Washing a cat is often necessary but it is often a heavy ordeal because your dear feline hates being washed and adopts an aggressive and flighty behavior. So how do you bathe a cat when necessary? Here’s everything you need to know to make it happen.

How to Wash a Cat: The Question of Necessity

As you may have noticed, cats are very careful and wash themselves. In general, they deworm and clean themselves with their tongue. However, it is necessary to wash a cat in several situations, such as when the dirt is so embedded that he cannot remove it himself.

But sometimes the cat simply does not clean itself enough and needs help, even more so if it is an outdoor cat who can bring with it parasites and encrusted dirt. He can then ingest toxic substances that can affect his health. Washing it when dirty is therefore essential.

Sometimes, even though your cat bathes, there are nooks or crannies where she doesn’t have good enough access to get rid of the gunk that accumulates there over time.

Bathing your cat: steps and tips

Now that we’ve covered the different causes that necessitate a cat wash, it’s time to put it to work. To make your job easier, here is everything you need to apply to be able to bathe your cat without danger.

But beware, you have to be prepared for some resistance and the cat enema won’t be easy the first time. Cats hate water and it is difficult to get them used to washing whatever their age. If you have someone available to help you with this task, do not hesitate!

Create a calm environment

The environment is essential to reassure the cat. It is an animal that loves calm and hates the unknown, as it is probably the bathroom. Make sure the bathroom is completely quiet, no VMC or person taking the shower for example. It is necessary at all costs to prevent your dear feline from getting angry and that he feels as comfortable as possible.

You can directly circumvent this problem by giving cat pheromones which act on its mental state and plunge it into a deep relaxation.

Create a sense of security

Before putting him in contact with water, place a towel in such a way that he can scratch it during washing and which will offer him greater safety. Also try to cuddle him and reassure him as much as possible during the enema.

Know that if your cat is nervous, you can take pheromones that will reassure him. For aggressive cats, pheromones are essential to avoid being scratched.

Take care of the wash

Now is the time to wash it, and as soon as you put it in the appropriate area, it can become very aggressive and attack you by biting or scratching you. If he’s out of control despite the pheromones and the quietness of the room. Then you can wash it with talc by rubbing your hands with it and stroking the cat with it in the direction of the hair, then stroking it with a washcloth to remove the excess talc. You can also choose a dry shampoo that will have the same effect.

Obviously, washing with talc is less effective and the groomer may be the only solution. Don’t forget that you don’t have to soak it completely, you can wash it with a damp glove, insisting on the dirtiest areas.

Eventually, he will get more and more used to the water and you will gradually be able to wet him more and more.

As for the temperature, the temperature should ideally be lukewarm so that it is not too aggressive.

If you want to clean his ears, use products for cats designed for this purpose, do not put water on him.

For the eyes, there is saline solution for cats that can easily clean their ears.

Foaming and rinsing

It is better to avoid soaping the cat with human soap or even worse dishwashing liquid. Choose special shampoo made for cats. Once the shampoo is fully laid out, then rinse it thoroughly to remove all the grime.

Avoid at all costs putting his ears and eyes in contact with water or he will become furious. These are very sensitive areas in cats and can cause them to panic.

Drying and brushing

The culmination of cat grooming is total drying and brushing. Drying is essential to prevent cat skin diseases derived from moisture storage. It is advisable to take the feline and wrap it with a towel. Dry it gently.

Avoid at all costs the hair dryer that he will not like especially if it is noisy. Cats have a horror of unknown and noisy objects which plunge them into deep states of tension.

Once the cat is completely dry, then it’s time to finish washing by brushing its fur. Do not forget that the brush must be adapted to its type of hair.

Reward it

After the wash is complete, then comes the time for the reward to create a connection in his mind between the bath and the reward. The reward may be a favorite food such as tuna or fresh meat. Giving him a reward will favor the following times.

What alternatives to avoid baths as much as possible?

Giving a bath to your cat is often an ordeal that very many owners would do without, especially when it is dirty without it being deeply encrusted. It is therefore sometimes useful to know the alternative solutions.


