Sphynx Cat Care & Health

You can download your own pdf copy of my booklet -  Your Kitten -  Handbook for New Owners (coming soon)


A Sphynx cat has some specific care needs which must be catered for by its human family. 

On this page, you will find a series of headings which intends to cover every aspect of the provision of care for your Sphynx kitten/cat. We discuss different foods and suggest how to safely make any changes. And we consider the importance of water and even the kind of bowl to use. Next we move on to cat litter and where to place the litter box then move on to your cats bedding, its toys and then to the importance of initial and annual health checks, vaccinations, microchipping and neutering which includes discussion relating to the age of sexual maturity and what you can expect from an un-neutered male or female should you decide not to neuter.

All information given on this website is from my own experience gained from caring for my own Sphynx cat and all the other cats I've been fortunate to care for during the last almost 40 years. I am neither a pet nutritionist nor am I veterinary trained. I have learned so much from other Sphynx cat owners and owe them a debt of gratitude for their guidance especially in the early days. I keep on learning. 

There's a lot of information on this page. I sincerely hope you will find it to be invaluable.


The Sphynx cat has a higher metabolic rate than other cats do and so need access to plenty of high-quality food which will be able to provide them with sufficient calories and nutrients to not only keep their energy levels up for all the play they do but also to keep their bodies healthy and warm. They really are like mini-hot-water bottles.

You should expect your Sphynx cat to need more food than other breeds of cat you might keep. They tend to remain slim by nature, however, over-feeding of any cat no matter what its breed is not recommended. Keep them lean for optimum health (thus this will also keep your future vet bills down).

Water First

Your cat must always have access to plenty of clean and fresh water to encourage adequate hydration. Encourage drinking to protect the health of the kidney and promote good health throughout life.

Your cat needs only water and must not be given cows milk to drink. Even as a treat.

In the wild, a cat does not eat in the same place that it drinks and so ideally you should keep your water source(s) and feed stations separate. 

Many cats prefer to drink from moving water and so a pet water fountain is useful. Unless that is, you intend to leave a tap running!

I discovered that while Noodle does indeed like running water she was choosing to ignore the fountain I have provided. Instead, her clean water seemed to be coming from the toilet bowl. I now ensure that I keep the lids firmly closed.

She will also jump up to drink from the tap if she hears me running it in the bathroom or kitchen and also from a glass of water if I have one myself. The best way I have found to ensure she drinks as much as possible is to place several water sources around the house as well as her fountain all of which I clean and refill daily.


Bowls used should ideally be either made from ceramic or stainless steel. You should avoid plastic containers and bowls as these encourage feline acne (blackheads and cysts) around the face/chin/muzzle making the issue if your cat is a sufferer much worse or more prevalent.

  • Water (and food) bowls must be washed daily with hot soapy water and rinsed well. 
  • Don't just rinse and refill

Taking Home & Feeding a New Kitten/Cat

A new kitten will have been fully weaned by the breeder. This means it will no longer be reliant on the mother cat for milk and its feeding is wholly reliant on the chosen type of cat food.

Which Food?

At Naked Sphynx Cat Hampshire kittens are weaned onto a raw food diet. 

Food Change?

Should you prefer to not feed raw foods and wish to move over to a diet of wet food pouches/cans only or a dry food only diet or a mix of both as a dual food diet, or if you wish to change the food over to another brand of food; the new food and old food must be phased in/out slowly gradually reducing the old food while increasing the new, all the while watching the cat carefully - in particular its output - to ensure there are no issues. Example change ratios are set out further on down the page.

Food choices 

With so many brands of cat foods to choose and a huge marketplace, your choices are wide and varied.  Whatever diet type and food you choose remember that a Sphynx cat has a higher metabolic rate and needs to receive a high-quality food.

Diet Types

Wet Food Diet:

Commercially produced complete nutrition pouched or canned foods (see Products page) should be fed at set meal times with the daily portion size based on the cat's age and weight.  The daily allowance should be split and fed at timed intervals - twice or three times per day.

Wet foods can be a complete diet or can be part of a dual diet fed along with a dry kibble.

Wet Food safety:

Uneaten or refused food can be taken up if it has not been down too long and stored covered in the fridge and offered next meal time. Once offered twice, if refused again it must be disposed of.
  • Cannot be left down as it will attract flies and rot.
  • Can cause a lot of wastage.
Dry Food Diet:

Commercially produced complete nutrition dry foods (see Products page) can be fed on a free feeding basis or if you prefer it, a timed basis.

Dry food helps to keep your cat's teeth and gums clean and healthy breaking off plaque during the crunch/chew action.

Dry food does not attract flies and so can be left down for a cat to free feed.

Cats fed on dry food diets require much more water to drink than cats fed on raw or wet foods diets.

Dual Food Diet:

This diet is based on the use of commercially produced wet and dry foods. On this regime wet food is offered in portion appropriate sizes at set times per day and a measured portion of dry food is left down for grazing between meals. The wet food portion would be smaller for a dual diet than for a cat on a wet food only routine.

