TikTok’s Latest Viral Trend Is Popping Cat Pimples: Can We Ban This App Already?

I’m all out of withering sarcasm, so I’ll just say it: The newest trend on TikTok involves close-up videos showing people popping their Sphynx cats’ pimples.

The PewDiePie of the craze, if you will, is one @Sphynx.cleaner, whose videos show a woman’s carefully manicured hands holding a defeated-looking Sphynx cat and popping its pimples between her formidable fingernails.

Tens of millions of people have watched her videos of puss pimple-popping, not including the millions of other views accumulated by lesser practitioners of the grotesque genre.

Sphynx cats lack fur and have skin often compared to chamois leather. Fur helps cats absorb and redistribute naturally-occurring oils secreted by the skin, so felines of the Sphynx breed are much more susceptible to acne problems than typical short- and long-haired cats. Without fur to help redistribute them, the skin oils can create a “film” that clogs pores, according to Jessica Taylor, a veterinarian in North Carolina.

Sphynx pimples
Uh, no. Credit: Sphynx.cleaner/TikTok

Not surprisingly, popping a cat’s pimples makes things worse and is not pleasant for the kitty.

“These lesions indicate a disruption in the skin and skin barrier, and squeezing or poking them can introduce bacteria, potentially worsening the lesion, causing pain and infection,” Taylor told Newsweek. “If the lesion is already infected, handling it could spread bacteria to the pet parent.”

As for TikTok, this is not the first time one of the app’s trends has been detrimental to the health and safety of felines, although most of its inanity is focused on humans. I suppose you can view it as some sort of advanced Darwinian engine, accelerating the self-removal of human beings from the gene pool. Among the trends that have gone viral on the app:

  • People who use self-tanning bottles as nasal spray out of some misguided belief that ingesting the stuff will not only achieve the desired effect, but somehow lead to a more even, natural-looking distribution of tanner. It reminds me of former President Donald Trump’s impromptu suggestion, during a national press conference, that ingesting hand sanitizer could be a “tremendous” way to stop COVID.
  • Videos instructing women to eat the tablets inside Clearblue pregnancy tests as a “contraceptive hack,” claiming the tablets — which are designed to absorb urine during the chemical test — are actually morning after pills.
  • People ingesting methylene blue — an anti-fungal fish tank cleaner — because “fitness influencers” say it can “cure” COVID-19, boost metabolism and slow the aging process. Think of the triumph of critical thinking here: These are people who won’t get a vaccine that’s been through three-stages of trials before getting FDA approval, and whose efficacy and safety have been the subjects of rigorous peer review, but they’re willing to drink a chemical manufactured and sold as a cleaning solution for fish tanks.
  • The so-called Nyquil Challenge, in which people use Nyquil instead of cooking oil to cook chicken in a frying pan.
  • Period blood face masks, which are self-explanatory. Another grotesque and potentially dangerous trend started by “influencers” who claim some sort of nebulous expertise and know that “hacks” will net them attention and clicks. The more outrageous, the better.
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“Did you know that urinal cakes are made by Carvel? It’s true! They’re deliciously chocolatey, with just a hint of vanilla, cinnamon and industrial strength anti-bacterial. Mmmmmm!”

Of course, we’ve known for years that Chinese companies are beholden to the Chinese government according to Chinese law, which means the government — and the communist party — can help itself to TikTok user data whenever it wants.

After TikTok’s US-based executives insisted to congress that American users’ data is firewalled and cannot be accessed by the company’s employees in China — and, by extension, the Chinese government — a series of leaks confirmed that China’s government was in fact regularly accessing that data. Absolutely no one, except maybe the politicians who think the internet is a “series of tubes,” were surprised by this revelation.

China’s government can use the data to track journalists, exploit American and European users, program its algorithm to shuffle them toward harmful content, censor content the Chinese government doesn’t like, and even coerce individuals by threatening to release information on their viewing habits.

