Easy Ways To Give A Cat A Bath

Anyone who knows anything about cats already knows that for the most part they hate getting wet. So you're probably wondering why anyone would even want to give a cat a bath in the first place.

Well for the most part your cat can usually do a good job of keeping itself clean and unless your cat is a show cat they usually don't require bathing.

Unfortunately if someone in your household has cat allergies you may have to give your cat an occasional bath in order to keep the allergies at bay.

Most cats find getting wet to be a very traumatic experience and because of this they will resist the bath with every ounce of their being, which of course includes their claws. If your cat tends to be more high strung and easily excitable, it may be easier on the both of you to have the bathing done by a professional cat groomer, otherwise keep reading for more hints and tips on how to bathe a cat.

Getting Started

Before you even start bathing the cat it's always a good idea to get the room ready. You may find it easier to bathe your cat in the bathroom as the door can be closed to prevent him or her from escaping.

It may also be a good idea to have an extra pair of hands to help with the bath. This may sound a little extreme but anyone who has ever bathed a cat can tell you that your little furball can become a scratching raging ball of fur and claws the minute that it hits the water.

The best way to prevent problems is to have everything ready ahead of time. Run your water into the sink or tub making sure that it's at a nice warm temperature because cats can chill easily. Have your towels and a gentle baby soap or pet soap at hand.

How To Bathe A Cat

1. Fill the tub or sink with warm water, cats get cold easily and you want to make sure that your little furball doesn't get sick.

2. Gently lower your cat into the warm water and using a cup or your hands wet the entire cats fur taking care to not get water in its ears or eyes.

3. Make sure to talk gently in a calm manner to help keep the cat calm.

4. Work the shampoo into your cats coat starting at the back of the head and moving downwards. Use a washcloth to clean the cats face because you don't want to take the risk of getting soap in its eyes.

5. Using a cup thoroughly rinse all of the soap from your cats fur and then gently wrap the cat in a towel to help soap up the extra water.

6. Blow dry and brush the cat. To avoid burning kitty make sure to set the blow dryer on low and to not get the nozzle to close to your cats body. For brushing I like to use the Furminator which does an excellent job of removing lose hair.

And that's all there is to giving a cat a bath. Both of my cats have a fairly calm nature and other than a little growling from the yellow tabby it's fairly easy to bathe them.

Comments 13 comments

J.S.Matthew profile image

J.S.Matthew 5 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

I started bathing my cat since he was a very young kitten and he doesn't mind it at all. In fact, he loves water! He always goes into the sink or shower after someone runs water and he drinks the water from the tub. Sometimes my daughter takes him in the shower with her and gives him a bath. I think it's kind of funny and weird at the same time! I also rubbed his "feet" since he was young and he doesn't mind that either. Great and useful Hub. Voted Up and Useful and will share!


Meisjunk profile image

Meisjunk 5 years ago from Pennsylvania

I bathe Prince Fredward in the sink. I have to hold him by the scruff of the neck or he'll get away, but for the most part he just clings to the outer corner of the sink and refuses to move. I use the sprayer to get his fur wet since I swear it's impervious to water.

I've never tried to blow dry him, as he's usually so upset with me by the end of it that he runs off to hide and grooms. XD The next kitten I get, I will definitely try to get it accustomed to water earlier. Good hub, voted up and useful!

Trish_M profile image

Trish_M 5 years ago from The English Midlands

Hio Karen :)

'And that's all there is to [it]'.

I wish!!

Easier said than done :) :)

My cat goes berserk, if I try to bath him .

Sunnie Day 5 years ago

I remember trying to give our cats a bath..it was horrifying..lol..Thank you for a great hub.


Karen N profile image

Karen N 5 years ago from United States Author

Thanks for stopping by everyone. :)

Yes, it does help if you start bathing them while they are still kittens. My Siamese has had baths since she was a kitten, but she still doesn't like them.

Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

I have bathed them on occasion in the shower where they can't escape and use nice warm water. Fortunately they did not scratch me but they were certainly happy to get the ordeal finished. Ha! When I saw the title of this hub I laughed to myself wondering if there truly was an easy way to give a cat a bath.

Wealthmadehealthy profile image

Wealthmadehealthy 5 years ago from Somewhere in the Lone Star State

You are lucky on this one! I used to have cats a long time ago, and did try to give them a bath. I was promptly scratched half to death and never again tried!! This is good information for cat lovers!! Thank you for writing it. Have a blessed day!!

KMattox profile image

KMattox 5 years ago from USA

I have a 30lb Norwegian forest cat. He's not fat he is justa huge pussycat! He has razor sharp claws. He sheds his claws all the time with a new sharp one underneath. One day (I can't remember why) We had to give him a bath. It took both of us to bathe him. I held him in the tub while my she washed him. He tried to get out of the tub with all his might. Then without meaning to he sunk his great big 5/8 inch razor sharp claws into my hand. They went in a quarter of an inch. Gosh that hurt!

I knew he didn't mean it by the horrified expression on his face after he realized that happened. Poor Cat! I probably don't need to say it now, but I wont be bathing him again anytime soon!

Your hub was great! I voted up and useful.

Trish_M profile image

Trish_M 5 years ago from The English Midlands

Hello K Mattox :)

I was intrigued by your mention of your Norwegian forest cat. I had never heard of this breed, before. Perhaps you could write a hub on them?

Anyway, I looked them up and found a picture on Wikipedia, which looks just like our cat ~ though he's older now. (He's nearly two).


Lucky Cats profile image

Lucky Cats 5 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California

Hi Karen N.

Good suggestions, thank you! And all the kitties out there, thank you , too!

I have several extra bigs of 411 which might prove useful in certain situations.

1) When adopting a kitten, or when your mom cat has kittens and it looks like there might be a flea problem, my wonderful Veterinarians suggested using Dawn blue dish liquid. Using this along with your excellent steps to bathing are a great combination. Dawn's formula kills fleas and is so useful because very young cats and kittens cannot be given any of the flea medications...even if it is "ok," I tend to avoid doing that as long as possible.

2) There are now no rinse cat and dog shampoos available. One is made by Out! Natural. The directions are easy to follow and far less traumatic for a frightened cat, kitten or dog.

Thank you for the tips here.....you've outlined a nicely prepared prelude to bathing kittys! UP and Useful!

Dorsi profile image

Dorsi 5 years ago from The San Francisco Bay Area

Thanks for the tips. I hate giving my cat a bath so I don't. I love the furminator too, I have one for my border collie and it works FANTASTIC!!

Karen N profile image

Karen N 5 years ago from United States Author

Thanks for all of the tips, everyone.

They do make pet wipes that you can use on Kitty to help with allergens. But unfortunately if he is really dirty a bath is the only thing that will help.

FionaBaron profile image

FionaBaron 5 years ago

As the owner of 5 cats, I've tried to give our cats a bath...and I think I got more wet than my cat did. The one thing that our cats do like is petting them with very wet hands. It may not get them really clean but it sure does pull out the hair during the summer months. They like their hand bath so much they'll all group in the bathroom waiting for their turn:)

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