If your cats space anything like mine, they don't choose water. Here's exactly how I survive bath time without injury.

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How to Bathe a Cat

We all recognize that aquaphobia+claws+teeth=injury. Yet sometimes one merely needs come bathe a cat. If your cats room anything prefer mine, castle don't prefer water, and they specifically don't prefer being forced into it. If you are anything prefer me, you additionally don't have a couple hundred bucks to salary someone else to to wash the cat. This article discusses assorted tips top top what has, and has not, prospered for me, through the (terrorizing) procedure of trial and also error. This technique is completely drug-free, safe, and effective. Hope I deserve to save you, the reader, from any future injury and also blood loss the may take place while attempting to bathe a cat.

What You'll have to Bathe her Cat Safely

Cat Shampoo

It is very important the you purchase shampoo especially meant because that cats. Cats space much much more sensitive come product then we, as people are. Have you ever gotten soap in her eyes? the HURTS. Be afflicted with in mind that kitty will not be conscious of the should avoid soap suds in the eyes, and a ache stinging eye will only make the cat much more nervous (nervous meaning scared and vengeful). Your cat's skin is also much much more sensitive 보다 yours and also may have an adverse reaction to every the chemicals. Cats, prefer dogs and also other furry mammals, carry out not sweat. Their skin does not produce almost as much oils together ours does, and it is susceptible to dry the end if making use of a rough, oil-removing soap, together as human being shampoo. Also, cat's noses space much an ext sensitive 보다 ours are, and thus your kitty might not prefer your shampoo. Cat shampoo is especially catered come kitty's needs and also is proven to be safe. I use Sergeant's Skip-Flea shampoo for cats, not only since it's safe for cats, but likewise because that safely kills undesirable (and perhaps unknown) parasites that I execute not want in mine home. Cat shampoo is relatively expensive compared to human being shampoo, however bear in mind you will most likely not use it an ext than as soon as or double a year.

Leather occupational Gloves

If your cat is anything prefer mine, water+cat=maniac. When are afraid overcomes a cat, those animal instincts absent in, and also before you recognize it, you have a couple of new feet in your hand! take it some preventive measures and also invest in some thick leather gloves. I'm talking job-related gloves; the kind of gloves the welders and mechanics use. You can discover these in ~ a hardware store, or purchase them native Amazon.com. I have actually a pair of pigskin leather job-related gloves, due to the fact that pigskin animal leather is washable (thus safe to use in a kitty bath), and also they likewise come cheap (so i don't have to feel also bad around ruining mine gloves, if, and when, my cat finally figures out how to damage them).

Kitty pond Trimmer

If her cat is not de-clawed, I very recommend you purchase a kitty pond trimmer. These are better than human being nail clippers due to the fact that human nail clippers tend to separation the claw increase the center like brittle wood. Fingernails and also claws are incredibly different; the most apparent of difference is the fingernails space flat, and also claws room tubular. Person nail clippers room designed for level nails, and also cat/dog pond clippers are designed because that round nails. Have you ever separation a nail before? the HURTS. Don't risk any kind of pain to her cat, especially if you want to get anywhere within grabbing distance of your cat anytime soon. I recommend you trim your cat's nails the day before the bath, for this reason they room not already mad in ~ you as soon as it comes time to bathe. If your cat is anything like mine, an angry cat is one unobtainable cat.

Small Basin

From experience, mine cat freaks out way more when I shot to ar him in a huge bath tub than that does as soon as I set him in a tiny plastic basin or sink. I personally use the kitchen sink. Tiny plastic wash basins work, together well. Buy 2 as friend will require a wash basin, and also rinse basin. No matter the method, always know the it is much much easier to obtain a cat in a dry container then to obtain a cat in a wet basin. Cat first, water second.


If girlfriend don't have actually a spray water tap for her sink, have actually a bucket of clean, warm water to rinse your kitty's fur with.

