Cats Proper Hygiene

May 16, 2018

Cats Proper Hygiene

Cats are generally clean creatures, obsessed about their hygiene and do not like to be dirty. Since they see it as their duty to be clean, they spend a lot of time grooming themselves, and they are pretty good at it. For this very reason, you may not think about bathing your cat.

Also, it is a well-known fact that cats typically hate water and will do whatever they can to avoid getting wet.

So, given that your cat cleans herself and most probably hates water, you may be wondering if it is really necessary to bathe cats. Do cats need baths? And if they do, why and how often? Let’s find these things out.

Do cats need baths?

While one of the most common myths about cats is that they do not need baths because they groom themselves, the fact is they often do.

So the straightforward answer to the question. Do cats need baths? The answer is yes. Sometimes, cats do need baths.

Cats usually take care of themselves when it comes to cleaning. However, there are occasions when they do need their owners’ help. Usually, it is not an absolute necessity like feeding or cleaning the litter box, but bathing a cat definitely has certain benefits. Visit Cat Care and Grooming for more information about your cat proper grooming.

Bathing Your Cat

Different breeds of cats have varying levels of tolerance for water. Follow your veterinarian’s recommendations for bathing your kitten.

Generally, most medium and long-haired breeds need to be bathed, so it’s important to get them used to water at an early age.

Make sure your kitten’s first bath is a pleasant and gentle experience. Constant reassurance is important:

  1. Use a warm, wet wash cloth or sponge to moisten your kitten. If she reacts with hostility, give her more reassurance, and repeat until she becomes comfortable.

  2. Fill the bottom of a bathtub or sink with water that’s 96°-98° F. Gently put your cat in the water, continuing to reassure her with words and gentle stroking.

  3. Wet her back without wetting her head and without pouring water into her eyes or ears.

  4. With a cat shampoo, formulated especially for your kitten’s skin and hair, wash her coat, concentrating on any areas that are especially dirty. You can also select a best shampoo for your kitty at some pet stores or online shops like

  5. Thoroughly rinse all the shampoo from her coat and towel dry her with a warm,clean cloth. For more ideas how to keep your cat clean visit Bathing Your Kitty.

  6. You may want to use a hair dryer to finish drying her, but first get her comfortable with the noise.

Caring for Your Cat’s Claws

Kittens use their claws instinctively to mark their territory. Ask your veterinarian to cut the tips of her claws so her natural behavior will not damage your furniture, you can also check at for the best furniture for your kitty. If you want to do it yourself, first ask the veterinarian to show you which part of the nails you can cut.

Clipping her claws should not be painful, and getting her used to it at an early age will make it less stressful too.

Cleaning Your Cat’s Teeth

Tartar and plaque can build up on your Cat’s teeth, causing inflammation of her gums and bad breath. If it’s an extreme case, her teeth could fall out.

Your veterinarian will examine your cats teeth during her regular visits and can show you how to properly brush her teeth daily. It’s more critical to brush her adult teeth, but like bathing, it’s easier to get her used to it

With proper hygiene of her hair, claws and teeth, you’ll help minimize risks for digestive issues and oral infections.

Reasons and Cases For Bathing A Cat

General Cases to bathe a cat

There are general, natural situations, when cats need baths. They do not only need our help because they are dirty and stinky, but as cats age they also have trouble keeping themselves clean.

When your cat is getting old.
Even in old age, cats continue to groom, however, as they are getting older, their fur often gets greasier and their joints becomes weaker.

While this is a natural process, it causes difficulties for elderly cats in reaching certain parts of their body (especially their back end).

Some cats even stop grooming altogether. So their coat becomes smelly and gets very dirty and matted.

If you have a senior cat in this kind of situation, she certainly needs you to groom and bathe her frequently to keep her clean and healthy.

When your cat is smelling. Some cats smell weird after coming into contact with something stinky or rolling in something, being skunked or recovering from an illness. If you notice that your cat has a strange odor or smells foul, it is definitely time to give her a bath.

When your cat is dirty. Because of their curiosity, it is quite a frequent occasion that cats find themselves in situations that make their fur unusually dirty, especially if they go out.

If your cat has visible dirt on her fur. Regardless of what it is (like dust, fine sugar, makeup powder or any other thing), and it is beyond her grooming means, then bathing your cat is an absolutely good idea.

When your cat has something sticky on her fur. It is a common fact that cats like to rub themselves against every available object resulting in a sticky substance on their beautiful coat or paws.

When something gets stuck on your cat’s fur. And your cat is unable to clean it by herself, it is time for you to give her a bath. A nice warm bath will loosen up the sticky substance enabling you to remove it from your beloved cat’s.

When your cat has something poisonous on her fur. Cats have plenty of opportunities to come in contact with dangerous or poisonous substances inside or outside the house. If this kind of product gets into their coat, they should not clean it by themselves.

Since it is dangerous for your cat to clean a potential poisonous product off of herself and you do not want her to become sick, you have to remove it yourself by giving her a bath.

Kind Of Health Issues To Bath A Cat

There are different health issues that will hinder your cat from grooming herself properly. Therefore, it is essential to give your cat a bath every now and then.

