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Sphynx Cat Grooming: 7 Vet-Reviewed Tips & Tricks

Cat Taking a Bath
Image Credit: CC0 Public Domain, pickpik
Last Updated on November 16, 2023 by Christian Adams
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Vet approved

	Dr. Lorna Whittemore Photo

Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Lorna Whittemore

Vet, MRCVS

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

Learn more »

Hairless cats, like the Sphynx, are popular for a variety of reasons. Along with their friendly and sociable demeanor, Sphynx cats are easy to care for with their hairless coats.

This doesn’t mean they’re without any grooming needs, however. You may not have fur to brush and detangle, but hairless skin requires more care than you may think. Here are seven tips and tricks for grooming your Sphynx cat.

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The 7 Tips &  Tricks for Sphynx Cat Grooming

1. Bathe Your Cat Frequently

Difficulty: Moderate
Cost:$
Special supplies:Medicated cat-safe shampoo

With most animals, fur helps to separate oils and sweat from the skin. Without fur, the Sphynx cat can have incredibly oily and sweaty skin that requires frequent bathing. Sphynx cats can need frequent bathing from at least once a week upto once monthly to maintain healthy and clean skin. It does depend on your individual cat. Be sure to use warm water and a medicated cat-safe shampoo.


2. Dry Your Cat Thoroughly

Difficulty: Easy
Cost:$
Special supplies:Towel

After bathing your cat, make sure that you’ve rinsed all the shampoo off to keep your cat’s delicate skin from becoming irritated. It’s important to pat your cat dry immediately after the bath to keep it from catching a chill. Since your cat has no fur, it should be easy to dry it off with just a towel.


3. Clean Your Cat’s Ears

close up blue eyed hairless sphynx cat hepper pod bed

Difficulty: Moderate
Cost:$
Special supplies:Pet-safe wet wipes, cat-safe ear solution

Like the rest of their bodies, Sphynx cats don’t have hair inside their ears. This can cause excessive wax buildup, and if you don’t clean it out regularly, your cat could be more prone to ear infections. You can use a soft, damp cloth, pet-safe wet wipes, or a cat-safe ear solution. Make sure you only clean the wax that’s present on the outermost part of the canal, and never stick anything inside your cat’s ears.


4. Clip Your Cat’s Nails

Difficulty: Moderate
Cost:$
Special supplies:Nail clippers

Some cats don’t tolerate having their nails clipped, but a Sphynx’s agreeable personality means they may be more receptive to this grooming activity. Like the rest of their bodies, Sphynx cats don’t have hair on their paws and they’re prone to having dirt and dust accumulate around their nails. Regularly clipping your cat’s nails not only keeps them a healthy length, but it gives you an opportunity to examine the nails for dirt, debris, and foreign objects. If you’re not comfortable trimming your cat’s nails yourself, schedule an appointment with a groomer or your vet’s office.


5. Watch for Acne

Difficulty: Moderate
Cost:$
Special supplies:Cat-safe antibacterial soap

Sphynx cat skin has direct contact with the elements, so they’re prone to acne, like humans. When dirt builds up on the skin, it can cause blackheads that are irritating and may become inflamed. You can keep blackheads at bay by cleaning your cat’s skin gently with water and antibacterial soap. Be sure to use cat-safe antibacterial soap and avoid any human acne products or cleansers. If the acne becomes a problem, speak to your vet about medicated shampoos or soaps to help.


6. Keep Your Cat Warm

sphynx cat lying on sofa's arm in a sun spot
Image Credit: Erin Agius, Unsplash
Difficulty: Easy
Cost:$
Special supplies:Blankets, sweaters

In the cold months, Sphynx cats need extra blankets and warm beds to keep themselves comfortable. You can use heated cat beds or put your cat in sweaters or coats to conserve body heat. Make sure that you introduce your cat to sweaters slowly since this may not feel comfortable or natural at first. You’ll also need to wash your cat’s sweaters regularly to remove dirt and oil buildup.


7. Use Sunscreen

Difficulty: Easy
Cost:$
Special supplies:Cat-safe sunscreen

Sphynx cats enjoy sunbathing, which is great for keeping them warm but may leave them vulnerable to sunburn and skin cancer. Make sure you limit your cat’s exposure to direct sunlight and apply a cat-safe sunscreen liberally to protect it from sunburn.

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Are Sphynx Cats Good Pets?

Sphynx cats are not only unique to look at, but they’re one of the most affectionate cat breeds. They enjoy socialization, attention, and time spent with their human companions. In fact, if you don’t spend enough time with your Sphynx cat, it can become depressed. Sphynx cats also get along with other cats and dogs. There is some controversy surrounding breeding of hairless animals with respect to the coat being an important feature providing warmth, protection and being involved in communication.

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Conclusion

Sphynx cats are a common hairless breed and popular for their easy-going temperament. Despite having no long coat and fur to maintain (no hairballs!), Sphynx cats have their own grooming needs that you should prepare for before bringing one home.


Featured Image Credit: CC0 Public Domain, pickpik

About the Author

Christian Adams
Christian Adams
Christian is the Editor-in-Chief of Excited Cats and one of its original and primary contributors. A lifelong cat lover, now based in South East Asia, Christian and his wife are the proud parents of an 11-year-old son and four rescue cats: Trixie, Chloe, Sparky, and Chopper.

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