How to Bathe Your Cat

Bathe Your Cat Hero

Cats are generally very good at keeping themselves clean, so you should not have to bathe your cat. However, at times there is no way around it.

Reasons why you might need to bathe your cat include:

  • Poison on her fur
  • She’s not taking care of her coat as she should
  • You are allergic and need to minimize allergens
  • You are about to show your cat
  • She needs a flea, tick, or lice dip
  • Bad weather has left her unusually dirty

How to Give Your Cat a Bath 

While baths can seem stressful for both you and your cat, there are a few things that you can do to make the experience more comfortable. Read on to learn how to bathe a cat and how to make it as positive an experience as possible.

Buy Cat Shampoo

Make sure the cat shampoo is mild with no harsh chemicals or perfumes. Never use human shampoo, which is unsuitable for cat hair and skin because of the different pH levels.

Prepare Your Space for a Bath

Use a large plastic bucket or a bath tub lined with a non-slip floor mat. Fill the tub with just enough warm water to wash your cat.

Be Mindful of Potential Biting

If cats find bathing frightening, they may hiss or bite. Cat bites are notorious for causing infections, so seek medical advice if you are bitten.

Praise and Reward Your Cat

Give your cat plenty of praise and reassurance. Treats can be a useful distraction.


Apply a small amount of shampoo and lather up, right down to the tail, not forgetting the underside and neck. It helps to take your cat out of the water and onto a towel while you do this. Be careful not to get any shampoo in your cat’s eyes.


Rinse thoroughly with warm, clean water, avoiding the eyes and inner ears.


After shampooing and rinsing, your cat will want to vigorously shake off the excess water. Rub your cat from head to toe with a towel and remove from the tub. Dry your cat in a warm room and don’t let her go outside until she is completely dry.

If you have more than one cat, this may be the time when conflict breaks out. Separate your bathed cats until they are calm, then rub all cats with the same towel to distribute the scents.

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