How to Survive Giving Your Cat a Bath
There are numerous large cats in the wild who genuinely prefer being in the water, including lions and tigers. Tigers, leopards, and lions all enjoy soaking, which is most likely due to the fact that their natural home is in a hot climate and it helps to keep them cool. Because most breeds of domestic cats have coats that absorb rather than reflect moisture, it is possible that they have evolved to loathe water. After they’ve been saturated, it’s more difficult for them to dry. So, why would a cat require a bath in the first place?
They naturally groom themselves, so brushing them on a regular basis is typically sufficient to keep your cat looking clean and comfortable.
Take, for example, the possibility that Kitty soiled himself in the litter box.
Getting Your Cat’s Bath Ready The ideal approach is to make certain that you have all of the required products on available so that you can give your cat a bath in a short amount of time.
- Several large cats in the wild genuinely prefer being in the water, and this is especially true of tigers and lions. Tigers, leopards, and lions all enjoy soaking, which is most likely due to the fact that their natural home is in a hot climate, and soaking helps to keep them cooler. Due to the fact that most breeds of domestic cats have coats that absorb rather than deflect moisture, it is possible that domestic cats have evolved to avoid being near water. After they’ve been saturated, it’s much more difficult for them to dry. How Come a Cat Needs to Be Bathed, You Might Wonder? Thinkstock There are several situations in which washing cats with water is not necessary. It is natural for them to groom themselves, so frequent brushing is typically sufficient to keep your cat clean and comfortable. The need for a proper bath, on the other hand, does arise on sometimes. Consider the possibility that Kitty urinated in the litter box. Climbing up the interior of a chimney has been observed by some to be an attempt by cats. Making Your Cat’s Bath Preparation To avoid this, make sure you have all of the required products on hand so that you can give your cat a bath in a short amount of time:
At comparison to leaning over a tub, washing your cat in a kitchen or bathroom sink is far more convenient. Step-by-step instructions for giving your cat a quick and painless wash are provided below:
- Instead of stooping over a tub to wash your cat, you should use a kitchen or bathroom sink. This process for giving your cat a quick and painless wash will walk you through it step by step.
At comparison to leaning over a tub, washing your cat in a kitchen or bathroom sink is considerably simpler. This section will walk you through the process of giving your cat a quick and painless bath:
How to Bathe Your Cat—Plus, How Often You Actually Need to Do It
It’s far simpler to wash your cat at a kitchen or bathroom sink than it is to lean over a bathtub. The following is a step-by-step process for performing a quick and painless cat bath:
Brush Your Cat Regularly
What is the most effective method of keeping your cat clean outside of bath time? Juma advises that they be brushed on a regular basis. Unless your cat has gotten into anything that has coated his or her fur and cannot be readily removed with brushing, she adds, he or she shouldn’t need to be bathed in most cases. Although cats groom themselves on their own, owners may assist them in keeping clean by brushing or combing them on a regular basis.
Only Clean as Necessary
It is recommended that you just wash the regions of your cat’s body that are filthy if your cat gets dirty enough that you can’t simply brush them clean. ‘If a cat does require a bath, I recommend that you just bathe the region that is in need of treatment,’ she explains. “Others, however, dislike the sensation of being immersed since it causes their coats to get thicker, which is not something all cats are fond of. Cats may experience difficulty if they are immersed in water; however, by simply bathing the areas that require treatment, you can assist to decrease this discomfort.”
Use the Right Shampoo
“It is vital to choose a shampoo that is designed exclusively for cats,” Juma advises. “The use of shampoos intended for people or dogs, particularly flea treatments, can be hazardous to cats. Most pet retailers will offer a cat-safe choice that is clearly labeled on the container as being suitable for felines to consume. An animal doctor may also propose a special shampoo or cleaning approach if a cat’s health is compromised and the owner must bathe the cat on a frequent basis due to the condition.” Alternatively, you may use something like Vet’s Best Waterless Cat Bath Dry Shampoo ($7.49, amazon.com) instead of a bath totally.
Follow these procedures, according to Juma, to ensure a good (and less traumatic) cat bathing experience for your feline friend. Prior to putting them in the bath, clip their nails (if necessary) to prevent them from being accidently scratched. “Enlist the assistance of a family member,” she recommends. “In this way, one person may devote their full attention to socializing with the cat, while the other person cleans the cat.” Get ready for the bath ahead of time by gathering all of the supplies you’ll need, including a cat-safe shampoo like Pro Pet Works All-Natural Organic Shampoo ($14.29, amazon.com), washcloths, a measuring cup for water, and a clean, dry towel.
- Wet cat hair will grow more knotted and matted, much as it does with human hair.
- “Put some water on the area that needs to be cleaned by dipping the cat’s paws into it, pouring water upon her with the measuring cup, or dampening her fur with a washcloth.
- When washing the facial region, use a washcloth to do so.
- According to Shaw, “you may also back-comb her fur to assist it in aerating more quickly.”
Bath Time! Why and How You Should Bathe Your Cat
Follow these procedures, according to Juma, to ensure a good (and less stressful) cat bathing experience for your feline companion. Trim their nails (if necessary) before you start the bath so that they don’t get scratched accidently. It is recommended that you enlist the assistance of a family member. “In this way, one person may devote their full attention to socializing with the cat, while the other person cleans up after her.” Get ready for the bath ahead of time by gathering all of the supplies you’ll need, including a cat-safe shampoo like Pro Pet Works All-Natural Organic Shampoo ($14.29, amazon.com), washcloths, a measuring cup for water, and a fresh, dry towel.
- As with people, a cat’s hair becomes more tangled or matted when it is wet.
- “Wet the area that has to be cleaned by dipping the cat into the water, pouring water upon her with the measuring cup, or dampening her hair with a washcloth before beginning.
- When washing the facial region, use a washcloth instead of your fingers.
- According to Shaw, “you may also back-comb her fur to assist it in aerating more quickly.
Giving a cat a bath.
Even though you probably wouldn’t put the terms “cat” and “bath” together in the same phrase (unless it also included the word “never!”), washing a cat is something that can be done – some cats like it, and occasionally it’s a requirement.
