Other health problems

Can I Give a Sick Cat a Bath?

Graham Harper
By Graham Harper, Journalist specialized in animal welfare. Updated: July 11, 2018
Can I Give a Sick Cat a Bath?

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Cats are very clean animals and take care of their own daily hygiene needs. But, like us, they can get sick and when they feel bad the first thing they neglect is their hygiene. In these situations they need pampering and for us to lend a hand. With this said, we must evaluate several points and consult our vet beforehand.

In this AnimalWised article we will answer a question that many ask desperately: Can I bathe a sick cat? If your cat doesn't smell so fresh, don't stress. We're here to help. Now, let's discuss.

You may also be interested in: My Cat Caught a Rat - Can They Get Sick?
  1. When should I bathe my cat?
  2. Can I give my sick cat a bath?
  3. Do not forget...

When should I bathe my cat?

"Is it bad to bathe cats?". Although it is not advisable to bathe a cat, since they clean themselves, in the case of them being extremely dirty it is recommended to wash them every 15 or 30 days. Of course, whenever they are in perfect health.

Although it is ideal to accustom a cat to the bathroom from when they are a kitten, we can also bathe an adult cat for the first time. Although the experience can be quite a challenge, especially if we are abrupt and we do not respect their scepticism towards the water. We must remember that the ideal is to accustom them from 6 months of life so that they do not generate a trauma and us, stress.

There will be times when they will need a bath after spilling something over them-self that is toxic to them. Or, after playing in a lot of dust, grease or sand. In these cases, they will need our help.

Can I Give a Sick Cat a Bath? - When should I bathe my cat?

Can I give my sick cat a bath?

To answer the question "can I bathe a sick cat?", it is important to note that, as a vet, I do not recommend giving a sick cat a bath at all. Remember that this process causes a lot of stress and the only thing we have as a priority now is to regain their health.

Cats are much more sensitive than dogs regarding the level of anatomical innervation of their body. So in most, they are not very fanatical about baths. If they spend a lot of energy in a bath, which they should save to recover from the illness, they can have a relapse or deepening of the physical problem.

Owners who are very aware of their felines quickly detect that something is wrong by their carelessness in cleanliness and / or dull fur. The ideal is to resort to the vet to evaluate what may be happening, thus avoiding more serious problems. The care that our cat will need will be determined by the professional that examines them but we leave a small guide of things to prioritize:

  • Food: This is not the time to make changes in their diet, unless the disease requires it. We will try to give them their everyday food. Homemade can be good, in that way it is easier for them to eat. We do not want them to stop eating at all.
  • Water: it is important to offer lots of water and make sure they drink it. But we must give them in the mouth with a syringe. Remember that this maneuver can stress them more, so ideally do it if they seem comfortable enough.
  • Rest and tranquility: will be very necessary for their complete recovery. We must promote a warm and calm environment, without any fuss. Avoid bothering them too much.
Can I Give a Sick Cat a Bath? - Can I give my sick cat a bath?

Do not forget...

Once your cat has overcome their illness, you can bathe them. Some cats love water, but this is not the majority, so at first they will reject any notion of being wet. It is important to start slowly and gradually advance, from 6 months of age. Little by little, with great tact and without making sudden movements, this will help them avoid suffering anxiety.

However, if you notice your cat is very stressed, it will be advisable to avoid bathing them and use dry shampoo or wet wipes/cloths to clean dirty areas.

Use warm water, with an anti-slip mat underneath or if we do not have one, a wet towel shall suffice. We recommend using only products that are recommended by the vet since the ph of their skin is different from that of humans. After the bath we will dry the best as we can with a towel. In hotter months, the bath will relieve them. But in the colder months we recommend dry baths with a wet towel so that they do not get sick from uncleanliness or, bad drying on our part.

Can I Give a Sick Cat a Bath? - Do not forget...

This article is purely informative. AnimalWised does not have the authority to prescribe any veterinary treatment or create a diagnosis. We invite you to take your pet to the veterinarian if they are suffering from any condition or pain.

If you want to read similar articles to Can I Give a Sick Cat a Bath?, we recommend you visit our Other health problems category.

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1 comment
Careful using any aloe vera products with your pets -- aloe vera is poisonous to many pets, including cats. Even aloe vera products that are often considered "safe" for pets, like aloe vera juice, can still cause constipation.
Administrador AnimalWised
Hi Tessa,

You are correct that aloe vera can be toxic to cats, but not usually in juice form and not in small doses. However, we agree that any potential benefits aren't enough to use it supplementary. For this reason we have removed its use from the article. Thank you for addressing the issue.
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Can I Give a Sick Cat a Bath?