Although cats have their own little baths when they lick their fur, they aren’t really able to clean their entire body, no matter how good their flexibility is.
Licking is definitely the nature’s way of helping cats be clean on their own and it’s extremely effective, but sometimes they might need some help from a human hand. Surely you saw your cat covered in dirt or mud or anything similar, and asked yourself do cats need bath? Well if they’re dirty…heck yeah!
When do cats need baths?
This is the more important question you should be asking. If your cat isn’t overly dirty, then don’t torture the poor thing by shoving it in a tub of water.
Some cats are fond of bathing, but the majority hates it. You can test this theory but be ready for a wide array of scratches if your cat isn’t the tolerant type.
You could easily trim the nails from your cat to prevent this but personally I find that a ridiculous step. If a cat wants to attack you, it will because its teeth are by far a bigger threat.
If you have an indoor cat, you most likely won’t ever have to clean your cat. There aren’t many ways a cat can get that dirty inside, at least as long as you don’t live inside a cardboard box.
If you have an outdoor cat and it comes in dirty or smelly, it will clean itself eventually but you can give it a bath if you find that it’s really necessary.
Allergies are also one of the reasons owners decide to bathe their cats. Frequent bathing prevents allergic reactions however this demands 2-3 cat baths per week, and it has to be done by someone who isn’t allergic.
If it turns out it’s quite a decent amount of torture to the cat, it might be best to just leave it be. Meanwhile allergies can be fought in different ways that don’t involve the cat itself.
If you’re going to do it, do it right!
Don’t use human shampoo. Instead get a shampoo that’s suitable for cats’ skin and hair. Humans and cats sharing same types of food is one thing, but shampoos are man-made and specific to each on their own.
Human shampoos may cause irritation and damage the skin or the hair. Just imagine if you used a cat or dog shampoo while you were taking a shower. The main difference in the shampoos of the two is the pH levels.
Wash your cat in a tub, sink or a large plastic bucket. Fill the tub with warm water but not too much. If the level of water is too high it might scare the cat.
If your cat doesn’t tolerate bathing in any way shape or form and starts scratching to get out, just let it be. Although they don’t like bathing, many cats tolerate it and some of them genuinely enjoy it.
There have been cases where cats complained when removed from the bath and just as they were dried off and let free, they would run back in it.
Proceed with caution
Apply some shampoo and be sure to avoid the ears and the eyes. You might want to remove the cat from the water because some shampoos need to sit for a while.
Rinse the fur with warm water, again avoiding the eyes and inner ears. Dry your cat after it shook off the excess water, which it certainly will do. You can use a hair dryer if your cat isn’t afraid of it.
Getting them used to the hair dryer is quite effective if done at a young age, and it’s pretty helpful when your cat is wet and you want to help get it dry fast.
Don’t let your cat outside of the house or any place cold until it’s completely dry, in order to avoid it getting a cold. Also don’t bathe your cat very often as it might damage the skin and hair.
It’s a widely accepted concept that cats don’t need baths. If you look at your cat and want to pamper it by bathing, you’ll most likely be doing just the opposite.
Cats need baths when they’re extremely dirty. Anything less, they can handle themselves but if needed give it a shot. Who knows, your cat might start liking the warm fuzzy feeling humans get when they take a bath.