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How to Bathe Your Cat

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Although cats in general do not like baths, you may find it necessary to give your kitty a bath once in a while. Cats are adept at cleaning themselves, but sometimes they need a little extra help. If your fur baby accidentally rubs up against a toxic substance or gets something sticky caught in her fur, she will need a thorough bath.

Read on to learn how to bathe your cat.


1. Get the right cat shampoo.

Look for a formula without harsh irritating ingredients. Emily Parker of Catological recommends Earthbath Oatmeal & Aloe Dog & Cat Shampoo or Four Paws Magic Coat shampoo. You can also search for reviews online and find out what other cat parents like best.

2. Prep your kitty.

For best results, clip your cat's nails before bathing. That way, you won't get a nasty scratch if she doesn't want to cooperate. Next, brush your cat's coat out to remove any loose dirt, mats, and debris. If you wait until your cat's coat is wet, the mats will shrink and become more difficult to remove.

3. Just add water.

We recommend that you bathe your cat in a sink or a bathtub. Always use lukewarm water at a comfortable temperature. Use a plastic pitcher (never glass) to pour small amounts of water on your cat until she is completely wet.

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4. Pour on a little shampoo.

Using one of the recommended cat shampoos above, lather up a small amount of shampoo in your hand. Gently apply it to your cat's head and then the whole body. With a warm washcloth, wipe your cat's face and ears. Shampoo is not recommended for a cat's face and ears because it is too harsh for the delicate skin.

5. Rinse (but don't repeat).

At this point, your sweet little fur baby may be getting a little irritated. However, do not give up! Carefully rinse her fur with warm water. Your goal is to rinse out all the shampoo so she won't have a chance to lick it off later. 

6. Dry her off.

The easiest way to dry your cat's fur is with a soft bath towel. If you have a long-haired kitty, you'll need to brush her coat out with a wide-toothed comb to prevent tangles. If your cat doesn't mind a hair dryer, use it on a low setting, and keep it out of her face and ears. 

7. It's time for a treat!

To provide positive reinforcement and reward your cat for her cooperation, give her a food treat. Alternatively, you could play a favourite game or have a little cuddle session to reward her. Ensure that you provide lots of loving attention, especially as she may be feeling a little disoriented and upset by the unfamiliar experience. 

Let's Chat:

Do you give your cats a bath? If so, how do you do it? Share your tips in the comments section!

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