Should I Bathe My Cat?

General grooming is an important part of good coat and skin health for your cat, but how easily this is accomplished and how often will depend on your cat.

As many pet owners know, some cats become highly agitated or even aggressive when bathed. On the other hand, some cats will allow easy routine grooming.

How often should I bathe my cat?

Many cats, especially those with short coats, are good self-groomers and rarely require bathing. However, a bath is appropriate whenever you want your feline friend to be clean and smell fresh.

The frequency will depend on coat length and type, self-grooming behavior, activity level, environment and overall health — less bathing for cats in good health, and more frequent bathing for cats with certain health issues. Pet owners should also be aware that excessive bathing, or use of harsh or drying products can dull the coat and cause dry, flaky and sometimes itchy skin.

Other cat grooming needs

Depending on your cat’s independent cleaning habits, additional grooming needs will vary from pet to pet. However, there are a few grooming practices that some cats need a little help with. Consider your pet's individual needs including nail trims, ear cleaning, coat brushing and de-matting if appropriate for your feline companion's hair type.

While many brave pet owners can develop manageable at-home grooming plans, your veterinarian may be able to recommend a local pet groomer who specializes in these and other services.