I am an Affilate!

I hope you enjoy any product or service that I recommend. :) Just so you understand, I may take a share of any sales or other compensation from the links on this page. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Thanks if you use my links, I really appreciate your support.

Is it Bad to Give Your Cat a Bath?

Quick Navigation

Is it a Bad Idea to Bathe Your Cat?

So, is it bad to give your cat a bath? If you're a cat owner struggling with this question then you're in luck because this article is exactly what you need right now. Most cat owners believe that felines tend not to like water very much.

They also usually believe that since their feline companions normally spend most of the day grooming themselves, they don't necessarily need a bath.

This is not entirely true. How your cat reacts to water depends on numerous factors. Some of these factors include whether your cat has ever had a negative water experience, whether you accustomed it to water from a tender age or if you must bathe it for a certain particular reason.

Whether it's necessary or not to bathe your cat really depends on the particular animal. Most vets will tell you that if your cat looks clean and healthy then you don't really have to give it a bath.

Bathing cats regularly may cause them to lose some essential oils found on their fur and at times can even prove to be an extremely traumatic experience for the cat involved. Cats are commonly known to be one of the cleanest animals.

As in they spend more than half of their day grooming themselves, so that shouldn't be so hard to believe, no? Anyway, if your cat rarely goes outside then all you really have to do to keep it clean is brush it regularly.

Why Do Cats Hate Water?

One would think that cats love water considering how much they love cleaning themselves. However, the truth is that most felines tend to avoid water like the plague unless it's for a polite sip from a dripping faucet here and there. A few of the reasons why most of them don't like water are:-

  1. When cat's get wet their fur becomes waterlogged. This weighs down the cat a lot. Even though the cat fur's top layer is water resistant to some extent, when you drench the whole cat it's bound to experience some degree of discomfort. It makes them feel not as quick as usual as well less manoeuvrable and cats don't generally enjoy being in this state.

  2. Cats like to live life on their own terms and they do not tolerate change too well. Cats, unlike dogs, don't accept new experiences easily. Those that hadn't been exposed to water since an early age will most probably not like the feeling. However, one that has been exposed to it since they were young may not have such a big problem with it.

  3. Most felines are very sensitive to smell. Unlike humans, cats can more acutely pick up the smells of the chemicals found in tap water. Its odor can sometimes prove too strong for the cat to tolerate.

However, not exactly ALL cats hate water. Some of them do actually like the water, specifically those that reside in hot, dry climate regions. To the cats in these areas, the water is both cool and refreshing. They may even take a little swim in it from time to time. 

Others may just be giving in to their pure hunting nature and might want to hunt fish which would mean they'd have to start enjoying the water if they want to enjoy eating some fish.

When Should You Bathe Your Cat?

So, when is the best time to bathe your cat, if you really have/want to? If you're the cat owner that falls into this category then you should probably start doing it when they're still kittens and the best time to introduce this to them is when they are about eight weeks old.

Most experts say you should start by using shampoo designed for kittens. It's vital that you avoid those shampoos that are made for adult cats or humans. Both those options usually tend to be way too aggressive for the kitten. A gentle kitten shampoo should do the trick

When your cat seems to be suffering from a ringworm or flea infestation then you might have to consider giving it a bath using some specific shampoos.

Most vets will advise the same. In most cases, after seeing them, they'll prescribe for your cat medicated shampoos which only means that you have to bathe your cat. However, not all modern flea treatments require bathing but most of the very effective ones do. But it's important to note that bathing will depend on how bad the infestation is.

If you have an obese or old cat then chances are they won't be able to groom themselves effectively because there are some areas of themselves they most likely won't be able to reach.

When this happens you might have to take up some of the grooming duty, especially the bottom area which happens to be a place that accumulates dirt pretty fast. Those cats with arthritis need this bathing even more because that warm water and massaging actually helps in relieving some pain.

If your cat is one that spends a lot of time outside then you know that there are several ways it can get really dirty. Especially when they get into those places they're not supposed to.

Cats that are allowed to roam free outside can come back with nasty germs and smells so you might have to consider giving them a bath once in a while. However, these baths should only be given when necessary and should not generally be a regular affair because they may not necessarily get dirty every time they go outside.


And with that hopefully, you've learned a little bit more about whether bathing your cat is a bad idea, when do you need/have to do it and why most of them generally despise water. It's a tricky situation to handle when it comes to water and our feline companions. However, it certainly isn't too hard for cat owners and cat lovers alike to learn and understand. Both of you will definitely appreciate that extra knowledge. And the question, is it bad to give your cat a bath?...fully answered, no?

Lindsey Browlingdon

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 0 comments

Leave a Reply: