Do Cats Really Need Baths?

cat grooming and bath

Most of us have heard of the myth about cats and their extreme dislike of getting wet. Your feline friends tolerate water for drinking, but that’s about it.

Do cats need baths in the first place? 

The short answer is NO. But there are exception cases...

When to Bathe Your Cat

Cats are exceptional groomers. Washing themselves clean is one of their favorite pastimes, and they do it regularly - 40% of their time daily. 

Cats habitually clean and groom themselves with their tongue. Their tongue is comprised of hook-like, hollow scoops that are able to transfer their cleaning saliva effectively onto their fur and skin to more thoroughly groom their coats. 

Even if cats don't need frequent baths, there are some situations when one is necessary:

  • Your cat has rolled in something that self-grooming can’t take care of.
  • Your cat has been exposed to chemicals or other harmful substances.
  • Your cat has matted or tangled fur (especially for long-haired breeds)
  • Your cat has fleas. Aside from bathing, your cat will need flea treatment.
  • Your cat has ringworm. Despite the name, this condition is actually caused by fungus. Your cat’s vet would likely recommend medicated baths.
  • Your cat is elderly or obese. As much as your cat wants to groom on its own, your pet may find it challenging to keep its coat clean. This is true for elderly cats who suffer from arthritis.

Tips And Tricks When Bathing Your Cat

The prospect of a bath can be stressful for your moggy. If it is possible to spot-clean specific parts of your cat’s coat, try that instead. But what if your cat has to be fully immersed in water?

Here’s how to bathe your cat with minimal fuss:

  • Give your feline plenty of reassurance and praise.
  • Distract your cat with treats.
  • Do not raise your voice or get angry with an uncooperative pet. Remember, this is something your cat is being forced to do.
  • Get a friend to hold your cat’s head to ensure it is always above water.
  • While applying shampoo, take your feline out of the water. It’s easier to apply the shampoo this way, especially if you need to leave it on the coat for several minutes. Eg: flea shampoo
  • As much as possible, keep your cat's head dry. If it needs a thorough cleaning, use a damp cloth and gently wipe it.
  • It is better to use unscented shampoo. You may like a fruity scent, but your cat may not. Plus, the scent might even cause conflict with other cats. DO NOT USE human shampoo is not ideal for cat hair, and it may be toxic. 
  • If your cat starts biting or scratching, it’s better to take your cat to a groomer the next time. A professional pet groomer will be better able to handle your nervous puss.

Hopefully, these tips will make the experience more pleasant for both you and your cat. 

Otherwise, sit back and let your cats carry out their daily care! 🛁


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