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How to SAFELY Bathe Your Cat

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Bathing your cat is one of those things that you may think is simple, but it can be a daunting task. Unlike dogs, cats are very clean animals that don’t require frequent baths. Because they aren’t used to being bathed, it can cause them to feel uncomfortable.

Fortunately, there are ways to bathe your cat without taking them to the veterinarian or an animal hospital. This guide will teach you everything you need to know about bathing your feline friend.

Safely bathe cats

How often should you bathe your cats?

Cats are very clean animals that frequently clean themselves, so they don't typically require bathing. However, some exceptions allow for a bath. A bath every 4-6 weeks would benefit your cat in general, especially if your furbaby is an adventurer and spends a lot of time outside. Baths would also help cats with long fur and overweight cats with difficulty grooming themselves.

Hairless breeds, such as the Sphynx and Bambino, will require baths every 1-2 weeks because their lack of hair prevents them from absorbing excess body oil.

Also, if your cat has gotten itself into a sticky situation (literally), it will need to be bathed because it will be unable to groom the substances out of its fur. If you’d prefer to stick to a regular bathing schedule to build your cat’s tolerance to water, a bath once every 2 months would suffice.

On another note, if you’re looking to get rid of your cat’s sardine breath, here are some great tips to get care for their dental health.

Amount of times you should bathe your cats

How to bathe a cat that hates water?

Bath times will always be a challenge for felines. For cats that hate water, do not try to submerge them in a tub of water right away - the pour-over method might work better!

Here’s a list of other helpful tips for bathing a cat:

Regular nail trimming 

With proper and regular nail trimming, your cat will be unable to scratch you in the bath when they are stressed or overwhelmed. This will leave you unharmed at the end of the bath experience!

Lay down a towel or scratchboard at the bottom of your tub or shower area 

Cats feel the most comfortable when they have traction. If they’re able to hold their ground, it might make their experience better.

Brush before bath

 If your cat isn't bothered by being brushed, it's worth brushing them before bathing them. Cats with luscious coats like Maine Coons should definitely be brushed to ease the process of bathing. Brushing them will help remove excess fur and keep your bathroom from being clogged!

If your cat is prone to shedding its fur, you might want to check out tips to care for your pet’s fur.

Rinse thoroughly

 After lathering your cat with cat shampoo (avoid using human shampoo), rinse off the shampoo with lukewarm water. Any leftover cleansing product could be harmful when they begin to groom themselves again.


 Give your furbaby a treat or snack after a bath to make the experience more positive.

Bathing cats that hate water

How to bathe your cat?

The vast majority of Malaysian households do not have bathtubs. Fortunately, a large sink or a wide shallow bucket with a water scooper will suffice!

First, fill your sink or bucket with a few inches of water and pour some on your cat. Then, lather them up with cat shampoo that can wash off dirt and get rid of fleas. After that, rinse your cat with clean water. It might help to place cotton balls in the ears to prevent them from getting wet.

Remember not to splash water in your cat's face as this will make them stressed. Simply wipe its face with a wet cloth instead.

Finally, pat them dry with a towel and set them aside in a warm place. If your cat is willing, a low-heat hair dryer can also be used to dry it. 

Do note that if you intend to let your feline air dry after a bath, it's best to avoid bathing them at night when the weather is cooler, as it might be harder for them to regulate their body temperature, especially kittens.

Bathe cats in sinks

How to bathe an overactive cat?

If your cat struggles to get out of the water as soon as you place him in it, it might be worth delaying the bathing process. Choosing the right time for bath times is essential for felines. The best time to bathe your cat is when they are more mellow or tired.

A great tip would be to tire them out by playing with them or feeding them before bath time, making them less likely to be irritable and try to escape the bathroom!

Calming overactive cats before bathing them


Bathing a cat is no easy feat so remember to pat yourself on the back if you have done it successfully! Otherwise, we hope this guide has adequately prepared and equipped you for the upcoming challenge. If you're a visual learner, this cat bathing video by The Cat Butler might be useful.

The key is to be patient and find the best method for bathing your cats. This is a learning experience for you as well as your felines - a lot of treats will help!

Awesome job on being a great cat parent, and making sure your cat is clean and comfortable! While you’re at it, we have a pitch to make: Have you thought of insuring your cat?

Give your cat the best care at any vet., the best pet insurance in Malaysia, pays up to RM8,000 of your vet bill claims. You don’t have to worry about your cat’s unexpected illnesses, accidents, injuries and more. Find out more on pet insurance at