Giving a Cat a Bath?

I just wondered what people's opinions were on giving cats baths. My cat, Destiny, is an inside short-hair and when I first got her, I gave her some baths, which she hated, of course. As she got older, I had such a hard time giving her baths because I couldn't hold her in the tub and she'd claw me to death, and ultimately, I decided not to give her any more.


She never goes outside, so she doesn't get dirty and I know they keep themselves clean. Anyway, my mom has been having some problems lately and kind of decided it's the cat giving her trouble. I definitely don't want to give up my kitty, I love her too much, but my mom thought perhaps giving her a bath every 1-2 weeks might help with her problems somewhat.

I gave her a bath tonight and had a little more control holding her in the tub and we did get it done (as much as possible), but she really hates her bath - does anyone have any advice or opinions about this? Or an easy fast way of doing it?

Thank you so much!

Stacey from Orem, UT

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By neko (Guest Post)
March 7, 20060 found this helpful
Best Answer

I have a shorthair and a long hair, both indoor.
it seems a bit odd ( especially to those who know you are doing it lol) but alot of cats like going in the shower better. apparently they like the flow of water better, its like a massage! and get less scared when they are held to you in a safe position ( i use her front to my front, and she places her paws on my chest, one hand under her tail, one around her upper back- ( my shorthair LOVES it!) i just make sure the water isnt too hot, just comfortably warm and the stream isnt too strong, pick up kitty and get in the shower with her!


Make sure you have her cuddled to you when you are doing it, the only time my cat struggles or gets scared is when i'm shampooing her because its hard to cuddle her close while doing it. -and only EVER use shampoo specially formulated for cats, human skin has a different ph to cats and shampoo for humans may burn your cats skin.

You also might need to take it slow to get your cat used to it, because she may freak out a bit at first- take her in there with the shower off, hold her for only a little time to start off with, and go from there. let her know if she panics, she can leave. my cat is extremely trusting of me ( she hasnt scratched me in her life, but she'll atack anything else that moves haha), so she has never spazzed out on me in the shower :P


She puts her ears back so she doesnt get water in them and points her face up into the stream. Its very cute!

I towel dry her and put her in front of the heater to dry off.
also, you can reduce the amount of hair coming out ( and sticking to you!) by brushing her before you get in the shower, also brushing her and wiping her with a wet cloth daily/ every two days (however often you need to) will help to reduce loose hair and dust irritating your mothers allergies (i assume its allergies)

hope this helps!


Diamond Feedback Medal for All Time! 1,317 Feedbacks
March 8, 20060 found this helpful
Best Answer

Yes my cat loved her showers. She also liked her
baths the key being to start young. Make it fun for
the cat. you might want to start with the bucket method.


1)cat shampoo and water bucket
2)clear lukewarm rinse bucket
3)clear lukewarm final rinse
towels LOTS
dip cat in each bucket so they can stand with cat deathgrip claws hanging on bucket rim not your skin
be gentle but FIRM
have a good grip
most important tip
keep door closed otherwise you will have a soaking
wet mad CAT running for its life through your house
and it will find your best bedding, couch to find
shelter (I learned this the hard way)
good luck

March 8, 20060 found this helpful

I bathe mine all the time. They get used to it after 3-4 times. You can also use allercat c available at pet shops and fabreeze allergy reducer spray. The most important thing in cat allergies is diet. The pet page on has all the information on finding the right pet foods.


Animals only produce allergies in people when they are exposed to something they are allergic to. Also it could be the cat litter that is bothering your mom. Cats get it all over them. Get one with no perfumes or dust. I recommend Dr. Elseys available at petsmart. Good Luck

By Dede (Guest Post)
March 8, 20060 found this helpful

I give my persian baths occasionally. She doesn't really like them but has been bathed all her life so she doesn't freak out. I put her in a tub of water and pull the shower door or curtain over close to me so she doesn't think she can get out, or at least she hasn't tried. Good luck

By Carol (Guest Post)
March 9, 20060 found this helpful

I feel I'm a conscientions pet owner. I dont give my cat a bath. I let her groom herself. She stays indoors and keeps clean. Shes has a wonderful smell when I put my nose to her fur. Frankly, sometimes I wonder how she does that..


lol.. Cats are innately afraid of anything coming down on their heads.. For hunting, they position themselves on something higher.. tree or rock.. and jump down on their prey. Let your heart be your guide.

