Do Cats Need Baths? [Frequency & How To Bathe Your Cat]

We all know how fastidious cats are when it comes to grooming, but do they really need baths? To put it simply: they don’t.


There are a few scenarios we can think of that will require you to bathe your cat.

Do Cats Need Baths?

  • Cats don’t require human interference when it comes to grooming for the most part
  • A cat needs a bath when it’s old, overweight, has fur issues, or has poop stuck in its fur
  • How often you should bathe your cat depends on the type and length of its coat
  • A cat that has health issues will require regular baths more so than a healthy cat

When Do Cats Require a Bath?

A cat will usually take care of its grooming without any help from you. But at the end of the day, saliva isn’t really soap, and you might need to bathe and groom your cat on a regular basis in a few scenarios.

The first scenario that requires you to bathe your cat regularly is if your cat is old or overweight. As a cat gets older, its fur becomes greasier, which means that you’ll need to remove those oils as soon as they become evident. Moreover, an overweight cat won’t be able to groom its entire body, so a little assistance from you will help

If your cat suffers from fur problems such as dreadlocks or mats, you definitely need to grab the shampoo and some water. Many people tend to resolve this problem by cutting the fur, but it’s a short-term solution that won’t prevent dreadlocks and mats from forming again. Further, a good bath is a great way to go about reducing shedding and removing excess hair.

Lastly, a cat should bathe when there are things such as feces stuck in their paws or rear. Your cat is going to make sure that you see the poo stuck behind as it roams around your house with its tail in the air, and it won’t be a pleasant view. This is especially prominent in furry breeds like the Birman, Himalayan, Persian, Kurilian Bobtail, and the British Shorthair

How Often Should a Cat Bathe?

This is a tricky question to answer because it depends on the type and coat length of your cat. It also has to do with how active your cat is, its self-grooming behavior, and the environment it’s in most of the time. Your cat’s health also dictates how often he or she should bathe. Healthy cats may bathe less, while those with health issues should bathe more.

How to Give a Cat a Bath

  • Fill up your bathroom or kitchen sink with lukewarm water
  • Wet your cat thoroughly from its shoulders to its tail
  • Grab a non-harsh shampoo and apply it on the cat’s coat
  • Use a damp cloth to clean up your cat’s head and face
  • Gently clean the insides of your cat’s ear using a soft fabric
  • Grab a towel and fold it around your cat to suck up the water
  • If you have a furry cat, use a blow dryer on low settings


For the most part, cats don’t require your help to groom and clean themselves. However, you’ll still need to bathe them from time to time. If bathing your cat sounds like the stuff of nightmares, you can simply bring it to a pet care clinic that provides grooming services where they’ll bathe it, blow its fur dry, clip its nails, and clean its ear. The service shouldn’t cost more than $20-$50.

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