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How to Give a Cat a Bath

Updated on February 24, 2008

How to Bathe a Cat (and Survive the Experience!)

So you want to give your cat a bath. Well, the first question you should ask is this: Do you really want to? After all, cats aren't known for their affinity to water. At best, you'll have a yowling, miserable cat glaring at you. At worst, you'll have a very angry cat shredding your sensitive flesh.

If you're determined to give your nice kitty a bath, read on for some tips to do it without losing an arm in the process.

Preparing for the Bath

Bath Time Kitty!

Make sure you dress for the occasion. Wear clothes you don't care too much about, preferably an outfit made from durable fabric. Something that covers all your arms and legs. Something that resists sharp, swiping claws.

You may want to get a buddy involved. Bribe someone to help you wrangle your kitty, just in case she kicks, bites, and struggles like crazy.

Try to approach the whole thing with a calm attitude. If you give off any funny vibes, your cat may pick up on this and decide something fishy is going on. Just pet her and talk nicely to her. Lull her into a false sense of security.

Close the bathroom door and fill the tub with lukewarm water. It doesn't have to be deep at all. It can just be enough to cover your cat's paws.

You may want to trim your cat's claws, because you know she's probably not going to put up with this indignity without a fight. You could also cap her claws with a set of Soft Paws.

Quick Tip

If you ever plan on bathing your cat in the future, start when they're young, even if when they don't need it. It's easier to get a kitten used to baths.

Help Me!!!

Help Me!!!
Help Me!!!

Giving Your Cat a Bath

Cat Bath Directions

Here's the fun part: Introducing your cat to water. Yay!

This part can turn into a real rodeo, which is why you should have a buddy help you. Just try to stay calm and talk soothingly to your cat, even as she thrashes and howls like a banshee.

Soak and shampoo your cat from the neck down. Gently work up a nice soapy lather, and avoid getting any soapy stuff in her eyes, nose, or mouth.

Rinse your cat two to three times. You want to make sure you get all that soap out of her fur. She's definitely going to be licking herself after this.

Dry your kitty with a fluffy towel. A short-haired cat can air-dry after a couple of goes with a towel, but a long-haired cat will need extra towels and combs to help them dry faster.

Keep wet kitties away from drafts!

Cute Cat Bath Video - Cat Getting a Bath Video

Oddly enough, there are some cats in the world that actually like water. Check out this video of a cat happily splashing around in a bath tub.

What did I Ever do to You?!

What did I Ever do to You?!
What did I Ever do to You?!

How NOT to Bathe Your Cat - Cat Getting a Bath Video

This YouTube video demonstrates the best techniques to avoid when bathing your cat. Namely: Don't bathe your cat in a sink!

So Undignified...

So Undignified...
So Undignified...

Have you ever tried giving a cat a bath?

The Bathtub

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    • luniarose profile image

      luniarose 5 years ago

      I've been thinking about giving my cats a bath. Mainly my oldest cat but i don't think he will like it. I think what you said would help. Great lense

    • profile image

      TWOnline2 6 years ago

      funny

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      I've given my cat many times since she was a kitten and she tolerates them-other than the times she tried to make a run for freedom during her bath. You definitely need to start when they are kittens or they will pretty much kill you if you all of sudden try to do this one day when they're adults. Lizzie just sits in the tub all miserable, meowing and glaring at me until I'm done. Then, she spends the next 5 hours after her bath licking herself dry. All in all it's not so bad, but you had to introduce them to baths as kittens!!

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      ee so Noobish .. M3 can a cat/kitten drink a MiLk ? xD

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Response to roommate of cat owner.

      I know. My aunt had a dog. When we would travel in the car (he had space in the back to lay down) would be so noratic, that the whole eight hours, he would sit and pant and vomit now and then. We traveld frequently and she took him to the vet and he gave him something prescribed low dosage. After that, he would just lay down and sleep or chill for the ride. No more vomit or being noratic.

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Her cat has so much dandruff and hes too fat to lick everything properly so I've been warned about water and Mr. Fuzzbum so I've been seriously considering finding a way to get the cat comatose so we can wash him without the hassle of claws and teeth. ANy suggestions? HOw does one make cloraform? lol

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      it`s too fun to not give your cat a bath. it makes cats look cute.

      you may too use soap on your cat too if you want.

      but remember to rince the soap out.

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      it`s too fun to not give your cat a bath. it makes cats look cute.

      you may too use soap on your cat too if you want.

      but remember to rince the soap out.

    • profile image

      anonymous 9 years ago

      i don`t take baths. i don`t think i will. i`m going to ask catkin if

      he ever took a bath today. i hope not. and i hope he never will.

      if he does, i`ll be so upset.

    • profile image

      anonymous 9 years ago

      i don`t take baths. i don`t think i will. i`m going to ask catkin if

      he ever took a bath today. i hope not. and i hope he never will.

      if he does, i`ll be so upset.

    • profile image

      anonymous 9 years ago

      i like taking baths. and ivy,

      i think your wrong. cats are free to

      take baths. so ivy, next time i`ll

      say sorry.

    • profile image

      anonymous 9 years ago

      i love wet cats. they look so cute.

      and ivy, you are right. but i think you

      you can give your cat a bath.

    • profile image

      anonymous 9 years ago

      i do not think you need to give your cat

      a bath. only give your cat a bath when

      it`s dirty.

    • profile image

      PetMemorialWorld 9 years ago

      Its not that I am afraid of my cat but ...well, ok .. maybe I am afraid of him .. bath time doesn't seem like something I'd attempt without a metal suit lol

    • Catkin profile image
      Author

      Catkin 9 years ago

      DogWhisper: That sure sounds problematic! Yes, giving a cat a bath can be... wild. :)

      Rms: I agree, wet cats make for funny pictures!

      Music: Thanks, glad you found the tips helpful

    • Music-Resource profile image

      Music-Resource 9 years ago

      Hi CatKin, I love cats too. I give ours a bath 3 or so times a year. Your tips are helpful, thanx. Loved the black kitty in the bath vid :) ~Music Resource~

    • aka-rms profile image

      Robin S 9 years ago from USA

      This lens is great! As the owner of 2 cats I can say it contains really uesful information and I LOVE your pictures. There's just nothing funnier looking than a wet cat!

    • DogWhisperWoman1 profile image

      DogWhisperWoman1 9 years ago

      I sure wish you had made this lense when my Grandmothers cat was alive. The cat got pine gum on her belly which we had to cut out very carefully. The bath was a nightmare for all of us involved.