Why might you have to bathe your cat?
Because most cats are fairly conscientious about their grooming habits, there aren’t many reasons why you’d need to bathe your cat in most instances. However, there are a few situations in which you may find yourself in the position of having to do so.
- Because most cats are fairly conscientious about their grooming habits, there aren’t many reasons why you’d need to bathe your cat in most circumstances. It is possible, though, that you will find yourself in a situation where you will require this action.
- They have ringworm
- They have a flea infestation
- They have something stuck to their coat
- They are fat or arthritic
- And some of them just like the experience. So indulge yourself to your heart’s content.
- Flea infestations—Bathing cats with fleas is usually not essential, as most of the current flea treatments kill fleas in a short period of time, making bathing unnecessary. Having said that, bathing may be useful and even required in cases of severe infestations or in cats suffering from flea allergy. To remove something from their coat, such as flea control treatments (which can cause deadly tremors), motor oil or gasoline, antifreeze, potpourri, tree sap, and other substances—they must first remove something from their coat. Weighty or arthritic cats may require occasional bathing to keep their hair and skin in good condition. Obese or arthritic cats may require bathing more frequently. It is possible that arthritis-suffering cats will even enjoy taking a bath, since the warm water and massage provided by lathering the shampoo can be extremely soothing.
Cleaning your cat in between washes is an excellent opportunity to check for fleas, remove superfluous fur, and strengthen your relationship with him or her through brushing.
To bathe your cat it’s important to get all supplies ready first and have a plan
- If you want to reward (and bribe) your cat with yummy goodies, you’ll need to recruit a friend or family member to assist you. Prepare a pitcher or a detachable showerhead, as well as pet-specific shampoo and lots of towels. Lay down a towel, non-slip bath mat, or even a cut-up yoga mat in your bathtub, whether it’s in your sink, a laundry basket, or a Rubbermaid® tub. This will prevent your cat from freaking out as a consequence of a slick surface. Fill the container only partially (a few inches deep) with warm water (not too hot)
- Your assistant will use the pitcher to moisten your cat’s coat while you gently arrange and hold him or her in that position. Shampoo your pet with a pet-specific shampoo (your veterinarian may recommend a specialized shampoo, especially if the wash is required for medical reasons, such as ringworm)
- Using the pitcher or showerhead, thoroughly rinse the shampoo off (use a moderate flow rate so as not to shock your cat)
- Using a series of towels, completely dry your cat’s coat. If your cat is not already accustomed to using a blow dryer, avoid using one on him. or unless you have a low regard for the skin of your arms and face
The Best Brush for Cats
Brushing your cat’s fur before washing will assist to avoid mats and tangles in his or her coat. We’ve discovered that the Furbliss silicone brushes are among the most effective solutions for just about any cat’s grooming needs. They are available in a number of sizes and styles, ensuring that there is a suitable option for any cat, regardless of their size or the amount (and length) of fur on their body. Each brush features two sides that are designed to serve distinct functions: a brush side for combing and grooming, as well as a finer side that is perfect for de-shedding your dog.
In addition, they may be cleaned under running water or sanitized in the dishwasher for easy cleanup.
Check out theTips for Brushing Your Catarticle for additional information on different brush options.
Treats to Give Your Cat Before and After Baths
Greenies are delicious low-calorie snacks (each treat has just 1.25 calories) that also assist to clean your cat’s teeth – and cats really like them. In addition, Life Essentials freeze-dried chicken snacks, which are low in calories and high in protein, are a major success with many cats as well. More low-calorie treat options may be found in our post on Choosing the Best Cat Treats. The Tempting Tuna Feline Greenies Dental Treats for Cats Feline Greenies A freeze-dried chicken pet treat from Life Essentials.
Our Favorite Supplies for Giving a Cat a Bath
In general, cats will feel more exposed and frightened in a huge bathtub than in a smaller one. It is simple to utilize a sink, which will help your cat feel more safe while also being easier on your back because you will not be bending over a tub. Alternatively, if a sink isn’t feasible or you simply don’t want to bathe your cat in the same place as you wash your dishes, a toddler bathtub will do the trick. Inflated tubs should be avoided at all costs since cats have strong claws that may quickly and permanently collapse an inflatable bath.
Shower tub and bath center for Summer Infant babies.
The Best Shampoo for Cats
Use of human shampoo on your cat is not recommended since it may dry out or otherwise injure their skin.
Instead, try one of the shampoos and conditioners suggested in our page on pet shampoo and conditioner. A waterless shampoo can be used in the event that a traditional wash is too stressful for your cat, either emotionally or physically.
Pheromones to Calm Your Cat During Baths
An animal pheromone diffuser can go a long way toward soothing a cat that is getting ready to flip out over taking a shower. If you’re giving your cat a bath, try plugging in this diffuser in the room with the heater on. For a nervous cat, a pheromone, which resembles the aroma that helps soothe kittens, may be beneficial in relieving their anxiety. Cats might benefit from the Feliway Classic Calming Diffuser Kit. I believe this video does an excellent job of demonstrating all of the stages involved in bathing a cat, plus you can’t go wrong with two cute feline models.
It is completely anonymous and will just take 1–2 minutes.
How to Bathe a Cat or Kitten Without Getting Scratched
Cats are excellent groomers, so it’s unlikely that you’ll need to bathe your feline companion. However, if you must bathe your cat, following suggestions might help you and your cat remain happy during the bathing process, even if she despises the water. There are undoubtedly hundreds of other duties you’d rather complete than giving your cat a bath—and, without a doubt, your cat isn’t thrilled about the prospect of getting a bath as well! However, when it comes to providing the finest possible care for your precious fuzzball, we have some helpful suggestions to make bath time less stressful.
Do Cats Really Need to Be Bathed?
Most cast breeds do not require frequent washing, according to Tarina L. Anthony, DVM, a long-time feline-exclusive veterinarian and owner and medical director of Aurora Cat Hospital & Hotel in Aurora, Colorado. “The good news is that most cast breeds do not require regular bathing,” she adds. “When people get a new cat, they often ask me how often they should bathe them,” she explains. “I tell them every two weeks.” Cats are meticulous creatures by nature, and they are capable of keeping themselves clean.” The rough tongue of a cat is coated with small curved barbs known as papillae, which are responsible for transferring saliva across her hair.
