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Can Cats Clean Under Their Chin? (Or They Need Help?)

If you have noticed dirt under your cat’s chin you may be wondering if it can clean itself or if it needs your help…

Can cats clean under their chin?

Cats can clean under their chin. So, if you see something that resembles dirt there it could well be chin acne rather than dirt. This is something that cannot be quickly washed off, hence the reason it stays there. But, improvements in hygiene and their diet can help to stop this long term.

Use these to clean your cat

Description Image My Rating
01. Waterless Cat Shampoo (Best Shampoo)
Click here for the price on Amazon
5 stars
02. Pet Wipes (Best Wipes)
Click here for the price on Amazon
03. Dematting Comb (Best Comb)
Click here for the price on Amazon

So, now you know. But, why do some cats scratch their chin? What does this cat acne actually look like? Also, can you clean a cat without water? Keep reading for these answers, and much more…

How do you clean a cat’s chin?

To clean a cat’s chin, if they truly need this, you can use some warm water with soap in it. Or, if that’s not convenient you can use a cat wipe (Click here to see the price, on Amazon #Ad). Either way, the idea is to be gentle and remove the dirt.

However, if you try this and the dirt does not come off it unlikely to be what you think it is. It is more likely to be cat acne, which will need another method to remove this.

Why is my cat scratching under her chin?

If your cat is scratching under its chin it could be for several reasons, such as an allergy, acne, irritation, etc. The most common ones will be an allergic reaction or acne. If it is any of these then it’s not as simple as cleaning it off.

If it’s an allergy you need to consult your vet to help you work out what is causing the allergy. and, if it’s acne then you will need something to get rid o the acne and improve your cat’s hygiene or diet to stop it from returning.

What does cat chin acne look like?

Cat acne looks like little black dots or bumps in a certain area. This is because they tend to break out in a certain part of their chin. It can sometimes be in the form of a Whitehead. It is quite similar to acne humans have.

Is Cat acne painful?

Cat acne can be painful for your cat. This is why it is important to get it under control as soon as possible to avoid further problems and irritation for your cat.

How do you get rid of cat chin acne?

To get rid of cat acne you will need a special cat shampoo (Click here to see the reviews, on Amazon #Ad). You can also get ointments or other gels to help with it. The shampoo is used to flush out and clean up the affected area.

How Can I Improve my cat’s hygiene to prevent chin acne?

How to Clean Cat Fur Without Water

A cat wrapped in a towel.

If you want to keep your cat clean and avoid the cat acne recurring, you will need to help to keep it clean in general.

However, if you are frightened of bathing him you may be wondering if you can keep him clean without water (Click here to see the best waterless shampoo for cats, on Amazon). Let me explain…

Can you clean cat fur without water?

Yes, you can clean cat fur without water. You can use cat wipes and waterless shampoo. However, to do this there are a couple of things that you’ll need. This is to make sure that your cat is cleaned well and kept safe in the process.

Now that you know it’s possible I will explain why you even need to bathe your cat, ways to clean them delicate areas that need your attention, how to clean her, without drying out her skin, and more. Keep reading.

But, should you really need to bathe a cat?

There are occasions, which I will explain in greater detail in a moment when you need to bathe your cat.

To bathe your cat you will either need some cat wipes (Click here for my best choice cat wipes, on Amazon)  which are specifically made for cats. Or, you can consider using waterless Shampoo.

You may be thinking to yourself, why do I need to consider bathing my cat? The reality is, most cats can keep themselves clean by licking their own fur, typically referred to as and grooming themselves. However, there are situations when your assistance will be required.

Excessively Dirty Cat

For example, if he gets excessively dirty. On this occasion, no matter how much licking he does, it is unlikely he’ll be able to deal with it. Also, you want to avoid him swallowing a large amount of dirt, which could infection, sickness, or both.

As discussed in the previous section, you can use waterless shampoo or wipes to help with this. However, there are other proactive methods that you can use to make sure dirt doesn’t build-up to an uncontrollable level. Also, some of these methods can help to avoid their fur getting matted (Click here to see if GoPets or FURminator is better for de-matting your cat).

Simple things like regularly brushing your cat’s fur can eliminate the chances of him swallowing hairballs or collecting parasites.

Ways to Clean your cat’s fur without water?

In this section, I’m going to break down how you can actually go about cleaning your cat’s fur using baby wipes as well as waterless shampoo. This will help to keep him clean and avoid infection.

Using baby wipes

Using baby wipes is a good way to deodorize your cat’s fur as well as massaging in essential oils to its body. This will help it maintain good skin and fur health.

