How to Bathe a Cat: Everything You Need to Know

Table of Contents

Cats are well-equipped to take care of their hair care needs and don’t need a bath regularly. They keep on cleaning their coats with their tongue and teeth. In simple words, self-grooming is inherent in cats. However, there are times when your cats get very dirty, sticky or smelly. In such situations, it becomes necessary to give them a bath.

Secondly, if your cat belongs to a long-haired breed or is getting older then you will have to help it in grooming. If you have no idea how to bathe a cat then we are here to help you out. Follow the tips mentioned below and giving your furry friend a little bath won’t be difficult anymore.

Brush the Fur

Always brush your cat’s fur before starting the bath. It helps in removing all the knots and debris and makes the fur smooth. Also put cotton plugs in its ears to stop the water from entering the ears.

Clip the Claws

Clipping the claws of the cat before bath is also important. It is because cats can become aggressive while taking baths and can scratch you. Therefore, for your protection, clip the claws and wear rubber gloves.

Use a Bucket

Do not use a full-sized bathtub to bathe cats because it can make them feel overwhelmed which is not good for you. They don’t like being soaked into water and can get ornery. Therefore, always use a small bucket or a shallow basin and fill it with lukewarm water (for three to four inches only). Make sure the bottom of the bucket or basin is not slippery. You can use a rubber mat for this purpose.

Make use of a Spray Hose

To wet your cat, use a hand-held spray nozzle and avoid splashing water. Pour water over the back and tail first but do not pour it on its head. If you do not have a spray nozzle, use a cup or a pitcher. For heads, you can use a washcloth. In this way, your cat will not resist or push you back while getting wet.

Lather up with Cat Shampoo

You cannot use a human shampoo for cats because it dries up their skin. Use cat shampoo by making a solution (one part of shampoo in 5 parts of water). Lather your cat’s belly, paws, backside and tail well and then rinse with water properly. No residue should be left.

Dry your cat well      

A cat’s body loses heat when wet and the fur also holds water. So, dry it well with a towel after the bath. Swaddle it up in a towel and rub its body. In case, you have a long-haired breed, you will have to give it a blow dry too at the lowest heat setting. You can also use a wide-toothed comb to untangle the wet fur.

Time for treat

Once you are done with bathing, reward your cat with a treat. After all, it has been such a good girl or a boy throughout the bath. It will also reassure your cat that bathing is not as terrible as it seems and it will cooperate next time as well.

You should pay attention to all the signs your cat shows while taking a bath. If it seems to be upset or in distress, stop and give it some time. If you think that you cannot bathe your cat, take help from a professional groomer in this regard. Giving your cat a bath keeps it clean and well-groomed. Also, it is an essential component of responsible pet care.