How do I give my cat a bath?


Your cat is naturally clean and grooms himself/herself several times a day. By doing so, he/she maintains a smooth, shiny coat without you having to do anything! And as everybody knows, cats hate being bathed!

Nonetheless, it may happen that you have no choice to take over cat grooming and give them a bath. Before putting on your protective gloves be aware that it is not impossible to give a cat a bath… The following tips help you face this situation, more calmly.


Ordinarily, you should not need to give your cat a bath as he/she does very well without one. However, under certain circumstances a bath becomes vital and you should take over when:

  • his/her coat is very dirty
  • he/she is sick and not able to groom himself/herself properly
  • he/she is overweight and cannot reach some areas, especially his/her lower back
  • his/her coat is very long (some breeds need to have a bath at least once or twice a month)



  • If your cat is likely to scratch, consider going to your veterinarian to have his/her nails trimmed before the bath.
  • Take a deep breath! If you are tense, your cat may sense that you are stressed.
  • Make sure your cat is out of the bathroom or kitchen while you are running the water.
  • Make sure the bath is no deeper than his/her belly.
  • Water temperature should be around 35°C.
  • Have a towel and shampoo handy. You can find cat shampoo at your veterinary clinic and in speciality stores. Never use your own shampoo!
  • Hair knots get tighter in water, so brush your cat and untangle his/her fur before the bath.
  • Bring your cat into the bathroom or kitchen and close the door.
  • Have someone help you (if possible). With two people, it is easier to keep your cat still while you give him/her a bath.

In the tub

  • Carefully place your cat in the tub. Make sure he stays there.
  • Wet his/her fur completely with warm water, but never wet the top of his head. And never immerse your cat under the water.
  • Apply pet shampoo, being careful not to get water or shampoo in his/her eyes or ears.
  • Rinse thoroughly to remove any trace of shampoo residue. Remove excess water by smoothing the fur with your hand.


  • Wrap a towel around your cat and gently rub his/her fur. If your cat has long hair, rub more gently to avoid knots
  • Ideally, keep your cat inside until he is completely dry.
  • If your cat is not afraid of the hairdryer, you can use it, setting the temperature as cool as possible. However, do not hold it too close to his/her skin so you do not burn him/her!