BARF Food Diet:

BARF is gaining popularity as a feeding regime for cats (and dogs). The acronym BARF means Biologically Appropriate Raw Food, (or Bones & Raw Food). The raw food contains muscle meat, sinew, and bone that is minced and ground down for easy feeding & eating. It can also be chunks of meat or fish. As a feeding regime BARF most closely resembles the kind of food that a cat in the wild would naturally be consuming. This is the food a cat has evolved to be eating and therefore is considered Biologically Appropriate

Cats fed on BARF must not be given kibble or wet foods as a supplement. The gut enzymes used to digest raw foods are very different to those needed for commercially prepared processed foods (such as kibble and pouches/cans) and will cause your cat to suffer from severe digestive illness.

Once upon a time raw food feeding was for the very committed pet keeper simply because getting hold of the right quality meat and bones was not easy and then the task of preparing it correctly was painstaking and somewhat arduous. 

BARF food is now easily and widely available, prepared and frozen in tubs which can even be delivered to your door making it a much easier feeding option. The frozen food tubs (or nuggets) are defrosted overnight and once thawed the food is fresh for up to 4 days when stored in the fridge.

How to feed:

BARF food is fed on a timed mealtime basis.

Home made:

If you are prepared to handle blood, meat and bone and wish to make up your own BARF foods, meat must be carefully sourced. A butcher is not recommended. The meat they sell is prepared and sold with a view to it being cooked for human consumption, a process which would kill any surface bacteria which would still be there if fed raw to your cat.

I recommend if you do make your own that you follow a suitable recipe ensuring that you have the balance of meat and bone correct and that you add appropriate supplements for optimal health.

Considerations - pro's and con's to BARF feeding.

Much healthier diet and is appropriate to a carnivore.

Must be fed at set meal times.

Less frequent, less smelly stools

Must remember to thaw food in time and handle raw meats appropriately.

Raw foods cannot be left down  -  it will attract flies, dry out and become rotten and unpalatable. 

There can be lots of food wasted if you put out too much or do not use up all that has been thawed. 

BARF food that has thawed cannot be re-frozen if it has been refused. 

If meal is unfinished (or is refused) at a set meal time and hasn't been down too long, the food can be taken up, covered over and stored in the fridge. It can then be offered again at the next set mealtime. If it is uneaten for a second time it must be then disposed of.


I cannot stress this strongly enough; Abrupt changes in food/diet can cause your kitten/cat to become very ill very quickly. Diarrhoea can dehydrate a small kitten in a matter of hours and may even cause its death. A blockage or incorrectly digested food in the digestive tract can cause constipation and can be fatal.

Making a Diet Change

If you wish to change a cat being fed with wet or dry to a BARF diet you MUST MUST MUST research this very carefully. I strongly suggest that you seek the advice of a pet nutritionist before making any changes. 

change to BARF feeding should not be carried out if your cat is pregnant, lactating or recovering from illness.

Whether changing to another brand or phasing out a food type whatever the age of the feline the change should be done over several days. 

During and after the change process you should keep a close watch on your cats eating and drinking as well as their output to make sure they are no problems occurring.

The example below is a guide to making a food change with a schedule of 10 days. Here the food being removed is reduced by 10% each day while at the same time increasing the quantity of the new food by 10%.

  • Day 1. 90% regular food or food being phased out to 10% new food or food being retained.
  • Day 2:  80 - 20
  • Day 3: 70 - 30
  • Day 4:  60 - 40
  • Day 5:  50 -50
  • Day 6:  40 - 60
  • Day 7:  30 - 70
  • Day 8:  20 - 80
  • Day 9: 10 - 90
  • Day 10: 100% change
Should the kitten/cat be experiencing any difficulty in accepting/tolerating the change and there are no health concerns present you could try a longer change over phasing the change over a longer period of 20 or even 30 days. In that case, for a 20-day change, you would feed day 1 (in the example) for 2 days then the day 2 example for the next 2 days etc. For 30 day change, you would use a 3-day phase over pattern.

A healthy adult cat might cope with a faster change made over 7 days in which case the ratios are:

  • Day 1 & 2: 75/25% 
  • Days 3 & 4:50/50% 
  • Days 5 & 6: 25/75% 
  • Day 7 onwards 100% 
Again always watch your cat carefully over change days and a period afterwards monitoring their eating, drinking as well as their output and always pay attention to the warning given in red text above and below in this article.

Removal of wet food to a dry only diet

If your kitten/cat has been in a dual diet or a wet-only diet and you wish to dry feed on a free feeding basis always make sure the dry food you have chosen to use is a complete nutrition food of high quality.

Bear in mind that a kitten/cat that has been eating a wet food will have acquired some of the fluid it needs per day from that wet food and so when fed on a dry food only diet more water will be required per day therefore you must ensure that your cat has access to clean fresh water.

An example of the schedule to phase out wet food and feed dry only is given below. In the example the cat has been eating 1 pouch per meal. 
  • For 3 days serve 2/3 of the pouch and supplement this with a dry food left down to free-feed.
  • On day 4 reduce to 1/2 a pouch per meal and feed this amount for the next 3 days supplemented with dry food left down to free feed.
  • On Day 8 feed 1/3 of a pouch ration for another 3 days with the dry food down to free feed.
  • On day 12 stop giving wet food and always make sure dry food (and water) are readily available.
During the change to remove wet food your cat your cat is highly likely to beg you for more food especially at the times when he/she would have been given the wet food meals.  Don't be tempted to fill the gap with titbits from the kitchen or cat treats. If you are going to succeed you must be strong and ignore this begging. Try instead to distract your cat with play. 

