Cats are generally clean creatures, obsessed about their hygiene and do not like to be dirty. Since they see it as their duty to be clean, they spend a lot of time grooming themselves, and they are pretty good at it. For this very reason, you may not think about bathing your cat.
Also, it is a well-known fact that cats typically hate water and will do whatever they can to avoid getting wet.
So, given that your cat cleans herself and most probably hates water, you may be wondering if it is really necessary to bathe cats. Do cats need baths? And if they do, why and how often? Let’s find these things out.
Do cats need baths? – The answer
While one of the most common myths about cats is that they do not need baths because they groom themselves, the fact is: they often do.
So the straightforward answer to the question: Do cats need baths? is yes. Sometimes, cats do need baths.
Cats usually take care of themselves when it comes to cleaning. However, there are occasions when they do need their owners’ help. Usually, it is not an absolute necessity like feeding or cleaning the litter box, but bathing a cat definitely has certain benefits.
Cats groom themselves
Being independent animals, cats by nature are able to look after themselves. It is in their nature to keep themselves clean, so they take care of their own hygiene needs. And, it is not a secret that they are very good at doing it efficiently.
With their natural grooming tools (tongue, teeth, saliva, paws and claws), they are able to keep themselves meticulously clean. They lick themselves from head to tail, and do not miss a spot out as their flexibility enables them to reach every part of their body.
Apart from 16 hours of sleep they happily spend more than half of their waking hours (5 hours) maintaining their coat and cleaning themselves to perfection. While it might sound weird for you, this constant grooming is a normal part of a cat’s life.
They really know how to keep themselves clean and no doubt, they are amazingly good at it.
Sometimes, cats do need baths
Looking at such an amazing cleaning process and extreme hygiene, most people don’t even think that cats might require baths.
But, sometimes even the cleanest cat will need some assistance to keep her fur in top shape. Despite being remarkably clean, there are occasions when bathing a cat is absolutely necessary.
There are plenty of circumstances in which cats do need baths. It mostly depends on their age, their health condition, and the type of their coat. There are also different situations when a cat’s grooming tools are not as efficient as a bath is.
While indoor short haired domestic cats need less or no baths, the outdoor and long haired ones definitely do need a bath every now and then.
Sometimes, their age or their health condition make it impossible to groom themselves properly so there is no option but giving those cat a bath.
And there are times when they get into something sticky or dangerous, and in this case, bathing will be safer than self-grooming.
There are also special issues like dandruff, fleas or medical cases when bathing the cat is the only option.
The answer in a nutshell
Cats are extremely clean creatures and fantastic self-groomers, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t need baths.
While they are well-equipped to clean their coat properly and their cleaning procedure seems to be perfect, it does not eliminate dandruff, remove mats, or get rid of odor, not to mention the sticky, dangerous substances that can be stuck in the fur.
In addition, there are other certain occasions when cats cannot groom themselves properly due to their age or health condition.
So when it comes to the question: Do cats need baths? the answer is they definitely often do to keep their coat and skin stay healthy and clean.