Cats are perhaps one of the cleanest domestic pets.
So why should you be giving a cat a bath?
From two weeks of age, kittens already learn to lick themselves. They also spend fifty percent of their time grooming themselves. Technically, there is no need for cat owners to bathe their cats (except in certain circumstances like them stepping on poop).
However, giving a cat a bath once in a while can also have advantages. A bath stimulates the skin and removes excess oil, dander, and shed hair. It also is an opportunity to teach your cat that being handled won’t hurt them, which in turn will help when you take them to the vet.
Since cats are animals that groom themselves, it is unnecessary to give them a bath often. In fact, bathing them too often can cause problems like giving them dry skin. According to the Spruce Pets, a good guideline would be to bathe shorthairs no more than every six weeks. Two to three times a year during shedding season should suffice.
Kittens are the ones that accept baths most readily, so you can start bathing them at least four weeks old. Elderly cats and extremely ill ones may be stressed by the idea, so it is important to consult first with your veterinarian.
Here are a few things you need in giving a cat a bath: a towel, a rubber mat, a washcloth, a ping pong ball (or other floating distraction), and a simple grooming shampoo labeled specifically for cats. It is important to use shampoo meant for cats because dog products or human shampoo can be too harsh and toxic for the cat’s skin.