Do cats need a bath?

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Do cats need a bath?

Cats hate water. That much appears to be certain. While your cat may successfully avoid swimming pools, lakes, and rivers, there is one situation where they will have to confront water.

Yes, you guessed it right! It is bath time. However, do cats need baths? If so, how often? These questions often disturb cat owners, and we are here to answer them for you. This guide discusses a cat’s regular grooming regime, how often it needs a bath, and what special considerations may cause variations in the available time.

Cats are self-groomers

Before we go into more detail about do cats need baths, let’s get one thing straight. Cats are great at self-grooming. Cats are more hygienic than other animals. If you own or have owned some cats, you will know how particular our feline friends are about their hygiene and upkeep. They use the litter box and do not soil themselves.

Moreover, cats are constantly licking themselves to keep their coats shiny. If you have ever seen an adult cat with her children, you will notice that mother cats lick the coats of their young kittens to keep them clean as well.

So these grooming habits do start at an early age. So, if cats are so good at cleaning themselves, do cats need baths at all? The answer to this is still yes! Let’s see why cats need baths despite being so good at maintaining their cleanliness.

Woman bathing a gray Scottish Fold cat

What is the average time after which a bath should be given?

Many people ask us whether cats need baths if they clean themselves. And we give everyone the same answer: yes, they do. This is because the licking and grooming only keep them outwardly clean.

There is a big difference between cleaning a cat’s coat from the outside and washing it with water that can penetrate every fur and remove oils from its skin. A cat’s efforts only clean it on a superficial level, and if you want to ensure that your feline friend is germ-free and tick-free, you need to bathe it.

However, now that we know the answer to “do cats need baths,” let’s talk about how often they need it. As we have mentioned before, bathing your cat acts like a deep-cleaning procedure for them.

This is why your cats do not need a bath every day, or even every week, since it takes a lot of time for them to become dirty enough to merit a bath. According to the data collected by The National Cat Groomers of America, a cat only needs to be given a bath after a month (4 weeks) or six weeks. If bath time is delayed for more than this duration, then your cat’s fur can become visibly oily, greasy, and lose its shine and luster.

Now that we know the answer to the question of “do cats need baths,” how exactly do you bathe a cat given that they are not big fans of water?

Some things to remember while bathing

Now that we know do cats need baths, the next step is to determine how they should be bathed. Experts recommend using a small handheld shower or plastic mug for pouring water on your cat. This is because you can control the amount of water on your cat and adjust it to make it comfortable.

In addition to this, you should trim your cat’s nails before bathing so that it does not end up accidentally scratching you. Also, try to use a medicated shampoo to eliminate germs, fleas, and ticks that could be feeding on your cat!

Two cute kittens are playing outdoor

What is your cat’s outdoor exposure?

One of the factors that you may need to consider when answering the question of “do cats need a bath” is how much outdoor exposure your cat has. This is because you may need to bathe your feline friend frequently if it is in the habit of going out and playing. Now, every household has different rules for its pet cats.

Some owners like to keep their cats indoors to protect them from germs, catfights, and other potential dangers. However, other cat owners are more relaxed and allow their cats to go outside as long as they are mature enough to return home safely. Some larger breeds of cats cannot be kept indoors because they need physical exercise to maintain their health.

Therefore, if your cat can go outside, you may need to bathe it after every week or two rather than after 4-6 weeks. This is because outdoor cats can get muddy and are exposed to more germs, making it necessary to give them a deep bath every few days to get rid of fleas, ticks, and other diseases.

What is your cat’s coat like?

Another factor you should consider when determining whether cats need baths is what coat your cat has. Now breeds with long and shiny fur usually need to be bathed after 2-3 weeks if you want to keep them looking clean and tidy. If you do not bathe them frequently, their long fur can start looking dull, become tangled and matted, and lose its natural shine.

However, if your cat has smaller fur or is fur-less, then you can probably get away with bathing them only once every 4-6 weeks. So the next time someone asks you do cats need baths, ask them what breed their cat is since that will tell you what kind of fur it has and that will determine whether or not it needs a bath.


We hope that our guide answered the question of “do cats need baths.” It is essential to bathe your cat to maintain its hygiene periodically. Good hygiene can significantly impact your cat’s physical and mental health. This is why bathing your feline friends is crucial, even if your cat hates water!

So if someone asks us, “do you need to bathe cats” or “do you have to bathe cats” we tell them that it is not mandatory to bathe a cat. After all, wild cats survive without baths as well. However, if someone asks us, “should I bathe my cat” we always say yes!

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