Everything You Need to Know About Bathing Cats

Everything You Need to Know About Bathing Cats

Mar 22, 2024

Cats are experts at keeping themselves clean, and they spend a lot of their time in the day self-grooming. Because of this, you may wonder if cats actually need baths.

Bath time may be stressful for pets and their owners anyway, and cats dislike water. So, is bathing cats really necessary? If yes, how often should you bathe your cat? Here’s everything you need to know about bathing cats:

Do Cats Need Baths?

Cats need baths occasionally. While cats can be very good at keeping themselves clean, there are circumstances where giving them a bath would be essential, such as when:

1. Your Cat Is Unable to Clean Themselves

There may be situations where cats are unable to clean themselves, such as when they are old, overweight, suffer from arthritis, or have other medical conditions that would prevent them from self-grooming. In cases like this, your cat will need your help in staying clean, so give them a bath.

2. Your Cat Gets Into Something and Smells

Your cat may have exposed themselves or gotten themselves into something that smells – whether it’s household garbage, they got sprayed by a skunk, or anything that gives off a bad smell.

Self-grooming or brushing won’t be able to get rid of that unpleasant odor, so this is a situation that calls for a bath. Also, remember to use shampoo that’s meant for cats, not humans.

3. Your Cat Gets Covered with Toxic Substances

If your cat gets into something they shouldn’t ingest, you should give them a bath immediately. Remember that a cat constantly grooms themselves, so you wouldn’t want them to ingest or lick something that’s on their fur that could make them ill.

Whether it’s paint, gasoline, oils, chemicals, a household cleaner, or basically anything that is not safe for consumption, if anything harmful gets on your cat’s fur, you should give them a bath right away.

4. Your Cat Has Skin Conditions

Cats could have allergies, ringworm, or skin issues that can cause dry or irritated skin. If your cat has a skin condition, they may require special or medicated baths for treatment.

You can use a condition-specific shampoo when bathing your cat, as there are shampoos that promote skin health. However, it’s always best to consult professionals and follow their instructions when giving your cat with a skin condition a bath.

5. Your Cat Has Fleas or Other Pests

Your Cat Has Fleas or Other Pests

Your cat could have a severe infestation of fleas or pick up mites and other bugs on their fur. Giving your cat a bath can help get rid of all these fleas, mites, lice, or other bugs. Use shampoos that are designed to remove and kill them.

How Often Should You Bathe Cats?

Generally, cats should be given a bath once every 4-6 weeks. But how often they need baths will depend on various circumstances, such as the environment they are in, how active they are, their coat type and length, or how often they groom themselves.

It’s important to remember that over-bathing your cat can lead to skin dryness and irritation. So, it’s best to bathe your cat only when needed, or when absolutely necessary.

The Benefits of Giving Your Cat a Bath

Bathing your cat will help remove dirt or other irritants that can accumulate on their skin. It will also help get rid of any unpleasant smell, regulate natural oil production, and reduce the risk of skin infection. Giving your cat a bath will make your cat’s coat healthier and shinier. It’s beneficial for their health, and it also leaves them feeling fresh.

How to Bathe Your Cat: A Guide

Cats and baths do not really mix, and bathing cats can be quite a challenge for pet owners. However, you can follow this guide to make your experience smooth and less stressful:

1. Preparing Your Cat for a Bath

Before giving your cat a bath, you should brush them first to remove any loose fur, knots, or tangles. It’s also best to trim your cat’s nails to avoid scratches. You may also consider using cotton balls for their ears to prevent water from getting in.

2. Giving Your Cat a Bath

Fill your sink or bathtub with about four inches of water. Remember that cats and water aren’t the best of friends, so don’t overfill. Use warm water when bathing your cat. If they aren’t willing to get into the water, you can use toys or treats to lure them in.

When washing your cat, start at the back of the head and then work toward the tail. Make sure to avoid your cat’s head so that you won’t get water in their eyes and nose.

Apply cat-safe shampoo and make sure to avoid sensitive areas. After such, make sure to rinse thoroughly to avoid skin irritation. To clean your cat’s face, use a washcloth and wipe gently.

3. Drying Your Cat

Dry your cat with a towel. Wrap your cat in a clean towel to dry them off. If you wish to use a hair dryer, make sure to put it in a “cool” setting. Just remember that using a hair dryer could scare your cat, so it’s best to towel-dry them instead.

4. Rewarding Your Cat

Give your cat a treat or reward for a successful bath. Give them as much praise as possible. This is so that they will view bath time as a positive experience.

Contact The Barking Lot for Cat Grooming Services

Giving your cat a bath is something you can do alone. However, there may be things you are uncertain about, and you may find bathing your cat rather difficult. You may need to seek professional cat grooming services, especially when your cat needs specialized treatment such as medicated baths or flea and tick treatment.

At The Barking Lot, we have all the cat-friendly products needed for giving your cat a bath. Our professional cat groomers use the right equipment and safe techniques to keep your cat clean. The comfort of your cat is our priority, and we guarantee a comfortable grooming session for them. Contact us today!