If the 12-day programme is not for you, consider making the phase-out more gentle by prolonging it over more days reducing by a tablespoon full of wet food at a time.

Removal of dry food (this is not recommended)

If your kitten/cat has dry food -  fed on a free-feeding basis - part of a dual food (wet and dry food) or dry food only diet and you wish to introduce a wet (canned or pouch) food change should be done slowly and gradually in order to avoid an upset tummy. See warnings given in red text above and below.

If changing from dry food only to wet food only:

Always choose a complete wet food of high quality.

Begin by giving a teaspoon of complete wet food at morning and afternoon feed times. These must be set timed feeds as your cat will come to expect and need his/her food at these times. Leave the dry food available but dispense less as appropriate.

Once your cat is enjoying the wet food and eats its teaspoon amount right away, you can gradually increase the allowance of wet food as follows every third day by 2 teaspoons per meal. You may note that the mealtimes are anticipated and your cat will start to ask you for the food. 

Below is an example of how to introduce a wet food to a cat that has been on dry food only

  • Days 1-3: Feed 1 teaspoon of wet food twice a day at the chosen set meal times. Leave dry food down.
  • Days 4-6: Feed 2 teaspoons per set timed meal. Leave dry food down.
  • Day 7-9: Feed 3 teaspoons per meal. Leave dry food down.
  • Day 10,11 & 12: Give 5 teaspoons per meal. Leave dry food down.
  • Day 13 - 15 give half a pouch for each meal. Leave dry food down.
  • Day 18 if your cat has been clearing the half pouch you can increase the amount of food dispensed until you have reached the recommended food intake of wet food split over the 2 set mealtimes per day. 
  • Never overfeed your cat.
  • Keep to the set meal times
  • Never allow your pet to go without food for long periods unless under veterinary advice.
During introduction and change keep an eye on the litter tray output paying attention to the solidity and appearance of the stool as this is a good gauge to your pets' health and tolerance of the new diet regimen.

Once the wet food diet has been is established and is being well tolerated you may already have noticed that your cat is eating less of the dry food kibble you put down so if you are set on phasing it out now it is time to slowly reduce how much dry kibble you dispense. Removing dry food is not recommended as it offers your cat many benefits.  

Kibble cons...
  • Kibble helps to keep teeth clean
  • Allows cat to feed when it is hungry
  • Hassle free
  • Does not attract flies of vermin

Health Warning

  • If at any time you notice loose stools, blood in the stool and/or diarrhoea stop the process and back-track or make them much more slowly so that you are making any changes over allowing more days between adjustments
  • If worried about your kitten/cat at any time you must seek advice from your own vet.
  • Never make changes to the diet of a pregnant or lactating cat.

Dry Complete Cat Food

One advantage of dry food is that it will no go off nor will it attract flies. This makes it safe to leave down for your cat(s) to feed on day and night and it will remain palatable something that does not apply to wet or BARF food. 

The hard crunch of the dry food helps to keep your cats teeth and gums clean healthy and, as bad teeth are a major issue for many cats this must make the decision to keep dry food in your cats' diet either as a sole source of nutrition or as a dual feed diet with wet food is of high value 

A cat must ALWAYS have plenty of clean, fresh water available at all times. A cat fed on a dry food only diet requires more water.

Begging & Overfeeding

Don't be tempted to feed your cat more than is recommended for breed, life-stage and weight. Even if they ask nicely.

If your cat knows that by meowing at you long enough you will crumble and give in then he or she will keep up the begging.

Be Clean & Food Safe

  • Wet or BARF food must always be taken up after feeding.
  • Uneaten wet or BaRF food can be stored covered in the fridge and offered at the next set meal time.
  • If it is not eaten when offered a second time, it must be disposed of. 
  • Thawed BARF food cannot be refrozen.
  • Wash bowls, dishes, spoons and forks used daily in hot soapy water and rinse well.



Vet bed, snuggle blankets, fleece, covered cat beds, igloos, caves, snuggle sacks. The pet care market is flooded with them. Your Sphynx will love them all so go for it - I know I do!

The bedding that you choose should be washable and should be laundered regularly. You'll notice in use it will acquire a dull brown stain. This is their skin oils transferring to the fabric.

Your Sphynx cat is a heat seeker and so needs the extra warmth as without the fur that other felines have a declining temperature will not be tolerated. He/she will probably like to be under the covers at night and may even decide to use you as a heat source in the same way he/she did the mother and his/her siblings.

If you choose to provide your pet with an electric pet heat mat (see products page) you must ensure that your kitten/cat can get off and move away from it to regulate their temperature.

Clothes are an option if you like that sort of thing for your pet and are certainly a good idea of your home tends to be colder or draughty. Our favourites have been purchased on Etsy. See Product Recommendations page

Scratching Posts

Provide scratch posts or scratch mats in several areas of your home. Keep an eye on where your cat likes to scratch and if this turns out not to be something you like scratched (furniture for example) then provide an additional scratch mat or carpeting right in that area which will help to deter them from using your precious furniture, walls or carpeting.

