Bathing a Cat

Bathing a cat is an essential part of good cat care, nevertheless can also be a daunting experience. On this page we will give you some cat bathing tips and show you how bathing your cat for the first time can be easier than you think!

To claim cats like water would be false, most cats don't like water and don't like to be bathed. Bathing a cat with fleas or washing a cat with matted fur can be even harder. The occasional bath however is very important for your cats skin and coat. We don't want to give you false illusions, your cat will not be basking in bubbles whilst playing with their rubber duck once you have read this page. We will instead give you step by step guides, advice from groomers, videos and some good tips that can make bath time more bearable for you and your cat.

How often should i bath my cat?

It is in the nature of every cat to groom them self, this makes our lives a lot easier as it means they require little human intervention. In fact, too much bathing will damage the oils on your cat’s fur. Long haired cats will definitely require the occasional bath. As they walk around the house their fur will pick up dust, dirt and maybe even unwanted surprises from the litter tray.

Like our grooming page says the first important thing about bathing any cat is to do so from an early age. You should start grooming and bathing the cat from kitten hood. Even if they are clean and smell great a kitten should be bathed. This experience from an early age will determine how a kitten views bath time throughout adulthood. Bathing a kitten for the first time will be... an interesting (yet not impossible) experience! So here are our cat bathing tips.

Step by Step Guide To Bathing Your Cat

✓ 1. You may want to clip or have your cats claws professionally clipped before bathing a cat. Why? Bathing a cat with full length razor sharp claws can lead to injury. Cats can sense your mood, if you are scared they will be scared. If you panic they will panic. You need to be relaxed and calm as they will initially find bathing stressful. A set of small trimmed claws will relax you and therefore relax your cat.

✓ 2. Bathing a cat with matted fur is difficult. Make sure your cat is matt free and groomed before bathing, this will make it easier for you to clean your cats hair and avoid tangles when drying.

✓ 3. Use either a small sized basin, cat bath or large sink.

✓ 4. Ideally you will want to use a basin with an open plug and a hose / shower head. If you do not have access to a hose/shower head, fill the basin to a suitable level with lukewarm water. Make sure the water will not go over the middle of your cats body. Ensure the water is not too hot or too cold, it has to be lukewarm and at a temperature that your cat is comfortable with.

✓ 5. Give your cat a good stoke and give them lots of attention, they need to be in a good mood as they will not enjoy the experience.

✓ 6. Lower your cat into the basin. If you do not have a hose/shower head ensure their head does not go into the water. It is important to always be aware of your pets safety when bathing a cat.

✓ 7. Your cat will most likely resist when they enter the water or once you start to apply the water from the hose. If using a hose/showerhead make sure the water is running at the right temperature before you put them in. When bathing constantly monitor the temperature of the running water with your hands. Any sudden changes in heat can cause serious injury as your cat has very thin sensitive skin. Have a second person to gently restrain them. Stay calm, the initial stage is the most important. If they start to panic you must react in a calm manor. It may be beneficial for the second person to wear some protective gloves.

✓ 8. Slowly pour water over your cats back, avoid your cats sensitive eyes and ears.

✓ 9. Gently rub the shampoo onto your cat’s body, apply an amount as specified on the shampoo label. Massage the shampoo through the hair on the body and the tale.


✓ 10. Rinse your cat thoroughly avoiding all contact with the head.

✓ 11. Repeat step 9 and 10 to ensure the fur is thoroughly clean.

✓ 12. Rinse the shampoo off your cat and ensure the entire product has been removed. If you using a filled basin it is recommended to take your cat out the bath, change the water and rinse once again. Products can cause irritation if left on your cats fur.

★ TOP TIP: The tap may scare your cat so remove them from the room in a clean towel when refilling the bath, test the water and add your cat back in the bath to ensure all of the product is removed.

✓ 13. If applicable remove the water from the bath and wrap them with a clean towel. Try to soak up the water with a towel.

✓ 14. Place your cat on a table and start to brush them.

✓ 15. Safely blow dry them dry. A second person should be there to help. Do not use a hot hair dryer as this is very damaging to your cats fur and sensitive skin. Make sure the blow dryer is no hotter than warm. You should use a recommended cat blow dryer.


✓ 16. Thoroughly brush your cat once the fur starts to dry to prevent knots and tangles. It is important to make sure your cat is thoroughly dry and in tip top condition.

✓ 17. Treat and fuss your cat. Try your best to accustom your cats perception of bathing to a positive one.

You now have a clean, fresh and fluffy cat ready for serious snuggles.

★ TOP TIP: Like vacuum cleaners and clippers your cat will hate the noise of the blow dryer. Try to accustom your kitten to the blow dryer from an early age. Let them learn that it won’t hurt them. Turn it on in a room when not using it on them. This will help them get used to the noise and subsequently not associate it with danger. Your cat will most likely dislike the blow dryer but they will eventually learn to accept it.

Bathing a Cat Video

Remember, you don’t have to be the person who baths your cat. If you find it too hard or difficult take them to your local groomers.

Do you give your cat a bath? After reading this page what are you waiting for...Give a cat a bath today!

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