Cats and water don’t mix very well. Unlike like dogs, cats with smaller size are usually foxy, excellent escapers when we are about to give them a bath. Bathing a cat is definitely a difficult challenge, and it may turn into a disater sometimes.

How often should You Bath Your Cat?

The National Cat Groomers of America recommends cats get a bath and blown dry every 4-6 weeks to keep their coats from getting matted or pelted. This is to avoid complication of over-bathing, which may hurt the skin of the cat.

However, how often you need to bathe your cat depends on your cat’s coat length, coat type, self-grooming behavior, activity level and health issues. For example, cats with longer coat will need more maintenance than cats with short coat. Outdoor cats will need a bath more frequently than indoor cats. Cats that cannot or do not groom themselves need to bath regularly to keep their coat from being greasy or sticky. Besides, cats with issues like skin irritation, tick or flea infestation will require more attention.

NOTE: DO NOT bath a cat when he/she is ill or sick. DO NOT bath a kitty until the kitty is at leat weeks old, as any earlier could lead to illness or other health issues.

Where to Bath A Cat?

Bringing your cat into a peaceful environment is one of the first steps you need to take. Using your sink, a laundry basket or a tub in your bathroom will be good. For small kittens, begin bathing in the bathroom sink. This is shallow and a better fit. It also enables you to rinse easily using the faucet.

Also, make sure that the door is closed, and your cat can’t escape from the bath, especially when the bathing is not yet finished.

How to Get Ready for A Bath?

Getting Your Cat Ready

If you own the cat as a kitten, starting bath training process to your cat as soon as possible(but wait until the kitty is at least 6 weeks old!), as it is much easier to restrain a tiny kitten. The earlier you start to bath your kitten, the better the kitten will get used to it.

  • Trim your cat’s claws: Cats may become scared when covered in water. You need to trim your cat’s claws before you give him/her a bath to decrease the damage they may cause. You can do this a few hours or even a day before the bath so that you cat will have time to calm down. And don’t forget to give your cat treats as a reward for getting his/her nails trimmed.
  • Brush your cat: Brushing the cat will help remove any knots and tangles in the fur, which will be much more difficult and painful to remove once your cat is wet. It will also make your cat relaxed or less nervous.

Getting the Bathing Area Ready

  • Get all the supplies you need close to hand - including towels, cotton balls for the cat’s ears, cat shampoo, a container of treats, a comb (if you are bathing for fleas) , rubber gloves if need, and one or two small cups to wet the cat’s coat and rinsing. Then put them in a convenient location so that you can handle the cat in the tub and still reach the things you need.
  • Make the tub secure - Place a rubber bath mat in the tub where you’ll be bathing your cat so your cat doesn’t slip and has more comfortable footing. You'll need to place some towels on the floor because it’ll get wet. Also, have at least two towels on hand for drying kitty when the time comes.
  • Set up the tub or sink – Run water in the tub or sink. Fill it with a few inches of warm (not hot) water before bringing your cat into the bathroom, since your cat can be unnerved by running water. Be sure that the warm water will come up no higher than the cat’s belly as your cat might fear drowning and panic.
  • Wear protective clothing – You can wear a jumper, a sweater or a long-sleeved shirt to keep you safe from any possible scratches. It’s also a good idea to wear clothes that aren’t new or that you don’t mind getting wet. Also, be careful and gentle when you rub his head and belly, since these are sensitive areas.

TIPS: You can also place a small cooling rack or oven rack in the tub. Then your cat wull have something to hold on to, which reduces the chance of you being scratched and makes the cat feel more secure.


How to Bathe A Cat?

You can bring your cat in the bathroom now. Be sure that you’ve closed the door. Otherwise, your cat may get the chance to escape from the bath.

  1. Wet the coat: Restrain the cat with one hand, use a small cup, showerhead or sprayer with the other hand to scoop water onto the cat’s coat, wetting the entire body except the head. To wet the cat’s head, tilt the head up. Placing the cup or sprayer between the cat’s ears, pour or spray water so that the run off only falls behind the cat’s head. ( Note: DO NOT wet the whole head. DO NOT get water in the cat’s ears as it can cause ear infections. )
  2. Shampoo your cat: Set the cat shampoo bottle in an easy to reach location. Use a little bit of shampoo and water to wash your cat's neck, body, legs, belly, and tail. Start at the neck and work toward their tail, in the direction of the growth of their fur. Add more shampoo if needed, and wash your cat in a massaging motion so that your cat will feel soothed, not scared. If you must clean your cat’s face, wse a washcloth to carefully wipe your pet’s face.
  3. Rinse the coat: Firstly, rinse your cat thoroughly using the water in the tub. Then, drain the tub and rinse two more times with water from the bucket or warm water from the tap. It is essential that you remove all the shampoo or soap from the coat. If your cat has a long, thick coat, this process will take even longer. Keep rinsing until the water is completely clear and shows no sign of bubbles or soap. Be sure to keep shampoo out of your cats eyes, nose, mouth, and ears.
  4. Remove fleas: If you are bathing for fleas, be sure to use a shampoo specifically for flea treatment. Besides, a flea comb can help remove the stunned fleas from the cat’s coat without intensive searching. Begin by running the comb from neck to the base of the tail, then combing the sides from the shoulder to the back leg. This creates grooves in the cat’s coat and make it easier to spot fleas.
  5. Wash your cat's face with a washcloth: Since most cats really hate having water splashed on their face, you should use a damp washcloth to gently wipe and clean your cat’s face. Use a washcloth to carefully wipe your pet’s face. Plain water is fine unless her face is very dirty - in which case, we recommend using an extra-diluted solution of shampoo, being very cautious around her ears and eyes.


How to Dry A Cat?

  1. Squeeze water out of the coat: Gently squeez as much water as you can from the cat’s coat, focusing on the tail, legs, and feet. Besides, use a cotton ball to clean inside the cat’s ears. Never put any kind of object in your cat’s ear.
  2. Use a towel: Take a towel and gently press as much water as you can from the fur. Then, wrap your cat in the towel and rub gently. Apply gentle pressure while pulling it from the cat’s shoulders to hips. You’ll notice this pushing water down and away from the top of the back. When the towel gets too wet to be effective, switch to another dry towel. Repeat this process a few times, being sure to also gently squeeze the fur around the tummy.
  3. Use a hairdryer: If your kitty doesn’t mind the noise, you can use a hairdryer - on the lowest heat setting. And please note, if your pet has long hair, you may need to carefully untangle her fur with a wide-toothed comb. ( Note: Use the hairdryer ONLY when your cat will not panic because of the noise it produces. And DO NOT use bathing or hair dryers as a punishment for cats. )


Now all washing and grooming are done! Your little furry friend deseves endless praise and his/her favorite snacks or treats after all this! And with such a happy ending, your cat may find that bathing isn’t that bad next time.

Bathing your cat does not have to be difficult. If you get some related knowleages and tips, it is actually easy and not very time consuming.


Back to the top