Scratching is vital to your cat as it helps to keep their claws healthy, removing damaged areas and making sure they are sharpened and ready for the hunt. It also provides essential exercise for them. As they scratch scent glands on the paw is transferred and deposited onto the scratched area. This scent marking serves as a signpost marking their territory out to them as well as to other cats.


Plenty of these will be used by a Sphynx cat who is curious, agile and playful. Don't go overboard right away though. For now, your kitten will be more than happy with the cardboard from an empty loo roll or a screwed up piece of paper.

Watch your kitten/cat and see if she/he is a Pouncer, a Chaser, a Hunter or a Climber and then cater to its favoured activities for the most fun.

Just as with bedding there are loads of toys designed for your cat and its kingdom.

If you have lots of toys, put some away and use just a few at a time, then rotate them to keep your cat interested in them. Spraying with a catnip will also help to refresh their interest as most cats go nuts for it.


As I've mentioned elsewhere, Sphynx cats have some very particular care needs that other cats don't. Along with their higher metabolism and the need for more calories and of course them having no fur, perhaps the most weird, well, at least to some folk once they've got over its sheer cute nakedness, is the need for a Sphynx cat to have a bath. It sounds peculiar because surely everyone knows that cats absolutely detest water!

Do cats hate water?

Cats are well-known not to like water avoiding rain and refusing to go out in such weather. Luckily, since Sphynx cats need a routine regular bath, they are able to happily accept having one. This is because from very early on in their lives they have been encouraged to tolerate the water and having a bath and so feel safe with their owners care. I guess too them having wet skin is a totally different feeling to that experienced when furred cats have to deal with water.

A caring and reputable breeder will have been bathing the kitten at least fortnightly from early on in its life and so it will already be getting to grips with the whole not detesting water thing. Believe it or not, many Sphynx cats quickly come to thoroughly enjoy their baths and will happily play about in the bathtub either on their own or with a fellow Sphynx housemate if they have one. 

A rescued Sphynx may be a bit more of a challenge however if regular baths have not continued. If by some chance you rescue a Sphynx cat you may well find that you will need to work with him or her to reintroduce the bath routine to them.

While it is true that Sphynx cats can very much like baths, it is also true that others don't like them nearly so much. Even so, most of those in this camp do grudgingly put up with it.  My Noodle is very firmly in this camp.

And, as with all anything, just a few Sphynx cats absolutely will not take a bath and so their humans resort to using baby wipes to keep their skin healthy.

Why exactly does a Sphynx cat need a bath?

All cats of all breeds secrete oils from their skin. This is sebum just like we humans produce from our skin too. As a substance, this sebum oil lubricates and helps to moisturise the skin while forming a barrier to keep it out nasties and keep it healthy. 

Furry cats groom and distribute this oil over their fur coating each individual hair protecting and conditioning it in the process however because a Sphynx cat doesn't have the same kind of hair nor the need to do all this grooming their regular bath is needed to remove that oil which would otherwise harden and clog up the skin pores causing possible damage to the skin and making it unhealthy.

If this the oil is not washed off routinely it will soon transfer onto and mark your home fabrics and furnishings.  You should also be aware though that e
ven with a weekly bath the oil stain transfer does still occur and the dull brown oil stain eventually becomes visible especially on light coloured fabrics or surfaces where your cat chooses to spend a lot of his/her time.  

Effectively managed, these resting places around your home are easily protected by using washable coverings such as a pet blanket which can then be laundered regularly.

Some mucky individuals for some reason seem to produce more oil than others do. This is not fixed however by giving them more frequent baths. In fact, bathing more actually encourages more oil to be produced and so simply would make things even worse. There are special shampoos which are created to work by limiting sebum production, however veterinary advice should be sought before using such a shampoo.

When and how often to bath

A weekly (maximum) or at least fortnightly (minimum) bath is by far the best routine to adhere to with your Sphynx. Choose a time that works best for you both.

How to bath a Sphynx

You will need:
  • Warm water in a bathtub
  • A large jug of clean warm water (used to do the last rinse)
  • Exfoliating gloves (if using)
  • Coconut oil (if you wish to use it).
  • Johnson's Baby Shampoo (or another suitable shampoo)
  • Cotton wool balls/pads or several dedicated area flannels (face x 2, body x 1, genitals x 1)
  • Large (warmed) towel


  • Bathwater should be very warm - make it slightly warmer than you would have it your own bath. This is because a cat has a higher temperature than we humans do and as your Sphynx is by nature a creature with a high metabolic rate and needs to be slightly warmer again he/she will appreciate this.
  • Water should be a suitable depth. Make sure it comes to chest/neck height as this depth of water, rather than shallower water, seems to calm them.
  • Some people swear by coating the body with coconut oil before bathing. It is said to loosen the body oils making bathing more effective while also being moisturising to the skin. I have never personally used this so cannot provide personal experience or recommendation of a product.
  • Some people find that wearing exfoliation gloves gives better grip on a slippery soapy cat and at the same time the additional gently applied exfoliating action of the gloves helps to remove stud tail (blackheads) with which this breed is prone. The chin area folds are another trouble spot for blackheads too.
  • Talk calmly all of the time to reassure your pet it is totally safe and that there is nothing to fear.
  • Only take your cat into the warmed bathroom when the water is finished filling. This is because the sound of the water running tends to unsettle them.
  • At the same time fill a separate large jug with clean warm water. This will be used for a final rinse off. 
  • When bathing keep water out of the ears. Ears are always cleaned separately when out of the bath using an appropriate ear cleansing product such as Epi-Otic, Suresolve etc - see Products page. 