Those tiny spines also serve as natural detanglers, which is why you’ll often see your cat licking and chewing at clumps of fur until she’s able to smooth everything out completely.
— According to Anthony, it is more vital to keep your cat groomed than it is to worry about bathing them, because frequent brushing and combing helps disclose health concerns more rapidly than bathing.
According to WebMD, a metal comb should be used to gently release matted areas, particularly under her belly button and around her legs.
After that, use a rubber or bristle brush to remove debris and stray hair from every inch of her skin. Ideally, you should groom short-haired cats once a week, and long-haired beauties once a day.
So How Often Should You Bathe a Cat?
Cats and kittens need to be bathed sometimes, depending on the situation. If your cat has gotten into something she shouldn’t have, such as motor oil, antifreeze, gasoline, or paint, Anthony recommends giving her a wash right away. Basically, everything that gets on her fur and has the potential to be harmful must be removed as soon as possible. Anthony further points out that certain felines acquire skin disorders that can be alleviated by washing, such as seborrhea, which is a disorder that produces flaky, red, and itchy skin on the body.
- Older cats with arthritis or who are overweight may require more frequent bathing since they are not always able to groom themselves well and frequently have difficulty reaching certain areas and keeping smells from accumulating.
- Taking a wash every couple of months or so is beneficial for many long-haired dogs, including Maine coons, Persians, and Himalayans, to keep their fur from matting.
- As a result of their oily residue, hairless breeds like as the Sphynx are likely to require more regular bathing than their furry counterparts.
- In the event that you do not wish to bathe your hairless cat on a weekly basis, Anthony recommends cat-specific grooming products or baby wipes for regular care.
- cat drying off with a towel after a bath Photograph courtesy of Waitforlight / Getty Images
How to Bathe a Cat Who Hates Water
While many wild animals, such as jaguars, leopards, lions, and tigers, are excellent swimmers and love lazing in rivers to cool off, just a few domesticated cats are comfortable in water. Her options include drinking from a faucet or cuddling up in a dry sink for a warm and comfortable slumber. Baths, on the other hand, are not. According to Anthony, there are several ideas as to why most cats fear water. They don’t enjoy it when their fur is burdened down—imagine wearing a damp blanket all day!” Another reason is that water alters their natural fragrance,” she explains.
“Cats are small control freaks wrapped in fur coats,” says the author.
First and foremost, become ready to:
- Decide on a time after she has eaten or played because she will be more relaxed at that time. If at all feasible, cut her nails before she gets into the water, filing the ends as well as the tips after they’ve been clipped to dull them. Place all of your bath items in a convenient location, along with any snacks you want to give her afterward. Those who adore cats may even choose to warm a towel in the dryer while using aromatherapy to make the experience more relaxing. Make sure to use cat-specific shampoo and crème rinse to keep your cat clean. Set aside some time for a quick grooming session to make managing her fur a lot simpler.
More detailed instructions from Anthony on how to bathe a cat without being scratched—and, more importantly, without upsetting your pet—followed by more recommendations.
- Recruit the assistance of a sympathetic friend. It is possible for one of you to hold the cat while the other bathes her. Keep the amount of flowing water to a bare minimum. Many cats become frightened when they hear the actual sound, and the last thing you want is to be snatched by a slippery, keen cat. Alternatively, if you don’t have a gentle sprayer, rinse using a non-breakable cup. Fill a sink with a few inches of warm water and place it in the sink. Get the cat’s soiled parts moist, and then lather them up with shampoo to clean them. Only the components that require washing are washed, and the rest is properly rinsed. Make use of a washcloth to clean the face and ears
- After shampooing, use a crème rinse to finish the job. This is vital because you don’t want to deprive her skin of its natural oils, which will cause her skin to become dry. After allowing it to sit for up to five minutes, completely rinse it off As much as possible, dry with a towel. Then, using a fine-toothed comb, remove any remaining loose hair. Because your cat will be grooming for a lengthy period of time after her wash, removing superfluous fur will assist to reduce the number of hairballs.
You could wish to try dry cat shampoos or professional groomers advised by your veterinarian if your cat is not willing to accept water under any conditions.
How to Give a Cat a Bath Yourself (Without Getting Scratched)
Do you want to know how to give a cat a bath? Using the kitchen sink instead of the bath tub may be a more efficient solution. Brian Costelloe provided the photograph. I overhear an older gentleman remarking to himself, “Cats are such wonderful, tidy animals.” This is completely correct… Nonetheless, this does not imply that your cat is a fully self-cleaning machine or that you will never have to bathe them again. What about giving cats a bath? Is this something you should do? Yes, baths are occasionally required.
- They could get drenched with antifreeze by a gang of naughty kids who pay them a visit.
- Alternatively, they may just want assistance in getting rid of excess oil, dander, and/or mats.
- “Cats do not groom themselves,” she adds.
- If you licked yourself from head to toe, do you think you’d be clean?” German inquires.
- You’d be coated in saliva by this point.
Looking for a Cat Groomer?
- Many groomers will not work with cats at all
- Some groomers will only work on kittens and young cats. The skin of an ancient cat is paper thin, much like the skin of an aged person, and the risk of ripping or cutting is too severe for them. People with older cats are now advised to take them to the veterinarian instead, according to these groomers. If something goes wrong, the cats will be able to receive prompt medical attention.
Cats are seen as unpredictable, and no one wants to be scratched or bitten by one of these creatures. And it is at this point that folks like German and Cheryl Maisbusch of The Cat Groomerin Spofford, New Hampshire, come into play. “It’s easy to think of cats as merely miniature dogs,” adds Maisbusch, who received certification from the National Cat & Dog Institute in 2009. “And they aren’t,” says the author. It’s a whole different procedure from the previous one. The criteria of a cat –– skin, anatomy, temperament, and everything else –– are vastly different from those of a dog.
