Should I bathe my cat? All you need to know

Rhazia Fazal

Should I bathe my cat

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Unlike dogs, cats are famously known for carefully grooming themselves everyday (likely more than us human). In fact, they can spend 50% of their time awake for this “ritual” with absolute dedication, keeping themselves fresh and clean without any help from outside sources, thanks to their tongues, teeth, and paws. So here comes a question that you might ask, “Should I bathe my cat?”

The stereotype that cats hate water is well-known. We’ve been trained to assume that our feline companions despise water – except for drinking, which they appear to prefer to do from the toilet bowl. When it comes to cat cleanliness, many people scratch their heads or find the idea amusing. 

Should I bathe my cat?

In general, the answer is no. 

Bathing a cat isn’t really necessary. Cats usually keep themselves clean and tidy, however they may require assistance with grooming by brushing, especially if they have long hair (you should brush your longhaired cats on a daily basis). 

Bathing your feline can strip the skin’s protective layer of essential oils, which are necessary for skin health. Also, it adds a layer of waterproofing. You might also risk eliminating topical flea control products when bathing if you’re using them for your cat.

However, there are always exceptions.

Should I bathe my cat?

Yes, it is essential in some situations. 

Should I bathe my cat
Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels

Why should I bathe my cat?

Cats are curious creatures. It’s not surprising to see them get into trouble and that’s when they need your help.

1. Your cat is smelly because he got into something

For instance, a skunk sprayed them. In this scenario, avoid the tomato juice hype and try this instead:

  • 1 teaspoon blue Dawn liquid dishwashing soap, 1/4 cup baking soda, and 1 liter white vinegar Vinegar is the greatest base because it is stronger than water but not as damaging as peroxide.
  • Rinse well with water after gently rubbing the mixture into your cat’s fur.

2. Your cat is dirty or sticky

This may due to the fact that he scrounged around in rubbish or got into hazardous sap, mud or oil. Maybe you’ve just rescued a cat from the street and he’s extremely dirty. It’s a good idea to call your vet. Cats typically want to clean themselves, but do you want your pet consuming everything in the hair? It will also stain your pristine carpet and light-colored upholstery.

3. There are bugs in his hair

This is not only disturbing for you as an owner, but also annoying to your pet. Even if you can get through the creepy-crawlies, your cat may be suffering, as many bugs feed on blood and can cause discomfort, infection, or sickness.

When you bathe a cat, it can wash away a superficial infestation. However, if they seem engorged in your pet, a trip to the doctor may be required for special shampoo, removal, or medicine.

In these circumstances, you and your cat should clean them yourself or get them professionally cleaned as soon as possible! You’ll thank yourself because you’ll be safe, your pet will be happy, and your home won’t be a mess.

Should I bathe my cat? Again, there are various reasons to bathe a cat besides obvious situational or event-based demands.

4. Longhaired or hairless cat breed

Unpleasant odors indicate they’ve gotten into something. It’s a different tale for certain breeds or conditions that require regular bathing to keep healthy. For example, if your feline has lengthy hair like Persians, cleaning your cat’s lengthy hair may be more than a cat can handle on its own (despite their self-grooming habits and abilities). In another case, periodic bathing are required for cats with reduced or no fur, such as the Sphynx, to eliminate body oils.

5. Medicinal reasons

Some felines may be in certain health situations. It can be difficult for aged, fat, arthritic, or mobility-impaired cats to clean themselves. These factors may cause matted coats and and itchy, dry skin. A bath, in these cases, is necessary.

How often should I bathe my cat?

This actually depends on various factors such as the type of environment that your feline lives in, the breed, their grooming behavior, level of activities and health conditions.

Longhaired breeds, such as Maine coons and Himalayans, benefit from a bath every couple of months or so. Shorthaired felines with dense coats may require a bath every now and then. Hairless cats are likely to require more regular bathing than furry cats.

According to the National Cat Groomers Institute of America, cats should be bathed and dried every 4-6 weeks.

How should I bathe my cat?

To make it a pleasant experience for both you and your furry friend, here are some useful tips.

  • Have the tub/sink filled with water first before you take your cat in. You don’t want your cat to get scared of the sound.
  • Trim the nails before the bath.
  • Pick a time when he’s played or eaten so that he’s mellow.
  • Use a washcloth to clean the face first. Avoid spraying water on the eyes, ears, nose and mouth.
  • Have all cat bath supplies within your reach. Don’t forget treats for your cat after the bath.
  • Use a gentle sprayer or a cup to minimize the water sound.
  • Avoid slipping by putting a rubber mat on the tub/sink.
  • Sing gently during the bath to calm your cat -if you can. Cats can sense our nerves!
  • Prepare many towels to dry him up as soon as the rinsing is over.

We hope this will help you answer the million dollar question, “should I bathe my cat?”. Let us know if you have questions.

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