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Do Cats Need Baths? What You Need to Know About Bathing Your Feline

Published by Annie Anderson
Last updated: January 7, 2024

When you own a cat, you have a cute and furry friend to play with. You’ll love the purrs and cuddles when sleeping beside them, but only if they’re clean and smell great. With that being said, you may be asking yourself: Do cats need baths?

You may have watched tons of shows and videos, where cats ABSOLUTELY despise baths, or water in general! Not only do you see them hiss, but they get scared as well. Plus, since they lick themselves, that’s probably a bath enough, right? Read on as we tackle the question about whether or not cats need baths.

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Do Cats Need Baths? Why?

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You have probably heard of the saying “Cats groom themselves, so they don’t need baths”. And while it’s true they lick themselves clean, it isn’t enough!

General grooming and cleaning your feline friend is needed, just like how we need to take a bath everyday. Though they don’t need a bath a few times a day, they do need it when they get into sticky situations, matted cat hair or start to smell bad.

But this all depends on your cat and where he lives. If he happens to live inside the house, then you may not need to bathe him as often as you would if he lived outside.

Another point would be if you, or someone else in the household, is allergic to cat’s fur. Bathing your cat will help prevent allergic reactions, but this will mean bathing him about thrice a week.

If your cat doesn’t like water (just like most cats), then it’s best to leave him be and to find another way to clean him while taking care of other aspects in grooming, such as trimming his nails and brushing his fur.

When Should You Bathe Your Cat?

There are various ways to know when to bathe your cat, with the number one reason being: His fur looks dirty and he begins to smell!

Like mentioned, he may not need a bath if he lives indoors and is less susceptible to dirt and unpleasant odors. But if he happens to get into the garbage can or makes a huge mess in the kitchen, then it’s time for a bath.

Cats are self-grooming, but there are some cats who won’t be able to properly lick their body clean, especially if they are older or overweight. They may not be as flexible or strong enough to reach all parts of their body, which is why you will need to clean them and focus on those body parts.

If your cat suffers from fur problems, such as tangled fur or skin conditions, then frequent baths will help keep a healthy coat of skin and fur. It also helps reduce shedding fur and hairballs around the house, making it easier to breathe and clean around.

Most people would bathe their cats once or twice a week, depending on his fur and daily activities. Some opt to simply wipe him down if he’s afraid of water. It’s best to consult a veterinarian before bathing your cat, just to make sure.

How to Properly Bathe Your Cat?

If your cat isn’t afraid of water, or it’s ABSOLUTELY necessary to bathe him already, then here are some tips to follow:

  • 1. Be Slow and Gentle: Proceed with caution! Your cat may already sense a bath coming and he already fears for the water about to come! Don’t let him meet the water too quickly and let him take time adjusting.
  • 2. The Right Shampoo: Use cat-friendly shampoo that is safe for the fur and your cat’s skin. If he suffers from any skin condition, then you can get a recommendation from the veterinarian.
  • 3. Don’t Submerge: Do NOT let any water or shampoo meet the face of the cat, especially his eyes. This will cause irritation and panic, causing a lot of pain on both you and your cat. Don’t submerge his head and simply wipe around it, focusing on the body.

In Conclusion

Cats are majestic and beautiful creatures that take pride in their body. While they bathe themselves often by licking their body, it may not be enough. That’s why it’s also important to bathe or clean your cat every once in a while to ensure a healthy cat that smells great when you cuddle and with him.

Hopefully, this article answers your question: “Do cats need baths?” While they do need it, it isn’t as often as compared to humans. Just make sure you bathe them properly and follow what they feel. So what are you waiting for? If your cat needs cleaning, give it a nice bath today!

We hope you enjoyed the article. If you have any questions or tips when bathing cats, then do comment down below. We’d love to hear what you have to think.

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