“The skin of a cat is approximately half the thickness of a human.” She recommended that you take your pet to a professional cat groomer who is qualified.
These professionals are trained to work with “aggressive cats, old cats, timid cats, and cats with particular requirements.” “They’ve gone through the training,” she explains.
Julie Falk contributed to this image.
Do-It-Yourself Cat Grooming: Sink vs. Tub
Okay, not everyone has the means to take their cat to a professional groomer. So, what do you do? The first consideration appears to be straightforward: sink or tub? However, it is not quite that straightforward. According to Kim Langille, owner of Finnland Cattery in New Brunswick, Canada, “I don’t have a cat tub.” “I just take a bath in my own bathtub.” My grippy mat is tiny and provides children with a firm surface to stand on. ” In order to rinse, she utilizes a 6-foot hose that is hooked to the showerhead.
Langille bathes them in “a tiny tub (like a baby tub) that I place in my bathtub and fill up to their chins with warm water,” she explains.
“It makes it easy to lather, rinse, and repeat,” says the author.
Having a wet cat coated in shampoo sprinting around your house is the last thing you need.” Consider your cat’s personality and preferences before making a decision:
- According to Johnson-Bennett, some cats are captivated by water and like spending time in the bathtub
- Others do not share this passion, “in which case a sink may be preferable in your situation.”
Maisbusch is a staunch supporter of the sink. “Rather than a bathtub, I would like a kitchen sink,” she explains. ” “In a kitchen sink, it’s a lot more manageable.” In addition, kitchen sinks are typically equipped with sprayers, which are quite useful for rinsing. Cats seldom require bathing because they are normally well groomed by themselves. Photograph courtesy of Huang Yun Chung
How to Give a Cat a Bath Without Getting Scratched
- Get your towels and chamois (sometimes known as “shammy” rags) in order before anything else. Prepare one shammy cloth on a towel to use to dry your cat when the bath is over
- Choose a cat-safe shampoo instead of infant, dog or waterless shampoos. Avoid using any form of shampoo that contains essential oils. If you’re in a hurry and it’s the only thing you have on hand, Dawn dish detergent (original formula) can suffice.
It is okay to use Dawn dish soap to clean a cat’s fur. Yes, Dawn is “fine to use in moderation,” according to Emily Heyland, a veterinary technician who formerly worked as a pet groomer for several years before pursuing a career in medicine. “However, it can be quite drying…. It is true that there are various shampoos that are more suited for cats,” she explains.
Running the Water
The use of Dawn dish soap on a cat is considered to be harmless. Veterinary technician Emily Heyland said that Dawn is “safe to use in moderation,” having previously worked as a pet groomer for several years before pursuing her degree. “On the other hand, it may be quite drying…. It is true that there are various shampoos that are more suited for cats,” she asserts.
- After the cat has been placed in the sink, turn on the water. When compared to being dunked into standing water, Maisbusch adds that this is less distressing to the cat. Check to see that the water is warm, not hot
- Maintain a strong grasp on your cat while being calm. It is preferable to stay cool when dealing with a crisis, according to Maisbusch. (It should be noted that not all cats are easily calmed.)
The loose skin on the back of your cat’s neck will almost certainly need to be scruffed. “Some people are terrified to scruff, but it’s the most mama-like thing you can do,” Heyland says. However, you scruff their paws so that they remain on a level surface. “They can be a little rebellious at times. “If they have a strong sense of independence, they don’t enjoy being told what to do,” she explains. In the opinion of Maisbusch, scuffing is more better than strapping a slip lead around the dogs’ necks: “You don’t want to have anything around their necks so that if they do freak out, they don’t damage themselves.” She recommends using “the smallest degree of restriction that is absolutely required.”
Do you have your sprayer at the ready? Good. However, do not point it directly at your cat immediately soon. Instead, spray the edge of the sink with the water. As Maisbusch explains, “by doing so, you may adjust both the angle and the power of the sprayer.” “Before the spray really strikes the cat,” she explains, you may make any necessary modifications to your spraying technique. In order to get it through the hair, it shouldn’t be too aggressive, but it should be strong enough to get it through.” Spray the cat’s behind first, then work your way up their back and toward their front legs using the sprayer.
This will protect the spray from getting into their eyes.
Then wrap your cat with shammy cloths and then towels, making a feline burrito-style wrap for him. Heyland describes it as “similar to cradling a newborn.” “The majority of cats will assume the Sphinx position, which is resting on their bellies with their feet under them,” Maisbusch continues.
In order to avoid injuring the tail, they should wrap it over their rear legs. So, what do we do now? Take advantage of this chance to examine their ears – and to shower them with affection.
- Danielle, German, CFMG, and CFCG “Mushroom Cats,” as they are known. The National Cat Groomers Institute was founded on December 4, 2018. Pamela Johnson-Bennett is the author of this work. Instructions on how to correct behavior problems in your adult cat, starting from the beginning The Penguin Group published a book in 2007 titled
How to Give a Stress-Free Cat Bath
This post includes affiliate links for your convenience. Upon purchasing something using the links on this page, Found Animals receives a share of the revenue. These profits will be used to save even more homeless animals in the future! Every time you take a cat bath, you should appear like you just walked off the set of a horror film. If you don’t, you’re doing it incorrectly. Cats and water aren’t always the most natural of pairings. In addition, attempting to submerge them in a tub without conducting thorough study ahead might result in stress for both you and your pet.
What’s the point of it all, anyway?
Once they have finished their meal, cats will methodically wipe themselves with their small sandpaper tongues, from the tip of their tails to the crown of their skulls.
Whether they’re older or have found themselves in difficult situations, you may find yourself in the unenviable position of having to complete the time-consuming chore.