The best time to use the baby wipes is immediately after he’s eaten or has had a good playtime session.

Why is this?

Simply because this is likely to be the best time. Basically, when he is feeling calm. This will avoid him getting frustrated and potentially scratching you (more on this later).

While he is in this good mood, gently wipe his paws and face with the wipes. Also, use them to wipe around his ears and body. However, you need to use these wipes sparingly, because you want to avoid drying out his skin.

Using waterless shampoo for cats.

Waterless shampoo is a great way to keep your cat clean without any need for water. It is also convenient because you can do this without having running water around you at the time.

It’s quite straightforward really. Select the best cat waterless shampoo (Click here to see the best) that you can find and meets your needs. Apply the shampoo to your cat’s fur. After you have applied the shampoo, gently remove the excess using your hands or a pin brush.

After you have removed the excess shampoo. There is no need to rinse it off, as discussed earlier, it does not require water (which is the beauty of this stuff).

Other tools to consider

If you want to maintain your cat’s fur regularly, it is advisable to get hold of a good pin brush (Click here to see my best choice, on Amazon). Pin brushes are good for short or long-haired cats. It will help to keep their fur in check (click here if it looks separated).

If you have a long-haired cat a de-matter brush is a good idea. This will help him to eliminate any matting in your cat’s fur (click here to see how to remove matted hair from a Persian Cat).

You might also require thinning shears and a grooming glove to remove any loose hairs and remove any troublesome matting.

How can you avoid being scratched during the process?

If you have ever attempted to bathe your cat or manhandle it in any way for that matter. You will agree with me that it can be a real challenge. One of the biggest problems with this is their claws. The chances are you will pick up some big scratches.

The reality is, your cat really doesn’t want to hurt you, it is just a defensive mechanism when it feels stressed.

Therefore, in this article, I’m going to explain how you can avoid being scratched, to save your poor hands.

Getting your cat used to it.

Before I go into the detail of how you can stop your cat from scratching you. I want to explain how you can make life easier from the absolute beginning.

If you have a kitten it is a good idea to get them used to this proactive grooming and bathing from early. This will get them used to it and will cause you a lot less hassle for the future.

Dealing with Adult Cats

If you have an adult cat it’s better to start slowly. Ease them into the process, rather than jumping into full-on grooming immediately, are you with me? This is one of the reasons some cat owners use cat brushes that are ideal for cats that do not like to be brushed (Click here to see what I mean).

Trimming their claws.

As discussed earlier, even the most gentle and lovable cat has a good chance of scratching you. Especially when you attempt to groom or bathe them. Therefore, trimming their claws before you do this, in my opinion, is essential.

The best way to do this is to try to disassociate the claw trimming with the actual grooming or bathing itself. Therefore, it is advisable to do this a couple of days before you plan to bathe or groom them.

Also, when you actually come down to bathing or grooming, make sure they’re in a cool and calm mood to avoid any trouble.

Using treats (Bribes)

It is a good idea to offer your cat some treats. This will stop you from looking like the bad guy. It will help them associate you with positive experiences. Simple treats like this will help them to get used to the process.

What other areas do cats need help cleaning?

So far we have put a lot of emphasis on your cat’s fur, grooming,  bathing, etc. However, there are some delicate areas that your cat will definitely need help with regularly. This is regardless of the condition of their fur.

This includes the following:

  • Eyes
  • Mouth
  • Ears

How can you clean these delicate areas?

In this section, I’m going to give you some examples of how you can tackle some of these delicate areas.


You can buy specific sprays which are made for cat ears. In addition to this, you can use very basic gauze to help to keep them clean.

However, in my opinion, the best course of action is to consult your vet to see what they advise. Also, if there is a big issue with their ears, for example, a build-up of wax. Your vet can help you to get around this.


Their eyes will need to be cleaned. In particular, the rheum that collects around the eyes.

What is rheum?

Rheum is that weird crusty mucus which appears around your eyes when you wake up in the morning, are you with me?

This happens to us humans as well as cats. Some people call it “eye matter” and, to be honest, there are several different names for this, but essentially it is rheum.

To clean this you’ll need some damp gauze. But, one warning, do not be tempted to use a cat wipe. Why? because it can irritate their eyes.

Their mouth.

For cats, you can get specific toothpaste and toothbrushes to deal with the inevitable plaque that will build up. However basic things like offering them dry food and chews (snakes) can help to keep their teeth healthy.

Lindsey Browlingdon