How Often Should You Bathe a Cat? – Guide for Pet Lovers

Written by

Amy Sawy

Veterinarian. DVM


Joseph M. Plummer

Veterinarian, DVM, MVZ

how often should you bathe a cat

Bathing or grooming cats is important for both cat parents and cats. Therefore, many cat owners have inquired about “how often should you bathe a cat?”

In most cases, it’s recommended to bathe your cat every 4-6 weeks, considering factors like their self-grooming frequency and their usual surroundings.

Indoor or outdoor cats, in theory, are perfectly capable of grooming themselves. However, this does not rule out the necessity of bathing a kitten, although there are certain exceptions. The following article will tell you how often you should wash your cat.

How Often Should You Give Your Cat a Bath?


According to cat behavior experts, you should wash your cat every 4-6 weeks. However, bathing a cat is entirely dependent on a variety of conditions. When it comes to cat bathing how often is good depends on a cat’s age.

The ability of young kittens to lick their own fur is severely limited. However, it’s unnecessary for owners to clean these young cats, since the cat’s mother will lick the kitten to keep it clean and dry. You should only bathe the kitten if it’s at least one year old. And when the cat’s hair starts to become long and tangled, brush it with a comb.

The cat will learn to lick itself to keep its coat clean as it grows older. As a result, stick to the recommended 4-6 weeks above, with exceptions for cats that touched harmful substances.

Other Factors That Influence


Is it bad to bathe a cat too often? Let’s go over some crucial aspects to consider before deciding how often you should bathe him.

1. Your cat’s daily activity level

First, you need to pay attention to your cat’s daily activities. There will be incredibly active cats, as well as inactive cats, based on their activity levels. As a result, you will need to bathe active cats frequently since they get dirty rapidly; otherwise, cleaning can be limited if the cats usually lie on the sofa.

2. The cat coat

Next, the cat coat is also an important factor affecting the number of baths a cat has. Cats have a variety of coats that vary in length. Cats with longer coats require more attention and upkeep. As a result, you should bathe them once in a while to eliminate embedded filth.

3. Environment

Observing that your kitten spends more time outside or inside will also influence how often you shower a cat. Because outdoor cats become filthy more quickly, you may bathe them more frequently.

4. Problems with the cat’s health or skin

When it comes to taking care of your cat’s coat, your cat’s skin condition can’t be ignored. A cat with health issues or skin illnesses needs extra care.

If your cat has a flea infestation and is irritated on the skin, you should give special care to her. When your cat has significant skin disorders, you may also take it to the doctor to get it cleaned.

5. Self-grooming behavior

Sick cats that cannot groom themselves will be more dirty than their healthy counterparts. Furthermore, you will come across cats who are indolent and do not clean themselves. Therefore, it’s good to bathe a kitten in these circumstances.

If you’re interested in exploring this further, you can find discussions on Reddit as well. Participate in the discourse here:

YSK: Bathing cats is often unnecessarily and could be harmful
byu/hemelvlam inYouShouldKnow

How to Shower a Cat?


Bathing your cat isn’t always essential, but it may enhance their coat and mood significantly. Bathing a cat, on the other hand, is generally a difficult procedure.

Let’s look at some steps for getting your cat ready for a bath.

Step 1: Brush their hair well before showering

To save time from detangling cat hair, you should brush your cat’s fur before bathing it. Combing cat fur is also a good bonding activity.

Step 2: Their toenails should be trimmed.

Trim your cat’s nails approximately a day before washing if at all feasible. It’s best to do it the day before washing, so your cat has time to chill down before being stressed out by the water.

Furthermore, cutting your cat’s nails minimizes the likelihood of scratching when washing. To keep from falling into the water, cats can extend their claws and try to catch things around them. You and your items will avoid scratches thanks to the trimming.

Step 3: Choose the bath time appropriately

It’s also important to pay attention to when you should bathe your cat. Are you certain your kitten will remain motionless while you bathe her? Of course, there are cute cats like that, but they are in the minority.

Consider times such as after a meal or after a cat’s playtime. At these times, cats are less energetic, which will make it easy for them to listen to you.

Step 4: Try to calm them down before bathing.

It’s not simple to get your cat to relax while bathing. But you can do this by giving them nice treats in advance. Your cat will relax and settle down after that, making getting them into the tub much simpler.

Step 5: Check the water carefully

When bathing your cat, there’s one thing you must do: check the water. If you pour the water higher than the cat’s tummy, your cat will become stressed, which will cause them to jump and run. When the bath is ready, softly lower the cat into the water so that it doesn’t become too stressed out from surprise.

After that, shampoo the cat, starting with a small area only. Rinse and repeat with other tiny sections of skin.

Step 6: Prepare a towel in advance

Prepare towels to dry your cat right after bathing. Otherwise, your cat will drip water all over the floor, and you’ll have some extra cleaning to do.

Some Tips for Cat Baths to Consider


  • Stay composed to avoid stressing your cat out.
  • If your cat is prone to running while you’re bathing it, there’s a chance it might trip and injure itself. Cover the floor with a mat to provide more traction.
  • To keep water out of your cat’s ears, use a shower hose with a head. Another helpful idea is to put earplugs in your cat’s ears.
  • Cats do not suit shampoos that are formulated for humans or other animals. Make sure the cleanser you use is for cats.

Final Thought

Hopefully, we’ve helped you answer the question, “how often should you bathe a cat?” It’s important to wash your feline friend, as it’ll remove dead skin that contains allergens. If you have any tips on grooming your cat, feel free to share them with us. Thank you for reading!

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