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7 Tips to Giving Your Cat a Bath Without Getting Your Arms Shredded

If you are a cat owner, then you know that cats typically hate getting wet. So, what happens when you cat is in serious need of a bath?

This article will discuss 7 tips to giving your cat a bath without ending up with scratched, bleeding arms and a disgruntled cat.

Why Cats Don’t Like Water

First things first, it is important to understand why most house cats don’t like water or being wet. Many scientists believe that a cat’s dislike of water comes from years of domestication where their owners have shielded them from the elements.

Cats have been domesticated for centuries now and many are “house cats” meaning they stay inside the house all the time.

It is also believed that cats may have evolved to dislike moisture because their coats actually absorb moisture rather than deflect it which makes it difficult for them to get dry.

No matter what the reason, it is pretty common knowledge that cats do not like to get wet. Even though your cat may be fascinated by your dripping faucet, he or she would likely be terrified to get caught in a rainstorm or take a bath.

Do Cats Need Baths?

This brings us to our next point, do cats really need baths? Unlike dogs, cats are known for their impeccable self-grooming skills. In fact, adult cats can spend up to half of their waking hours grooming themselves.

Cats come equipped with all the self-grooming tools they need; a barbed tongue for licking, forepaws that are moistened with saliva to be used as a washcloth, and sharp teeth than can help dig out any stuck in debris.

The grooming process for cats begins as soon as they are born. Mother cats beginning licking their kittens to clean and stimulate them. By about four weeks of age, a kitten begins to groom herself.

While cats are excellent at keeping themselves clean, there are some case in which a bath intervention is necessary. If you bring home a new kitten who was in a shelter and exposed to a lot, a bath is a good idea.

Additionally, cats sometimes soil themselves in their litter boxes, climb into things they shouldn’t or have fleas or a fungal infection that would call for a proper bath.

In any of these cases, a bath can be attempted using the following 7 tips that help ensure you don’t end up with cat scratch fever.


We all know that cats have some pretty sharp and powerful claws and even the tamest and most gentle cat may be prone to barring her claws when exposed to water. For this reason, you’ll need to make sure you are prepared and protected from her sharp talons.

Before you embark on the cat bathing process, be sure you are fully prepared by having the following supplies handy:

-Specialized cat shampoo

-Rubber gloves to protect your hands

-Heavy, thick long sleeve shirt to protect your arms

-Spray nozzle shower attachment of cup

-Towels for drying

-Cotton balls for cleaning ears

-Small washcloth for wiping the face

Choosing the Right Cat Shampoo

When it comes to bathing your cat, it is important that you purchase a cat shampoo designed to wash a cat’s skin and coat.

Cats should be bathed in a specific cat shampoo with the right pH balance for their skin. Never use a dog or human shampoo on your cat, this can cause skin irritation.

Look for a cat shampoo with all natural ingredients and proteins that help to boost her skin and fur by making it healthier and more vibrant.

If you cat suffers from dry, irritated skin, try a hypoallergenic or oatmeal cat shampoo. These shampoos are formulated for sensitive skin and can help to re-moisturize and repair their skin and coat.

7 Tips to Giving Your Cat a Bath-and Surviving!

  1. Skip the tub! Try bathing your cat in the kitchen or bathroom sink. Rather than trying to bend over your bathroom tub and struggle to keep your cat still, utilize your kitchen or bathroom sink where the space is smaller, and you are upright and more in control.
  2. Fill your sink with 2-3 inches of water only. You do not need a lot of water to bath your cat and the more water there is, the more frightened and defensive your cat will likely be.
  3. Start with the body. Wet your cat gently from her shoulders to her tail first. Use a light spray from your kitchen spray nozzle or gently pour from a cup.
  4. Apply a specialized cat shampoo to the whole body, scrubbing into her fur gently. After the cat shampoo has been applied and scrubbed in, rinse it thoroughly using the same gentle process you used to wet the fur initially. Any excess shampoo left behind can cause the skin to get irritated, so make sure it is fully rinsed out.
  5. Cats do not typically like water splashed directly on their face, so for this part utilize the small washcloth your prepared. Dampen the cloth and gently wipe the cat’s face.
  6. Use cotton balls to clean your cats’ ears out. Never use a Q-Tip or any other object inside the ears as it can cause damage.
  7. Remove your cat from the tub gently and wrap her in a large, dry towel. Using that towel, soak up as much moisture out of her skin as possible. A hairdryer can be used, especially for long haired cats, just make sure to set it on the lowest setting to avoid scaring or burning her.

By donning rubber gloves and arm protection and following our 7 tips to giving your cat a bath, you can manage to get your feline friend clean without an all out cat fight which ends in shredded arms for you.

While your cat my not like getting a bath, sometimes it is a necessity. We hope that these tips will help you out the next time your cat needs a good scrubbing.

Last update:10:18 pm

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