When it comes to bathing your cat, the question should be, “Should I bathe my cat?” not “How often should I bathe my cat?” Most cats are exceptionally good at bathing themselves, and require little cleaning beyond what they give themselves. However, there are exceptions. Hairless cats require weekly bathing. And, if a cat gets really dirty or skunked, or is unable to bathe itself, bathing can help. It can also help with fleas. Whether bathing is a one-off or regular part of your cat’s care, the best shampoos for cats are typically soap-free so it cleans without stripping a cat’s skin of its natural protective oils.
Because many cats are naturally averse to water, the actual bath can be challenging. If you’re using a sink, bucket, or tub, place a towel at the bottom to make it soft. Use warm (but not scalding) water, and fill it up with just a few inches of water. Your cat will likely be anxious, so give it lots of love and reassurances. Using light pressure (and enlisting the help of another human) can also help. Afterwards, the cat will want to shake off the excess water. Using a clean, dry towel to get off more water at this step will help, too. But if your cat hates regular bathing too much and stills need help with grooming, there are dry options as well that may make an unpleasant activity easier.
But that’s the hard part. The easy part is finding the best shampoo below: