputable Sphynx Breeder spends individual time with each of his cats/kittens
A Reputable Sphynx Breeder is concerned with temperament as well as the health of his/ her cats/kittens.
A Reputable Sphynx Breeder makes him/herself available for advice and help to other breeders, and throughout the life of the cats/kittens he/she has placed.
A Reputable Sphynx Breeder understands the importance of and feeds a high quality diet.
In addition to the above information CFA has suggested the following: Try to find out as much about the kitten's history as possible. If you are buying from a breeder, make sure he or she has a good reputation. Ask for the names of several people who own cats from the breeder that can be used as references. Ask if you can speak with the breeder's veterinarian. If possible, visit the breeder's home. It is most important that kittens are raised in a clean, healthy environment with plenty of space to play. Remember that whole Tom cats in a cattery will tend to spray, which may result in a slight odor in the home that is not out of the ordinary. If, however, you find the home or cattery has an overwhelming foul smelling odor, just politely end your conversation and leave. Ask if there are any illnesses or inherited disorders that are common to the breed of cat you are contemplating. Ask about the longevity of the kitten's ancestors. Make sure the breeder provides you with a health record listing the vaccinations that have already been given. Most breeders make kittens available between twelve and sixteen weeks of age. After twelve weeks, kittens have had their basic inoculations and have also developed the physical and social stability needed for a new environment.
SOAR will not endorse or give suggestions on Sphynx breeders but we do promote the health and future health of the Sphynx breed as a whole. Please help us in promoting only responsible breeding of these wonderful cats. There are far too many back yard breeders out there that have continued to breed unhealthy (including but not limited to herpes, FIP, and HCM) cats due to unethical breeding practices.
*The best that Sphynx breeders can do at this time is simply work to reduce the impact that has taken place in the past. Breeders can help eliminate known HCM postive cats and their offspring by doing outcross, continuing to scan, and support only other breeders who do the same. No breeder or line is immune from HCM but what is important is that the breeder knows the history of their breeding cats lineage, immediately alter any breeding cats that have HCM or other disease come up in their lineage, and they scan their breeding cats often.
Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM)
Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy is the most commonly diagnosed cardiac disease in cats and its extremely prevalent in the Sphynx breed.
Feline Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM) is a condition that causes the muscular walls of a cat's heart to thicken, decreasing the heart's efficiency and sometimes creating symptoms in other parts of the body. Although the cause of HCM has not been clearly identified, the fact that the condition is more prevalent in certain breeds (including Maine Coon, Ragdoll, British Shorthair, Sphynx, Charteux and Persian Cats) and that mutations of several cardiac (heart) genes have even identified in some cats with this disease suggests that genetics plays a role.
While the disease's effects and prognosis (predicted outcome) may vary considerably, proper diagnosis and treatment can decrease the chance that a cat with HCM will experience certain symptoms and can improve his or her quality of life.
Interested in helping with HCM research in Sphynx? Dr Kate Meurs is taking blood samples to help her research to find the genetic marker for HCM in the Sphynx Breed. If you want to see if your Sphynx can help her research please follow this link to the website on the study https://cvm.ncsu.edu/genetics/sphynx-cat-hypertrophic-cardiomyopathy-study/
The sphynx breed, although hairless, does require some special maintenance and grooming.