- Enlist the assistance of a second person, preferably someone who is familiar with and appreciates your cat. While you are bathing the cat, the other person can assist you by holding the cat. You should cut or grind your cat’s nails before attempting to bathe or groom your feline companion. Since the majority of cats will seek to run away from you, it is important to maintain their nails clipped to minimize the number of scratches you will incur during the procedure. Before you begin bathing them, brush out their fur with a brush to remove any tangles before you begin. If there are any mats or knots in the cat’s fur, getting them wet will just make them tighter, therefore it’s best to remove them before putting the cat into the water
- Otherwise, the cat will drown. Make a bathmat out of a towel and place it at the bottom of the bathtub so your cat can get a solid hold on the surface. Only a few inches of water should be used, and the temperature should be kept as low as possible. To prevent your cat from becoming scared by the running water, fill the tub with water and many extra buckets before bringing them into the bathroom. Make use of a shampoo that has been designed particularly for washing cats. Almost anything else might be dangerous, if not deadly, to your cat
- Always use extreme caution while handling your cat’s head, and avoid getting water in your cat’s eyes, ears, or nose. After washing your cat with a gentle towel, rinse them well with warm water until all of the soap is removed from their fur. To remove the soap, use the extra buckets of water to rinse the soap away. While you’re bathing your cat, use calm, soothing tones to communicate with them. This will assist them in remaining calm. Using a towel, blot them dry and allow them to air dry in a warm, draft-free environment. If your cat has longer fur, you may need to comb it out while it’s drying to prevent tangling
- If your cat has short fur, you may not need to comb it out.
There is no need to be concerned if your cat is extremely sensitive to water. Cat baths that do not require water are also available! Look for dry shampoo or wipes that are cat-safe at your local pet supply store. Naturally, kittens are considerably simpler to bathe than puppies, but they are also much more delicate. Remember not to get their heads wet and dry them with a hairdryer as soon as they come out of the bath to keep their body temperature consistent. For more information, please see this video of one of our staff members washing her foster kitten for more information.
How to [Safely] Bathe Your Cat
Don’t be concerned if your cat is extremely sensitive to water. Additionally, there are waterless cat baths available. Look for dry shampoo or wipes that are cat-safe at your local pet supply retailer. In addition to being simpler to bathe, kittens are also more vulnerable than other animals. Take care not to get their heads wet, and soon after the bath, dry them with a hairdryer to keep their body temperature stable. Take a look at this video of one of our staff members washing her foster kitty for further information.
Cat Bathing Basics
The good news for you and your cat is that, unlike their canine relatives, our feline pals do not require frequent bathing. For those of you who do have a canine in the house, you should read these instructions on how to bathe your dog. In most cases, cats are quite content to bathe and groom themselves, using their rough tongues to clean and smooth their coat. Of course, this can result in some unpleasant hairballs, but that’s a whole other topic for another time. However, there are instances when a cat may require a thorough washing with water.
With the help of water.
If you’re like some of us, you’re probably wondering, “Is it safe to give a cat a bath?” Yes, it is correct. Cats, in fact, may require a thorough cleaning for a variety of reasons. For example, suppose they do the following:
- If you’ve gotten yourself into anything really nasty or sticky, You’ve become ill and vomited on yourself, or you’ve had a nasty litter box accident. It is necessary to wash the dog with flea or anti-fungal medicine.
Curiously enough, many of their wildcat cousins, like the cougar, seem to prefer a refreshing bath in the water. There is no better location for large cats such as lions, jaguars, and tigers, who dwell in hot climates, to cool down than a waterfall or a river. So what is it about it that our tamed felines appear to despise so much? The fact that they are being held in a sink or tub and becoming soaked might simply be due to the fact that they are not used to this. They also have a tendency to have their coats take a long time to dry, which makes them chilly and uncomfortable.
How to Give Your Cat a Bath
Somewhat surprisingly, swimming in a body of water is something that many of their wildcat cousins seem to truly like. When it comes to large cats like lions, jaguars, and tigers, who live in hot conditions, there is no better way to cool down than a waterfall. So what is it about it that our tamed felines appear to despise? Alternatively, it is possible that they are simply not accustomed to the complete feeling of being restrained in a basin or tub and being soaked. Aside from that, their jackets might take a long time to dry, making them feel chilly and uncomfortable.
Surprisingly, many of its wildcat ancestors seem to actually love taking a bath in the water. There is no better location for large cats such as lions, jaguars, and tigers, who dwell in hot climates, to cool down than a river or a lake. So what is it about it that our tamed felines appear to despise so much? It’s possible that they’re simply not accustomed to the complete feeling of being restrained in a sink or bathtub and getting soaked. Their clothing might often take a long time to dry, making them feel chilly and uncomfortable.
- As mentioned above, you should avoid using shampoo from your own shower since it may include scents and other elements that might irritate your cat’s skin
- Shampoo that is particularly designed for cats
- If you are not utilizing a tub or sink with a spray nozzle, you will need a pitcher for rinsing. A soft towel to wipe the fur from your cat’s face
- Cotton balls can be used to clean the ears. It is recommended to wear rubber gloves to prevent scratches. While they are not fully scratch-proof, they do assist. The wearing of long sleeves is also recommended. a huge towel to dry your cat off after he’s been outside
Because shampoo from your own shower, which may include scents and other elements that might irritate your cat’s skin, should be avoided, you should use a cat-specific shampoo instead. If you’re not utilizing a tub or sink with a spray nozzle, you’ll need a pitcher for washing your hands. The use of a soft towel to clean the face of your cat Cleaning the ears with cotton balls is a good idea. Wearing rubber gloves can help you avoid scratches. They are not fully scratch-proof, but they do assist.
Bathing Your Cat
Are you ready? Great! You can now get some laundry done. Simply follow these five straightforward steps:
- If you’re wondering how to keep a cat calm when bathing, it’s a good idea to first get your cat acclimated to being in the sink or tub—try putting them in without any water, giving them a few treats, and then taking them out of the sink or tub. If at all feasible, repeat this process numerous times in the days leading up to the bathing of your cat to make the process go more smoothly. Add the Cat to the Water– Fill the sink or tub with a few inches of lukewarm water and carefully place your cat into the water. Maintain your cat’s calm by speaking soothingly to them and complimenting them on their excellent conduct. This is (I know, it’s easier said than done!) Prepare to Wet Your Cat Down– Spray your cat’s body and tail with water, avoiding the face. Most cats dislike having water splashed in their faces, and you’ll want to avoid causing any distress to your drenched feline
- To clean your cat, lather up the shampoo and thoroughly rinse him or her down with water. Make an effort not to leave any soap residue behind, since this might irritate your cat’s skin. Clean the Cat’s Face– Using a soft towel, gently wipe the whiskered face of your cat clean. Alternatively, a cotton ball can be used to clean the outside of the ears. Always avoid cleaning the inside of your cat’s ears with a Q-tip or any other object, since this might result in an injury.
