How can I clean a cat?

Could someone please advise me how to clean my cat? I adopted Beffie some time ago from a shelter. The hair on his back is very dirty and hard, but there is no way I will be able to bath him, as he HATES being held. Could I dust him with baby powder/Maizena and then brush him?


Thank you!

Kind regards,

Carol from Republic of South Africa

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By Teresa (Guest Post)
August 1, 20071 found this helpful
Best Answer

One thing I found that worked for me back when I had a cat was to get an old window screen and place in the bottom of the tub/sink. This gives the cat something to dig his/her claws into while bathing them. Good Luck, Hope this helps

July 29, 20210 found this helpful

I would give him a good brushing, and little put water on comb or brush.... My babies love it..... Good luck

August 1, 20070 found this helpful
Best Answer

A cat can be bathed, but very, very carefully. I would suggest (even if it's hot weather) to dress in heavy clothing and gloves. Have the tub full of nice warm water BEFORE putting the cat in. And you have to hold him/her down firmly. Once they realize they can't get away, they quit fighting.


They will glower at you for a little while afterwards, but you will have a clean cat, and they'll forget it over a little time.

The gloves and heavy clothing is for your protection. I once gave a cat a bath and she got one of her hind claws on the inside of my elbow and dug a hole in it. Talk about being painful - it was! I don't know that I especially had to, but I did go and get a tetanus shot.

Needless to say, I rarely give a cat a bath. I have heard though that if you give them baths starting when they are kittens, they don't fight it quite so hard.

July 31, 20070 found this helpful

I think it's wonderful that you adoped your cat and saved him from a shelter. I would not use anything not made especially for cats, as many things are toxic to cats that wouldn't be toxic to dogs.


I would either brush him very often or use a damp wash cloth and try to get the fur cleaned that way.

August 1, 20070 found this helpful

There are some "cat cleaning wipes" that you can buy at pet stores. However I tried it on my new cat who never has had an actual bath, and she balked at it bigtime. She hated it. But for some cats that might work.

By (Guest Post)
August 1, 20070 found this helpful

We have an outdoor cat with extreamly long hair that always gets matted. We simply can not brush him often enough to keep it under control. Solution? Just cut the matted areas off. He doesn't love it but he tolerates it.


It lookis kind of funny at first but he has so much hair we don't know what else to do with him. Maybe if you trimmed the bad areas you could keep him clean in the future and the problem would not re occur.

By (Guest Post)
August 1, 20070 found this helpful


If you can't bathe your fur baby, you can take him to a groomer and have it done there. Also, if your kitty has really hard fur, please take him to his Veterinarian for a check up.

Good luck

By louel53 (Guest Post)
August 1, 20070 found this helpful

If there is something sticky or oily on the cat, I agree with the lady who suggested cutting off the mats. If it is just built up dirt and skin oil, try brushing and stroking with a damp wash cloth. Perhaps you will have to do this daily for some time to get the cat clean if he is not used to being handled. Eventually, he should become accustomed to being held and brushed. Of course, now that you have him, he may be able to keep himself spic and span. My cat is too fat to reach the middle of his back to wash, so I have to use the damp cloth and brush on him to help him out.


I once had a cat that was sprayed with oil from the highway. We bathed her, but the oil never really came out. Eventually, the hair fell off; she had new short hair underneath. Another time, I had a shorthaired cat that got into used motor oil. I gave him a bath with tepid water and baby shampoo. We had to bath him several times to get it all out. Since cats wash themselves, the soap that you use has to be very mild and well rinced out, or it could be worse for the cat than whatever they have on their fur to begin with. You could check with the shelter or your vet for advice as well.

By Shawn (Guest Post)
August 1, 20070 found this helpful

I would first try asking your vet to give your fur baby a bath since he's so matted. This way , they can check to make sure there's nothing really wrong with your fur baby.


Congrats on ur adoption! I hope ur baby gives you as much pleasure as ours have given us. I wish for a long and happy , healthy life for ur new fur baby!

I have also given baths to our cats several times. They all make sounds like you feel like they think you're killing them! They do get quite vocal on you! They just hate water period! I have found that if I hold the back of their necks like their Mom's would do, with out lifting them off the bottom of the tub , they don't fight you much at all. It's what is known as the submissive hold. It does not hurt the cat , they just automatically stop fighting you! Make sure you close the bathroom door to keep him inside until you towel dry them or you will have water all over your house! I use Johnson and Johnson Baby Shampoo on them as it's so safe for babies , that it's safe enough for cats or dogs. Have used it for years! Just make sure you rinse all the soap off so they don't get a build up and irratate their skin. If in doubt , rinse them off again and again till you see no more shampoo!
They also like to be wrapped in a dry towel and let them stay inside it till they want to come out. Most importantly, keep your baby away from air conditioning or drafts so they don't get chilled or sick on you, till they are almost dry. They will try to lick themselves dry too.

