Do Sphynx Cats Die Young? (VET Answer)

When it comes to the Sphynx cat, the question of whether they die young or live a long life is one that owners of these unique felines often ask. 

The answer is not straightforward, so let’s look at the average life expectancy of a Sphynx and some possible reasons for early death.

Frisky Sphynx Cat In Love With Human Dad | Bondi Vet
Sphynx cats do not necessarily die young.
Factors such as genetics, diet, environment, and healthcare play a role in their lifespan.
With proper care, Sphynx cats can live up to 15 years or more.
Regular veterinary check-ups and preventive care are crucial for their well-being.
Understanding and addressing potential health issues early can help extend their lifespan.

Life Expectancy

The average life expectancy of a Sphynx cat is between 12 and 15 years. The oldest Sphynx cat lived to be around 20 years old before it passed away, though this is not an average age for the breed.

The most important thing you can do to keep your Sphynx cat happy and healthy is to keep it well fed and groomed. 

If you have any questions about helping your kitten reach its full potential, visit our forums on Catster or Reddit!

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How To Determine The Cause Of Death

If you’re worried about your Sphynx dying young, one of the best ways to determine if it’s due to a genetic issue is by observing your cat’s behavior. 

You can tell if your cat is sick or dying by looking at its symptoms and behaviors. If you notice changes in your Sphynx’s health or behaviour that are out of the ordinary, take it to a veterinarian as soon as possible to get an accurate diagnosis.

If your kitten has recently passed away and you want to know the cause, it’s important for you to understand how veterinarians determine whether or not there was an underlying medical condition causing the death of their patient so they can prevent future deaths from occurring in their practice and ensure that cats are receiving proper care before being adopted into new homes.

AutopsyA thorough examination of the body to determine the cause of death through internal examination, laboratory tests, and medical history review.
Toxicology ScreeningAnalysis of bodily fluids and tissues to identify the presence of drugs, toxins, or chemicals that may have contributed to the cause of death.
Medical Records ReviewA comprehensive assessment of the deceased individual’s medical history, including previous illnesses, treatments, and medications, to determine if any underlying conditions may have caused or contributed to their death.
Forensic InvestigationA multidisciplinary approach involving crime scene analysis, evidence collection, and examination of the body to gather information and determine the cause of death, particularly in cases where foul play is suspected.
Genetic TestingExamination of an individual’s DNA to identify genetic mutations or disorders that may have played a role in their cause of death, especially in cases of inherited conditions.

Urinary Tract Infections And Kidney Problems

Urinary tract infections are a common problem in female cats, especially those with spaying. They can also be a problem for male cats and even neutered males.

Urinary tract infections can have serious complications, including kidney damage and bladder stones, but there are ways to prevent them or treat them if they do occur.

If your cat has symptoms of a urinary tract infection such as frequent urination, straining to urinate, blood in their urine and/or unusual behavior after going outside to use the bathroom (for example, urinating on something other than the litter box), you should take him or her to the vet immediately!

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Heart Failure Or Cardiovascular Problems

Heart disease is the most common cause of death in cats.

It’s important to know that heart failure can be caused by a variety of factors, but two of the most common are:

Heartworms. These parasites live in your cat’s heart, lungs, and blood vessels (and other organs). If untreated, they can cause serious health problems including an enlarged heart and congestive heart failure.

High blood pressure (hypertension). Hypertension is when your cat’s arteries are too stiff or narrow because of plaque buildup on the walls. This condition may lead to heart failure if left untreated.

Diabetes Mellitus

If you have a Sphynx and it’s acting strangely, there are a few conditions to look out for. One of the most serious is diabetes mellitus, which can be fatal if not treated. 

There are two types of diabetes: type 1 and type 2. Type 1 is an autoimmune disease where the pancreas doesn’t produce insulin anymore (you can read more about the symptoms here). Type 2 is caused by lifestyle factors such as obesity or inactivity, which cause insulin resistance in your body (you can read more about the symptoms here). 

In both cases, there may not be any visible symptoms at first but over time they will eventually present themselves. 

The best thing you can do for your cat if any of these conditions strike is to take them to an emergency vet clinic immediately—they’ll need immediate medical care!

Wondering about the average life expectancy of Sphynx cats? Learn about the factors that influence their lifespan and how to promote their well-being by checking out our article on What Is the Average Life Expectancy of a Sphynx Cat?

Kidney Failure And Renal Issues

Kidney failure is the number one cause of death in cats and can have a devastating effect on your Sphynx cat. 

Kidney failure occurs when one or both of your cat’s kidneys fail to perform their essential functions: filtering waste from their blood and producing urine. When this happens, toxins build up in the body, causing major health problems and even death.

The most common causes of kidney failure include diabetes, high blood pressure (hypertension), and hyperthyroidism (an overactive thyroid gland). Your veterinarian may be able to help manage these conditions through medication or surgery. 

However, there are no cures for these diseases at this time so it’s important to monitor your Sphynx cat’s physical condition regularly so that you can catch any signs early on if they occur so that treatment can begin sooner rather than later. 