Method & Notes for Bathing Routine

1. If you are using coconut oil before you begin massage coconut oil warmed in your hards into the cat from the neck to the tail, down each arm and leg and into the paws.

2. Next carefully clean the eye area and face with cotton wool and just clear water. 

If using cotton wool: use a separate wad for each side of the face. If using a flannel use a separate flannel for each side of the face. Having different coloured flannels for each different area will help you know which flannel is which. Using different cotton wool/flannels on each side will avoid spreading any infection that might be present from one eye to the other.

Wipe the eye area to remove debris paying special attention to the tear duct. 

Repeat on the other side of the face.

Note: Feline Acne is sometimes noted in the chin area of a cat and without a fur covering this is particularly noticeable in the Sphynx cat. The acne here is caused by the sebum/oil secreting pores becoming blocked causing blackheads and even cysts. It is, in fact, the same issue as is stud tail which is just a different area of the body. Feline acne can be helped by not using plastic bowls for food and water. See advice in Feeding section below.

Soaping the body

Because Noodle is a cat who is grudging about bath time I continue to hold her on my towel covered lap to soap her. If your car likes the water you may well find you can do this bit while your cat is in the water. The instructions for soaping are the same for in or out of the water.

3. Dispense some baby shampoo onto your hand (with exfoliation gloves on if using them) or onto your dedicated body flannel. 
Add some of the warm bathwater to the shampoo to make it 'wetter' in your hand so that it is easier to apply. Rub to make a foam.

4. Start at the neck and chest and gently massage the shampoo over the entire body. Pay careful attention to all the natural skin folds, under the arms and legs and into all of the nooks and crannies of each paw. 

5. Press down on the top of the knuckle to expose the claw. This area tends to get quite gunky so the soaping here will help to loosen it for removal (which I do after the bath but which you might do in the bath if your cat is happy with staying put in the water) 

6. Pay special attention to sudsing and massaging shampoo into the area at the base of the tail which is very prone to stud tail (blackheads).

Note: Stud tail - Refers to blackheads and cysts that are caused by the sebum/oil secreting pores at the base of and along the tail. Some Sphynx cats seem to suffer from this complaint more than others. Exfoliation gloves or a flannel used at bath-time can help to gently scrub/lift these blackheads out so give the base of the tail and along the tail a little more of a firm rub if needed.

7. Now use your dedicated genital area flannel, a wad of cotton wool or your bare (ungloved) hand to carefully was the genital and anus area.

8. If your cat is not already in the water you should now gently lower your cat in back feet first, murmuring calmly all the while to reassure him/her.

9. Rub the body all over in the water to remove soap scum to clean and rinse the body.

You can play a little while if your cat is happy too.

10, Now, lift your cat by placing your hand across the chest and under the arms and carefully pour the jugged clean water over the entire body which will ensure no soapy water is left on the skin.

11. As quickly as you can now wrap your cat in a generous towel which you might have had on a heated towel rail, and dry him her all over.

If you do ear cleaning and claw cleaning and clipping at a different time to the bath you can give a treat now as a reward.

Remember to ensure your cat is kept warm.

If however you wish to clean ears and clean and clip the claws now I would suggest that you keep the towel wrapped and swaddled holding your cat safe while you complete these jobs.

Weekly Ear cleaning

I find that this is easiest to do when kitty is swaddled in her blanket or bath towel and I prefer to do this right after the bath. But you can do it before or after a bath, or even mid-week - it's entirely up to you.

What you need:

  • Swaddling blanket/towel
  • Cotton wool
  • Cotton buds (if using)
  • Ear cleaner (such as Epi-Otic or Suresolve see Products page


  • Keeping the head still, drip ear cleaner into the ear canal of one ear.
  • Massage the base of the ear at the skull so that the cleaner saturates and coats all surfaces nooks and crannies of the inner ear and begins to do to its work. 
  • Using cotton wool soak up excess fluid and wipe around the inner ear ensuring that all crevices including the pocket on the outer edge of the ear are clear of any dirt or debris.
  • If you are using a cotton bud as an aid in cleaning NEVER poke it down into the ear canal where you cannot see. Be extra careful too because if your cat wriggles you can all too easily cause serious damage and pain.
  • Repeat all steps for the other ear.
Your cat may shake their head vigorously momentarily when you have finished. This helps them to rid their ears of any excess moisture.

Weekly Nail Cleaning & Clipping

The Sphynx cat's paw and claws get covered in the same oil that is present on the rest of body and just like with Feline Acne or Stud Tail, some individuals seem more prone than others in this regard. The oils' purpose is to protect the skin however under the sheaths and folds of the claw it accumulates heavily creating a brown and gunky layer which accumulates under those claw cover and needs to be removed. 