Towel you Don't care About

Unless you desire wet cat dripping all over everything, I highly recommend you acquire a huge (person-sized) towel to wrap her cat in after ~ the bath. Have actually this ready, and also unfolded, right alongside the basin/sink before starting anything. You will certainly be utilizing this bath towel to conveniently place your cat on, and also wrap up snugly v no exposed limbs. Think that swaddling a baby; this is the exact same concept. Make certain it's a towel you don't care about, together angry wet cats are prone to ripping not only skin, but anything rather you choose to placed on them, towels included. The chances are, your cat will number out exactly how to escape native the towel within 3 minutes, also with friend holding him/her. At least your kitty won't it is in soaking wet by then.

A Friend

Pretty self-explanatory, yet an extra pair of hands is always handy (haha). Specifically when it pertains to locating a suspicious cat, or getting a wet cat right into a towel.

Step-By-Step guide to Bathing her Cat

Set up the bathtub area: place the towel under right beside the basin, acquire the gloves, get the soap, plug the drain, and also everything. I even squirt a tiny shampoo in the basin.Wait 10 minutes: possibilities are, your cat has come to be curious. He/she will more than likely wander off soon after every little thing has been sniffed and rubbed. If you have done this before, you might need to wait longer, together cats space very an excellent at remembering unpleasant experiences.Heat up the water: turn on the sink and also run the water until it gets warm, adjusting it come a warm-feeling temperature. As soon as you discovered a satisfied temperature, make it contempt cooler, since kitty's skin is much much more sensitive and thinner 보다 ours.Turn the water off.Get gloves: placed on your thick leather job-related gloves; it's time.Get cat: host kitty firmly v two hands, one grasping the scruff, and the various other under his/her belly. Gradually lower kitty right into basin.Keep one hand firmly on the scruff at every times, rather you will acquire a mess!Turn ~ above water: progressively turn top top the water, at its lowest, trickling setting. That should currently be at a comfortable temperature because that kitty.Soak Cat: as the container is filling up, use your free hand to gently splash water onto your cat, functioning it right into its fur until its fully saturated. This is a really important process as the outer layer of the fur repels water native penetrating the soft, down-like fur underneath. I have actually a long-haired cat, and also I have yet to successfully get her out of a bath and not discover at least one dried spot of fur on her.Lather: as with your shampoo, work the soap right into your kitty's fur by rubbing gently; I choose to go in a circular activity with mine thumbs.Drain basin: If you space using a sink, pull the drain. If you are using a plastic wash basin, slowly and carefully relocate her cat to the north one.Rinse: Spray hoses on kitchen sink are very handy, and pretty self-explanatory. Be sure not come spray in kitty's eyes. If you room using a bucket the clean water, progressively pour (or scoop) water onto the cat, use the very same lathering movement as as soon as soaping the fur. This takes a while, and it is nearly impossible to rid the hair of every soap. This is why cat shampoo is important, since it's no toxic for them if they end up licking it.Swaddle in Towel: easily relocate kitty come the already-unfolded towel, and also swaddle him/her steady in the towel until dampness soaks v (and the does, and also it's and the towel will be soaking wet). Her kitty will most likely be as stiff together a log until you permit go.Place the kitty, in the towel, ~ above the floor. Let your cat occupational his/her own way out of the towel... Finest not to cross routes him/her because that the following 48 hours.Clean up: together your cat is sulking, hiding, and grooming, this is a better time than ever before to clean increase the large mess that more than likely occurred!


Reasons to Bathe her Cat

Bathing may not constantly be necessary. Given the known reality that bathing a cat is no fun, safe, or enjoyable, staying clear of a bathtub at all costs is a pretty apparent course that action. Both you and kitty will be a lot much less stressed without a bath.

Health Reasons

Fleas, fleas, fleas. Ick: ns cringe just thinking of the time my cats obtained fleas. It to be awful. I provided them plenty of baths and found numerous dead fleas in the sink. Gross, ns know, however dead fleas room much an ext desirable 보다 living ones. Also with flea regiments the end there, shower is tho a great way to kill the vast majority of adult fleas living on her cat's body. A bath must be a priority at this point.

If you are using a flea regimen, bathe your cat prior to you administer it.

Re-administer the after every bath. The bath will just wash it off. Since flea regimens commonly come in three measures every 30 days, I would bathe lock every 30 days before re-administering the regimen. Also, make sure your kitty is fairly dry prior to administering it, too.

