How Often Should I Bathe My Cat?

How Often Should I Bathe My Cat?

Dec 17, 2021
15 min

Do you need to bathe your feline friend? Yes, you do need to bathe her. We all know cats keep themselves pretty clean. Typically, most cats spend a lot of time to clean themselves with their tongue. However, this does not make the cats human-standard clean, especially when they get into something very sticky or dirty. And there will be cats that are unable to look after themselves properly as well.

A clean cat is a happy pet! Keeping your cat’s skin and coat healthy is important to your cat’s overall well-being. You should give your cat a bath occasionally. This is because bathing a cat too frequently can cause flaky and dry skin. In general, an average indoor cat can easily handle being bathed one or two times per year.



Is it bad to bathe a cat too often?

Yes! Unless otherwise stated by your vet, bathing a cat too often can dry the skin and cause flake and dry skin.


Dependent Factors


According to Cat time, a cat probably doesn’t need to be bathed more than once a month. However, the frequency of bathing will depend on several factors, including:




Outdoor cats typically need a bath more frequently than indoor cats. This is because outdoor cats can pick up all kinds of smells and germs. And they usually get dirty faster. In general, it is recommended to bathe your indoor cat one or two times per year.


Self-grooming behaviour

Your cat needs regular baths if she cannot groom herself efficiently to keep her coat from becoming sticky or greasy. Note that overweight cats have difficulty reaching all areas of the body – so they will also need to be bathed more regularly.


Coat length and type

Longer coats will require more frequent bathing than short coat cats.


Activity level

Active cats will require more frequent bathing as they get dirty easily and more rapidly.


Health issues

Skin irritation, tick or flea infestation and loose stool are the issues that require special attention. If your cat suffers from one of these health issues, she needs to be bathed more frequently.



How often should you bathe a kitten?

The same rules apply to a kitten! Your kitten will start to learn how to self-groom in the first few months of his or her life and prior to this, their mother will take care of it. However, if you get your kitten before they have learned how to self-groom, it is advisable to bathe them once a week.



Reasons To Bathe Your Cat



Bathing a cat will make her cleaner

Although your cat generally keeps herself clean, there are occasions when a real bath is needed. For instance, you definitely might want to give your cat a bath if she accidentally steps into dog mess on the sidewalk.

Plus, bathing your cat will make her coat shinier and healthier too!


Bathing a cat will help to stop fleas and skin parasites

A bath can be beneficial for your feline friend’s skin and coat. Giving her a flea bath is a great way to get rid of flea problems. You can look for flea shampoos that work on both living adult fleas and flea eggs. The flea shampoo that includes conditioner is a great option too as it can soften the fur of your pet. If you are unsure which product to use on your pet, do consult your vet.


For your own good

Bathing a cat will reduce shedding. Fur shedding is a common complaint from cat owners, especially if their cats have long or soft coats. Controlling shedding is also a great way to reduce cat allergy symptoms.


Types Of Shampoo


When choosing a pet shampoo, be sure to check the ingredient list. A good rule to thumb is to keep it simple! It’s important to look for shampoos with ingredients such as citrus extracts, aloe vera and oatmeal. Shampoos that contain artificial dyes, Parabens, Sodium Lauryl Sulphate and Petrochemicals are absolute no-nos.


General Purpose

General purpose shampoo is mainly for cleaning purpose, can be used on most cats.


Puppy Shampoo Or Kitten Shampoo

It is extremely mild and specially designed for puppies and kittens.


Medicated Or Hypoallergenic Shampoo

The hypoallergenic shampoo is used for treating skin issues such as itchy skin, yeast infections and dry skin.


Flea And Tick Shampoo

Flea and tick shampoos contain ingredients that are very effective in killing the fleas and ticks. Note that they cannot prevent your pet from getting fleas or ticks again.


Waterless Shampoo

If your pet is averse to water, it is a convenient solution and a great alternative.



How To Choose A Right Cat Shampoo?


It’s important to know what kind of shampoo is best for your cat as using the wrong product can cause more problems than bathing solves.

Keep in mind that pet shampoo is not the same as human shampoo. Pet shampoos tend to be gentler. Human skin has a pH of around 5.5 to 5.6, while pet skin is much more neutral, has a pH of 6.2 to 7.4. According to PetMDpet shampoo should be in the neutral range, around 7.

Here are some aspects to consider when choosing cat shampoo.


Skin types

Consider hypoallergenic or medicated shampoo with ingredients like oat protein and aloe if your cat has sensitive skin or suffers from skin problems. These shampoos are mild and soothing, and won’t irritate the skin. If your cat has dry skin, you can choose an anti-itch shampoo that will moisturize the skin and soothe discomfort.

Go for the general purpose shampoo if your cat has normal skin. Deodorizing pet shampoos is a great option for cats that have a strong odour as they will neutralize the scent.

As we mentioned earlier, outdoor cats require more maintenance than indoor cats – so it’s important to consider a deep-cleansing shampoo that will help your outdoor feline friend maintain a neat appearance and stay healthy.

Does your cat’s coat tend to tangle easily? If soyou might need to buy both shampoo and conditioner or 2-in-1 shampoo.

Try whitening shampoo if your cat has a white coat. Avoid whitening shampoos that contain bleach or blue dyes.




Both young and adult cats have different needs. You should buy a shampoo that is specifically designed for your kitten or adult cat. Kitten shampoos, in general, are milder and less likely to cause eye or skin irritation than adult cat shampoos.



How to bathe a cat? 

Prior to bathing, remember to trim your cat’s claw to prevent them from hurting you! Giving your cat some treats may help them feel calmer and happier!

Brush your cat before showering to remove any excess hair or knots.

Grab your trusty and favourite cat shampoo and dilute it with water if necessary. It may help to play with your cat before showering as well to tire them out!

Close the bathroom door to prevent any escape artist from springing out, and remember to close the lid of your toilet bowl! Make the area secure or give them something to hold on to. It is best to place your cat in a tub of warm water as cats can get unnerved by running water. Use some shampoo and water to wash your cat from neck down and keep it out of their eyes, nose, mouth and ears. Rinse the shampoo away and wash your kitty’s face with water and a cloth.

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