Pet Keen is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

Home > Cats > How to Groom Your Sphynx Cat: 8 Tips to Make Things Easy

How to Groom Your Sphynx Cat: 8 Tips to Make Things Easy

sphynx on a tub

Vet approved

Dr. Lorna Whittemore Photo

Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Lorna Whittemore

Veterinarian, MRCVS

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

Learn more »

Sphynx cats are a special kind of cat breed. The most obvious physical trait about them is their lack of fur. These cats are 100% hairless! Some people think this makes Sphynx cats cleaner, but it’s actually the opposite.

Cat fur traps dirt, and debris and prevents it from reaching the skin. Without it, all the grime sticks to the skin. Also the natural oils-sebum that are produced by the skin would normally be distributed along the skin and hair.  Without the hair Sphynx are prone to becoming very greasy. This is why Sphynx cats need a regular bathing routine. Otherwise, they smell bad and develop skin issues.

That said, Sphynx cats do their part to regularly groom themselves, just like any other cat. But Sphinxes have several skin folds that are difficult to reach with their spiky tongue.

That’s where you come in. Your Sphynx needs your help for a proper bath. If you haven’t bathed your Sphynx before, don’t worry. We’re here to help you out with our top eight grooming tips.


The 8 Tips to Groom Your Sphynx Cat

1. Bathe Them Weekly

You want to wash your kitty weekly to ensure the skin stays clean and healthy. Imagine if you only bathed once a month. You would smell horrible and feel just as bad. It’s the same with your Sphynx.

You shouldn’t need to bathe your Sphynx more than once per week. Otherwise, you might dry out the skin. But if you need to spot clean your cat, you can use pet wipes for a gentle cleanse.

Sphynx bath
Image Credit: Nils Jacobi, Shutterstock

2. Use a Cat-Friendly Shampoo

It’s a good idea to use a species-specific shampoo on your pet to avoid skin irritation, especially with a Sphynx. Cat-friendly shampoos are designed to wash your cat’s skin without drying it out and washing off flea and tick medication.

When selecting a good cat shampoo, choose a shampoo that’s fragrance-free, hypoallergenic, and designed for sensitive skin.

3. Thoroughly Rinse and Dry

Bathing a cat is tricky. We often want to get it over with as soon as possible and forget to rinse and dry our kitties properly. Shampoos can be difficult to rinse, even on bare skin. But if you don’t rinse properly, the shampoo could irritate your cat’s skin, even with a certified cat shampoo. The same goes for drying your cat after bath time.

So, take your time and ensure all the soap and water are off your pet’s skin.

drying sphynx kitten
Image By: Yuriy Golub, Shutterstock

4. Keep an Eye on Acne

Since your Sphynx can’t protect its skin from dirt and oil, it’s likely to get acne from time to time. Regular baths will help prevent breakouts, but acne and blackheads appear, even with a solid grooming routine.

Gently wash the area with warm water and a pet-friendly antibacterial shampoo, wipes or cleanser. If the area doesn’t clear after a few days, a trip to the vet is the best course of action.

5. Don’t Forget the Ears

Sphynx cats don’t have fur inside their ears, just like the rest of their bodies. In fact, all cats need help cleaning their ears from time to time. Otherwise, wax builds up and traps dirt, making the ears prone to infection.

An easy way to avoid this is to wipe out the ears with a cotton ball and ear cleaner. Remember to always use a cotton ball and never a Q-tip to avoid injuring the eardrum.

person cleaning the ears of sphynx cat
Image By: Nils Jacobi, Shutterstock

6. Try to Trim Nails

Not every cat owner is comfortable with trimming their cat’s nails and that’s okay. If this is you, you’ll need to schedule regular nail trims with your groomer or vet office. That way, your Sphynx doesn’t risk cutting its skin open when it scratches. This also keeps bath time safe and prevents your Sphynx from catching its nails on the carpet and furniture.

7. Moisturize

Moisturizing isn’t just for humans- Sphynx cats need to keep their skin healthy, too. For Sphynx cats that have dry, irritated skin, try moisturizing the skin with a vet-formulated moisturizing cream for cats, or a teaspoon of organic coconut oil. Moisturizing your cat’s skin will provide relief from constant scratching, itching, and licking, ensuring a healthier and happier cat.

You may not need to do this for your Sphynx. But if your cat is experiencing itchy skin, it’s worth a try.

Sphynx cat
Image By: Igor Lukin, Pixabay

8. Keep Your Sphynx Warm

This may not seem like a grooming tip, but keeping your Sphynx warm directly affects their skin. Without fur, Sphynx cats are more likely to sunbathe to keep warm, which can dry their skin or even cause sunburn. Providing blankets, coats, heating pads, and cozy kitty beds will deter your Sphynx from spending too much time in the sun.


How to Bathe a Hairless Cat

Bathing a cat is never easy. Unlike a dog, it’s hard to control a cat when there’s soap and water involved. It’s not always a fun experience, but it must be done when owning a Sphynx. Whether you’re doing a dry bath or wet bath, look at these tips to make bath time smoother for you and your kitty.

Additional Tips for Bathing Your Sphynx:

  • Timing Is Everything: Don’t bathe your cat when it’s energetic, like after eating a meal.
  • Provide a Non-Slick Surface: Cats become unsettled if they don’t have a secure material to sink their claws into. Lay down a towel or mat below your cat’s paws to provide support.
  • Don’t Let the Water Run: Running water will scare your cat and try to escape.
  • Don’t Forget to Clean the Face: Gently massage the face with a washcloth. Be careful with the soap.
  • Offer Treats: During and after bath time, offer your cat its favorite treat to turn the experience into something positive.
  • Leave Your Cat Alone Afterward: Sphynx cats typically like bath time, but yours might be the exception. In any case, give your cat some space after the bath. Your cat will cuddle you later.



Bathing your Sphynx weekly is part of owning this unique breed. You have to be up for the task if you want your Sphynx to live a healthy lifestyle. Thankfully, most Sphynx cats love the water, so bath time shouldn’t be as much of a hassle as with other cats.

The biggest hassle is sticking to a bathing routine, and our tips can help you in that area. Follow the tips we’ve shared with you today, and you’ll find that your Sphynx looks and feels better.

Featured Image Credit: Digital Photo and Design, Pixabay

Our vets

Want to talk to a vet online?

Whether you have concerns about your dog, cat, or other pet, trained vets have the answers!

Our vets