How Often You Should Bathe Your Cat

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As cats spend most of their time grooming themselves so it is a popular belief that they do not require bathing, but contrary to this belief, sometimes cats do require an occasional bath.

How do you know if your cat needs a bath and how often you should bathe your cat comes down to a number of factors, such as how often they play outside, just how dirty they’re getting, as well as age and activity level.

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wet cat in bath - how often you should bathe your cat

In this post, we will go over the main determiners that will help you decide when and how often to bathe your cat. We will also go over some bathing techniques.

Bathing a cat requires the right circumstances and proper bathing products. You might find that your cat really doesn’t like taking a bath, and that will require a few special tips for you to ease your cat into it.

Should You Bathe Your Cat?

There are certain factors that determine how often you should bathe your cat. These include:

Age

Kittens require to be bathed regularly every three days but an adult cat should be bathed every month and not longer than every 3-4 months. 

Indoor vs Outdoor cat

An outdoor cat that wanders a lot is more susceptible to dirt and grime outside than a cat that is strictly indoors. So, outdoor cats require bathing more often. Moreover, outdoor cats also relieve themselves more frequently than indoor cats. If you notice that your cat is looking dirty and has an unpleasant smell coming from her, you can bathe her.

Activity level

A physically active cat tends to accumulate more dirt and grease on its fur by picking up all kinds of germs. So, they get dirty faster and require more frequent bathing.

cat under shower head

Cat’s coat length

Cat’s coat length is a major factor determining the frequency of bathing. If the coat is longer, it tangles easily and requires more maintenance than a shorter coat. Thus, felines with a longer coat require more frequent bathing. 

Self-grooming

Not all cats are good at grooming themselves as some parts can be overlooked by them which become dirty and greasy. For example, some cats are overweight and have difficulty in reaching rear body parts, and need to be bathed regularly.

Health issues

If your cat has skin irritation, flea infestation, and other health-related issues, she might need more frequent bathing. However, it should be as per the recommendation of your vet.

cat wearing bonnet in bath

Benefits of Bathing a Cat

There are certain benefits associated with bathing your cat. These include:

  1. Bathing makes them cleaner 

Although cats self-groom a lot, it does not make them human-standard clean so real bathing will make them cleaner and healthier.

2. Reduced shedding

A long and soft cat result in increased shedding and can be problematic for you to live with cat’s fur everywhere. Getting your cat bathed can greatly reduce the shedding by rinsing away the dead hair.

3. Bathing helps with skin parasites and flea infestation

Regular bathing and use of flea control shampoo can be beneficial in getting rid of flea infestation. Shampoo with conditioner is a great option as it softens the fur of your cat. You can consult your vet if you are unsure about which product to use.

4. Improves coat quality

Regular bathing along with brushing keeps the coat tangle-free and reduces dandruff. Moreover, if you use a shampoo of natural origin, it can make the cat’s coat healthier and shinier.

Tips for Giving Your Cat a Bath

cat with towel on head

Bathing can be stressful for your cat but here are some tips that can make it less stressful.

  • Rewarding your cat with treats will make her resist less when bath time is approaching. A treat before bathe can make things tolerable for your feline friend.
  • Brushing your cat to remove loose hair before bathing is a good practice to shorten the amount of time required for bathing.
  • Start bathing your cat in her early years of life because an adult cat that never had a bathe as a kitten is more likely to resist.
  • Cat does not like to slip into the tub so using a rubber mat will reduce the anxiety related to bathing.
  • Shower your cat from head to tail and avoid water getting into their sensitive areas like ears, eyes, and nose. You can also place cotton in your cat’s ear for this purpose.
  • Ge a control over where the water goes by using a hand-held sprayer. 
  • Use lukewarm water to rinse your cat thoroughly and make sure there are no soap residues.
  • Use a large towel to wrap your cat and keep her in a warm place for drying. You can also use a blow dryer if your cat feels comfortable with it.
  • Once you have bathed your cat, you can reward them with a special treat for a successful bathe.
cat with mohawk in bath

Conclusion

If you think that more frequent bathing will lead to a healthier and cleaner cat, this is not the case. Cats are self-groomers and not a big fan of water so exposing them to water too often can lead to serious health problems.

Bathing them more frequently will make them lose important minerals and essential oils from their fur. This makes their coat look flaky and dry. Moreover, it is important to introduce your cat to bathing when she is 3 months old. If the cat is not used to the water, bathing can be a traumatic experience for her. 

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