So can we evacuate TikTok’s US headquarters already, raze it to the ground, and ban the app from every mobile store?

“Mr. Darwin! Mr. Darwin let him go! Magnifico!”

21 thoughts on “TikTok’s Latest Viral Trend Is Popping Cat Pimples: Can We Ban This App Already?”

  1. Omg, this is a horrible start for 2023 & cats so far. As much as I’ve never had a great love for the Tok Tok craze, I have used it for a hack for a few household things. I mean honestly most challenges & incredibly stupid videos where cats are scared or miss their leaps have really started on YouTube & I blame the people not the platform. TikTok is not my thing but Gen Z lives on it.

    Yes, I agree with you for as many reasons as you’ve mentioned & some more. If the entire app was put out to sea I wouldn’t miss it tbh. The fact is that as long as there has been a platform (Including FB) where people come to gather, there’s room for people to be stupid & until someone is harmed or dies no one does anything. Cats & dog’s don’t have a voice so I suspect their mistreatment will go on longer.

    No one wants to hear from me or someone without a huge following & I would need my followers to have their followers (etc etc etc) get behind it before I’d even hear anything about if it helped…(My following is like a huge nothing burger btw)

    Stupid people breed stupid ideas & as much as I agree with what you say, and while this new, pimple pop your Sphinx trend is out there, it won’t end until it runs its course & then it’ll get put to bed like everything else. May some poor cat be in pain or get an infection or worse? Yes, it’s totally possible & likely. Yes, it sucks really bad (Huge understatement here) & I can’t bear the thought of any animal getting hurt or harmed or even frightened.

    Therfore, in my small way I boycott things. I end subscriptions with things, I don’t watch content that supports things I don’t. For years upon years I’ve not used certain items or stopped buying goods where animal testing that was beyond useless & bizarre, wasn’t in my home & anyone who’d listen to me, would have to hear my POV about who & why these things weren’t in use in my home.

    I see the even greater implications for Tik Tok to be history like yesterday. I watch the news & on a side note I heard all the same things you’ve heard for additional fuel to finally kill Tik Tok & they’re all valid & I think you’re πŸ’―% right. Do I think Tik Tok is going any where? Probably not & I brought up the news for one other reason. Yesterday, Ben Aaron from WPIX 11, NYC, made a list of weird items & our poor kitty friend who swallowed her owners 37 hair ties was mentioned with laughter from the news staff. The anchor Hazel Sanchez commented, Aww my kitty just walks around with my big scrunchies in his mouth but he doesn’t eat them. Aaron replied, well that was a 1980s cat trend & a good laugh was had by all. I guess no one mentioned that, that poor kitty girl died afterwards….

    Again stupid strikes again & maybe I’m just getting too old, but, I’m tired of being tired of it. If I could get behind anyone who matters & can make the changes that would make a difference, then sign me up, I’m in! Until then I’m just drowning in a puddle of dumb & dumber. If people want to get hit by cars dancing to the next big trend or eating blue ghost pepper chips, best of luck to those folks. When they harm animals I’m all in to get behind & actively be a part of ending it but until then I’ll just not be viewing TikTok. It’s the most & the least I can do to be completely honest…if you & Buddy know of a way to help kill it, then put out a PITB calling for help or signatures or whatever because I’ll get behind the Buddy System in a NY minute…I promise πŸ˜”πŸ’”

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh I’m just shouting into the void and I have no illusion that I can do anything about TikTok. Maybe a handful of people will decide not to use it out of every thousand who read the post.

      But I do think there’s a major failure of imagination going on when people learn the Chinese government is compiling data and they just shrug in response. Look at the big controversy over PayPal essentially implementing the beginnings of a social credit system, in which the company can terminate your account if users are associated with certain political views. It doesn’t matter what those views are initially, or even whether people think PayPal is doing something good. It’s the precedent and the doors it opens.