Sanitary Reasons

Skunks: Yuck. If her cat gained hit through a skunk, be warned: This may take many baths to eliminate the smell. However put that an initial bath ~ above the top of your priority list, prior to all the upholstered furniture in your house starts marinating in skunk smell...Stinky butt: have you ever had a cat that didn't groom his/her target after using the litter box? i have. And let me tell you, nothing motivates a cat to lick that is butt more than scrubbing its target in a basin full of soap and also suds. Does your cat odor BAD? Probably can use a bath.Dirt isn't always dirty: Oftentimes, cats will certainly roll about in dry, powdery dirt. This is a natural technique of cleaning the oils the end of your skin and fur, and is pretty lot the natural alternative powder baths (see "Bathing Alternatives" below). No require for a bath, just vacuum the carpet after they shake that off.

If her Cat Refuses to it is in Bathed

If the goal is come make your cat clean and also pretty, then a full-fledged dunk in soapy water may not it is in necessary. Right here are some options I prefer to use.

Powder Bath

Sergeant's makes a flea powder bath which i use, and also there are also many various other pet-friendly flour bath assets to choose from. A powder bathtub is really easy come do: Just add powder to your hands, and also begin working into kitty's fur. Chances are, your cat will just think he/she is gaining an awesome belly rub finish with pets, love, and also attention. Then, offer your cat a brush to work-related the powder through his/her fur. Once finished, her cat will certainly shake the powder turn off by walking, or you have the right to pet him/her "backwards" to eliminate the powder. Everything you use, make certain it's safe to eat. As cats groom themselves, asking yourself; would certainly this be toxic if ingested? i strongly encourage difficult to pet-only powders just to it is in safe, but if you use baby powder, perform not usage talc-based powder. Talc is a rock. Do you want your cat come eat rocks?

Rag Bath

A heat soapy rag with cat shampoo, adhered to by a warmth soapy rag with simply water to eliminate the soap, is a perfect cat-friendly bath. To a cat, a warm rag is reminiscent of mother's grooming tongue. Possibilities are, your cat will sit this one with with small protest. Wetting her cat with a rag is likewise easier 보다 wetting her cat v a spray bottle, due to the fact that the spraying sound is reminiscent of a cat's "hisssssss..." Many flea regiments likewise come packaged an in similar way to baby wipes, too.


When come Bathe your Cat

The most successful baths I have administered come cats have been when the cat has been serene to start with. This are very closely thought out, planned-ahead moments throughout the day. Her cat will certainly be many relaxed if one or much more of the following scenarios room true.

Your cat is sleeping.Your cat has eaten within the previous two hours.You have actually not annoyed your cat newly (see "Kitty pond Trimmer" above).There have been no brand-new people or pets in the home, recently.Your cat is not curious around the bath provides you are setup up.


This article is accurate and true come the finest of the author’s knowledge. That is not expected to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice native a veterinary clinical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and also symptoms the distress should be checked out by a vet immediately.


Mona Sabalones Gonzalez native Philippines ~ above June 26, 2014:

It sounds prefer your cat is quite a character. I was laughing all through this article. Her advice is an extremely good, however your an individual experience come justify your advice is soooo funny. At any type of rate, I like the method you are so considerate of her cat as soon as you bathe it, fairly than simply dumping it in the water and forcing it every the way, come what may. Ns like how you explain the cat's sensitive skin, and also its tubular nails. These are details the clueless cat owners may disregard. And the advice around the skunk and the furniture, lol!

kathleenkat (author) indigenous Bellingham, WA on February 08, 2013:

Thanks! It certain is tough, but sometimes required. Girlfriend can gain it done at vets, yet they fee a ton.

Stephanie from Canada top top February 07, 2013:

DEFINITELY saving this one! give thanks to you so really much for sharing. Poll up, useful and I will share with my other cat friends.

kathleenkat (author) indigenous Bellingham, WA ~ above November 16, 2012:

Yeah, that's why I placed them in the bathtub first, then add the water. I like the washcloth method, too, but it isn't really efficient when they have fleas (eek). Many thanks for the comment!