You should also be aware of other symptoms such as increased thirstiness; frequent urination; excessive eating or drinking; weight loss without any medical cause; vomiting or diarrhea; weakness/lethargy/loss of appetite

Chronic Kidney DiseaseProgressive loss of kidney function over time, leading to reduced filtration and waste removal. Common symptoms include fatigue, swelling, and changes in urination patterns.
Acute Kidney InjurySudden and temporary loss of kidney function, often caused by severe infections, dehydration, or certain medications. Symptoms may include decreased urine output, swelling, and confusion.
Renal Calculi (Kidney Stones)Hard mineral and salt deposits that form in the kidneys. They can cause intense pain, blood in urine, and difficulty passing urine.
Polycystic Kidney DiseaseA genetic disorder where fluid-filled cysts develop in the kidneys, leading to enlargement and eventual loss of function. Symptoms may include abdominal pain, high blood pressure, and frequent urinary tract infections.

Hyperthyroidism And Thyroid Problems

Hyperthyroidism is a common cause of death in cats, and it’s a disease that can be treated. Thyroid disease is actually quite common in cats, but hyperthyroidism is less so. 

The thyroid gland produces hormones that regulate your cat’s metabolism, which means its overactive state can cause serious health problems.

Thyroid problems are often treatable with medication and dietary changes; however, if left untreated they may lead to heart failure or other complications that may result in death. 

If your cat has any signs of illness (such as extreme weight loss or vomiting), you should consult with your veterinarian immediately.

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Liver Disease

Liver disease is a common cause of death in Sphynx cats. Liver disease can be caused by toxins in the environment, such as mold or pesticides, as well as infectious agents like Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV). 

Unfortunately, liver disease is often difficult to detect in cats because they are extremely sensitive to any change in activity level or weight; therefore, it’s important that your cat has regular checkups with your vet and you watch them closely for changes. 

One way to prevent liver disease is through vaccination; there are vaccines available for feline leukemia and feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV), both serious diseases that can cause health problems for your cat. 

In addition to vaccination, keeping your Sphynx out of contact with toxic chemicals will help prevent illness as well.

Pancreatitis And Pancreatic Insufficiency

Pancreatitis is an inflammation of the pancreas that affects the digestive system. Pancreatic insufficiency, on the other hand, is a condition where the pancreas does not produce enough digestive enzymes. Both of these conditions can be linked to Sphynx kittens.

Pancreatitis and pancreatic insufficiency are often linked because they result in similar symptoms, but both are caused by different causes. It’s important to get your kitten diagnosed with both so you know what kind of treatment he needs and how long he will need it for.

PancreatitisInflammation of the pancreas, often caused by alcohol abuse, gallstones, or certain medications. Symptoms include abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting.
Pancreatic InsufficiencyA condition where the pancreas does not produce enough digestive enzymes, leading to difficulty in properly digesting food. Common symptoms include weight loss, diarrhea, and nutrient deficiencies.

Cancer (Neoplasia)

Cancer is one of the leading causes of death in cats, and it can affect any cat regardless of its breed. 

Cancer is caused by changes in the cells that grow out of control. Your cat may be at risk for developing cancer if there is a family history of cancer or if he or she lives with other cats who have had cancer but these are not definite signs that your kitty will develop tumors at some point in his life.

Cancer has many different forms, but all cancers begin when one cell begins to divide without control or order. 

As these abnormal cells continue to form, they crowd out normal tissue until it becomes impossible for your pet to function normally. Unfortunately, most cancers can’t be cured once they’ve formed; rather than treating them directly, veterinarians focus on finding signs early so they can eliminate them before they spread too far (and become fatal).

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Feline Infectious Peritonitis (Fip)

Feline infectious peritonitis (FIP) is a fatal disease that can affect cats of all ages. It’s caused by a coronavirus called FIPV. Cats can become infected with FIPV when they come into contact with other cats that have the virus.


It’s not uncommon for Sphynx cats to die young, but there are a lot of reasons why this could happen. 

Unfortunately, it’s hard to tell what the cause is without an autopsy performed by a qualified veterinarian. If your cat dies suddenly and you suspect that he may have died from a disease that was previously undetected, get in touch with your vet immediately. 

Your vet may be able to help determine if something wrong with their body before it became fatal or if this type of illness can be prevented in future generations by testing parents or offspring for genetic markers associated with disease susceptibility.

Further Reading

Sphynx Cat Lifespan: How Long Do They Live?: Learn about the average lifespan of Sphynx cats and factors that can influence their longevity.

6 Common Sphynx Cat Health Problems: Discover some common health issues that Sphynx cats may experience and how to address them effectively.

How Long Do Sphynx Cats Live?: Explore the lifespan of Sphynx cats and get insights into their overall health and care requirements.

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How long do Sphynx cats typically live?

The average lifespan of Sphynx cats ranges from 12 to 16 years, but with proper care, some may live even longer.

What are some common health problems in Sphynx cats?

Sphynx cats may be prone to certain health issues such as skin conditions, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), respiratory problems, dental issues, and gastrointestinal disorders.

How can I ensure the longevity of my Sphynx cat?

To promote a long and healthy life for your Sphynx cat, provide a balanced diet, regular veterinary check-ups, proper grooming, a safe and enriched environment, and lots of love and attention.

Are Sphynx cats more susceptible to sunburn?

Yes, due to their lack of fur, Sphynx cats are more prone to sunburn. It is essential to protect them from direct sunlight by providing shade and using pet-safe sunscreen when necessary.

Do Sphynx cats require any special care?

Yes, Sphynx cats require special care compared to other breeds. They need regular bathing to maintain skin health, as well as protection from extreme temperatures to keep them comfortable.