Should I Bath My Cat?

As pet owners, we want to make sure that our animals feel good and fresh everyday – we can’t bear the thought of the other animals in the park laughing at them!

Whilst it’s common for dog owners to take their pups to the groomers fairly regularly, the same isn’t true for cats, who typically require less grooming.

It’s the way it’s always been, but it does beg the question…

Do Cats Need Baths?

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Generally speaking, no – cat’s don’t need baths.

Most cats dislike baths and find the experience quite stressful, meaning that it should typically be avoided.

That said, there are certain situations where bathing your cat may be unavoidable. So, if your cat has come home covered in mud and who knows what else…

Here’s How To Bath Your Cat

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Before you bath your cat, you’ll want to settle them down to calm state and ensure that they feel relaxed and comfortable around you. It’s vital that you have this trust.

You’ll also need a few key components:

  • A large plastic bucket, sink or bath (with non-slip mat) to use as the bath
  • Specialist cat or kitten shampoo
  • A towel (or two)
  • A brush to help remove any knots


Cat’s generally dislike water, so it’s a good idea to use as little as possible. You will, however, need enough to give them a proper wash.

The way that you’ll want to bath them will depend on how dirty they are. If it’s a ‘maintenance bath’, you could simply stand them in the water and slowly pour it over them, helping to wash away any debris.

If they’re extremely dirty, however, they’ll need a good rinsing. Lower them slowly into the warm water (if needs be, do the elbow test), keeping their head well out of the way, so that their body is submerged.

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Rub their fur gently yet thoroughly to dislodge any particles that may be trapped, then apply then stand them, apply the shampoo and pour water over them to rinse.

Beware that your cat may get agitated and bite/scratch the first time that you bath them. Try to keep calm and reassure your cat, as this will help to normalise the situation and set them at ease.


Cats generally prefer to be towel dried rather than dried with a hair dryer. So, unless they’ve been used to this since kittenhood, do the best that you can with a towel then let them finish off the job themselves.

Provide them with a towel/blanket to dry themselves on in the house and don’t let them outside until they’re completely dry so that they don’t catch a cold.

Then, inevitably, when you do finally let them out it’ll soon be bath time again…

As the kids head back to school and the summer comes to an end, Tailster have all of your pet care needs sorted! Whether you’re looking for regular, daily walks or someone to pop in occasionally to check on your pets, we’ve got you covered. Click here for more information on Tailster’s pet walking and sitting services

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