10 Easy Steps to Bathe Your Cat (And Live to Tell the Tale)

10 Easy Steps to Bathe Your Cat (And Live to Tell the Tale)

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Just like you’d never step into a wrestling ring without ample preparation, same goes for bathing your cat!

While this task may seem daunting on the surface, if you prep your supplies and nail down the 10 steps, you can dive into cat bathing with confidence.

Are you ready? Let’s do it!

Wait … Do I Really Need to Bathe My Cat?

It’s true that most cats are masters at self-grooming and won’t need to be bathed. But exceptions like these can and do occur:

  • Ringworm or Fleas: your vet may prescribe a medicated bath if your cat has ringworm or a bad flea infestation.
  • Mischief: whether it’s tree sap, a run-in with motor oil or the litter box, or trying to climb up the chimney, mischievous mayhem can cause your cat’s usually lovely coat to get super dirty.
  • Obese or Arthritic Cats: these special felines may not have the ability to clean themselves properly, making baths a must to keep the coat and skin healthy. Bonus: warm water often feels good on the joints of arthritic cats.

Rub-a-Dub-Dub, What Do I Need for My Cat’s Tub?

Actually, rather than the bath tub, a kitchen or bathroom sink is the best way to bathe your cat, as it will be a lot easier on your back and give you more control during the bath.

Having a gentle spraying nozzle from a kitchen sink is a bonus for rinsing, as many cats enjoy this more than a pitcher of water to rinse off the cat shampoo.

The spray resembles a gentle “rainfall” and is great for getting the hard-to-reach places of your cat.

Supplies You’ll Need to Bathe Your Cat

  • Cat shampoo
  • Rubber gloves (to avoid getting scratched)
  • Pitcher for rinsing if you don’t have a spray nozzle
  • Washcloth for your cat’s face
  • Cotton balls for the ears
  • Large towel for drying
  • Treats
  • Helper – this is optional but makes the first couple of baths much easier!

10 Easy Steps to Bathe Your Cat

1. Choose a time of day when your cat is at his mellowest.

2. Brush your cat before the bath to get rid of any loose hair and mats.

3. Gather your supplies and bribe your helper into giving you a hand.

4. Fill your sink with 3-4 inches of lukewarm water. (If you have a rubber mat, place it in the sink to keep your cat from slipping around.)

Tip: To make the bath more enticing to your cat, you could put a few cat toys in the sink for him to bat around.

5. Put cotton balls in your cat’s ears to prevent water from getting in them, which can cause discomfort or an ear infection.

6. Place your cat in the sink and hold him in place by the scruff. You could also use a cat harness. Your cat may prefer to just stand on his back two feet, and that’s A-OK too. Whatever works best for you and your cat, do it.

7. Apply your cat shampoo with a little bit of water, working it in from neck to tail, in the same direction as the hair grows. Use a massaging motion while you wash to soothe your cat, and talk to your cat in a calm voice.

(Avoid shampooing the face and instead use a damp washcloth with water-only for this area when you’re done washing the body.)

8. Rinse off the cat shampoo using your sink’s nozzle or a pitcher. Make sure to keep rinsing until all the cat shampoo is removed.

9. Dry off your cat with a big towel and rub as much water from the fur as you can. If you have a long-haired cat, you may want to use a blow dryer, but only if it doesn’t cause your cat to panic.

10. Give your cat a treat. You want your cat to always associate bathing with something good happening.

Important: Take things slow. If your cat is in distress at any time during the bath (growling, hissing, crying, etc.), stop and try again another time. You don’t want your cat to dread the next bathing session.

What’s the Best Cat Shampoo?

Groomers, veterinarians and cat owners love and trust Oxyfresh Pet Shampoo.

Unlike store brands, this safe, non-toxic cat shampoo is alcohol-free for no itch or irritation, free of harsh chemicals, and pH balanced for a healthy, shiny coat.

Plus, Oxyfresh cat shampoo has silk amino acids for added moisture and a pawsitively gorgeous shine!

Owners Love This Safe Cat Shampoo (you will too)

  • USA-made and non-toxic
  • Gazuntite! (Great for cats with allergies)
  • BHA and BHT free (preservatives that are known carcinogens)
  • Spa day! Rich, penetrating lather and pH balanced conditioning formula will make your cat feel truly pampered
  • With Oxygene® to safely and quickly dissolve odors – even skunk smell is no match for this exclusive ingredient. You won’t find Oxygene® in any other cat shampoo.

Ready to Bathe Your Cat? You Can Do It!

Don’t let your cat’s accusatory stare fool you. If your cat really needs a bath, he’ll appreciate getting squeaky clean with help from you and Oxyfresh cat shampoo.

So take a deep breath, stay calm and follow these 10 cat bathing steps. With practice and patience, you’ll be a cat bathing pro in no time!