As soon as you’re finished, carefully wrap the towel over your cat and hoist them out of the sink or bathtub. It’s time to take a deep breath and exhale!
After the Bath
To remove your cat from the sink or tub, gently wrap the towel around their neck and raise them up. We can all take a deep breath of relief now.
Kitten Bathing Tips
When it comes to washing a kitten vs a cat, there isn’t much of a difference, save that young furballs can be more energetic and difficult to keep still. If your kitty believes bath time is a time for play, you might try to divert their attention with a toy or tiny reward. When washing a cat, it is very vital to use rubber gloves since the kitten may attempt to nibble at your hands in amusement. Last but not least, remember to take into account the size of your small pal.
A sink or a tiny store-bought tub will most likely be more suitable for a cat than a larger tub of the same size. You don’t want your kitten to feel overwhelmed in a large environment, nor do you want him to have so much room to wander around and maybe get harmed.
More Cat Grooming Tips
Despite the fact that bath time will most likely (and ideally!) be a rare event, there are several grooming tasks that you can aid with on a daily basis to help keep your cat looking and feeling pretty:
- Brushing your hair on a daily basis will assist to minimize shedding and the formation of those pesky hairballs. Check your cat’s nails– If necessary, clip your cat’s nails. Some cats may go for an extended period of time without having their nails cut if they use scratching posts to wear them down. Fur that can become tangled should be clipped back on a regular basis. Longhaired breeds, in particular, may require their fur around their bottoms or paws to be trimmed back. Spot clean as necessary– Your cat may become a bit dirty from time to time, but he or she may not require a thorough bath. You can use a soft cloth to carefully wipe away any filth
- However, this is not recommended.
A healthy coat is also a by-product of a healthy cat’s overall well being. Make a point of taking your cat to the veterinarian for a checkup on a yearly basis. Also, remember to keep those pearly teeth in tip-top shape with yearly dental examinations and frequent tooth brushing at home. Yes, it might be as intimidating as bathing, but it is very necessary! Do you have a dog at home as well as a cat? Check out these grooming suggestions for them, as well!
A Few Final Thoughts
After reading this, if the notion of giving your cat a bath still makes your skin crawl, you may always seek the help of a professional groomer. Some groomers will even come to your home to bathe your cat in the comfort of your own home or in a mobile grooming van. Alternatively, if you choose to do the procedure yourself but are not sure in your ability to do so, your veterinarian can provide guidance. Congratulations on your cat-washing endeavors and best of luck! Remember, I made it through, and you can too.
How Often Should I Give My Cat a Bath?
After reading this, if the prospect of bathing your cat still makes your skin crawl, you may always consult with a professional groomer for assistance. Others will even come to your home and bathe your cat at your home or in a mobile grooming van, if necessary. If you want to do it yourself but aren’t sure you’re up to the effort, your veterinarian may also provide guidance and advise. Congratulations on your cat-washing endeavors and best wishes! Recall that I made it through, and you can as well.
- Indoor versus outdoor environment: Outdoor cats will require more frequent bathing than their indoor counterparts. In terms of length and kind of coat, longer haired felines will require more upkeep than shorter haired felines. Behavior in terms of self-grooming: Cats who are unable to or do not adequately groom themselves require regular washes in order to maintain their coat from getting oily or sticky. Additionally, because overweight cats have trouble reaching all regions of the body, they will require more frequent bathing – the backsides of these cats frequently become matted, and the skin can become irritable, flaking, or even infected
- Cats with high levels of activity will require more frequent bathing
- Cats with low levels of activity will require less frequent bathing. Skin irritation, tick or flea infestation, and loose feces are all examples of health conditions that may necessitate additional treatment.
Indoor versus outdoor environment: Outdoor cats will require more regular bathing than their indoor counterparts; -Coat length and type: Longer coats require more upkeep than short coats, and vice versa. Behavior in terms of self-grooming: Cats who are unable to or do not adequately groom themselves require regular showers in order to maintain their coat from getting oily or stuck. Aside from that, because overweight cats have trouble reaching all regions of the body, they will require more frequent bathing – the backsides of these cats frequently grow matted and the skin can become itchy, flaky, or even diseased; and Cats with a high degree of activity will require more frequent washing than cats with a low level of activity.
- Preferably, bathe your cat when they are at their most relaxed
- Wear them out with some playtime beforehand. Trim your cat’s nails before washing him (see PetFirst Pet Insurance’s video on how to trim your cat’s nails for more information). Remove any loose hair or mats from your cat’s coat by brushing it. To prevent water out of your cat’s ears, stuff cotton into the openings. If you have a sink or tub, place a rubber mat in it to prevent your cat from slipping. To moisten your pet, use a hand-held sprayer
- Avoid spraying directly into the cat’s ears, eyes, or nose. Massage a solution of 1 part cat shampoo to 5 parts water into the skin, working from the head to the tail and avoiding the face, ears, and eyes Refresh your cat’s coat with lukewarm water, ensuring that all soap residue has been removed
- Wipe the face of your pet with a washcloth dampened with water (or a more diluted dose of shampoo)
- Make sure to dry your cat thoroughly, using a big towel to prevent her from getting too hot. Use a blow dryer on the lowest setting and a wide-tooth comb to detangle her fur. For completing a successful wash, compliment your cat and provide them with a special treat.
How to Give Your Cat a Bath – 10 Simple Steps
The majority of cats do an excellent job of grooming themselves. However, you may find yourself needing to give your cat a wash every now and again. The oil that has been spilled on your driveway may cause your cat to accidently roll in it. Alternatively, your cat may have a skin illness that requires medical wash.
Giving your cat a wash will be lot simpler if you have a partner to assist you. They may replenish the water pitcher, provide lots of goodies for your cat, and have a towel ready to wrap your cat in after the bath is through.