Stacie L ~ above November 16, 2012:

I have washed my own cats end the years however never inserted them into a tub of water. Ns usually used a wet washcloth come wipe them down. Unless a skunk injected them or the dropped into a vat the tar,i don't think dunking a cat in water is a great idea.


kathleenkat (author) native Bellingham, WA on October 26, 2012:

Why thanks! ns do control to assignment my name wrong, haha.

aykianink ~ above October 26, 2012:

Very interesting hub. If I ever before need advice on defusing a bomb, or talking down a hostage situation, ns will come to you!

Heads increase on the last image:

Beware that teeth and fangs.

Source: kathleekat

It doesn't speak "kathleenkat" ~ above the source.

I particularly enjoyed your mathematics:


and mine favorite:



Jack Hazen indigenous Blitzburgh area top top October 24, 2012:

Yeah, he manages to drive me crazy. The bath went reasonably well. Yet after the pouted because that awhile, he stretched himself out on my crate for the satellite dish as he likes come do. The covers the lights so i can't change the station. I specifically don't favor him doing this as soon as he's wet. I mean, i don't mind every that much if he it s okay electrocuted, yet he could blow increase the box and I won't be able to watch sports.

kathleenkat (author) from Bellingham, WA top top October 23, 2012:

Sounds prefer you have a an extremely unusually easy to manage cat! great luck through your bath!

Jack Hazen native Blitzburgh area top top October 23, 2012:

Hey, well you pretty much covered the totality darn thing, and very well.

Reminded me ns should give the cat a bathtub tomorrow. I don't have the power to deal with it this late in the day. He gets a bathtub at the very least once a week, which is under from practically every day as soon as we were struck by the mutant ninja fleas in the hottest and most humid July we've watched lately in western PA.

He no the bath as much as ever. I usage the blue Dawn and fill increase the sink and drop that in, but keep a an extremely firm grip on him with both hands. An initial I have actually to catch him, though. Funny he deserve to tell even if it is I'm to run the water to do the bowl or give him the bath.

He whines all the while the is acquiring the bath, but doesn't struggle all that much. The comes when it's time to get tried off. As soon as he is the end of the water, the goes wild. So ns mostly just let him walk off and also drip dry. The sulks because that a pair hours and also then comes earlier to check out me.

kathleenkat (author) native Bellingham, WA ~ above October 21, 2012:

Thanks! Every cat is different; yet a uncover a thick, leather gloves levels out the playing field. ;)

Stephanie indigenous Binghamton ~ above October 21, 2012:

Really enjoyed this post! my babies like to offer me a operation for my money when I try to offer them a great scrubbin'! an extremely helpful and also insightful. I'll have actually to try your suggestions. Certainly have mine vote!

kathleenkat (author) indigenous Bellingham, WA on October 21, 2012:

Best of luck! Gloves are very recommended :)

glassvisage from northern California on October 21, 2012:

This is great! Our family has never ever bathed cat before, ns think due to the fact that we were scared of the claws, and seeing these procedures laid out provides me much more confidence. It's certainly clear you've done this before and I appreciate learning from her experience. Ns think I understand what come do now - great me luck!

Chris Mills indigenous Traverse City, MI on October 20, 2012:

My cat, sadly, is no more. He was a 16 year old, 20 pound black color kitty. He to be a challenge to bathe. You absolutely have provided some advice that would make bathtub time much easier.

KDuBarry03 on October 20, 2012:

I'm therefore happy i can't be roughly cats since this sounds choose a tedious job! great luck to every you cat owners out there :)

Denise Handlon from phibìc Carolina on October 19, 2012:

Well, they aren't fond of it, but they respond fine to soothing talk and the large wrap approximately at the end...cuddle time!

kathleenkat (author) native Bellingham, WA on October 19, 2012:

Yes that is no simple feat! the is why ns don't have any type of pictures that the process... Following time, perhaps I will uncover a friend to take part :)

Brian Schwarz from Washington, DC on October 19, 2012:

You room truly brave! i have constantly let my cats bathe themselves. But there to be one time Ciggy acquired into a mess and also I just chose to take it him come a pro. Wish ns would have actually seen this hub earlier then!

kathleenkat (author) from Bellingham, WA on October 19, 2012:

