Tips for Bathing a Cat

My cat, Teddy, is impossible to bathe. Although normally cats do not require a bath, he sometimes seems to get dirty using his litter box and then smells, albeit rarely this happens. This is going to sound harsh, but he really does not cooperate usually, so I put him in the tub and then placed a tall plastic laundry basket over him and held it down, or you could have a helper do that part. Our shower has a hand-held hose, so then I just sprayed him wet through the holes in the laundry basket. He was unable to escape or scratch me. I avoided his ears and face. When he was soaked, I used my old Joy dish soap container with watered down shampoo to suds him, because by this point he had stopped meowing in protest and relegated himself to the whole procedure. I held his back down so he was squat to the tub bottom while sudsing. All the while I chat with him in a soothing tone, then place the laundry basket over him again and spray rinse. Have a towel at the ready, lift off the laundry basket, wrap the kitty and dry. Ta da, done!


By Carrie from N Liberty, IA

August 28, 20080 found this helpful

I have found that bathing the most unruly kitties to be easy if you give them something sturdy to cling to on the bottom of the tub. Most cats want traction in the tub to feel safer thus more relaxed. I have used a thick bathroom rug (I was going to wash anyway) or an old beach towel. Just something to grab onto so they don't slip around so much.

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August 28, 20080 found this helpful

Our groomer used to use an old window screen in the bottom of the grooming tub because she said they like to 'hold on' and I've watched her bathe them...they DO like to hold on!

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August 28, 20080 found this helpful

I realize that sometimes it's necessary to bathe a cat, but from a health standpoint (yours and the cat's!) it should be avoided if possible. Please especially avoid using soap or detergent because of the drying effect it has on the cat's skin. If possible, it's much preferable to simply cut off the area of fur that's become matted or soiled.

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August 28, 20080 found this helpful

We had cats that LOVED the water.They didn't fight or fuss or throw a fit & they had no screen in the bottom of the sink,it just felt good to them

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August 28, 20080 found this helpful

I love the cute website and really appreciate the tip on the window screen or a rug. I'm trying that if there is a next time. Teddy had accidentally gotten into something smelly, we think...maybe got dirty in his litter box..we don't know, but I hate to bathe a cat they normally take care of themselves but this time...I had to do something.

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August 30, 20080 found this helpful

I have a long hair tuxedo male desexed cat and he quite often gets himself in a mess - I use good quality alcohol free baby wipes to clean him up - he weighs about 16lb so it is virtually impossible for me to give him a bath and the baby wipes don't seem to do any harm. I saw baby wipes used on a wildlife program once when they were hand rearing new born tigers so I figured it was Ok for a domestic cat

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October 9, 20120 found this helpful

Your description of bathing Teddy really made me laugh. The 1st time I bathed my cat I filled both kitchen sinks with nice warm water. I gently set the cat in one of the sinks and believe it or not she just sat there. So I washed her quickly and moved her to the next sink for rinsing. I had expected to be missing at least a couple of fingers. Thanks for a great story.

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