When To Give Your Cat a Bath
Do cats really need baths?
Most healthy cat breeds don’t require their pet parents to bathe them, but there are exceptions. As a cat owner, knowing when and why your cat may need a bath is vital.
At Coronado Pet Hospital, we provide exceptional and compassionate care through our animal hospital in Bernalillo. We’re here to explain when and why your cat may need a bath.
Cats Constantly Groom Themselves
One may consider a cat’s grooming to be extreme. It’s estimated that cats spend 30-50% of their day grooming. While remaining clean is one of their goals, there are other reasons for their constant grooming:
- Regulating body temperature through evaporating saliva
- Removing dead fur from their undercoat
- Distributing natural oils
- Preventing mats
- Eliminating parasites and allergens
Because cats are such avid groomers, most of the time, there isn’t a need to give them a bath.
If cats have not been bathed before, or sometimes due to having been bathed in the past, baths can be behaviorally traumatic for your cat. This type of negative experience can damage the bond you have with your pet, and unless directed by your veterinarian, you should avoid bathing your cat.
There are exceptions, though, and it’s essential to always talk to your veterinarian prior to deciding to bathe your cat.
When To Give Your Cat a Bath
When cats need baths, it’s usually due to medical conditions or being of a specific breed requiring bathing.
Sometimes, cats have difficulty cleaning themselves thoroughly due to mobility issues caused by obesity or arthritis. Usually, your first action is to see if brushing helps remove any mats, dirt, urine, or fecal particles collecting on their fur.
Never use scissors to remove matted areas of your cat’s coat because it’s very easy, even for experienced handlers with very calm cats, to accidentally cut or injure them.
If you feel your cat isn’t grooming properly due to mobility issues, have her seen by your veterinarian to ensure there aren’t other underlying medical issues. You can then discuss if bathing your cat is necessary.
Sometimes, other conditions like fungal infections and allergies may require baths with medicated shampoos. If you suspect your cat may be suffering from fungal infections or allergies, make an appointment with our Bernalillo animal hospital for a proper diagnosis.
If a medicated shampoo is prescribed, our veterinarians will guide you on how to best bathe your cat.
Sphynxes are hairless cats that require bathing as part of their skincare routines. This breed’s genetics causes them to secrete excessive amounts of oils. Due to this, they have a higher chance of collecting dirt, dust, and debris that may cause secondary bacterial skin infections.
Always follow your veterinarian’s guidance on how to bathe your Sphynx or other hairless cat, but generally, it’s recommended to bathe them once every 1-2 weeks.
Bring Your Cat to the Most Compassionate Animal Hospital in Bernalillo!
At Coronado Pet Hospital, our compassionate and collaborative team of veterinarians ensures every pet receives loving care and high-quality medicine. We’re here for all your cat’s needs and are available to offer guidance to help you be the best pet parent.
Contact our animal hospital in Bernalillo today to schedule your cat’s appointment!