All feline owners are familiar with dreaded bath days. It’s hard to say who enjoys it less—you or your cat? Most felines do not tolerate water well and can do some serious damage if they feel insecure. Those claws are no joke!
It might be such a hassle that you wonder if it’s really worth all the fuss. So, is cat-bathing overhyped or does it serve a real benefit? The truth is, despite all of the self-cleaning cats do, they still benefit from a bath every 4-6 weeks—but no more than that. Let’s discuss the importance of kitty hygiene.
Do Cats Like Baths?
Some cats really like water, others are curious about it—and then there are those classic felines who absolutely despise being anywhere near water. It’s as if your cat is the Wicked Witch of the West, melting into a puddle each time they get close to it.
Even when you expose cats to water at an early age, they might hate it all their life. That makes it really hard when it comes to bath time. Acclimating a young kitty has much higher success rates with bath tolerance, but each cat will respond based on their individual personality.
Unless you have a special case, you can almost guarantee your cat won’t be crazy about bath time. They are wet, cold, and helpless—and we all know how our cats hate feeling dependent.
How Often to Bathe Your Cat
According to recommended guidelines, you should bathe your indoor cats every 4 to 6 weeks. If you have a constantly self-grooming cat, you might be able to wait a little longer in some scenarios. Once you find what works best for your cat, you can create a grooming schedule.
Benefits to Cat Bathing
Why You Shouldn’t Over-Bathe Your Cat
Cats are very good at grooming themselves naturally. Plus, their skin excretes oils to protect their fur and keep it nice and shiny. If you strip the oils too often, it can make the coat dim or lackluster.
The overuse of shampoo might even cause hair loss or skin irritation. Use only cat-safe, proven shampoo brands that match your feline’s pH levels.
Other Times to Bathe Your Cat
Of course, cats might have a different plan when it comes to getting dirty. Sometimes, you will have to bathe your cat sooner than the schedule says.
Some reasons might be:
If any of these situations occur, it’s okay to bathe your cat. But try to stretch out bath time when you can.
Cat-Friendly Shampoo Options
When you buy shampoo, it should always be specifically formulated for felines. These shampoos have the right ingredients and pH levels to appropriately clean your cat.
However, not all shampoos are created equal in the pet supply world. Cat shampoo should have soothing, all-natural properties.
Always make sure to choose a shampoo that is free of:
*Tip: Never use human or dog shampoo on your cats.
How to Bathe Your Cat
Bathing styles can vary depending on your cat’s temperament. When it’s time for a bath, you can give your cat royal treatment. Use this as an opportunity to take care of other basic hygiene, like nail clipping, teeth brushing, and fur detangling.
Before you start, you’ll need to grab a few supplies:
Here’s a painless way to bathe your cat:
How To Ease Your Cat’s Stress During Bath Time
Baths can be traumatic for cats, especially if you don’t do it correctly. Water typically makes them feel very insecure, so making sure that they feel safe is paramount. You don’t want to have a lousy bath experience because it will most certainly lead to others.
To make the experience easier:
So, even though your cat might despise bath time, it’s a necessary part of cat care. Some cats might need baths less than others. But overall, the window is 4-6 weeks between cleanings. So, it isn’t a myth—but a professional recommendation.
Your cats might not like it so much, but they will feel better once all is said and done.
Featured Image Credit: KDdesignphoto, Shutterstock
- 1 Do Cats Like Baths?
- 2 How Often to Bathe Your Cat
- 3 Why You Shouldn’t Over-Bathe Your Cat
- 4 Other Times to Bathe Your Cat
- 5 Cat-Friendly Shampoo Options
- 6 How to Bathe Your Cat
- 7 How To Ease Your Cat’s Stress During Bath Time
- 9 Final Thoughts