March 9, 20060 found this helpful

In a cat magazine, once, I saw a bath for a cat. It was like a large shoebox, with a neck hole cut out of one end. You would put the cat in with her head sticking out the neckhole, then there was another piece you would put on the box to hold the cats head, while bathing the whole rear of the cat in the box. Looked like a great idea, only at the time I could not afford to buy it. I have often wondered how to make something like that. My cats go in and out and can get fleas readily. Then I have to bath them which they hate. See if your dad or mom could rig something like that for you to bath your cat.

By Jennifer B. (Guest Post)
March 12, 20060 found this helpful

I have used Allerpet on my cats to keep the allergens from pet dander down. It comes in a squirt bottle, and you can apply it with a washcloth or papertowel. Just squirt some on the cloth and wipe down your cat with it. My cat loved it--felt like she was just getting a good pet and a little extra attention.

By J. Eaton (Guest Post)
June 28, 20080 found this helpful

I'd be curious to know what breed of cat Neko (the previous poster) has that she likes water that much -- Turkish Van? Manx? I've never heard of showering with a cat, although mine likes playing around and in the tub and often lets the water run down her head and over her face while drinking from the tub faucet, lol. Both of them also love watching the toilet flush and will even climb atop the toilet seat ring while it is flushing to watch the water swirl and go down, often sticking their heads down into the bowl as if to get a closer look. Hmmm...I suppose I should try teaching them to use the toilet and save on all the litter box cleaning and expenses! =)

But getting back to your cat's bathing aversion, what bathing technique are you using? Is it in the tub, bathroom sink? utility sink? etc. Usually bathing a cat is a two-person job (one to restrain/soothe cat, while the other soaps and rinses). I don't suppose your mother will volunteer, since she's the one responsible for all your extra work! (my mother-in-law, I'm beginning to believe just doesn't like cats, period). But perhaps you could employ the help of a cat-loving friend or other family member when bath time rolls around.

Also, there's two things I would suggest, one which I've tried and works well for me; and another which I read about in multiple places (and sounds feasible). The first one is to place a rubber bath mat (or if bathing your cat in the sink, one of those small dish protector mats) underneath your cat when bathing. This helps improve her footing against slipping and sliding around; and thus makes her feel more secure and less 'panicky'. The tub decals might also work; but aren't quite as reliable since a cat has relatively small feet and they don't cover the entire area.

The other suggestion is to utilize an old small window screen (still in frame) for your cat to rest on. You can prop it up on an angle against the side of the tub, or if it's large enough, across the top edge of the tub. The soapy water will drain through (as you suds and rinse), while your cat's claws will anchor themselves in the screen (and not your skin!).

Good Luck!


Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 205 Posts
March 23, 20110 found this helpful

I'm wondering why you want ti bathe your cat so much? If she's an indoor cat she should never need a bath! Cats are very clean animals and they groom themselves. The ONLY time a cat would need a bath is if it ever got into something dirty or stinky that would take too much for her to clean herself. But beiing an inside cat that should never happen.

So quit bathing her at all! Let her be a cat and do it herself! You and she will be much happier for it!

If you feel you have to do some kind of grooming to her, just give her a good brushing whenever you get the urge. That is the only grooming that you should ever have to give her.

As far as your mom goes, it sounds like she's allergic. Bathing the cat won't stop that. She needs to get meds from her doctor to help her deal with her allergies to cats. There are meds available. Thousands of people are allergic to cats but take meds so that they can keep their pets.


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