Washing Your Cat

by Julia Woodbury
(last updated February 20, 2017)

So it's time to wash your cat. What do you do? The best answer is to not tell your cat. If it catches on that you're about to give it a nice, wet rub-down, it might decide to be scarce for a couple of days. Taking a few preparatory steps will make the whole experience run more smoothly.

First, collect your tools. Once your cat is in the water, it won't sit and calmly soak while you find shampoo or search for towels. Here are some items that you should prepare and have at hand:

  • Protective clothes that can get wet (gloves, a long sleeved shirt, sweat pants)
  • A pet brush
  • A cup
  • Pet shampoo or baby shampoo
  • Towels

Second, prepare your cleaning space. Choose a room that is enclosed; there is nothing worse than trying to hunt down an escaped, half-washed cat. A bathroom will probably be your best choice. If you can, use a bathtub. It is a fact that you will get about as wet as your cat. If you work in a bathtub, you can sit on the edge and hold your cat in your lap while you work, giving you more control over the situation. Fill your tub or sink in advance with warm water, this will prevent your cat from getting agitated by the sound of running water. Don't let the water get to deep, you don't want to risk the chance of your pet slipping all the way under the surface.

Third, go find your cat. If you've done your job right, your cat will never even suspect what is coming. It may be helpful to keep track of the times in the day when your cat is the most sleepy and lethargic (usually after eating). A relaxed cat will be easier to work with. Before bringing your cat to the washing station, give its coat a good brushing. This will remove dirt, burrs, and extra hair that could cause matting once your cat gets wet. It also helps to put your cat in a good mood.

Now you are ready for the actual bath. You should already be in your protective clothes and you should have already placed the shampoo and towels close to your prefilled tub or sink. Take your cat to the wash station and close the door. Let the cat stand in the water or, if you're using a tub, hold it in your lap. Maintain a gentle but firm hold on your cat and, using your hand or a cup, begin pouring water over your cat's coat. Take time to rub in the water and reassure your cat—this will be its least favorite part.

Once the fur is wet enough, work in a small amount of shampoo. Pet shampoos or baby shampoos are gentle enough to use on your cat, just be sure to use something that will not be harmful if it does happen to be ingested by your pet. Use the same pouring method to rinse your cat. Make sure that your rinsing is thorough. Residue shampoo will irritate your cat's skin and will be ingested when your cat licks its fur.

When your cat is fully rinsed, take it out of the water and gently towel it dry.

Extra pointers: There is never a need to submerge your cat, especially its head. Getting water into your cat's ears could cause infection. Rather than trying to pour water over your cat's face, try daubing it with a wet washcloth. This could be done separately rather than right after a bath, since at that point your cat will be pretty annoyed with you.

Start giving your cat baths when it is a kitten. If your fuzzy friend can learn to like baths early in life, you won't find yourself struggling with a fully grown feline later.

Author Bio

Julia Woodbury

Julia Woodbury is a recent graduate of Brigham Young University. She delights in the written word and has interests in magazine writing and editing. ...

MORE FROM JULIA

Making Yellowed Silk White Again

So maybe you inherited your grandmother's silk wedding dress or your grandfather's silk hankie. Or maybe you have some lovely ...

Discover More

How to Clean Your Toilet

Oh yay! Our favorite household item to clean! The bad news is there's more to clean than you think. The good news is if you ...

Discover More

Washing Your Dog

Washing your dog is a chore that, if done right, can actually be pretty fun for you and your dog. Here are a couple of hints ...

Discover More

Tough Cleaning Jobs Require Brawny! Brawny paper towels provide the versatility you need: the strength for demanding jobs and the softness to clean up your child's messy face. This 24-roll pack of pick-a-size sheets can handle just about every cleaning task in your home. Check out Brawny 24-Pack Giant Paper Towels today!

More Cleaning Tips

Washing Your Dog

Washing your dog is a chore that, if done right, can actually be pretty fun for you and your dog. Here are a couple of hints ...

Discover More

Automatic Litter Box

Are you tired of scooping your cat's poop out of the litter box? Consider purchasing an automatic litter box instead.

Discover More

Cleaning Cat Litter

Cats make clean pets, but if their litter is left too long without being cleaned it can start to smell. Remember to clean the ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in Cleaning Tips from Tips.Net. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 8Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is eight minus 3?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in Cleaning Tips from Tips.Net. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.