How to Clean Your Cat Without Giving Him a Bath

It's common sense that cats don't like water. That's why there are certain products and tricks that are useful for washing a cat without giving it a bath.
How to Clean Your Cat Without Giving Him a Bath

Last update: 16 September, 2018

Cats hate water, and even though they constantly clean themselves, that doesn’t always stop them from smelling bad. That’s why in today’s article you can learn how to clean a cat without giving it a bath.

Why cats hate water

“Hate” might seem like a strong word, but there’s no better word to describe how much they about this liquid. There are always those cats that don’t mind getting wet, but some turn into monsters that will do anything to get away. There are even stories about cats who have accidentally attacked their owners while taking a bath.

Why does this happen? Why do cats hate water? Apparently, what cats hate isn’t being wet, it’s the sound the faucet makes. Some scientists say the problem is that cats have very little experience with water, so this sound, along with being wet, is very unpleasant for them. They get scared of not knowing what’s going to happen.

Of course, if a kitten grows up by a lake and has nowhere else to go, sooner or later his instincts will tell him to swim in the water. A feline’s fear of water is not in their DNA, they’re just not used to it. So, this bad first experience can be traumatic for them.

A kitten getting groomed

The one to blame is mostly ourselves because we are the ones who came up with this myth about cats being unable to take a bath. But why not? Are they going to melt? Of course not!

An occasional bath with the right products, can prevent parasites and freshen up your cat’s skin and fur. So if you get it used to a monthly bath when it’s a kitten, it won’t be afraid of the water as an adult.

How to clean your cat without giving it a bath

If your cat is an adult, it won’t be easy to get it used to the water. As mentioned before, this is something that needs to start during an early stage of life. Therefore, if you have an older cat, then you need to learn how to clean him without giving him a bath.

A wet cat
  • Dry shampoo. You can get this spray in pet stores or at the vet. Be careful using it near your cat’s eyes, and make sure you spray every part of its body. The easiest way is to brush its fur afterward to spread the shampoo around. Let it sit for a few minutes and entertain your cat in the meantime to prevent him from licking himself. Then brush hum again to get the shampoo out and rub him down with a towel.
  • Depending on your cat’s lifestyle, that spray might not even be necessary. If you don’t have an outdoor cat, brushing every 2-3 days should be enough to get rid of any filth.
  • Clean his private parts. Sometimes your cat leaves some of the remains after going to the bathroom, and this obviously doesn’t smell good. Any time you see him leaving his litter box, wipe of his bottom with a pH neutral wipe that doesn’t harm his skin.
  • Clean the crust off his eyes. You might not believe it, but the crust on animals’ eyes actually smells very bad. Be sure to carefully clean your cat’s eyes every day with a damp cotton swab.

So, keeping your cat clean isn’t all that hard in the end, isn’t it? Always remember that his hygiene depends on you and that this is your responsibility as a pet owner.


This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.