Thanks Denise (and all), good luck through your kittens and let me know exactly how the baths go! as soon as I very first got my black color kitty, he would willingly go into the shower and bath with me. Once he flourished up, he determined he hated water! an ext fur to dry and also groom i guess.

kathleenkat (author) indigenous Bellingham, WA top top October 19, 2012:

Thanks; my cats are healthy, and i think for the many part, when used properly, the assets I use space perfectly fine. The flea regiment, for example, is intended to be applied to a location on the ago of the neck whereby cats can't with while grooming. Powders need to be shaken off or brushed out, and also are designed particularly to cling to insect exoskeleton. I will certainly look into the alternatives you mentioned in the future, however for now, this is what I understand about, have experience with, and thus am able to create about.

Denise Handlon from north Carolina top top October 19, 2012:

Congratulations on her HOTD award. Wonderful advice here. Us were simply recently embraced by some kittens and also training them because that the litter box required a few trips to the toilet sink. Well written, and cute photos.

Liz Elias from Oakley, CA on October 19, 2012:

Unfortunately, the collars save the very same pesticides...they absorb into the skin--hence every the label warnings around washing your hands thoroughly after handling them.

Sadly, numerous vets are likewise uninformed on the matter, and some are unwitting promoters via discounts and kick-backs. The powder referenced in the post will work right into the fur, and also has a lasting effect.

Indoor-only kitties space at much less risk for fleas and also ticks, anyway, unless there is a dog bringing castle in. But, the very same toxicity stop true for dogs--the alternate treatment functions for them, too.

kathleenkat (author) indigenous Bellingham, WA top top October 19, 2012:

Thanks, every for the comments!

DzyMsLizzy, i was not conscious that the commodities I used might be harmful come cats. My vet claimed they space okay. I try not to usage flea-specific assets on castle unless needed (when they have fleas). Castle are mainly indoor-only, and whenever i let lock out i am sure to have actually a flea collar top top them. That keeps the fleas native jumping on them, and also I take it off as soon as they aren't needing it. Great learned; I will certainly not allow them outside without the again!

Thanks Pages-by-Patty for telling me around the Dawn dishwash thing. I have constantly been fear to shot something no labeled together "cat" on mine cats.

Rebecca O'Reilly from California top top October 19, 2012:

Informative, funny yet I don't think i will shot to bathtub my cat. It is hard enough when I shot to provide my small dog a bath have the right to only imagine.

Voted up, funny and also useful. An excellent hub idea. Congrats on your HOTD.

Steve West from Myrtle Beach, south Carolina ~ above October 19, 2012:

Great job-related indeed. Congratulations on HOTD. Ns am looking front to more good information. Review ya' later.

carolynkaye indigenous USA ~ above October 19, 2012:

Great Hub, kathleenkat. I'll have to use few of the advice on my cat I've never ever bathed. He's 4 now and also I've still never provided him a bath because he's so big and solid I'm fear he'll freak out and also I'll get scratched up. My various other cat is pretty an excellent about baths. Lots of great info here! :)

Marites Mabugat-Simbajon from Toronto, Ontario top top October 19, 2012:

Funny and useful! shower cats can be an amazing topic because that my friends that have much more than a pair of 'em. Surely, lock will uncover this really useful and also I wonder if they ever give their cats a an excellent bath. We execute think that cats know exactly how to clean themselves, but if they contract fleas from being outside, just like the dogs, for sure the cats would require some shower too.

Sharing! give thanks to you, kathleenkat!

Evie Lopez from clear Florida on October 19, 2012:

Yikes! shower a cat sounds choose a life-threatening ordeal. I've had cats in the past but I don't remember my cat being the bad, other than for a few holes and scratches in mine arms and also hands, I came out the it lively (lol). I think I'll stick to puppy dogs from currently on :)

Great tips! many thanks for sharing!

Ann-Christin from UK ~ above October 19, 2012:

Lots of great tips and also advice:) the brought back memories of when I had actually to bathe mine kitten when it got covered in oil . Once was enough I finished up together wet together the cat,I didn't have cat shampoo so provided baby shampoo as that is gentle and non -stinging.

