Cat Care, Grooming Your Cat

Do Cats Need Baths? A Pet Owner’s Guide

Do Cats Need Baths

Many cat owners or cat owners to be might have come across the question “Do cats need baths?” at some point. That is because of the belief that cats are scared of water. Also, cats are very independent creatures, and they are known to clean themselves very well in comparison to their canine counterparts.

However, although they do clean themselves naturally, are there occasions when you should bathe your cat? Moreover, when should this be done?

If you are asking the same question, then you have come to the right place! We will discuss bathing cats and offer some advice on the subject.

Cats and Baths

Cats, in general, do not like getting bathed. This is because it makes them very stressed and the experience if done incorrectly, might even traumatize them for life. Hence, it is only recommended to wash your cats with water, when necessary.

If they have a little dirt or knots on their fur, then you can wash them partially or focus on the area that needs to be cleaned using sprays or wipes. Usually, owners will simply brush them regularly to keep them looking tidy since, as mentioned, cats will groom themselves naturally and prefer it that way. There are some cases, though, where a bath will be necessary, and we will discuss them below.

When Should You Bathe Your Cat

As we briefly mentioned, there are some special occasions where your kitty could greatly benefit from taking a little bath. Some of the situations include:

1. When they bring excessive dirt from outside

Cats love to explore, and if they have been out in bad weather or perhaps got themselves into some mud, then they may return looking rather messy. In these cases, your cat may not be able to clean all of the dirt by themselves, so it would be wise to wash them in the tub since if you leave them as is, it may cause bacteria to grow in the fur.

2. If they are long haired cats

If you own a long-haired cat, such as the Balinese, the Birman, or Persian, then giving them gentle baths now and then might help to keep their fur at its cleanest.

3. When they have soiled themselves in the litter box

This is basic common sense. If your cat has had diarrhea or an accident in their litter tray, then a little wash will help them to become clean again.

4. In cases when they need flea treatment or to use medicated shampoos

If your furry friend is suffering from fleas or skin conditions, then bathing them with medicated shampoo will help them get better.

5. If they are sick or unable to clean themselves well

There will be cats that are ill or sick, so they cannot wash themselves as they usually would. Depending on how sick your little one is, you might not want to upset them further by placing them in the bathtub. As such, intervening to perform some gentle cleaning on their fur might be the best option.

Additionally, if you own a cat that perhaps doesn’t clean themselves efficiently to keep their coat clean, then maybe a bath will help them to remain fresher for longer.

6. If they are overweight

Unfortunately, some cats will be overweight, and not only does it cause health problems but also cleanliness or sanitation issues. That is because overweight cats may have more difficulty reaching areas of their body. Thus, they will require baths more regularly than smaller and averaged size cats.

How Often Should You Bathe Your Cat?

Extremely active outdoor cats will require more regular bathing as they can trail in all sorts of dirt and will be messier than the average indoor cat. Indoor cats won’t be as dirty since they haven’t been out exploring as much as the outdoor cat.

Generally though, it is recommended to bathe your cat occasionally rather than regularly. If you bathe your cat too often, then this may cause their fur to become flaky and lead to dry skin, just like it would with washing human hair too much. Therefore, it is recommended to bathe your indoor cat at least one to two times per year.

What Are the Benefits of Bathing Your Cat?

There are a few benefits to bathing your cat, including:

1. Flea and Parasite Prevention

A bath can be really beneficial for your cat’s skin as well as their coat. If you give them a flea bath, this is a great way to rid them of their skin problems. You can try to look out for special medicated shampoos which are made to remove fleas and/or will also remove any eggs.

Specialized flea shampoo and conditioners can also be a useful product to use on your cat since it softens fur at the same time. If you aren’t so sure on which product will work best with your cat, always consult a vet beforehand, to make sure you purchase the best product possible.

2. Shedding Reduction

Did you know that bathing a cat will also help to stop their fur from shedding? Shedding is a common complaint many owners have when it comes to their cats, especially those with long hair. Being able to control the shedding is an effective way to reduce any allergy symptoms, and keep them at bay, while at the same time keeps your home looking a little cleaner!

3. Make Your Cat Cleaner

Of course, if you bathe your cat, they will become a lot cleaner than usual. It will also help their coat to stay shiny and look a lot healthier. You no longer have to worry about your couch, bed, carpet, and the like being dirty or filled with microorganisms.


So do cats need baths? Definitely, they do! That being said, we highly recommend only bathing your cat if necessary and make sure to clean them using specialized cat-friendly shampoo and conditioners.

We hope this article has given you an idea of when your cat should be bathed. By now, you should also already know the great benefits of bathing your cat and how to keep your cat happy!

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