Can you bathe cats? - BENGAL CAT Can you bathe cats? - BENGAL CAT

Can you bathe cats?

Some cats are so dirty that the question arises as to whether cats should be bathed. Bathing is not usually necessary as cats are naturally clean and will normally groom themselves. However, there may be instances where the cat is unable to do this or where routine grooming is not enough.

Can you bathe cats?

The cat is a clean animal and usually takes care of its own personal hygiene. However, it sometimes happens that it cannot remove the dirt completely.

If your cat is very dirty, you can use a damp cloth first. This does not stress the cat as much as a full body bath and is gentler.

In addition, you can try to remove superficial incrustations and loose fur with a cat brush.

The bath should always be the last alternative and therefore a rare exception (you can take two to six times a year as a rough guide). In principle, bathing cats is allowed. In some constellations (e.g. when dealing with old and sick cats), it even goes so far that you are not allowed to help your cat, but even have to support it with personal hygiene.

When do you have to wash cats?

Auch wenn ihr eure Katze nur im Ausnahmefall baden solltet (manche Katzen kommen komplett ohne Baden aus), kann das Bad manchmal doch vonnöten sein:

Langhaarkatzen: Einige Langhaarkatzen haben das Problem, dass sich ihr Kot im Analbereich verfängt. Dem könnt ihr vorbeugen, indem ihr das Fell an der entsprechenden Stelle trimmt. Falls es dafür bereits zu spät ist, muss das Bad notgedrungen sein.

Parasites: If the cat has mites, the bath can be a useful adjunct to veterinary care.

Poison: If your cat comes into contact with toxic substances, such as pesticides, you will need to remove the residue from their fur. There is a risk that she will develop symptoms of poisoning if she swallows the poison while grooming. In the event that the cat has toxic substances in its fur, a full-body bath is therefore urgently required.

Coarse dirt: Coarse dirt can sometimes only be removed with a bath.

Physical limitations: Cats usually groom themselves. However, illness or age are possible reasons why they can no longer groom themselves. In such a situation you have to take over the fur hygiene of your velvet paw.

By the way: although hairless cats are not as afraid of water as their fellow cats, full-body baths should also be the exception rather than the rule for them. You can remove the sebum that these cats have on their skin surface with a damp cloth.


In principle, you can also care for your cat without a bath additive. If you prefer to use a shampoo, it should be a cat shampoo from a pet shop, the Internet or from your veterinarian. Since cats have a different pH value on their skin than we humans do (cat: 5.8/human: 4.7 to 5.75), separate care lines were designed for both species. This is important to know, as cats often do not like the scents in human shampoos and using the wrong products can lead to allergic reactions, damaged skin barriers and skin irritation.


Wash cat – how it works

Suppose one of the above cases has occurred and you need to bathe your cats. But how exactly do you go about doing this?

The preparation:

Put all the tools you need (shampoo, towel, bowl/measuring cup, thermometer and hair dryer if necessary) together so you don’t have to look for them while you’re bathing. The rummaging could cause unrest and thus disturb the atmosphere.

The environment should be quiet and non-irritating. Bathing the cat at a time when she is expecting a visitor, a package or a meal delivery is prone to disruption and is therefore not ideal.

Heats the bathroom up to the cat’s comfort temperature (between 14 and 23 degrees).

All objects that the cat can reach, grab, destroy or pull itself up from the bathtub are removed as a precaution.

Windows should be closed to protect against drafts.

Lines the bath/shower with a non-slip floor mat.

Let lukewarm water (up to 35 degrees) into a (baby) bath or into the footwell of your shower cubicle. The smaller the better as you can better control the washing process in a manageable area.

Once everything is prepared, you can get the cat.

Now close the bathroom door.

The bathroom:

Your posture and tone of voice should be calm and balanced throughout.

You can introduce the cat to the water by first pouring a small amount of water over its paws. If the cat responds well, you can increase the amount of water and vary the body zones.

Be careful not to get the water in your eyes, ears, nose and mouth. This is especially true if you are shampooing the cat.

Showerheads splash and are therefore not particularly comfortable for most cats. With a pouring container (such as a bowl) and a sponge, the water will flow more evenly. Therefore, these aids are definitely recommended as cat-friendly alternatives to the shower head.

The follow-up:

The cat’s fur retains a large amount of liquid, which causes the cat to freeze after bathing. So that she doesn’t catch a cold, it is extremely important that she loses the bath water immediately with a towel or the hair dryer. If the cat is in a heated apartment, drying it off with a towel is sufficient. The hair dryer should only be used if the cat is not afraid of the noise and the air flow.

Cat bathing – more tips

Most cats avoid open water and are also afraid of water when it comes to grooming. The forced contact with water puts them under great stress, so that they instinctively (possibly with the help of their claws) defend themselves against it.

You can significantly reduce stress by practicing bathing your cat.

Familiarize the cat with the wet medium early on: Let a little water drip over its paws, slide a wet rag over its body, dip the paws in a bowl of water and leave your cat with water (e.g. with the faucet running). or play with a water bowl and rubber animals floating in it).
Since young cats have no reservations about water and are very inquisitive, they can quickly lose their skepticism. With many older cats, however, this can also be done with a lot of dedication.
Important: Before the cats deal with water alone, they should have progressed so far in motor development that there is no danger of drowning!


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