Woman scares internet by popping cat pimples as vet issues warning

It might be hard to believe that the hashtag cat pimples has garnered nearly 20 million views on TikTok, but it’s not uncommon for a hairless cat to get acne, and many people find popping pimples oddly satisfying.

news week turned to dr. Jessica Taylor, a North Carolina veterinarian, who commented on this viral video that racked up over 4 million views.

In the clip, posted by cat owner @sphynx.cleaner, the user can be seen popping her cat’s pimple with her nails — a method Taylor doesn’t recommend.

Taylor, vice president of veterinary medicine at Petfolk, said news week: “Both cats and dogs can develop skin conditions, including acne-like lesions. Pustules can appear anywhere on the body if there is a skin irritation, an infection, or abnormal skin or hair development.

“In cats, chin acne is a condition that pet owners often notice because of the prominent spot on their face. An allergic reaction to food, a food bowl, poor grooming habits, or the conformation of the face and skin can trigger chin acne.

“Sphynx cats were bred to have little to no fur. Because of this selective breeding, Sphynx cats can be more prone to skin problems and need extra skin care compared to other cats with a traditional coat. Acne or pustules may be more common in Sphynx cats due to their unique skin.”

A stock image of a Sphynx Cat wrapping a blanket. A video has gone viral of a cat owner popping her hairless cat’s pimples.
akinshin/iStock/Getty Images Plus

Causes of cat acne

Taylor explained that pimples are likely to appear when the cat’s hair follicle becomes clogged, inflamed, or infected.

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She said: “Sphynx cats in particular don’t have fur. A cat’s fur usually helps absorb and distribute oils from the skin. Without a coat, the oil from the skin can form a film that can cause the pores to clog with oil or other debris. If bacteria are present, infection can occur and cause itching and pain.”


Whenever a pimple is present, Taylor urges owners to avoid manipulating or popping it for several reasons.

She said: “These lesions indicate a disruption in the skin and skin barrier, and squeezing or poking can introduce bacteria, potentially making the lesion worse and causing pain and infection. If the lesion is already infected, handling could transmit bacteria to the pet. The veterinarian can examine skin lesions by performing cytology, or microscopic examination of the skin and lesion, to determine the underlying cause and treat the condition.”


If you notice pus-filled lesions or acne on your cat, the first thing to do is contact your veterinarian. Taylor shared the following steps to prevent cats from getting pimples.

  • Routine preventative care should include keeping food and water bowls clean, and cleaning bedding and toys frequently to prevent bacteria and debris buildup.
  • If your cat drools after eating and drinking or doesn’t groom itself well, gently wiping the skin or coat with a damp cloth can help prevent irritation and infection.
  • If the skin is persistently irritated, your vet can prescribe special medicated wipes or shampoos to treat the areas and keep the skin healthy.
  • Plucking or squeezing lesions can make acne worse and ultimately cause pain for your pet, meaning the bond between human and pet can suffer.
  • Sphynx cats in particular need additional grooming and skin treatments, like weekly bathing, skin conditioning, thermal support from clothing and shelter, and more. So before you adopt or buy one, make sure you understand everything that comes with it.
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what do the comments say

Hundreds of people have commented on the video, some struck by the cat’s calmness during the pimple outbreak.

One user said: “He’s adorable! Besides, there are no fights!”

Others admit they had trouble seeing the video was of a cat, with one user writing: “It looked like a worm,” and another saying: “I literally thought that was the foot of one at first.” old lady.”

Do you have funny and adorable videos or pictures of your pet that you want to share? Send them to [email protected] with some details about your best friend and they could appear in our Pet of the Week lineup.