How to Care for a Hairless Cat


Hairless cats, also known as sphynx cats, are some of the most loveable cats. Though they can be incredibly loyal, they are also pretty high maintenance. Taking care of a hairless cat can involve a lot of hard work since they don’t have any fur to protect them from outside elements. If you’re thinking of adopting a sphynx cat, here are a few tips for hairless cat care so you’re fully prepared to welcome this affectionate breed into your home.

How to bathe a sphynx cat:

The first thing you should know about caring for a sphynx cat is that they need frequent baths. Fur helps separate oils and sweat from the skin of other animals. Because of their lack of fur, sphynx cats have incredibly oily and sweaty skin.¹ This means this breed needs weekly baths to maintain healthy and clean skin. Use warm, not hot, water and a medicated pet shampoo without a powerful scent. You can also reach out to your vet for more specific recommendations.

When bathing your hairless cat, double-check that you’ve washed out all of the shampoo as any left over shampoo residue could end up bothering their delicate skin later when it dries.² You should also pat your cat completely dry immediately after their bath. You don’t want them getting cold from any leftover moisture.

Hairless cat grooming:

Though hairless cats don’t need their fur brushed, they still need basic cat grooming such as nail clipping, ear cleaning, and acne care. With their exposed skin, they are more prone to build-ups in these specific areas so it’s important to keep your eye on them and groom when needed.

Ear cleaning for hairless cats

Sphynx cats also don’t have any hair in their ears. This can cause a lot of build up, eventually leading to complete blockage of the ear canal. To clean it, be sure to use a soft cloth or a wet wipe and gently swipe inside your cat’s ears.³ Cleaning their ears after a bath would be best, because then the wax will have softened. From here, take a Q-tip and gently clean the inside of your cat’s ears. You can also use an ear cleanser specifically made for cats, but don’t use cleansers for humans. Always check with your vet before using any type of cleaning device on your cat to avoid any complications.

Clipping the nails on your hairless cat

Sphynx cats don’t even have hair on their feet. This means they are susceptible to dirt, dust, and any other kind of blockage getting lodged in between their nails.³ Regularly clipping their nails helps keep their nails clean. Be sure to use a cat nail clipper and avoid going too far down on their claws to avoid any injury. If you are unsure, contact your vet and have them show you how to properly clip your cat’s nails.

Acne care for sphynx cats

Due to direct contact with outside elements, sphynx cats are prone to acne, just like humans. Dirt can build up in their skin and result in blackheads. Cleaning blackheads is vital to avoiding any future skin issues. Scrub the breakout lightly with warm water and a mild antibacterial soap. Ask your vet for any recommendations and avoid using human products that could potentially damage or irritate your cat’s skin.

Maintaining a sphynx cat’s body temperature:

Sphynx are incredibly vulnerable to hot and cold temperatures. Maintaining body temperature for a hairless cat can be challenging for every season and household. One of the reasons sphynx are so cuddly is because they love warming up from your body heat. One way to ensure they stay warm in cold temperatures is to provide plenty of blankets for them to wrap themselves in. You can also provide a heated cat igloo for added warmth.

Some people like to dress their cats up but it’s important to not force this on your cat. Some cats love clothes while others will resist. Pay attention to their behavior when dressing them up. Since their skin is so oily and sweaty, you will need to wash their clothes often.²

Sphynx can also overheat quite easily so be sure to provide plenty of cool air on those hot and humid days. Another way that sphynx can keep warm is by their fast metabolism.² This means they will need to be fed more frequently to accommodate this quick metabolism. Sphynx are also known to be very open-minded eaters, so as long as you feed them a nutritious meal, such as Avoderm Natural ® Grain-Free Cat food, your cat will have the necessary diet for their quick metabolism to keep them warm.

Are hairless cats friendly?

What makes the sphynx such a devoted pet is their temperament. Sphynx cats need a ton of affection, socialization, and attention. If you aren’t able to constantly tend to your hairless cat, they may become heartbroken and depressed. An easy way to avoid loneliness in your hairless cat is by giving them a companion.³ Sphynx aren’t only friendly to their owners, they’re also great with other cats and make great friends with dogs, too.

Sphynx cats are some of the best companions a cat owner could have. But this unbreakable bond does take a bit of work to develop. These tips will help you take care of your hairless companion so you can enjoy many happy years together.


  1. Brown, Jackie. “How to Care for Hairless Cats.” Catster, 30 Apr. 2018.
  2. “Sphynx Cats: Hairless Cat Facts and How to Care for Them.” Holiday Barn, Holiday Pet Resorts, 7 May 2018.
  3. “7 Important Tips to Take Care of the Really Peculiar Sphynx Cat.” CatAppy, CatAppy, 20 Feb. 2018.

AvoDerm Natural® is a registered trademark of Central Garden & Pet Company.

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