Should I Bathe My Cat?

The question of baths can be a tricky one for cat owners as most cats don’t like water and typically don’t need a bath. Yet, there are times when a cat owner needs to do something a little extra to keep their cat clean. 

Should I bathe my cat? Bathing your cat isn’t mandatory as it is for dogs. Cats can usually keep themselves clean and some may never need a bath. However, some older cats and kittens need grooming help and there are times when your feline is so dirty that you must bathe them. 

Read on for further advice on when and how to bathe your cat. 

How Cats Stay Clean?

Cats aren’t like other pets in that they can use their rough tongues to keep their coats clean. Anyone who has ever owned one knows they spend a lot of time grooming. Some cats can go their whole life without a bath. 

Felines are known to have an aversion to water. They can swim but don’t like the way their wet fur feels. It makes them feel heavier and the extra weight makes them slower and more vulnerable to predators. 

Plus, most cats like drier climates over humid ones. 

Read: Bengal Cat Personality: Everything You Need To Know

Cats That Need Baths

Some cats may need baths more than others or at various times because of arising situations. Here are a few examples. 

Aging Kitties

Aging cats sometimes don’t always do well grooming themselves. They may have arthritis or other health issues that prevent them from grooming themselves the way they once did. 

For these kitties, a warm bath can ease joints and the massage with shampoo may feel good. It will also improve their smell, keep them sanitary and reduce incidences of fleas and other bugs. 

Read: Are Bengal Cats Social?

Kittens

Kittens will also need some grooming from their humans. This is especially true for those young kittens who were separated too early from their mothers as they haven’t figured out how to groom themselves yet. 

Kittens can get dirty playing and exploring and seem to be more prone to fleas and other bugs. Washing them will reduce that. 

Read: Why You Shouldn’t Own a Bengal Cat?

Nasty Cats

Some cats, even the cleanest ones, can get into stinkiness every once in a while. They can get into garbage, rollover yucky objects in the yard, and get into things like oil and grime underneath cars. 

Cats can also be covered in pollen during certain seasons and you will need to bathe them to keep them from bringing all the pollen into your home.

How Often to Bathe a Cat?

The National Cat Groomers Association advises to bathe cats every 4 to 6 weeks but most veterinarians recommend taking it on a case-by-case basis. Most cats don’t need to be on a bath schedule. 

Read: Bengal Cat Colors: Every Color & Pattern Combo You Should See

Things to Know About Bathing Cats

Information cat owners should know before trying to bathe their cat can make all the difference. 

Start Young

Most cat experts suggest that bathing your kitten is a good idea because it gets them used to baths. Then they are more comfortable with it should you need to bathe them as an adult cat. 

Use the Right Soap

You can’t use human shampoo on a cat. There are chemicals in those shampoos that are toxic to cats. Get a cat shampoo specifically to meet your feline’s individual needs. 

Use a Friend

Having someone help in the cat’s bath can help keep your feline calm during the process. A friend or family member the cat trusts can help keep them from trying to escape or causing bathroom chaos. 

Read: Is My Bengal Cat Depressed?

FAQs

How do I safely bathe a cat?

Cats understand that holding the back scruff the neck is for their own safety. That’s how their mother carried them to safety. So, start washing at the neck using a gentle massage method and then move toward the tail. Use a washcloth to wash the face and be sure not to get soap in his eyes. 

How do I avoid getting scratched while bathing my cat?

The easiest solution is to trim your cat’s nails before bathing him. Be sure to gain your cat’s trust before trying to bathe him. You may start by spot washing using a washcloth instead of a full bath.

Do all cats hate water?

It’s not that cats hate water. It’s just they don’t like to get wet. Many enjoy sitting by a pond or stream and watching things like bugs, frogs, tadpoles, and fish in the water. Some will even try to snatch a few up using their paws in the water. 

Do the cat wipes work?

Cleaning wipes for cats help bathe your cat without getting them wet. They also reduce shedding, remove dander and moisturize skin. They also help in spot cleaning if your cat gets into something sticky or has feces stuck in their fur from the litter box. 

Can I use cat cleaning wipes instead of a bath?

Yes, cat cleaning wipes can be a substitute for a bath. All you need to do is use a wipe to rub across your cat from head to tail. Be sure to switch to a new wipe of the wipe that collects a lot of dirt of fur. 

What do I need to bathe my cat?

You will need a cat brush, a washcloth, and standard cat cleaning products that you prefer like foam shampoo, cat shampoo, cat bath wipes, vinegar and water, Dawn dishwashing soap, or Johnson’s baby shampoo.

You may need to test different products to see which one works best for your cat. Some cats may have skin irritations that could be affected by some shampoos and bath products. 

Why does my cat run around the house after a bath?

Cats will always run and jump around on and off furniture after a bath. They are trying to dry off as quickly as possible by rubbing the water on everything. 

How do you dry off a cat after a bath?

Take a large towel and wrap your cat up in it. Rub your cat down with the towel vigorously to dry him off as quickly as possible.