Much of this oil can be removed or at least softened when your cat is in the bath and this is particularly effective if you have a cat who likes to stay in the water. Your cat might, however, be happier, and you might find it's less hassle, and that you can do a more thorough cleaning job now if your cat is out of the bath for the thorough nail cleaning and clipping of any claw that needs it.

Swaddling your cat will allow you to securely hold your cat so that you can work easily and safely on one paw at a time while cleaning and clipping but if you have a very docile cat you may not need to secure him or her this way.

Claw trimming can feel a bit scary which is understandable, but with practice, it is easy and quick to do, and each time it is done your confidence grows. The aim of clipping is to snip away just the very tip of the claw. 

Trimming after cleaning ensures you can see the quicks more clearly and so help to prevent over-trimming.

Use pet claw clippers rather than ones made for humans because they have blades that are angled correctly for pets and most also feature a guard to help prevent taking too much off. 

Cutting into the quick will cause pain and bleeding. However, if bleeding does happen, having a styptic powdered cotton bud at the ready will quickly stop bleeding by constricting the blood vessels (see instructions for Claw Clipping given below to learn more).

If your cat really does object to nail cleaning and clipping you might instead want to do just one paw per day in the week which may minimise the stress on you both. 

A treat reward given afterwards when all work is finished will help your cat to associate the procedure with something they really like and want.

Claw Cleaning first

You will need:
  • Swaddling blanket (if your cat objects to nail cleaning)
  • Cotton wool balls
  • Ear cleaner
  • or Baby Wipes (these work very well to remove the oily gunk)


Press on the top of each toe to expose the claw and with cotton wool soaked in ear cleaner or a baby wipe rub the nail firmly to remove the gunk. Make sure to remove as much as possible and check all nooks and crannies. Move to the next tow and repeat.
  • Soak a cotton wool ball with ear cleaner or use a baby wipe. 
  • Lift one arm (or leg) from the swaddled cat bundle and hold the paw firmly but gently.
  • Press down on the top of each finger/toe, in turn to expose the clam from the sheath. 
  • Rub the extended claw with the baby wipe or with soaked cotton wool. 
  • Make sure to clear out all congealed oil from all the little crevices and flaps in the skin.
  • Observe if there is a need for clipping this nail before moving on the next finger/toe.
  • Repeat this process for the next finger/toe.
  • Don't miss the dew claws.
  • Once all claws on this hand/foot are clean you can easily see the quicks and so can avoid cutting into them in error during clipping which will cause pain and bleeding.
  • Clip the tip of the claw only (see instructions and clipping information below).
  • Once cleaned and clipped wrap that paw back into the swaddling before bringing out the next paw and repeating the cleaning and clipping until all 4 paws have been done.

Claw Clipping

You will need:
  • Blanket or towel to swaddle (if your cat objects to nail cleaning/clipping)
  • Pet nail clippers - mine are sprung and have a guard to help prevent over clipping.
  • Styptic Powder
  • Cotton bud(s)

Styptic Powder - Stopping Bleeding from the Quicks

Styptic powder is the grooming parlour's secret weapon.

Before beginning nail clipping prepare a cotton bud with the power as follows:

  • Moisten the tip of a cotton bud then dip it into the styptic powder. 
If then you do accidentally cut the quick:
  • Take your cotton bud and press and hold the tip of the bed to the bleeding nail for about 2-5 seconds. This is painless and will immediately stop the bleeding by constricting blood vessels in the area. 


  • Prepare cotton bud tip coated with styptic powder.
  • Swaddle the cat to prevent wriggling and hold him/her securely
  • With your pet nail clippers held firmly in one hand working across one toe at a time on each paw.
  • Press down gently on the top of the finger/toe to expose the claw from the sheath so you can see the quick.
  • Clip off the sharp claw tip only. 
  • Don't miss the dew claw.

Accidentally nipping into the quick:

Occasionally accidents do happen. In the event of bleeding, don't panic. Take your styptic powder prepared cotton bud tip and hold it to the cut nail for a few seconds as described above.

At the end of the bath routine

Keep your cat warm and give him/her a few treats as a reward for his/her patience. Treat given each time you bath your cat will help especially with a reluctant cat to anticipate the treat and associate something they want and like a lot with bath times.


Cats are fastidious so you must ensure that all litter trays/boxes are kept clean.

Provide 1 litter tray/box per cat if you are a multi-cat household.

The litter tray/box should be placed in a quiet area so that your cat has privacy.

Scoop and clean your litter box(s) each day and change litter according to the instructions given for your specific brand of cat litter. 
Personally, however, I find that the times given don't necessarily apply. I currently use a litter that says it will last a whole month but even with just one cat I have to change it at least weekly.

Litter Types

I prefer to use a cat litter that is compostable/biodegradable. Like most cat owners I have tried many, many different kinds clumping & non- clumping, that is made from clay, wood pellet, corn, and also the latest silica litters.

