How to Clean a Cat Without Bathing? – Cleaning Without Water

As you may already know, even though they regularly clean themselves, cats do have to be bathed once in a while. Especially if they took part in a mice chase or got caught outside while it was raining.

But, as you lead your cat towards the sink or the tub, you realize that you’re heading towards a “nightmare”. We don’t even have to explain what’s the issue here. In short, most cats are afraid of water and baths. The only way you’d give a bath to a cat that’s afraid of it is by paying the price in scratch marks.

So, how does one bathe their cat without water? Well, today’s article is entirely dedicated to this matter. Keep on reading and you’ll find out exactly what you need to do in order to clean a cat without bathing it.

Cleaning Your Cat Without Water

Cleaning Your Cat Without WaterIn order to properly clean your cat without bathing it, we’ll take into consideration the three following methods – using baby wipes, using waterless shampoo, and regularly grooming your cat.

Let’s see every method in action!

  • Cleaning Your Cat with Baby Wipes

First of all, you don’t have to rely solely on baby wipes. There are specially designed cat bath wipes that remove the smell from your cat’s coat as well as any allergens while distributing essential oils.

You can find cat bath wipes either online or you can purchase them from various pet stores. Keep in mind that, in order to ensure your cat’s safety and health, you should use only brands that have natural ingredients in their wipes’ composition (for example, lavender or aloe) and are alcohol-free.

The Proper Time for Cleaning

The best time to engage, so to say, in cleaning your cat is when the pet is either tired or relaxed – usually after eating or playing. However, if the cat gets distressed or agitated when you try to clean it, you better postpone the cleaning process.

Make Your Cat Comfortable

In order to avoid startling the cat, you should not start with the wipes. You should pet your cat at first and try to slowly phase the wipes in so that they don’t realize that there’s something else between their fur and your hand.

More Massage, Less Wiping

Even though you are cleaning your cat, make sure not to make a wiping motion while doing so. Instead, make the entire procedure feel just like another session of petting –while remembering to look for and clean those spots that are prone to getting dirty.

Cleaning the Face and Ears

When cleaning the cat’s face and ears, you should use a fresh wipe. Gently grab their head with one of your hands, while still petting it, and softly wipe away any dirt/debris from it.

Don’t Forget the Paws!

It is recommended that you wipe a cat’s paws every few days so that they stay squeaky clean. Keep in mind that their feet can pick up dust, residue, and litter from within your household – thus, don’t forget to thoroughly clean their paws towards the end of the cleaning session.

Don’t Abuse Bath Wipes

You shouldn’t use bath wipes in order to clean your cat more than once a day, as they tend to dry out the animal’s skin. Your cat should be able to maintain itself clean by self-washing and grooming and – thus, opt for a waterless bath only when it is really a necessity.

  • Cleaning Your Cat with Waterless Leave-In Shampoo

Specially designed for the cats that don’t like water, waterless shampoo can be considered a gift sent from the gods to some cat owners out there. However, while there’s a variety of such products on the market, you should choose one that’s all-natural, non-toxic and foam-based.

Applying the Shampoo

Make sure to read the instructions before applying the shampoo so that you know how much you should use. Your cat should be either relaxed or tired when applying the shampoo. While applying it, distribute the foam evenly throughout its coat by massaging and petting your cat. It’s all about keeping it content and calm!

Remove the Excess Foam

After you’ve covered your cat in shampoo and have distributed it evenly, it’s time to remove any excess foam. You can do so with your fingers but remember to wash your hands afterward. Then brush the remaining shampoo with a pin brush through the cat’s coat. Naturally, rinsing is not necessary.

  • Regularly Grooming Your Cat

Regularly Grooming Your CatObviously, the last method refers to grooming your cat. If you have the time and patience to do so, you can probably say goodbye to giving your pet a bath for a long time. Plus, it is quite fun!

Acquire Proper Tools

Naturally, a simple towel and a brush won’t do the trick. You need to invest in quality grooming tools – pin brush for either short or long coats, de-matter and thinning shears for the removal of knots and/or tangles, and maybe even a cat grooming glove, especially if your cat doesn’t like brushes.

Brush Your Cat Often

Your cat’s coat length determines the frequency of grooming. When it comes to short-haired cats, you should brush them once a week using a pin brush. Long-haired cats should be brushed daily with a wide-tooth brush. Remember to be gentle, especially around the cat’s belly and chest.

Untangle the Mats

In order to get rid of mats, you should rely on a de-matter or some clippers rather than on scissors. Use the long prongs of the de-matter to tease out the knots and the clippers to cut them out, in a safe and easy manner.

Ear Hygiene

When cleaning your cat’s ears, instead of using water or washcloths, you can purchase an ear cleaning liquid. Make sure to have your veterinarian recommend one, as he may guide you to one that’s fit for your cat.

When applying the liquid, use a cotton ball to do so. Apply it to the pinna and let it dry and evaporate on its own.

The Bottom Line

While cleaning your cat without bathing can be a little more tedious, it is clearly not impossible!

All you have to do is get your hands on the proper materials and be gentle while cleaning your cat. You should try making the cleaning process as similar as possible to petting and massaging. By doing so, your kitty will be calm and get all comfortable in your lap, while you do your best to keep it clean!

Cats also clean themselves and each other. The answer is on Kittie Cat. Find out how and why in my blog post “Why Do Cats Lick Each Other? – Mutual Grooming“.

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