      So for example, in the Chinese social credit system, the government keeps profiles on its citizens, compiling information on what they buy at stores, what they watch on TV, the content they access on the internet, and of course their political activity.

      And so, you could run afoul of the government and one day try to make reservations for a flight or a train pass, and you’re denied. Your social credit score is too low. You didn’t express the right views, you looked at the wrong websites, you bought too much alcohol over a six month period. It can be almost anything.

      Sure, the Chinese government isn’t going to take over Amtrak and deny you tickets, but it has enormous weight with US corporations and could easily tell companies to blacklist the customers it identifies, or else lose access to the Chinese market.

      This has already happened: Activision-Blizzard has banned players who make any reference to Taiwan or express support for Hong Kong’s democracy movement. Certain journalists have been blacklisted from particular corporate beats. An NBA general manager was silenced by the league for tweeting six measly words supporting Hong Kong, from his personal account, and had to apologize for having political views in order to keep his job, because the Chinese government had already pulled NBA games off the air and was threatening to remove the NBA entirely from the Chinese market.

      This is the stuff of nightmare dystopias and will only get worse as participation in society requires access to particular digital services and platforms.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. You’re absolutely right I’ve been following most of the same things as you. Thanks for unpacking it for me. Sometimes I’m just overwhelmed by it all. I don’t TikTok though but my other half does. It’s not for me & me & my other half are on extremely different ends of the spectrum about where we stand as far as how we deal with what we don’t agree with. I’m an all out kinda person, I’m not having that app on my phone, it’s over for me. It’s the smallest thing I can do & even though I know that I personally don’t make a difference at least, I feel I’ve made the tiniest smidgen of change. Will it bring about a difference πŸ€”? Nah, I know it but I’m going to sleep well knowing that I tried to yell into the void even if no one heard me.

        My other half is made crazy by me, lol. He won’t follow the Sphinx trend but he’s not losing TikTok. We’re going to deal differently but I’m fine as long as I know that I do my little part. The great news is he’ll unfollow all animal trends & he now hates the hell out of the whole scare the cat things & a holy host of other things I’ve brought to his attention.

        Me talking about what we’re discussing is totally lost on him, so thanks for being invested & informed. Thanks for your understanding & thank you (This is going to sound crazy but…) for getting it all! It goes way farther & way darker than Buddy & Oreo but thanks all the same. I appreciate that you get it!

        I hope 2023 brings less darkness, some much needed change & maybe even something that looks hopeful.

        Best to you & the Buddy, that handsome boy! I hope you’re vegetarian self allowed him a dot of turkey for new years eve πŸ‘£πŸΎπŸΎπŸ₯‚βœ¨οΈβœ¨οΈβœ¨οΈπŸ‘£πŸΎπŸΎ

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Probably a good ten years ago there was a clip on YT of a fictional “recorded” call to Domino’s. When the caller tried to order a pizza, the employee cross-referenced the name/address to data held regarding the caller’s age, weight, results from recent physical exams, etc. In the end the caller was denied his pizza because the government establishment ruled it too dangerous for him to consume.
        The message was obvious. Many people thought it could never happen here, but I saw it as a portend of the future.
        And look, it’s here, just hiding in TikTok.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. No, no, no… I use TikTok occasionally for some mindless entertainment… but stuff like this completely kills my braincells. I’m trying to comprehend… are these “trends” just jokes or do people genuinely believe in them? There is just absolutely no way… HOW!?

