How to Give a Cat a Bath without Getting Scratched

Bathing a cat can be a hair-raising experience for both the feline and the owner – cats are notoriously averse to water, and anyone who happens to be faced with the task of bathing a cat is likely to anticipate being severely scratched by the end of the ordeal. However, at times baths are essential (particularly if you suspect your cat has fleas) and a few methods can lessen the trauma of having to give a cat a bath, making it a bearable experience for both the kitty and the owner.

Things Required:

– Cat nail clippers
– A lamp
– Styptic powder
– Towels
– Cat combs/brushes
– Cat shampoos (regular, or flea shampoo)
– Cat toys
– Catnip
– Plastic cup
– Lubricating eye ointment


  • 1

    Start by putting yourself in a calm, positive frame of mind, and transferring this energy to your cat. Soothe your pet, and put her/him at ease by stroking gently and offering a few treats.

  • 2

    Next, trim your cat’s nails, to completely minimise the risk of any injuries via scratching. Use cat nail clippers for this purpose, and hold your cat’s paw under a lamp while you do this, for better visibility. If any bleeding occurs, use styptic powder to apply gentle pressure to the tip of your cat’s nail.

  • 3

    Once this is done, continue soothing your cat as you prepare the bath. Carry your cat into the bathroom, and close to door. Keep it closed during the duration of the bath – you do not want a panicked, dripping wet cat tearing through the house with your entire family in hot pursuit.

  • 4

    Fill the bathtub with lukewarm water (be very careful in regards to the temperature – it should not be extreme), and add in some cat toys. Make sure the water level is enough to just cover your cat’s paws – no higher or lower. Once it is filled, gently set your cat down in the bathtub, and allow her/him some time to grow accustomed to the situation. However, keep a hand gently on her/his neck, and do not allow the kitty to escape.

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  • 5

    Hold your cat steady and apply some eye ointment to her/his eyes – this will protect her/his sensitive eyes from any irritation which might occur owing to the shampoo.

  • 6

    Fill the plastic cup with water, and pour it gently over your cat, in order to wet all the fur, taking care to avoid her eyes. Then squeeze some regular or flea shampoo into your palm, and rub it gently into your cat’s fur, being careful around the eyes.

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  • 7

    Once you have shampooed your kitty, either scoop up some clean water for rinsing, or hold her/him under the faucet, to rinse out all the shampoo thoroughly. Once you’ve rinsed out all the shampoo, use a fluffy warm towel gently pat and rub your cat dry.

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  • 8

    Finally, continue drying with a towel, and use a cat brush to gently comb through your pet’s fur as it dries – use this as a bonding session after the potentially upsetting bathing experience. Offer your cat some catnip or kitty treats as a reward.

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