How to Bathe a Cat and Keep Them Smelling Great

Odor Free Cat | NonScents

Stroking a smooth, purring kitty is one of the great joys of being a cat mama or papa. But what do you do when your cat gets so smelly you don’t want it near you? You bathe it, of course.

Cats are largely self-cleaning, but they may need some help from time to time. They may not enjoy the extra help, but here are some tips for getting your feline friend back to being pet-worthy.


How to Clean Different Types of Fur

All cats, from a hairless Sphinx to a long-haired Persian, benefit from baths. For most cats, the steps to bathing are relatively similar.
1. Get all your supplies ready (cat shampoo, comb/brush, pitcher for rinsing, washcloth, towel, rubber mat)
2. Place a rubber mat in tub or sink
3. Fill the sink with a few inches of warm water
4. Wet the cat’s fur, avoiding the face
5. Gently massage shampoo into cat’s fur
6. Rinse shampoo thoroughly with warm water
7. Soak a washcloth in warm water
8. Wipe cat’s face clean
9. Remove cat from the tub
10. Wrap cat in a towel and dry thoroughly in a warm place

The main difference in grooming different fur types is in how frequently they need to be bathed.

How Often do Cats Need Baths

Unlike humans, cats don’t need to bathe that frequently. For most cats, just once or twice a year will do. However, there are other factors that may influence bathing frequency:
• Outdoor cats may need to be bathed more frequently since they can get dirtier
• Cats that can’t bathe themselves will need you to help out more
• Cats with health issues may need more frequent baths
• Cats with longer fur typically need more grooming assistance
• Hairless cats may need to be washed more often as their skin gets very oily

How to Clean a Really Smelly Cat

If they’re really stinky, you may need to increase the frequency of baths. Most cats can safely be washed and dried every four to six weeks. If this cleaning doesn’t seem to work, there might be something else going on. Some possible culprits could be a dirty litter box, bad oral hygiene, poor diet or health problems.

If you can’t identify the cause, you can ask your vet for help.

How to Bathe an Unwilling Cat

Even if your cat normally has a sweet temperament, she’s likely to transform into a monster the second you place her into the water. Maybe monster is too strong of a word. Unless you have a Turkish Van, aka a “Swimming Cat,” bath time could be very difficult.

Here are a few ways you can make bathing more pleasant for you and your cat:
• Start when she is a kitten
• Expose your cat to water before the first bath
• During bath time, give the cat something she can claw
• Stay calm and don’t restrain the cat too tightly
• Be quick
• Dry as thoroughly as possible with a towel


A Clean Kitty is a Happy Kitty

Hopefully, these tips will help you get back to cuddling with your cat children. If you find yourself still struggling, don't hesitate to reach out to your vet for advice and maybe some waterless shampoo.


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