Give Your Cat a Bath at Home

Table of Contents

How to Give Your Cat a Bath

Whether your cat had an encounter with a skunk or you’re just trying to reduce the amount of dander in your home, a clean down may be precisely what your cat needs. Check out our step-by-step guidelines for a stress-free bathing experience.

Make a game plan so you can get your cat in and out of the bath as fast as possible.

Consider how your cat will react to a bath.

 We recognize that many, if not most, cats will avoid a swim at all costs. If you are concerned about your cat’s aggressive resistance, it is always a good idea to contact your veterinarian about how to handle this stressful situation. Your veterinarian might be able to provide some behavioral suggestions and/or drugs to assist put your cat at peace.

Perform advance grooming tasks.

 Trim your cat’s nails before bathing if possible to limit the amount of scratches on your forearms. Brush the cat well before bathing to eliminate any loose or matted hair.

Determine your location.

 We recommend utilizing a bathtub or sink with a handheld spray nozzle to help you wash and rinse your cat.

Gather the necessary tools and equipment.

  •  Prepare your materials near the bathtub or sink:
  • Shampoo that is age and coat suited for your cat. Look for a formula that meets your grooming demands online or at your local pet store.
  • Any medications you are giving the cat.
  • A washcloth to wipe your cat’s face and head with.
  • To dry your cat, use a soft towel.
  • Clothing to protect your arms from scratching and bites. We cannot emphasize this more!

Enlist the help of a cat wrangler.

 When dealing with four paws, two hands aren’t always enough, so bring a friend along to assist soothe or control your cat while washing or rinsing.

The Bathroom

It’s time to bathe this kitten now that you’ve gathered your supplies and found a willing assistant.

  1. Get the water ready.

 Make sure the lukewarm water is flowing before taking up the cat. Fill your sink or tub with 3 to 5 inches of lukewarm water if you don’t have a spray nozzle. To verify that the water is not excessively hot or cold, test it with your hand.


  1. Place your cat in the bathtub. 

Wet his or her fur gently yet thoroughly with a spray nozzle or a washcloth. Take caution not to get water in your cat’s eyes, ears, or nose.

  1. Apply shampoo to your cat’s fur. 

To apply the soap or medication, follow the guidelines on the label. Again, keep your cat’s eyes, hearing, and nose in mind. Wash your cat’s face and head gently with a washcloth.


  1. Remove the shampoo from your cat’s fur.

 This is when a spray nozzle comes in, as you can quickly maneuver it about the cat’s body. If you don’t have a spray nozzle, Rinse the fur with a damp washcloth, refilling the sink or tub with lukewarm water until you’ve removed all of the shampoo from your cat’s coat.

  1. Look for any soapy places that you might have missed. 

Shampoo left in the fur may cause skin irritation, or your cat may become ill as a result of licking the shampoo away. Examine your cat’s chin, paws, belly, and other areas carefully.

  1. Pat your pet dry. 

To dry his or her fur, use a soft towel. If your cat tolerates it, a low-heat hair dryer can help speed up the process.

Then consider rewarding both your pet and yourself with a goodie. You’ve both earned it.



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