Have you ever wondered whether your cat needs a bath? Yes, cats groom themselves often and take their own form of a bath daily. My cat, for one, seems to be cleaning his fur whenever he isn’t napping. Which is to say, he takes a lot of tongue baths. But do cats ever need their humans to bathe them?
The Short Answer
According to famous cat whisperer Jackson Galaxy, the short answer is no, you do not need to give your cat a bath. Which, let’s be honest, is kind of a relief, right? I know I would not want to give my cat a bath. Ever. I’m pretty sure I would lose way too much blood, for one thing. And all that blood would ruin the point of giving him a bath, so it’s a vicious cycle.
Why Don’t Cats Need Baths?
Even if your cat isn’t quite as resistant to bathing, it’s important to explore why we don’t need to bathe our cats. Galaxy expands on this answer by offering up the idea that cats generally clean themselves often enough (as in, multiple times per day) which leaves their scent all over. This is an important consideration when it comes to cats since giving them a bath can disrupt that scent they’ve strategically placed on their fur. It also might lead to your cat running from you any time you try to pet her, since she just can’t be sure that you aren’t meaning to mess up her gorgeous coat by giving her a bath.
Are There Exceptions to the Rule?
As with any rule, yes, there are exceptions to it. While Galaxy notes that you generally should not bathe your cat, he does recognize that sometimes things happen. Obviously if your cat is having trouble cleaning herself, you may need to step in and help her out. Similarly, if your cat ventures outdoors and has an unfortunate run-in with an unidentified but really disgusting, stinky substance, you might want to bathe your cat. Stray cats or cats that have lots of dirt in their fur could also benefit from a human’s help and a bathtub.
Now, there are also other alternatives to keeping your cat clean. You don’t have to go with a full-on bathtub full of cat-friendly suds and water to help him with a dirty spot or two if needed. Brushing your cat is important, and it’s also a great way for the two of you to strengthen your bond. You will know this is helpful in avoiding tangles and other generally unwanted fur issues if you are in charge of a long-haired cat. You could also gently clean out your cat’s ears, though this might be something you should talk with your veterinarian about before plunging in.
The bottom line is that you really don’t need to give your cat a bath. For the most part, cats are fastidious creatures who know how to keep their own fur clean and healthy. There may be times when you need to help out your cat with a spot clean or a full-on bathing, but these should be pretty rare in occurrence. This is actually a good thing, for both you and your feline friend.