What Do You Need For a Cat Bath
Image courtesy of Irina Borodovskaya/Shutterstock.com Before you begin giving your cat a bath, double-check that you have everything you’ll need on hand. The following is a list of our recommendations:
- Cat shampoo, cat snacks, a small tub or a baby bath, rubber gloves, a large pitcher, towels, cotton balls, and a face cloth are all necessary.
1. Fill your tub with warm water
A little tub, a baby bath, or even just the sink works considerably better than trying to bathe your cat in a full-size tub, according to our experience. You’ll just need to fill your little tub with water up to the height of 5 inches. Check the temperature to make sure it’s not too hot but also not too cold. If you are concerned that your cat could scratch you, you should consider wearing thick rubber gloves.
2. Gently place your cat in the tub
A little tub, a baby bath, or even just the sink works considerably better than trying to bathe your cat in a full-size bathtub, according to our experience. Filling your tiny tub with water up to 5 inches deep will be sufficient. Temperature should be comfortable warm but not too hot, so check it before leaving the house. If you are concerned that your cat may scratch you, you may wish to put on thick rubber gloves.
3. Use the pitcher to get your cat’s coat wet
Using the pitcher, fill it halfway with water (or fill it halfway from the sink if you have a helper) and thoroughly wet your cat’s coat down. Work your way down from their shoulders to their tail, starting at their shoulders. It is possible that you may need to rub their coat with your fingertips to ensure that you reach all the way down to their skin. Especially critical if you’re using a medicated shampoo, this step should not be overlooked. At this time, you should leave your cat’s head unwashed.
4. Apply shampoo
Using your chosen shampoo, follow the manufacturer’s directions on how to properly apply it. Check to see that you’ve gotten the lather all over your cat’s coat. Using your fingers, rub the shampoo into your cat’s skin while working the shampoo into the skin Avoid the temptation to use too much shampoo, since this will make it much more difficult to completely rinse off all of the shampoo. Many medicated shampoos need that your cat’s coat be kept on for up to 5 minutes before they are effective.
5. Wash your cat’s face and head
During this time, you should clean and wash the fur from your cat’s face. Most cats dislike having water splashed on their faces, so use a face towel rather than pouring water from a pitcher to avoid this problem. Using the water from the tub, dampen the face cloth and add a tiny quantity of shampoo, if necessary. Featured image courtesy of Irina Kozorog/Shutterstock
6. Clean your cat’s ears
Cleaning and washing your cat’s face should be your next step. Most cats dislike having water splashed on their faces, so use a face towel rather than pouring water from a pitcher to avoid this situation. If required, use a tiny bit of shampoo to dampen the face cloth after it has been dampened with the tub water. Featured image courtesy of Irina Kozorog through Shutterstock
7. Rinse your cat’s fur thoroughly
Pour the water over your cat’s coat by dipping the pitcher into the tub and gently pouring it over his coat. Check with your fingertips to make sure that all traces of lather have been removed from the dish.
It is possible that you may need to replace the pitcher with clean and warm water, in which case having a helper would be beneficial! When the water is pouring off your cat’s coat without leaving any bubbles, they are almost finished!
8. Rinse your cat’s face and head
Use the face cloth to gently remove any suds from the top of your cat’s head rather than using the pitcher to pour water over the top of your cat’s face and top of head.
9. Remove as much water as possible from your cat’s coat
Run your hands along the length of your cat’s body in an attempt to extract as much water as possible from their coat.
10. Lift your cat out of the tub and dry them down
Prepare a clean, dry towel and gently pull your cat out of the water and onto the towel to dry him off. Their coat should be rubbed to aid in drying. If the first towel becomes damp, you may need to replace it with a new and dry one. Some longhaired cats may require a small amount of assistance from a hairdryer, if they are willing to endure it. In order to groom themselves while drying off, the majority of cats will want to sit somewhere quiet and quieter. A heated cat bed is ideal for this since it will keep them warm while their coat dries.
10. Give your cat a treat!
Continue to spoil your cat with treats or a piece of their favorite food after he or she has bathed. Getting your cat to link bath time with something nice, such as lickable treats and a tasty supper afterward, will help them create positive associations and endure their baths more easily in the future. In the event that you were able to effectively bathe your cat without receiving any scratches orbites, you most likely deserve a reward as well. Image courtesy of 135pixels/Shutterstock.com
What type of shampoo to use?
That is partially dependent on the reason for which you are washing your cat. There are a variety of reasons why you would want to bathe your cat, including the following: TheFrisco Oatmeal Shampoo With Aloe and Almond is our favorite for the majority of situations. If your cat has a skin issue that necessitates the use of a medicated shampoo, your veterinarian will be the best person to advise you on what to use, especially because you may be required to obtain a prescription. Image courtesy of Olleg and Shutterstock.
Using dry shampoo
In the event that your cat is unwilling to accept a bath, you may want to consider using a waterless or dry shampoo instead. The Burt’s Bees Waterless Shampoo for Cats is one of our favorites. Nothing more than spraying your cat’s coat until it is moist, rubbing their coat with a towel, and you’re done! It is possible to use dry or waterless shampoo to freshen up your cat’s coat and spot-clean tiny stains, but it will not treat illnesses or flea infestations, which require medicated shampoos to be effective.
Following our step-by-step advice and stocking up on plenty of goodies is the best way to make bath time as enjoyable for you and your feline companion as possible.
- Read this related article: Cat Sprayed by a Skunk? Here’s What You Should Do
Credit for the featured image goes to KDdesignphoto and Shutterstock. Emma works as a freelance writer, with a particular interest in writing about dogs, outdoor activities, and environmental issues. She is originally from the United Kingdom, although she has lived in Costa Rica and New Zealand before settling on a smallholding in Spain with her husband, their 4-year-old daughter, and their dogs, cats, horses, and chickens, among other animals. Whenever Emma isn’t writing, she may be found taking her dogs on walks across the rolling fields that surround their house….
