Skip to main content

How do I give my cat a bath?

Back to overview

Your cat is naturally clean and grooms several times a day. By doing so, they maintain 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 and have to give your fluffy friend 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 they do very well without one. However, under certain circumstances a bath becomes vital and you should take over when:

  • their coat is very dirty
  • they are sick and not able to groom properly

  • they are overweight/have arthritis and cannot reach some areas, especially their lower back

  • your cats 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 vet to have their 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 their 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 they stay there.

  • Wet their 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 their 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 their fur. If your cat has long hair, rub more gently to avoid knots

  • Ideally, keep your cat inside until they are 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 their skin so you do not burn them!


Tips & Tricks