Home > Learning Center > Pet Health & Routine Care
Was this page Helpful

Tips for How to Bathe Your Cat

Updated by Amy Granger on Jun 4, 2021

Grooming is something that cats are famous for. They will typically keep themselves clean and fresh without any help from outside sources, thanks to their teeth, paws, and tongues. However, your cat can need assistance from time to time in order to remain clean. It's a brilliant idea to give your feline pal a bath if they're coated with something gross, unhealthy, or smelly, or if they've picked up parasites.

cat aftr bathe

Baths aren't normally needed for cats, although there are several exceptions. A bath could be a wise option if they've been rolled in anything they can't wash off themselves or if their long hair has been matted.

Baths are something that most cats despise, and they can be very exhausting for them. Instead of making their whole body wet, clean an isolated place if possible. However, there are times when washing your pet is inevitable, for example:

  • If your cat gets into something and smells
  • If your cat becomes uncomfortably dirty or sticky
  • If your cat picks up bugs in its fur
  • If your cat has particularly long hair
  • If your cat has little or no hair at all

In any of the cases mentioned above, there are ways to make the process more pleasant for both of you. If your cat requires a bath due to contact with poisonous chemicals or due to special health care, take them to the veterinarian first.

Generally speaking, if you do not want your cat's coat pelted, or melted, then you should bathe your cat and blow dry them every four to six weeks. This claim is also backed up by the National Cat Groomers of America. However, there are many variables that dictate how often you need to bathe your cat; they include:

  • Coat type and length: shorter coats will need less maintenance than longer-coat cats.
  • Outdoor vs indoor environment: indoor cats will require a bath less frequently than outdoor cats since they stay inside most of the time.
  • Activity level: Cats that are not very active will need less frequent bathing.
  • Self-grooming behavior: Cats that are unable to clean themselves need to be bathed on a frequent basis to prevent their hair from being dirty or greasy. Additionally, since overweight cats have trouble touching all parts of their bodies, they can need more frequent bathing – the backsides of these cats often get matted, and the skin flaky, itchy, and sometimes infected.
  • Health issues: Issues like tick skin irritation or loose stool, and flea infestation can require more attention.
  • Trim Its Toenails: Your cat's claws are one of its primary defense mechanisms. During bath time, an agitated cat can claw anything nearby, including you. Animal scratches are quickly contaminated, so trimming your cat's nails before giving it a bath is in your best interest.

  • Brush Before: Cats shed a lot over the year. The extra fur won't be ideal for your pipes, and it will make cleaning your cat more difficult. Clean your cat carefully and clear any loose hair or mats before beginning the bathing process, if possible. To keep water out of their head, kindly place cotton balls in their ears

  • It's Important to Choose the Right Time: Cats dislike being in the water. A cat with a lot of energy would be more averse to taking a bath. The best time to bathe your cat is when your cat is sleepy and mellow, such as after some catnip or a long play session with a cat dancer. Perhaps easier if you should time your cat's bath while someone else is around to assist you.

  • Get Traction: Your pet, like you, appreciates traction in the shower. Give your cat a folded towel or a rubber bath pad to balance on in the shower so they don't worry if they can't stand comfortably. Once the mat is in the pool, fill it with three or four inches of warm water and have your assistant place the cat in it. To avoid and prevent scratching, you may need your buddy to hold the cat down for the duration of the bath.
  • bathe a cat
  • Pour-Over Method: Your cat is unlikely to go under water happily. Instead, kindly pour water over their body with a portable sprayer, a plastic cup, or a pitcher until they're completely soaked.

  • Invest in a cat shampoo: Your cat should not be washed with human shampoo. If your cat licks it, it's not clean, and it could damage your cat's fragile skin. Using a shampoo made specifically for cats instead is the best thing to do. Start massaging the shampoo into your cat's neck and work your way down to the ears. Keep the distance from their eyes, ears, and their entire face.

  • Rinse thoroughly: Once you've finished lathering up your pet, start rinsing them off with clean, lukewarm water. Do not be in a rush; take your time and make sure all of the soap is thoroughly wiped off because your pet will lick anything left behind as they brush themselves later. It also has the potential to attract dirt and irritate their skin. Finally, if your pet's face needs to be cleaned, don't spill water or use shampoo on it. Instead, gently brush their face with a damp washcloth. Keep an especially close eye on your cat's ears and eyes, which are very delicate and easily harmed. If you need to use something other than water to remove something toxic or sticky, a tiny bit of cat shampoo on the washcloth will suffice.

Q1. Why Do Cats Hate Water?

According to some theories, the species developed in dry climates with no connection to rivers or streams, so water (except for drinking) is a foreign feature that they resist.

Other theories suggest that cats are more likely to dislike being soaked due to the damage that water does to their hair. Cats are meticulous creatures who spend all of their time cleaning themselves. Wet hair makes a cat very uncomfortable and takes a long time to dry. Wet fur is, therefore, thicker than dry fur, making a cat less agile and more vulnerable to predators.

Q2. How Do I Wash My Cat Without Getting Scratched?

If you do not want your cat to scratch you whenever you are bathing it, then consider clipping and trimming its toenails. Better still, have someone around to help you hold the cat still while washing it. With these precautions, you will not sustain scratches from your pet.

Q3. How Can I Calm My Cat Down in the Bath?

Because cats do not welcome the idea of entering the water, they can act aggressively when bathing. To avoid this, you should not attempt to submerge them in the water fully. Also, you should avoid pouring water on their face. You also want to make sure the water is not too cold or too hot.

Q4. How Can I Clean My Cat's Fur Without Water?

You can use bath wipes specifically designed for cats. These wipes are designed to bathe your cat without water.


Cats generally do not like water, talk less of bathing. All things being equal, cats are equal to the task of cleaning their furs by licking with their tongue. However, in situations where they cannot thoroughly clean their hair, it becomes your duty, as their owner, to clean them up. You can do this by using the necessary assistance, the right shampoo, the suitable water, and the right time.

Amy Granger
Amy is an editor from iPetor, owns a 4-year experience in writing tips and tutorial for users. As a pet owner, she will share more pets care methods and recommend more useful products for all pet owners.
We use cookies to ensure that you get the best experience on our website. Click here to learn more.Got it