When your cat grooms less or not at all

There are cats that groom less than they should, and there are the other ones that stop cleaning themselves altogether.

These cats’ fur become matted if there is no proper grooming care.

If your cat loses interest in grooming herself and doesn’t take care of her coat as she used to, you have no other option but bathing her regularly.

It is also wise to visit the veterinarian and ask for his guidance as this behavior could be a sign of some other health problem.

When your cat is overweight

Obese cats may not be able to groom themselves sufficiently and fully as they can’t reach all the places on their body (especially their lower back and rear areas) that would require grooming.

Due to their limited mobility, their coat often becomes matted if there is no proper assistance. Because of the same reason, they are also at a higher risk of urinary tract diseases and other serious health problems.

If your cat is overweight, it is reasonable to bathe her regularly to avoid getting mats and dandruff, and ensure she stays clean and healthy.

When your cat has diarrhea

Every once in a while, cats develop diarrhea even if there was no change in their diet. Usually, after diarrhea a lot of feces will be stuck on their fur that they might not be able to clean by themselves.

The minute you find out that your cat has diarrhea, you will need to prepare her for a bath. It is also important to consult your veterinarian to investigate the reason of this health problem.

When your cat is sick

Sometimes a cat can become sick or paralyzed. Depending on the severity of the illness the cat will spend less time grooming herself or will stop doing it altogether.

If your cat is in this troublesome situation and it is very difficult or painful for her to clean herself, give her a helping hand and bathe her gently.

When your vet prescribes a bath
In some cases, cats can develop such a medical condition (like allergic skin disease or bacterial infection) that the veterinarian will suggest to use a specific shampoo that will help with your cat’s certain issue.
If you find yourself in this situation, please follow your veterinarian’s advice strictly about the prescribed medicated bath and bathe your cat accordingly.

When you have allergy

Cats are not the only ones who can benefit from getting baths. There are owners who are allergic to their cat’s fur, saliva or dander. In this case bathing the cat is not an option but a strong recommendation.

If you or one of your family members or friends are allergic, it is recommended to bathe the cat regularly to eliminate the unwanted fur, reduce the dander and wash away the allergens that are likely to cause the allergic reaction.

How often should I give my cat a bath?

For cat lovers, cat’s skin and coat healthy is important to your cat’s overall well-being. But, since cats can become aggressive or irritated when you try to bathe them, it is easy to get in the habit of skipping it altogether.

However, getting your cat into a regular grooming routine can help ease the stress and tension for you both! Plus, if you start them at a very young age, they can almost enjoy getting a bath.

The good news is your cat takes care of a majority of their hair care needs by themselves with all that licking, but that doesn’t remove mats, eliminate dandruff or make them smell better.

How often you need to bathe your cat depends on the following:

Indoor vs. outdoor environment:

Outdoor kitties will need a bath more frequently than their indoor counterpart.

Coat length and type:

Longer coats will require more maintenance than short coat cats.

Self-grooming behavior:

Cats that cannot or do not groom themselves efficiently need regular baths to keep their coat from becoming greasy or sticky.

Also, overweight cats have difficulty reaching all areas of the body, so they will need bathed more regularly – the back side of these kitties often become matted and the skin can become itchy, flaky or even infected

Activity level:

Cats that are highly active will require more frequent bathing

Health issues:

Issues like skin irritation, tick or flea infestation and loose stool can require more attention.

Things You Should NOT Do During Bath Time

Do not let your cat know that he is about to be bathed

You must sneak up on the cat, kidnap him, and smuggle him into the bathroom where you will lock the doors, barricade him in, and then turn on the water.

If there are any cats to be bathed after this one, make sure you turn music on very loudly to drown out the screaming that is sure to be coming from not only your cat, but most likely you as well. You wouldn’t want to tip off your next victims. I mean other cats.
Do not fill the tub up with water

There are many, many reasons that I advise against this. Sure, it seems like a great idea soap him up, and then dunk him clean but I assure you it’s not.

What will ensure will be a scene straight out of some Animal Planet alligator wrestling show where the two of you will both be fighting for your lives while you attempt, in vain, to keep his sharp teeth away from you.

Do not take a shower with your cat
Enclosing yourself in a confined place where your feline friend cannot escape might seem like a pleasant alternative to having to physically restrain your cat in the bathtub, but I assure you it’s not.
Do not try cat baths without backup

Do not be fooled by the fact that when you add water your cat shrinks down to half his size. You are going to need an extra set of hands to actually wash your feline friend while you battle to keep your skin in its original form while holding him down. You may also need someone to tend to your wounds in case you suffer enormous blood loss..

Do not try anything fancy when bathing cats

If you have any fabulous ideas like taping baby socks onto your tiny feline friend’s feet to avoid being scratched, or wearing snow pants, bird gloves, and possibly a face shield while bathing your cat, forget it.

In Short..

No matter what the reasons are, there are still plenty of it and circumstances when cats do need our help in grooming and why cats do need baths.

There are lots of things to learn about your cat to keep it fit, healthy and happy - To know more please visit Importance of Cleanliness in Cats.

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