How to Bathe a Cat

Cats are famous for their dislike of water, but if you’re to keep cats in your household, you can’t rely on them washing themselves forever. Here’s how to bathe a cat with a minimum of trouble.

Cat nail trimmer
Rubber mat or towel
Cat shampoo

Washing your cat at least once a month is acceptable. Otherwise, you may want to clean your cat by brushing its fur, combing or toweling with a dry washcloth.

Make sure that your cat’s nails are trimmed so that you don’t have a painful time giving it a bath!

Prepare the materials in advance so that everything is in easy reach, such as the cat shampoo and the washcloth for drying off.

Put a rubber mat or a towel at the bottom of the tub to prevent your cat from slipping.

Put four to five inches of warm water in the tub, followed by two to five gallons of room temperature water. Again, do this in advance to prevent causing alarm to your cat.

At this point, you’re ready to fetch the cat for its bath. Do not alarm or cause fear in your cat. Simply call to it in soothing tones until you have the cat safely in your arms.

Use the cat comb to sort out the fur tangles first. This will make the bathing process so much easier later on.

Use one hand to grip your cat’s shoulders firmly with the other hand holding the cat’s hip. Make sure the claws are facing away from you. If they put up a struggle, you can try letting them face the back of the tub and let them stand on their two hind legs.

Dip the washcloth in water and soak your cat from the neck down.

Make sure that the shampoo you’re using is specially formulated for cats, as any other kind (humans or other animals) may not be appropriate or too harsh on their skin and fur.

Apply the shampoo on all parts of the cat’s body except for the nose, eyes, mouth and ears.

Rinse the cat gently with the water in the tub. Be thorough, as leaving soap on the cat may cause irritation and discomfort. You can also try using a hand-held showerhead on a mild massage mode. Some cats love the vibrations it provides.

Once rinsed, get the cat out of the tub and press the towel or washcloth gently and thoroughly all over the cat. Once the cat is sufficiently dry and damp, you can start gently rubbing the cat dry. Here’s a hint: Warm the towels in the dryer before using them on your cat, they’ll love the warm cozy temperature!

Short-haired cats can be left to try themselves more fully in a non-drafty area, while long-haired cats have to be combed until their fur is dry.