Hope this helps you! Good Luck!

By woofey (Guest Post)
August 1, 20070 found this helpful

They sell bags for washing cats in. This keeps the cat unable to claw you and you just have to focus on the teeth. Best to have one person restrain the cat while another baths him. I would guess that any close meshed bag, would serve the purpose.

By Sharon (Guest Post)
August 2, 20070 found this helpful

I have washed my cats, when necessary, in the kitchen sink, using pet shampoo that is labelled for cats - dog shampoo is not the same stuff. You can then rinse with warm water using the kitchen faucet, which is convenient, and cuts down on the amount of time the cat is actually sitting in the water.

I had a friend, a brand new cat owner, who decided to bathe his cat - he was holding the cat against his bare chest as he stepped into and turned on his shower. I know it's not really funny, but this was definitely a case where ignorance was NOT bliss!

By Lynda (Guest Post)
August 2, 20070 found this helpful

WARNING ! DO NOT PUT BABY POWDER ON YOUR CAT. IT CAN KILL PETS! I'd sprinkle corn flour, leave on permanently if your cat is in the house and not outside, because the flour absorbs. If outside, he may not be trusting enough to be tamed so I'd forget the dirt and concentrate on getting him well and healthy. Food is one of the best ways to get a pet to trust us over time, IF we do NOT try to touch them too much. Some cats born outside just don't want to be touched at all. If you are able to ever touch the animal, I'd certainly not jump in an try to eliminate hair right away. That's the least of the cat's problems. I'd try taming, so that one day, after the hair begins to dry out, it will allow you to tamper A BIT with the dirty hair. It is likely something like old food from a trash can, or someone tried to get rid of him and swatted him with a cup of something sugared. He likely then tried to clean himself/herself
by rolling over in the dirt, which may have been greasy or dirtier than normal? The cat may have been trapped inside a dirty box and finally escaped. Who can tell? Regardless, take your time and be patient. Perhaps with God's help, you will gain it's trust. God bless and help you. : )


Silver Feedback Medal for All Time! 472 Feedbacks
August 3, 20070 found this helpful

Definitely have someone help, since it often takes two to bathe a cat properly, one to hold the pet and the other to wash it. I find it easiest to fill a sink partially with water, place the hind legs in the water, and allow the cat to "stand" while holding the front legs up. Be careful not to push the cat down too hard if it tries to jump out. The excess pressure on the back legs can hurt the cat (even to the point of fracturing the legs). And have the towels ready--you won't be able to get it out of the water quick enough.

August 4, 20070 found this helpful

I agree with Noella on having heavy clothing on. I always wear my sweats and wore long sleeves at first. I only put about 3 inches of warm water in the tub. The vet told me if you are using flea shampoo only use on the neck area and back. Then use tearless baby shampoo on their face. They will love you better for it. My husband always has the holding part of it. The cats' rear legs are in the water and he holds on to the front two paws and talks soothing to the kitty while i do the shampooing and rinsing. Dry them off in a big fluffy towel best you can before you let them loose. I usually cover their head up for a few seconds while i rub them briskly. Of course i think everybody failed to say you must latch the door so they don't run out, lol. Anyway, no matter how much they act like they hated it, after a couple of times, they don't fight it so much and actually seem to enjoy it!! cause cats love to be clean!! be sure you do it early in the morning so they can catch the sunbeams in the windows in the house. Brush them a couple of times to help them out because they start licking themselves and sometimes end up with "furballs" and the hacking cough. My cats love the salmon flavored furball remedy medicine , think it is hartz brand. They come running when mommy has it on her finger for them to lick it off. Good luck. oh lastly, and importantly, both my husband and i wear rubber gloves to protect from the claws when they get over excited!! Helps a heap.

August 11, 20070 found this helpful

I have the same problem. Everyone in the house is afraid to bathe her and she needs a bath. I guess it's either try to bathe her with the help of the police "swat" team (lol) or take her to a groomer and feel sorry for the groomer. I regret that we didn't start when she was a tiny kitten. We should have bathed her more often no matter how much she complained. We have been using kitty wipes for her fur which helps some, but she is at the point where she needs a bath.


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May 10, 20090 found this helpful

I liked all the suggestions for bathing cats. The one thing that came to mind for me was to trim the cats claws before the bath. Claws can be razor sharp. I trim my cats claws on a regular basis and since he likes to wrestle, I think I have save myself many scratches. He was a feral cat and puts up with this. Most pet departments have scissors for this purpose.


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