How to Wash a Cat That Is Afraid Of Water

Even though cats typically clean themselves up on their own, you may want to give them a bath if they have gotten too dirty. This can become quite a challenge if your feline pet is not too fond of water, which is often the case. If you try to give it a bath, it will do everything in its power to get out of the water and away from you, even if it means scratching you.

In order to successfully wash a cat that is afraid of water, you will need someone to assist you through the process. There are also a number of things that you will need to do and keep in mind while bathing your cat.  

Things Required:

– A helper
– Comb
– Nail-cutter
– Medium-sized tub
– Towel or mat
– Warm water
– Shampoo
– Wash-cloth
– 2 bath towels
– Hand-held shower


  • 1

    Ask a family member or friend to help you with the task. However, before you start off with the actual washing, have the helper hold the cat while you trim all its nails using a nail-cutter and comb its hair to remove all the tangles and knots from its coat.

  • 2

    Once you have done that, grab a medium-sized tub and place a towel or mat at its base so that it is not slippery.

  • 3

    Fill up the tub about 2 inches with warm water. Make sure the water is not too hot. Also ensure that the level of water is not too high. Your cat will already panic to find itself going in water and the last thing you would want to do is to make it panic even more by filling up the tub with too much water.

  • 4

    Place the shampoo, a wash-cloth and a couple of bath towels on the side of the tub. You must have all these things ready before putting your cat in the tub.

  • 5

    Have the helper lower the cat in the tub. It is best to hold the cat by the scruff, as that makes it easier to handle it. It will try everything it can to jump out of the tub. It is your helper’s job to ensure that it does not succeed in doing that.

  • 6

    Use the wash-cloth to wet down the cat from neck down, sides, belly, back and tail. Do not use the wash-cloth on the cat’s face or ears until later, when you pull it out of the tub.

  • 7

    Once the fur is wet to the skin, squeeze a small amount of shampoo on your hands and start shampooing the cat’s sides and back. Use the water in the tub to create more soapsuds and use it to apply shampoo on the front and belly.

  • 8

    After you are done with the shampooing, start getting the soap out of the coat using the wash-cloth. Drain the tub to remove the soap water and then use a hand-held shower head to rinse the coat even further. Make sure you do not put water in the cat’s face or ears.

  • 9

    Once you have gotten all the soap out of the coat, drain the water from the tub again and now gently wring the cat out in order to get water out of the back, sides, belly, legs and tail.

  • 10

    Pull the cat out of the tub and immediately wrap it up in a dry bath towel. Dry it off from the neck down. When the towel becomes too wet, use the second towel.

  • 11

    After you are done drying the cat, put it in a room with no open window or fan. Keep it there until you are sure that it is completely dry.

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