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Tips for Bathing Cats

February 1, 2016

One thing that we love about cats is the fact that they are naturally quite clean. Your kitty will use her own private litterbox to discretely do her business, and will carefully groom herself every day. Even though kitties are very clean, many people do choose to bathe their cats. This is fine, as long as you get your vet’s approval and don’t overdo it: too many baths can dry out Fluffy’s fur and make her look a bit frizzy. In this article, a local Oconomowoc, WI veterinarian discusses bathing cats.


Be sure to use only shampoos made specifically for kitties. Human products are not suitable for our feline friends. We recommend getting a pitcher for rinsing, and a washcloth for cleaning that adorable face.

Setting Up

Get things prepared before you bring Fluffy into the bathroom. To prevent scratches, clip your cat’s claws a few days beforehand. We also recommend wearing long sleeves to protect your arms, though you can opt for full body armor if you prefer. Brushing your kitty the day before her bath will help by removing dead fur and dander. A good pre-bath play is also a good idea: it will burn off Fluffy’s excess energy, leaving you with a calmer cat. Last but not least, you may want to put a rubber mat down in the tub to protect it from scratches. Fill the tub or, if you prefer, the sink, with a few inches of warm water. Don’t let the water go any deeper than your furball’s chest.

Bath Time!

While some of our feline friends actually like water, most kitties will be less than thrilled at getting bathed. Try to keep the process short and sweet. Lather your kitty up gently, and then use the pitcher or a spray nozzle to rinse her. Don’t get shampoo on your furball’s face: just use a washcloth to get it clean.


Once Fluffy is clean, pick her up in a soft towel and gently pat her dry. If your cat likes blow dryers, you can use one on a low setting to dry her. Otherwise, just towel-dry her and then let her go: she’ll do the rest. Don’t forget to give your furball lots of praise, and perhaps a new toy!

Do you have questions about your cat’s health or care? Contact us, your Oconomowoc, WI animal clinic, anytime.