Emma is enthusiastic about rescuing animals and giving them a second chance at life after they have been abandoned or mistreated. Besides caring for their four rescue dogs, she fosters dogs for re-homing, giving them with love and training while they wait for their future homes to become available.
How to Give a Cat a Bath (and Live to Tell About It)
As opposed to inquiring how to bathe a cat, it is prudent to first inquire as to whether a bath is truly essential. Bathing your cat should be a once-in-a-lifetime event. Felines are self-grooming pros and do not require bathing on a regular basis like dogs. It is estimated that cats spend between 30 and 50 percent of their day grooming themselves, according to the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine. They’ve thought of everything. However, if you’re here, you must have a good purpose for being here, and we will not abandon you.
Step 0: Determine whether a bath is really necessary
To determine whether a cat actually needs to be bathed, it is better to first inquire as to how to do it. If you have a cat, bathing him should be an exception. Kittens are skilled groomers and do not require bathing on a regular basis like dogs do. Cats spend between 30 and 50 percent of their day grooming themselves, according to the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine. They’ve taken care of everything for you. The fact that you are here indicates that you have a valid cause, and we will not abandon you.
Step 1: Choose a calm moment
Instead of asking how to bathe a cat, it’s a good idea to first determine whether a wash is actually essential. Bathing your cat should be a once-in-a-while event. Felines are self-grooming pros and do not require bathing as frequently as dogs. Grooming is something that cats do between 30 and 50% of the time, according to the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine. They’ve got everything covered. However, if you’re here, you must have a valid purpose for being here, and we will not abandon you.
Step 2: Trim those nails
You should clip your cat’s nails before bathing him, unless you want scratches up and down your arms when the wash is over. Nail clipping should be a frequent exercise for her, thus this shouldn’t be a major source of anxiety for her.
Step 3: Brush that fur
It’s a good idea to cut your cat’s nails before bathing him unless you want scratches all over your arms afterward. Nail clipping should be a frequent practice for her, thus this shouldn’t be a major source of anxiety for her at this point.
Step 4: Place a non-slip mat in the sink
Sinks (or huge plastic tubs) are preferable than human baths when it comes to cleaning cats. (Less space for her to move about equals less space for you to navigate around her.) It is essential to utilize a non-slip mat on whichever surface you are working on. Cats require traction, and if the surface under them is excessively slick, it will result in even more confusion and anguish for them.
Step 5: Fill the sink with a few inches of warm water
The sound of flowing or rushing water can be quite stressful to a cat! It is recommended that you fill your sink or a large plastic tub with several inches of warm water before placing your cat in it.
Standing water may not be necessary if your sink has a spray nozzle that can be operated on a very low setting (i.e., not too noisy or harsh), in which case you may not need to use it.
Step 6: Clean ears and face with a washcloth
Gently wipe your cat’s ears and face with a washcloth that is only slightly moist. The rest of the bath should be avoided by not using soap on or directly washing these regions with water.
Step 7: Wet your cat from back to front
Wet your cat’s body slowly with a tiny cup or the nozzle of a sink faucet. Begin from the base of her tail and work your way up to the base of her throat. Warm, but not hot, water should be used to bathe the infant; it should be around the temperature you would use to bathe a child.
Step 8: Massage unscented shampoo into fur
Small cups or the sink nozzle can be used to gently moisten your cat’s body. Begin at the base of her tail and work your way up to the base of her neck. You want the water to be somewhat warm, rather than scorching hot; it should be around the temperature at which you would wash a newborn.
Step 9: Rinse thoroughly
Wash your hands repeatedly, while delivering soothing compliments during the process. Because soap residue can cause skin irritation, it’s critical to make sure she’s completely suds-free before bathing her.
Step 10: Dry calmly
Using as many dry, clean towels as you need, gently and calmly dab your cat’s fur to remove excess moisture. By this stage, she may have become especially feisty and may be attempting to get away from you at all costs. Hold on to her and keep her as still as you can as you try to get her as dry as you can. After you’ve done your best, it’s OK to let her to air dry the remainder of the way in a warm room for a while.
Step 11: Treat time
After a wash, you’ll need to be sure to provide some extra delectable gifts. For grooming events like as baths, nail clipping, and brushing, it may be a good idea to save special goodies for those occasions so that your cat identifies those activities with pleasant and unique rewards. That’s all there is to it! In all honesty, the more slowly and steadily you can move, the more enjoyable your bathing experience will be. Additionally, the products listed below will make bath time for cats much less unpleasant.
Everything You Need to Give Your Cat a Bath
In order to avoid bathing your cat in the sink, purchasing a multi-purpose tub such as this one is highly recommended. Amazon charges $38 for this item.
2. Pet Gear Bathing Tub
This tub is completely fitted with a non-slip foundation, which is present both inside and outside the tub. In other words, even if your cat is wriggling, she and the tub will remain in their respective positions. Purchase it for $36.
3. Dakpets FURblaster Deshedding Tool
When it comes to preparing your cat for a bath, a sturdy brush that can work its way through stubborn knots and mats is essential. A non-slip grip is also included, which provides a bit more control over the brush while you brush. Purchase it for $15.
4. Frisco Nail Clippers
Cat nail clippers don’t have to be very complicated to be effective. As long as you have a firm hold on them and they are particularly intended for cat nails (with curved, semi-circular blades), you should be fine to go in terms of safety. Purchase it for $4.
5. Frisco Microfiber Towel
Cat nail clippers don’t have to be complicated or expensive.
As long as you have a firm grip on them and they are particularly intended for cat nails (with curved, semi-circular blades), you should be OK using them. It is available for purchase for $4.
6. Unscented Hypoallergenic Shampoo with Aloe
Although a shampoo-conditioner combo mix is best, this aloe-infused shampoo is a fantastic option. The fragrances of cat shampoos and conditioners (which should always be fragrance-free) and their hypoallergenic quality are the two most significant characteristics of cat shampoos and conditioners (yes, please). Purchase it for $9.
7. Hypoallergenic and Fragrance-Free Pet Grooming Wipes
Make sure to use pet wipes that are fragrance-free and hypoallergenic when giving your cat a bath is out of the question but he needs a light wash down. Amazon charges $10 for this service.