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Ugh. I saw a few articles on care of Sphinx skin in a quick search. It said to treat the acne with a gentle antibacterial soap. I wonder if Sphinx breeders associations issue guidelines on their skin care. And if those could be used to ban these videos. Poor kitties.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That’s a good question. Although I spent the better part of 2 years trying to get YouTube to remove absolutely brutal monkey abuse videos, filing report after report, which they ignored. My experience has been that social media companies do not care what’s on their sites as long as it doesn’t carry extreme liability, like child pornography or the copyrighted content of deep-pocketed media companies with armies of lawyers.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. One of the pimple popping videos has 6.4 million views, and there are several others with 3 or 4 million. I don’t know what TikTok’s monetization rates look like, but on YouTube that person would have earned tens of thousands of dollars, possibly more depending on a bunch of factors.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. While I think that people who pop cats’ pimples Have Too Much Time and Too Much Money For Their Own Good, the “extensive clinical trials” for the Covid vaccine were performed on EIGHT MICE.
    This information can be found if you look for it, in spite of the censorship of any information that doesn’t support the establishment narrative on Covid.
    If you go on Matt Taibbi’s column on Substack, you can see the information now coming out about this censorship, called The Twitter Files.


    1. This is from Phase III and mentions 43,000 participants. That’s just for one phase of Pfizer, not including the concurrent tests on Moderna, J&J, etc.


      I don’t know what the total is but it’s gotta be at least 100,000.

      And remember, mRNA isn’t new tech, they just adapted it for the COVID vaccines. It was in development for the better part of two decades.

      My point is that the vaccines went through three major phases of testing on human subjects, and all the subsequent studies on efficacy and side effects were conducted within the full peer review process.

      It’s all out in the open, in other words. That doesn’t mean people can’t raise questions about them or that they’re immune to criticism, just that the claims that this is new, untested technology are not true. I have had this discussion with relatives who were all in on hydroxychloroquine, which was not subject to anything resembling the standard three-stage process, and which was repeatedly found to be ineffective and/or harmful in studies.

      And don’t forget, countries like India, China and Russia have flat out lied about their COVID deaths. When India had that major wave, the death figures they were reporting were impossible even for a first world country with top tier medical facilities. An exhaustive serosurvey and an excess death survey both put the number of deaths in India, in that wave alone, at a conservative 4.5 million.

      Add that to the death toll in China, and the total worldwide deaths from COVID look comparable to the Spanish flu. Even if it’s “just” 25 million dead, that’s mind-boggling.

      So on the one hand we have people who are so terrified of the vaccines that they won’t go near them, but they refuse to believe the virus that has killed 25 million + people is a real threat.

      And again, I’m not on any side here. I want to see a full accounting and investigation of how the virus started, including the epic screwup by the Chinese government, and the complicity of our own government in funding gain of function research.

      Lex Fridman had a guest on for one of his long-form interviews, a virologist IIRC, and the stuff he was saying about the gain of function research — and the steps taken to hide it — were terrifying.

      So my only interest here is full transparency on all aspects of this, and I think when the stakes are this high, with as much death as COVID has caused, the world deserves transparency.


      1. Ugh. I don’t know why all the formatting disappeared and it looks like one big, unreadable paragraph.

        The comments have been bugged for almost a week now and I can’t figure it out


      2. Could you please go look up what Dr Robert Malone, the creator of the mRNA technology, said? Because he is quite critical of the vaccines and has said publicly that the mRNA technology wasn’t appropriate for vaccines.


      3. I know who he is and what he claims. His claim that mRNA shouldn’t be used for vaccines is strange because it’s the exact opposite of what he’s said in the past, when he spent decades of his career pushing mRNA for Zika and Ebola. He goes on Joe Rogan, a man who came to fame forcing contestants to eat cockroaches on a reality TV show, and hawks his subscription newsletter while telling people not to get vaccinated. Between the newsletter and lucrative speaking gigs at Q-Anon conferences, he makes a tidy seven figures a year these days.

        If Malone is the inventor of mRNA, then the guy who was part of a 30-person engineering team who helped design some of the rotors on the James Webb Space Telescope is the “creator” of that scope.


      4. Haha all good. I have had this discussion many times with my mom, who is not vaccinated. I have a very rare heart condition and if I get severe COVID, that’s the end of Big Buddy. And where would Little Buddy get his turkey then, eh?


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