Do cats need to be washed?

In todays questionable content [url=]strip/url], one of the characters is having problems washing her cat. My question is, why bother? Dont cats clean themselves?

Some cats need to be washed, some don’t.

My cat doesn’t need washing per se. She’s relatively short-haired, doesn’t go outside, washes herself fastidiously and doesn’t get crud stuck in her fur.

Some cats with longer fur need washing to remove food/feces if they’re messy eaters or don’t clean after going to the litter tray. Outdoor cats may need washing to remove mud/dirt/burrs from their fur. If your cat gets fleas, washing is one way to remove them.

Some people just think animals are dirty inherently and wash their pets on a regular basis.

Cats need washing about the same as shoes: When it’s muddy or really dusty outside.

My cat occasionally likes to sleep in someones grease-pit :smack:

He gets a shower. It’s not fun for anyone.


Appreciate the answers. Because i am allergic to cats and dogs means i dont have any experience with pets. Thanks for taking the time to answer a kinda silly question.

That’s why we always use the washing machine!
Delicate cycle of course! :smiley:

Washing cats is one reason I only have indoor (short-hair) cats. When I was a kid, I was tasked with bathing our indoor-outdoor fluffer, and he bit me through the webbing 'tween my thumb and my forefinger. Clear through! He just sort of froze there with an “oh, shit” look on his face, and I had to sort of bend and slide my hand off his curved canine to avoid tearing it.

Pierced by a cat. Still have the scar. Last time* I *bathed a cat.

I have two cats. They are near identical. The boy is really into chasing/stalking birds and one day put his head and shoulders out of a window about 7 feet up preparatory to jumping to the ground. At which point a seagull crapped on him.

So he got washed against all our wills and curled up into a pathetic, sopping wet bundle which was convenient since he wasn’t scratching and I could hang him up on the curtains while I changed the soapy water. He was utterly miserable. Still, I had a spiffy clean cat at the end of it.

The next day the girl went out…and a seagull crapped on her.

Coulda been worse.
*A seaman meets a pirate in a bar, and talk turns to their adventures on the sea. The seaman notes that the pirate has a peg-leg, a hook, and an eye patch.

The seaman asks “So, how did you end up with the peg-leg?”

The pirate replies “We were in a storm at sea, and I was swept overboard into a school of sharks. Just as my men were pulling me out, a shark bit my leg off.”

“Wow!” said the seaman. “What about your hook”?

“Well…”, replied the pirate, “We were boarding an enemy ship and were battling the other sailors with swords. One of the enemy cut my hand off.”

“Incredible!” remarked the seaman. “How did you get the eyepatch”?

“A seagull dropping fell into my eye.”, replied the pirate.

“You lost your eye to a seagull dropping?” the sailor asked increduously.

“Well…”, said the pirate, “…it was my first day with the hook.”*

Which is another reason some people might wash their cats on a regular basis. It can help reduce the amount of allergen on Fluffy’s fur and mitigate allergy symptons. Won’t help much for severe allergies, but if it’s a mild case it’s worth trying if you want to keep your pet.

My tip for washing cats (only when needed, no need for proactive washing of a cat) is to get into the tub with the cat. Put on a pair of shorts (cup optional, depending on cat), and climb on in. It makes it easier to manipulate the cat between your legs (hold firmly), and wash properly.

You, and the tub will be covered in hair following the cat’s bath, but simply shrug off the shorts, and wash yourself up.

The cat will hate you for a few hours, and be embarrased about his/her appearance, but that’s the price to be paid when the cat’s curiosity gets the upper hand.

obligatory link to a cat being washed.

I’ve had my cat 10 years and never washed her yet. She is self cleaning for the most part


That cat looks totally pissed

There are medical situations that would make bathing a cat necessary. For that reason, I advise clients to gently/quietly/etc bathe their pet on a somewhat regular basis (say seasonally) just to keep the animal used to it.

Yes, cats need to be washed regularly. Please do this now, and document your attempt with pictures.

I need a cheap laugh.

Generally, an indoor cat can go years (as ernesto said) ithout a human-given bath. Outdoors cats sometimes get into something (like 40wieght) that isn’t good for them to lick off, so you have to bathe them.

It’s a brave (presumably) naked person in that shower with a cat that is that unhappy.

Another reason could be if the poor thing gets fleas or other nasties.

The method that worked for me was this:

Wear old clothes
Clear everything off of the kitchen counters.
Have large absorbent towels nearby.
Lock cat in kitchen with you.
Put basin of warm but not hot water in sink with flea bath meds.
Put on heavy gardening gloves.
Grab cat and hold in basin with his back to you; keep all sharp and pointy parts are now pointing away from you.
Wash cat.
Rinse cat (be sure the sprayer is giving off warm but not hot water first.)
Wrap cat in large towel.

With any luck, you, the cat, the floor, and the countertops within a three-foot radius will be soaked, but no one will be bleeding.

The cat will hate you for about a day.

At my office, we see one or two cats a month that we end up bathing. It is simple. I cannot see why y’all disagree. The steps we take are:

  1. Administer a short acting general anesthetic drug.

hey…maybe that’s it!