Do cats hate being bathed?

  • Date: May 17, 2021
  • Time to read: 4 min.

Cats are known for being independent, mysterious, and sometimes even quite elusive creatures. Whether it’s their love of solo naps in the sun or their mysterious nighttime adventures, cats are fascinating to many. But one thing many cat owners have wondered is if cats hate being bathed. After all, cats have a reputation for being very clean animals and it’s not uncommon for them to groom themselves often. So, do cats really hate being bathed?

The Feline Fear of Water

Cats have a reputation for being low-maintenance pets, but it’s not true that cats don’t need any grooming. Regular brushing and bathing can be important for cats with long coats or those that live in areas with a lot of dust or pollution. But do cats hate being bathed?

The short answer is yes, cats typically don’t enjoy getting wet. This is because cats aren’t naturally keen on water and some cats may even be afraid of it. This fear of water is a natural instinct that cats have inherited from their wild ancestors, who would rarely have had the opportunity to get wet. As a result, most cats don’t like getting wet and dislike the feeling of having their fur soaked.

Understanding a Cat’s Fear of Water

Cats have a natural instinct to avoid water, which has developed in part as a way to protect themselves from predators. For example, cats may instinctively avoid getting wet because they know that a wet coat will make it more difficult for them to escape from danger.

In addition, cats may have a fear of water because they don’t like the sensation of being wet. Cats have very sensitive skin and fur, and being submerged in water can be a very unpleasant experience for them. Cats also have a strong sense of smell and may not enjoy the smell of soaps and shampoos that are used for bathing.

Can Cats Be Taught to Like Water?

The good news is that cats can be taught to tolerate or even enjoy water. The key is to start by introducing the cat to water in a positive way. Instead of forcing the cat into the bathtub, try introducing them to water in a positive way by offering them treats or toys whenever they come into contact with water.

You can also try introducing them to shallow, lukewarm water and let them become accustomed to it. You can also try playing with them in the water, giving them a chance to explore and get used to the sensation of being wet.

Once your cat is comfortable with shallow water, you can gradually increase the amount of water and the temperature until they can tolerate a full bath. It’s important to go slow and never force your cat into the bath. If your cat seems scared or anxious, go back to the previous step and give them more time to get used to the water.

Bathing a Cat

Once your cat is comfortable with the idea of being in the bath, you can start the bathing process. Make sure the water is warm and not too deep. Use a mild shampoo specifically designed for cats, and make sure to rinse it off thoroughly.

Be sure to use a gentle touch when bathing your cat and avoid getting soap in their eyes or ears. Be patient and make sure to reward your cat with treats and positive reinforcement when they tolerate the bath.

Finally, make sure to dry your cat thoroughly with a towel or a blow dryer set on the lowest heat setting. This will help keep your cat warm and comfortable and will also prevent them from getting colds.

## Common Myths About Bathing Cats

1. Myth: Cats hate being bathed.
Fact: While cats do not necessarily enjoy bathing, most cats can learn to tolerate or even enjoy a bath with a calm and gentle approach.

2. Myth: It is not necessary to bathe cats.
Fact: Regular bathing can keep your cat clean and healthy. It can help remove dirt, debris, and parasites. It also helps avoid skin problems and remove odors.

3. Myth: Cats must be bathed with special cat shampoo.
Fact: While it is important to use a shampoo that is specifically formulated for cats, you can also use a mild baby shampoo.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do cats hate being bathed?

Answer: Yes, cats generally do not enjoy being bathed, since they are naturally very clean animals and prefer to groom themselves.

How often should I bathe a cat?

Answer: Cats rarely need to be bathed, and it is not recommended to do so more than once every few months. If they are particularly dirty, a waterless shampoo may be used instead.


Cats have a natural fear of water due to their ancestors avoiding it in order to protect themselves from predators. This fear can be overcome with a positive introduction to water, taking it slow and rewarding them with treats. Regular brushing and bathing is important for cats, but it should be done gently with a mild shampoo specifically designed for cats and make sure to dry them thoroughly.

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