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How to Bathe a Cat

Compared to their non-domesticated brothers and sisters in the wild, cats stay clear of being exposed to water in the home. Cats don’t actually need to be bathed all that often, as they groom themselves naturally. Just regular brushing is typically enough to keep your pet looking clean and comfortable.

However, there are circumstances where kitty will need a real bath. Your cat may fight, run, wiggle or jump, but there are ways to make the process as painless (for you and then) as possible.

Preparing the Bath

The best solution to bath time is to make it as fast as possible. This can be accomplished by having all the necessary supplies ready:

  • Rubber gloves.
  • Cat Shampoo.
  • A large pitcher for rinsing or a gentle spray nozzle.
  • A large towel.
  • Cotton balls to clean the ears.
  • A small cloth to wash the face.

Now, for location. It’s much easier to clean your cat when they’re in the kitchen sink and not the bathtub. Follow these steps for a quick and easy bath time:

  1. Fill the sink with about 2 to 3” of warm (but not hot) water.
  2. Wet the cat from the shoulders down to the tail and apply shampoo.
  3. Much like your own hair, lather and rinse the shampoo thoroughly.
  4. Since most cats hate getting their face’s wet, use a damp washcloth to gently clean your cat’s head.
  5. Use a moist cotton ball to clean the cat’s ears. Never put any kind of object inside your cat’s ears, such as Q-Tips.
  6. After a thorough rinsing, lift your cat onto the towel and fold it around them.
  7. Rub as much water off the fur as possible.
  8. Longer-haired cats may require the use of a blow dryer, but only if this doesn’t terrify them. Set it on low and see if the cat can tolerate it.

It’s recommended to get cat-specific shampoos, however if these aren’t available, a mild baby shampoo will work. You don’t want to use any other kinds of human cleaning products, as they might sting your cat’s eyes or ears.