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  • Writer's pictureC.B. Fosbrink

Should You Bathe Your Cat?

Did you know that some cats spend up to 50% of their day grooming themselves? Cats groom and lick themselves in order to keep clean, but it is not just to prevent hairballs. Additional health reasons include cooling themselves down, accelerating circulation, and making sure the natural oils in a kitty’s skin are distributed evenly. So, with all of this self-grooming going on, should pet owners take the time or really need to bathe their feline friend?

The initial response would be no. Cats would most likely do a better job at cleaning than a human mom or dad would. They start to groom themselves at four months, so not only are they familiar with their own body, but they are familiar with the cleaning process. A ‘healthy’ cat has a pretty durable tongue, which can remove most types of substances. There are some situations where your cat should be bathed, though.

If you have an older cat, who cannot bathe themselves, they may need assistance. Older cats sometimes have arthritis, with limited flexibility, therefore help is needed to clean. If you have a cat that is a specific breed with long hair, like a coon kitty, they may need an additional bath once in a while, especially around their bottoms. Or if your cat has medical issues and struggles to keep clean, think about bath time as quality time between you and your feline friend.

What if you have to bathe your cat? Here are some tips to help kitty keep clean.

4 Tips for Bathing Your Cat

  1. Brush your cat before the bath. Cats shed a lot and any extra fur can accumulate in the bathtub, making it more difficult to scrub kitty clean.

  2. Choose a good time to bathe kitty. If there is a lot of stimulation going on in their world at a certain time in the day, it is best to wait before bath time. Think about a calming time in the schedule and be consistent with that time. Cats are smart and will catch on to the consistency.

  3. Use a cat-specific shampoo. Since your cat will lick the water off of themselves after the bath, you will want to pick a shampoo that is safe. Be sure to not wash kitty’s face, eyes, or ears as it can cause irritation.

  4. Reward with treats. After bath time and some drying, reward your cat with some treats. This helps end the experience positively.

Always check with your veterinarian on tips for cleaning your pets. We hope this was helpful!


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