Here, nothing extravagant but brushing is not to be neglected because the cat is much less reluctant there and it will be easier for you to maintain your cat than to wash it regularly. Brushing also helps to untangle all the knots and limit the amount of hair that he ingests and that can make him cough . Go slowly, otherwise it will hurt, and take a cat brush that will allow you to brush it more precisely.

By brushing them regularly, you can space out the enemas by a quarter. Brushing your cat has many advantages, first of all to avoid the knots and hairballs that go with it, but also to allow it to wash better when it licks itself.

Just like washing, brushing will require calming him down and also getting him used to it while setting up a reward system to make him want to be brushed afterwards.

Accessories for washing your cat

Some accessories make it easier to wash your cat and avoid the usual chore:

  • A non-slip mat: To allow the cat to stabilize as much as possible. Non-slip mats can also be useful if you have a cat that runs around.

  • A very soft washcloth: Which does not attack it when you wash it. There are models designed not to attack the skin of cats.

  • A special shampoo for cats: Whose pH is adapted to him and will not attack his coat and his skin. Human shampoo will not suit him and will be harmful to his skin. There is dry shampoo for cats.

  • Talc: As an alternative if the shampoo proves too laborious. Remember there are dry shampoos for cats that are water resistant, cat talcum powder should be used, which will do them good if they have sores.

Washing your cat: The FAQ

Many questions relate to washing the cat. Here are the answers to the most common questions about washing the cat.

Wash a cat every how many?

If the dirt is not visible on the cat, then it may be considered every 4 to 6 weeks. Obviously, this depends on whether it is an indoor or outdoor cat, the temperature and the breed of the cat. If the cat seems really clean even in depth, then it is not necessary to wash it.

Washing a Cat: Good or Bad?

If your cat is dirty, then yes it should be washed. It’s the same if he smells bad or if he has ticks. If he has no problem, it is not useful, cats are very clean animals by nature. For parasites, take a shampoo that is made for deworming.

In case your cat has wounds or seems to be in pain, avoid washing it with cat shampoo and prefer cat talc or baking soda so that it can be washed without pain and also apply balm for cat.

How to wash a cat that is afraid of water?

In this case, avoid plunging it under water, which can make it aggressive and fearful as soon as it approaches water sources. A warm damp glove is the best solution to wash it without frightening it. You can also accustom him to water if he is still young, so that he can tame it and be in good condition when washing.

To wash it without the presence of water, then dry shampoo for cats and talc for cats are your best assets. It is entirely possible to worm a cat without water.

How to wash an aggressive or feral cat?

Again, a damp, warm glove is recommended. You can also use talcum powder as a cleanser so you can get the dirt off him without it bothering him. But what is essential is to give him a soothing spray that will act on his pheromones to calm him down naturally.

How to wash a cat without getting scratched?

The  talc  or the wet glove allow you to wash aggressive cats without them attacking you as when you usually wash it. Ditto here too, a soothing spray can act on his aggressiveness and plunge him into great relaxation. Be careful, however, never to cut his claws so that he has a good balance.

How to wash a cat without water?

Dry shampoo for cats is the best natural solution to wash your cat without having to put it in contact with water. You can then brush it with a cat brush to remove all the shampoo present in its coat.

How to wash a cat without shampoo?

Talc is a very good alternative to shampoo for washing your cat. However, make sure that it is suitable for his skin. Also think about baking soda, which can often be used when it comes to the cat. However, be careful with other products, such as those we have mentioned, in this case the dishwasher and Marseille soap, do not use anything that is not designed for cats;

How to wash a Persian cat?

To wash a Persian cat, a shampoo for long-haired cats and a detangling conditioner for cats will discipline their hair and make it smooth and soft.

How to wash a sick cat?

You should wash a sick cat only if it does not bother him, a damp glove or dry shampoo for cats are your best allies. Sick cats should be washed with lukewarm or even slightly hot water to provide them with maximum comfort.

The final word

Washing your cat is not as difficult as it seems. By applying all the measures I have told you about, you will be able to wash your cat without any worries. Few people know his methods to wash his cat easily, hence the mythical difficulty in washing a cat.