Liz Elias native Oakley, CA ~ above October 19, 2012:

Very great safety points, vis-a-vis clipping the claws (NEVER de-claw a cat; that is inhumane), and having provides ready first, etc. The very first time I ever before had to bathe a cat, ns learned the hard method you must trim nails first.

However, girlfriend mention certain kinds of products, some by name, aimed in ~ flea control, the you must never, ever use on any kind of cat.

I implore you, PLEASE, if friend love animals, get rid of these references and also don't encourage these awful poisons. (I also wrote a Hub on safely keeping fleas and ticks off your pets.)

Here is a website where you have the right to read all around the disastrous harm that is excellent to our pets each year by applying these pesticide to our beloved companion animals:


That page is the one that directly references her mentions here, however it is a complete website with the whole story, consisting of their project with the EPA to acquire these poisonous products banned. The damages to animals ranges indigenous mild sickness come neurological damage and also even death.

Safe choices are provided on the website.

Otherwise, good article, and congratulations ~ above HOTD!

RTalloni on October 19, 2012:

Excellent tips. :) absolutely not a project for the timid. Even the brave need to keep a phone handy for dialing 911 (just in case...).

Congrats on your Hub of the work award--it yes, really is a winner.

CZCZCZ from Oregon on October 19, 2012:

Great tips and also suggestions for bathing and also caring because that our feline friends. Appreciated reading v this hub, lots of good information.

Marlene Bertrand from USA top top October 19, 2012:

Cats room so temperamental and also bathing lock is such a production. Your step-by-step guide is quite helpful, particularly for people (like me) that opt out of bathing the cat due to the posibility that bodily harm.

I don't have a cat however this was really interesting. Once I observed that the title i knew I had actually to review it because I always used come wonder just how cats that are greatly represented as having actually a hatred for water obtained cleaned and washed. Congrats on obtaining hub of the day! fine deserved.

Stephanie Marie Severson native Atlanta, GA ~ above October 19, 2012:

Thanks because that the an excellent info. I have a cat and i have never bathed him. I constantly let my kids do it. Ns may give it a shot after analysis this hub.

blindbias from Baton Rouge ~ above October 19, 2012:

Love the article. I never tried bathing my cats, mostly because they space indoor and also don't have fleas and also are really clean. However now i know exactly how I would do that.

Pages-By-Patty indigenous Midwest top top October 19, 2012:

Bathing cats does take preparation and, naturally, has a trial and error period! This year fleas were all too plentiful. Having actually 9 an individual cats in addition to litters the foster kittens, our residence was choose a "Kitty Wash" every summer.

I, too, would certainly recommend the Dawn dish-washing liquid. Friend can't be also safe as soon as it involves what topical treatment is provided on felines.

This is a an excellent how-to recommendation to have actually in case you find yourself through a cat that is can not to groom self or herself. They're together meticulous creatures the bathing does boost their mental state if they're sick, injured or paralyzed.

Congratulations of HOTD!

Mary Hyatt native Florida top top October 19, 2012:

Congrats on HOTD. Once I read Hubs prefer this, it makes me thankful ns just have a an extremely spoiled Schnauzer who also hates to take it a bath. I have to be sneaky and also not allow her understand what I'm around to do!

I had actually a friend once who tried to bathe she cat, and the cat bit into her hand so deep, she had to have assist getting loosened from the cat. My friend never ever bathed the cat again.

I poll this Hub UP.

Yvonne Spence indigenous UK on October 19, 2012:

Our cats pick up fleas quite often since there are a most wooded locations near our house. One of our daughters determined to bathtub them to remove them. One tolerates baths well, the other less so, so this tips might come in handy for him.

Congrats on her hub of the day.

See more: Does A Polygon Usually Have More Sides Or More Angles ? Does A Polygon Usually Have More Sides Or Angle

tlmcgaa70 from south dakota, usa top top October 19, 2012:

i plan on wrting my very own hub on exactly how to bathe a cat since most i have read on the subject...well, allows say they leave lot to be desired. Your hub is the finest one i uncovered so far. I do but suggest using original blue dawn dishwashing detergent. The is for sure for pets including cat and an extremely young kittens to add it death fleas top top contact. Congrats top top HotD.