Changing Type/Brand,  Moving the Litter Box or Providing a New Litter Tray

It is helpful with a new kitten or cat coming into the household to put some of the soiled litter from where he/she has come from into the new litter or new litter box. This way your cat will recognise its own scent and know where to go. This method also helps your cat to locate the litter box if you have moved it to a new location or if you have moved house.

Toileting and a New Kitten

A kitten should come to you fully litter trained and clean. He/she may have been handed to you with a small supply of litter from the litter tray they have been using (see above paragraph) so that even with all the new experiences and new surroundings he/she is being suffused with they will recognise their scent and will know where to go.

Show your kitten where their litter tray is. A good time to show them is immediately after feeding or they have taken a drink. Just take him or her to the tray and pop them on top of the litter. They will recognise their scent from their birth home and with luck will go right away.That said, be aware that accidents do happen with tiny kittens so be patient and kind. Your new kitty may have gotten lost and forgotten where the tray is.


Most Sphynx cat owners keep their precious pets as indoor animals who may or may not occasionally go outside and when they do they will usually be secured by having them wearing an escape proof harness and lead. Those that aren't on leads and out with their owners will be cats who will stay close by and the owner trusts them not to run.

As theSphynx has no fur to keep him/her warm being outside in cooler or wet weather won't be comfortable. They would much prefer the warmth and comfort of your home but clothing might extend the time you can spend out of doors with your pet.

Keeping your Sphynx as an indoor living pet will safeguard your pet from accident or theft.

Caring for your Sphynx when outdoors

He or she is curious and so can all too easily come to harm if he/she let out alone.

Use a suitable well-fitting escape-proof harness and a leash. There are sellers on Etsy who make made to measure harness vests suitable for a Sphynx cat. (see Products page)

When taking your cat out on a leash you should carry your cat outside and then put him or her down. Doing this will help to prevent your cat from dashing for the door each time you need to open it reducing the chance of escape or loss. By doing this, because they have never walked out of the door they will not associate an open door with all the fun of being outside.  I so wish I'd known this tip sooner.

Skin Protection Outside

While they are known as naked the Sphynx does have hair but it very short fine. People say it is like chamois leather. This lack of fur means that their skin is exposed to harmful UV rays just as ours is when out of doors making them susceptible to sunburn or skin cancer.

Protect their skin by using a suitable high SPF sun lotion such as one that is designed for pets or for babies, and don't stay out for too long, particularly in very hot sun.

Consider dressing your pet with a sun protection top (and hat!) made from UV protective fabric. This kind of outfit can be found on Etsy and can even be made to measure for your cat by the store Sphynx Clothes (see Products page).

Exercise For Your Indoor Cat

A Sphynx cat is energetic and needs stimulation in the form of time with you and some well-chosen toys - Your Sphynx will appreciate all games designed to exercise their minds, muscles and hearts. 

Fairly new to the pet care market are cat exercise wheels which seem perfect to do those things providing your cat with fitness and so better health and a longer life for your pet. The wheel also relieves boredom and therefore can curb unwanted behaviours, reduce anxiety and stress and also help to stop cats who are prone to aggression.

It is an item that is very much on our wish list at Naked Sphynx Cat Hampshire, and we have included a link to one such exercise wheel on our Product Recommendations page to the UK distributor of the amazing Catzami Cat Excercise Wheel which costs £299.00 with free delivery (price correct as of October 2017)


Feline Acne/Stud Tail

Some cats (not just the Sphynx breed) suffer from acne around their muzzle area which is described as Feline Acne. Stud tail is the same issue but at the tail end.

It is caused by the production of sebum, a natural oil secreted by the skin in order to maintain its barrier and keep it healthy. However, sometimes the pores can become blocked causing blackheads (hence the term stud tail) and it can even cause painful cysts which sometimes require veterinary attention and even surgery.

Feline Acne seems to be more prevalent if a cat feeds or drinks from a plastic bowl.
  • Always use stainless steel or ceramic feed and water containers.
  • Wash bowls daily with hot water and washing up liquid, making sure to rinse well.
Stud Tail can be helped by using a flannel or exfoliating gloves during the bath. There are also specific shampoos formulated to reduce excessive sebum production. The strongest of which should be used only with veterinary advice. 

Virbac Sebocalm is a shampoo product that is safe for regular use (see Products page)


Sphynx cats do not get fleas and so do not require any form of flea treatment.
Never apply a spot on flea treatment to a Sphynx cat as it is poisonous to them.


A new kitten will come to you having been wormed by the breeder.

Even if you keep your pet indoors and it never goes out it still requires regular worming treatments.

I use Panacur either liquid or paste for cats (see Products page) both of which are easy to dose (by weight) and to administer. 


A kitten comes to you from its breeder having had its 1st and 2nd vaccinations already carried out. These are given at around 8 and 12 weeks old.

An annual booster is all that is required given during the annual health check.

Initial Health Check

It is your responsibility when taking a new kitten home to have your vet perform an initial health check. This will assure you that your kitten is healthy and well, free of illness, injury or disease.

This check reassures you of the quality and wellness of your newly purchased kitten and provides you with the opportunity to ask questions and/or raise any concerns you might have.


