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For those of us who have the honor of living with a cat, when you think of the words “cat” and “bath,” you don’t get a pretty picture. Cats, at least stereotypically, don’t like baths and their sharp teeth and claws will gladly let you know their distaste. If you’re wondering why exactly cats loathe baths so much, the reason is simple: most breeds of domestic cats have evolved to have coats that absorb water rather than deflect. That means it’s harder for cats to dry off and that’s probably really uncomfortable!


Usually, cats don’t need to have baths like how dogs do. Cats naturally groom themselves and take care of their own business. Most cat guardians only have to regularly brush their cats to keep their fur from becoming tangled. But cats are going to cat and there are certain times when a bath is in order, such as if your cat has made a mess in the litter box or in general, have gotten themselves in some sort of trouble.

For both you and your cat’s safety, there are a few very handy tips to keep in mind if you ever need to give your cat a bath! First, it’s important to take the time to prepare the bath and supplies before you even get your cat involved. You also don’t want your cat waiting around while you scramble to find supplies!

Here are the supplies you’ll want to have handy:

  • Cat shampoo
  • Rubber gloves
  • A large towel
  • A pitcher for rinsing
  • A washcloth

So you’ll have better handling of the cat, consider using your kitchen of bathroom sick instead of a bathtub. Here are the steps to make the bath stress-free!

  1. FIll the sick with a few inches of warm water. Test the water to make sure it’s not hot!
  2. Wet the cat from their shoulders to their tail and apply shampoo.
  3. Lather and rinse thoroughly.
  4. To wash their face, use a damp washcloth to gently rinse their head.
  5. Lift your cat into the large towel and wrap them up. Try to get as much water out of their fur as possible.

Visit your local pet store to find shampoo specifically formulated for cats because using shampoo designed for humans could sting the cat’s eyes and/or irritate their skin. If your cat clearly does not like taking a bath (they pull away, scratch, etc.) please don’t force them to take a bath. At your local pet store, there are cat wipes that can remove dirt and debris from your cat without stressing them out. It’s all about keeping our furry friends happy and healthy!

For other One Green Planet articles on maintaining your cat’s well-being, check out the below links.

Lead Image Source: Firmanamff/Pixabay

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4 comments on “So You Have to Give Your Cat a Bath … Here’s How to Do It”

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4 Months Ago

You don\'t need to wash any cat in this world or any other animal for that matter, cats clean themselves. What a nonsense. That\'s it I\'m out of here!

steven paige
5 Months Ago

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JK Anderson
5 Months Ago

1.) FIll the sick with a few inches of warm water.


Posiepurrs Persians
6 Months Ago

Your article doesn\'t give enough detail. The first thing to do after getting your supplies together is to clip the nails. I find it much simpler and less scary for the cat to use a sprayer held against the body (to lessen the noise) to wet the cat down. Hold the cat facing away from you so he can not try to climb you like he would a tree to get away. Any cat not bathed regularly is going to struggle.

Michelle Mobley
6 Months Ago

Do you need a copy editor? There are way too many errors in this article. One would hope that the author would review before posting, but there should also be an editor serving as a second set of eyes. That is just good journalism...this article is not. I\'m here with my journalism degree and years of editing experience if you want help.


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