Aqueos - Do Cats Need Baths?
Everyone knows that most cats hate water! The thought of bathing your feline friend may fill you with dread. But do cats actually need baths? Cats are fastidiously clean creatures, so most of the time (thankfully!) you don’t need to bathe your cat. However, there are some circumstances where a bath is called for. Read on to find out how to tell if your cat needs a bath, and how to bathe your cat!
Should you bathe a cat?
Cats are naturally very clean creatures, who spend a lot of time grooming themselves. The papillae (bumps) on their tongue are like tiny bristles and are very effective at removing dirt. Cats will also nibble at their fur during grooming, to combat particularly dirty areas. You’ll be pleased to hear that this means most healthy cats don’t need a bath. In fact, bathing a cat unnecessarily will cause them stress and can strip the coat of its natural oils. However, there are some situations when a cat will need a bath.
Reasons you’d need to bathe your cat
There may be times when you will need to give your cat a bath. Some common examples include:
Baths are not recommended to treat fleas. Flea shampoos are often ineffective and add unnecessary stress for your cat. Spot-on, tablet, and injectable flea treatments are much more effective and less stressful. Ask your vet for advice on the best flea treatment for your cat. If you aren’t sure whether your cat needs a bath, check with your veterinary team! They will be happy to advise.
How do I give my cat a bath?
Preparation, speed, and staying calm are key. Here are our top tips for bathing a cat:
Giving your cat a bath can be stressful for you both! If you think there is a chance that you might get bitten or scratched, don’t attempt to bathe your cat at home, leave it to the professionals. Depending on the reason your cat needs a bath, you could ask a groomer or your vet practice to bathe your cat for you (for a fee of course!).
How often should I bathe my cat?
This will depend on the reason for the bath and there is no hard and fast rule. If your cat has a medical condition, your vet will advise you how often you should bathe them. Try to keep the frequency as low as possible; you should only bathe your cat when they definitely need it. If your cat is having trouble with dirt or soiling in a small area, you can always use cat-friendly wipes or a damp cloth to keep the area clean between baths.
Now you know when, and how, to bathe your cat! Cats can learn to tolerate baths well, with enough patience and high-value treats. However, if your cat becomes stressed or you are at risk of being injured, you should stop and seek professional advice from your vet team or groomer.