Its a good idea at this check to ask your bet to fit your pet with a microchip. Even though not currently the law in the UK (at time of writing) as it is for dogs, it is required by law if you wish to travel abroad with your pet. 

A microchip will also bring peace of mind should your pet go missing or be stolen.


Most breeders will not sell an un-neutered pedigree kitten, at least without the addition of an additional premium added to the price in order to own an active registered kitten. And even then not easily.

Their kittens will have been operated on at about 8 - 10 weeks old.

There are many, many more reasons to neuter a cat than not to. Neutering of both sexes is done quickly and easily by your vet at minimal cost and recovery from the operation is fast.

Neutering should be carried out by the age of 16 - 20 weeks. Of note here is that some people recommend not having a female spayed until the 20th week. If you are going to wait until then you must make sure that your female does not get out at all and that no entire male cat in residence with you already can get to her. This includes a male sibling you may have purchased who has not yet been neutered as he will also become sexually mature by now. 

Rest assured that while you may not yet have noted signs yet of your female's first heat coming, but you can be absolutely sure all the local tomcats have!

Neutered cats (of both sexes) live longer and are much calmer and happier pets because they will no longer produce the hormones that drive them to mate.

For Owners of Female Kittens/Cats

If you do not wish for your kitten/cat to have kittens for the future health and happiness of your pet she should be neutered. Neutering a female is known as SPAYING, a simple and quick operation that can be carried out from 8 weeks old. As she can come into heat and her sexual maturity by week 20 it is advisable to have the neutering carried out at the earliest possible time.

Bear in mind that if you wait too long that while YOU may not have noted the signs of her first calling approaching that the tomcats in your area will have. If she gets out, if a tomcat gets to her, if you keep a resident stud male she can become pregnant before you have had the chance to neuter her and thus you will have a litter of up 8 kittens to deal with in 9 weeks time and that those kittens will need your care for at least 12 weeks.

Not Neutering

At 20+ weeks both sexes can be sexually mature and able to procreate. For a female, this means she will start to have what are known as heat cycles which is when oestrus occurs and for the male, he will begin to want to wander to find a mate and will begin to spray urine to mark his territory and advertise himself to available passing female.

For a full discussion on a cat in heat please read my dedicated page about Calling, however, you can read on here for an outline of the process and symptoms in brief.

Heat cycles recur every 15-28 days and, thanks to our modern warm well lit homes cycles are no longer seasonal and continue throughout the year. A calling lasts around 7-10 days and the next can begin again within a fortnight.

When in heat your female is assaulted by hormones driving her on. She will meow and howl loudly (usually more so at night) calling to attract mates to her night and day. She will be truly inconsolable as her hormones rage.

Additional to howling, just like a male cat, she may also spray urine on the walls, carpets, bedding and furniture. The spray is full of chemicals sending out messages that she is available and where she can be found.

Her normal behaviour will change and she becomes more affectionate and will pester you to touch her. As you do so she will 'coo'. Touch triggers her body into adopting the mating pose. Her legs spread and she lowers her body to the ground crouching and this is called the frog pose because from above her outline is indeed the shape of a frog.

Her bottom will lift at the slightest touch, on a hair-pin trigger. Her tail to one side (to give access to the male) she will secrete a fluid from her vagina to lubricate it for sex.

This is relentless. Her crying and all her symptoms are very hard to cope with. More especially since though she could be sexually mature at as early as 20 weeks and able to produce a litter, it is advisable (if breeding from her) to wait until she has matured and not mater her until 16 months old. That's a lot of broken nights for you and your family to get through.

Finally, the direst consequence of failing to neuter and failing to allow her to mate is that by allowing this to happen over a prolonged period can lead to a very serious womb infection called Pyometra. This is a disease that may even be fatal to her. More details about Pyometra are found on our Heat/Calling page.

Neutering your cat will completely protect your cat from this dreadful health issue and it will bring ing you peace at home by stopping her hormones completely and removing the cause of all those difficult to live with behaviours as well as removing the worry of unwanted pregnancy and kittens. Raising Sphynx kittens is hard work and is not for the faint of heart.


If your cat does become pregnant you should be aware that the gestation period is short - just 64-68 days (9 weeks) and that litters can be between 2 - 8 kittens each.

Those kittens and the mother (queen) must be cared for and this means lots of additional food, bath training, litter training, weaning, vaccinations for each kitten and any all additional veterinary care that might be required during those 12 weeks before even one can be sold.

Also of note: The Queen can become pregnant again while she is still feeding her kittens so you must take care not to allow her out or near any resident un-neutered tomcat.

For Owners of a Male Kitten/Cat

Male cats that are left entire will begin to mark their territory (your home) by spraying strong smelling urine. This urine contains chemicals letting other cats know this is his patch. The urine makes puddles, stains carpets and walls and spoils soft furnishings.

Your un-neutered male will want to go out to roam in order to find a calling female as his natural desires come into play and he will become fractious and unhappy.

If you have other un-neutered males they will fight and he will fight other toms in the area if he goes out because they will be fighting for territories and the rights to mate.

Neutering for a male is by CASTRATION.

By neutering by 16-20 weeks you will ensure that he does not begin spraying in your home and because those hormones have been eradicated he becomes a more settled and contented cat.