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Do You Really Need to Bathe Your Cat?

Does cat ownership involve bathing your kitty? Sometimes.  Find out when you should bathe your pet and how to give a cat a bath. 

Do cats need baths? If so, how can you bathe your kitty without getting scratched in the process? Stick around to find out. 

Photo by Thomas Despeyroux from Unsplash

Do Cats Need Baths?

Usually, cats don’t need baths because most felines are pretty good at grooming themselves. But there are exceptions. 

You might need to bathe your pet if your cat:

  • Gets into something dirty, like a muddy spot in your yard.
  • Comes across something that smells really bad, like your trash.
  • Is carrying pests like fleas, mites, ticks, or lice. In that case, you should visit your veterinarian to obtain the appropriate shampoo and medication.

Some cats need to be bathed on a regular basis. Those kitties fall into one of the following categories:

  • Long-haired cats with high maintenance coats. 
  • Hairless cats that require bathing to manage body oil. 
  • Obese, elderly, or arthritic cats that have trouble grooming themselves. 

How to Give a Cat a Bath

Photo by Robin de kesel  from Unsplash

Don’t get intimidated by the thought of bathing your furball. Even if your cat doesn’t like water you can complete this task unscathed.     

Follow our cat bathing steps below.

Get Prepared

Determine where you will bathe your pet. If you have a small kitten, you could use a sink. Otherwise, a bathtub is fine.     

Either way, it’s a good idea to place a grippy mat on the bottom of the sink or tub. This mat will help your cat stay standing. 

Before starting the water, place the towels and shampoo in an easy to reach spot. Remember to use a shampoo that’s specifically for cats. 

Get the Water Started

Once everything is in place, it’s time to start the bath. Put your cat in the sink or tub before starting the water.    

Pay attention to the temperature of the water. It shouldn’t be freezing, but it also shouldn’t be too hot. A slightly warmer temperature is usually the best way to go. 

Apply the Shampoo

Carefully wet your cat’s body, working from top to bottom. Avoid your feline’s eyes, ears, nose, and mouth.  After wetting your kitty, apply the shampoo by massaging it into the fur.  


Fill up a cup of water and carefully pour it over your cat’s body. Repeat this step until every bit of shampoo has been rinsed off. Once again, avoid getting water in your cat’s eyes, ears, nose, and mouth.

Rinsing off all the shampoo is very important. If it doesn’t get completely washed off, your cat will ingest whatever remains the next time he grooms himself. 

Dry Your Furry Friend

Photo by Rebecca Campbell  from Unsplash

After the bath, wrap your cat in a towel ASAP. You don’t want your fur baby to get cold. 

If your cat isn’t afraid of the blow dryer, you can use it to dry your kitty more quickly. Just be sure to keep it on a very low setting.

As already mentioned, most cats don’t require a bath on a regular basis. But if your four-legged friend ever does need one, follow our steps on how to give a cat a bath. 

If you do that, you can successfully accomplish this task.

Do You Really Need to Bathe Your Cat?
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Do You Really Need to Bathe Your Cat?
Does cat ownership involve bathing your kitty? Sometimes. Find out when you should bathe your pet and how to give a cat a bath.
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