Do You Need To Bathe Cats? – Everything You Need to Know

Usually, cats do not need a bath. They dislike baths and the whole situation can be very stressful for them. However, they may get themselves in a nasty situation such that bathing them would be the only solution. Also, if your cat has long hair, he would need a bath once in a while to prevent their fur from matting.

Do You Need To Bathe Cats

When it is necessary to give your cat a bath

If your cat is in any of the following situations, then it is necessary to bathe them

1. Your cat has a severe flea infestation

Cats with fleas do not necessarily need a bath. This is because most flea treatments kill fleas quickly once in contact with the cat’s skin. However, when a cat has a very bad flea and tick infestation, it is crucial to bath them. Additionally, if your cat has flea allergies, you must give them a bath to rid the fleas and give them relief from their allergies.

Moreover, some flea treatment products may need cleaning off. Therefore, you will have to bathe your cat to remove these products from her coat. If not cleaned out, these products may cause tremors and other undesirable side effects on your cat.

2. They have something disgusting stuck on their coat

Cat are very curious animals. Sometimes their curiosity cat gets them into a ‘sticky’ situation. For instance, your cat can get gasoline, oil, tree sap, and other materials on their coat. Therefore, if your cat gets these on her coat, bathing her is a must.

It is important to bath her as soon as she gets these substances on her coat so that she does not ingest them when trying to groom. Additionally, if you suspect that your cat may have ingested some of the harmful materials on her coat, take her to the veterinarian immediately for first aid and treatment.

3. They have medical conditions that make it impossible for them to groom themselves

Obese cats or cats with arthritis may not grooms themselves as much as they need due to mobility issues. An arthritic cat may fail to groom herself due to the pain she experiences when bending. On the other hand, an obese cat may not reach some parts of her body to a bath.

Therefore, you will need to bath your obese or arthritic cat once in a while. Also, it is important to groom her regularly to remove excess fur and prevent their coat from matting. Additionally, a warm bath may give your arthritic cat some relief. A regular groom is important to maintain healthy skin and coat for your cat.

4. If your cat just loves bath time

Some cats enjoy bath time. If your cat enjoys while you bath her, do it once in a while. Also, it is a great way to spend time with your kitty and bond.

Do You Need To Bathe Cats

Giving your cat a bath

If bathing your cat is inevitable, you need to make the experience comfortable for you and your furry baby. 

What you will need to bathe your cat

Prepare everything you will need beforehand such that when you start bathing your cat, everything will be within your reach. 

Here are the items you will need:        

1. A sink or a bath lined with a non-slip mat

Ensure that the sink size is adequate for your cat. Also, if you are using a bathtub, line it with a non-slip floor mat to prevent your cat slipping and falling in the bathwater.

2. Cat/ Kitten Shampoo

Get special shampoo formulated for cats/kittens. Do not use human shampoo or conditioner since the chemicals may be very harsh to your cat’s skin. Also, cat shampoo is suitable because it does not have a strong perfume that would irritate your cat.

3. Clean dry towels

Ensure that you have enough clean towels to wrap your cat in after the bath. It is important to ensure that your kitty is completely dried up before letting them go. Wet fur is likely to cat dirt fast and also make the cat uncomfortable.

4. A cats brush

You will need a cat’s brush to brush his coat after a bath. This will help straighten their fur and remove mats and knots. Additionally, it is important to brush your long-haired cat’s coat regularly to prevent matting. Also, senior cats need regular brushing since they are not vehement groomers like young cats.

5. Protective clothing

Your cat may get nervous from bathing him and may end up trying to bite or scratch you. Therefore, it is important to ensure that you leave no bare skin when bathing her. You can use long-sleeved gloves if your cat tends to scratch or bite.

Do You Need To Bathe Cats

How to bathe your cat

  1. Fill the bath with enough warm clean water. Ensure that the water is not hot since it would scald your cat. Then, lower your kitty gently into the water. Avoid overfilling the bath since it would make your cat anxious.
  1. Reassure your cat as you bathe him. Moreover, you can give him treats as a distraction while bathing him. Also, you can get someone else the cat trusts to hold his head and provide reassurance as you bathe him.
  1. Apply a little shampoo and water on the cat’s body. Lather the body, the tail, and the neck gently. Avoid the cat’s head and ears. If need be, clean his face with a damp cloth only without shampoo as it would irritate his eyes and nose.
  1. Rinse you cat. When your cat is clean and ready for rinsing, use the shower nozzle, or pour a jug of clean warm water on them. Use one hand to protect their face and ears from getting the water.
  1. If you are using a cat conditioner, apply and repeat the rinsing process. Ensure that you rinse off the shampoo and the conditioner thoroughly so that your cat does not ingest them when grooming himself. 
  1. After the bath, allow your cat to shake off the excess water. Then, dry them with a clean towel to dry the excess water. Cats may get nervous if you try to dry them with a dryer. Afterward, leave them in a warm room to dry off naturally. Most importantly, do not allow your cat to access the outdoors if their fur is still damp as they may catch a cold.
  1. Reward your cat. It is important to reward your cat after giving a bath. Thus, they will associate bath time with a positive association. Therefore, give your cat her favorite treats or cat food immediately after the bath. Thus, they will associate bathing with receiving treats.

Also, appreciate your kitty by giving her lots of attention and petting her after the bath. Your affection after the bath will make them feel loved and less vulnerable.

Do You Need To Bathe Cats


If your cat gets scared or nervous, they may try to scratch or bite you. Usually, this happens to most cat parents while bathing their furry babies. Therefore, if it happens to you, stop immediately to avoid making the situation worse. You can contact your vet to recommend experienced groomers to help with bathing your cat.

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