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Helpful Tips for Bathing Your Cat

October 15, 2015

Do you bathe your cat? While kitties are very good at grooming themselves and keeping that pretty fur looking soft and shiny, some people do prefer to give their cats baths. There’s no harm in bathing your cat once in a while, as long as you do it safely. A San Jose, CA veterinarian discusses bathing cats in this article.


First, a light shopping trip is in order. You’ll need to get full body armor, a helmet, gloves, knee-high boots, and a first aid kit. Just kidding! You’ll actually only need kitty shampoo, some treats and toys, towels, a pitcher, and a facecloth. Gloves and a rubber mat may also come in handy. Be sure to use only shampoo that is specifically made for cats. If Fluffy is on flea control, don’t use a flea shampoo unless otherwise recommended, as this could expose her to dangerous levels of pesticides. Also, never bathe a kitten, senior cat, or a cat that is sick or recovering from surgery unless your vet recommends it.

Prep Work

To protect both you and your bathtub, you may want to trim your kitty’s claws before bathing her. We also recommend indulging Fluffy with a vigorous play session an hour or so before bathtime. This will tire her out, so she won’t have quite as much energy.


Put the rubber mat down in the tub, so Fluffy doesn’t scratch it. Add a few inches of lukewarm water. You don’t want the water to be too hot, or any deeper than your cat’s chest. Get some towels ready, and fill the pitcher as well, so it’s ready to go when it’s time to rinse.


Bring Fluffy into the tub, and gently lather her. Talk to her in a soothing voice, and tell her what a good kitty she’s being. Don’t get soap or water in her eyes, nose, or mouth: just use the facecloth to gently clean that adorable face. Use the pitcher for rinsing.


After her bath, wrap your kitty in a towel, and gently pat her dry. If your furball likes the blow dryer, go ahead and use it on a low setting. Once Fluffy is dry, offer her a treat or toy.

Do you have questions about cat care? Please contact us, your San Jose, CA animal clinic, for all of Fluffy’s veterinary care needs.