How to Wash a Cat Without Water

How to Wash a Cat Without Water

Cats are experts in grooming and keep their fur clean by licking themselves or other cats, but they still need to be bathed every once in a while. Unlike dogs, many cats dislike water and the sight of an impeding cat bath, even with nice warm water, may make them run away fast. There are a few cats that actually like to be bathed though. If you want her squeaky clean but you do not want to force her to take a water bath, one option is to clean your cat without water.

Here are the best ways to wash a cat without water:

Using cleaning wipes or baby wipes

Yes, there are cat cleaning wipes specifically made for cleaning your cat and to avoid a cat bath. They can also eliminate allergens and distribute essential oils throughout her fur. Baby wipes can be a good alternative if cat wipes are not available. Wipes are available in pet stores including online stores. Make sure to buy from trusted brands that use natural ingredients to ensure your cat’s safety and health. Follow these tips on how to clean her using wipes:

1. Observe the best timing to engage her

Wait for the time when she is relaxed or tired. Engaging her during these times, usually after a vigorous playtime session or eating, will make the procedure easier for both you and your cat. If she is agitated on your first try, then try again the next time she is feeling calm. Remember that she may get scared and even scratch you if you force her so take your time and wait for that perfect moment.

2. Make her comfortable by petting her and do not make it obvious

Cats are experts on reading body language and know when something is up. To avoid startling her, pet her gently like the usual and rub the wipes on her coat keeping the same rhythm. This way, she may associate both actions as the same. Repeat this until she is accustomed. Remember to clean the areas that are prone to getting dirty while still focusing on massaging the spots your cat likes to be pet on.

3. Important body parts to clean

After petting her and when she is getting into it, it is time to clean the important body parts including ears and face. Use only fresh wipes for every part that you are about to clean and try to remove any dirt or debris. Be gentle when cleaning the cat’s face and ers to avoid startling her, as the these parts may be sensitive.

After the ears and face, wipe her front and back paws. Cleaning them every few days will remove any dirt or residue that may pick up on a daily basis.

4. When to not use cat wipes

As cats are born natural groomers by licking themselves with their saliva, it is not recommended to wash the cat’s fur too often. Using it on a daily basis may dry out her skin and lead to skin complications.

Using waterless cat shampoo

Preferably only use cat shampoo that is specially designed for cats, although some people recommend using baby shampoo . On the other hand, a person should not use a cat shampoo which may be irritating on a human’s scalp.

Cat shampoo can be bought in pet stores or online. It should be non-toxic and all-natural to ensure no harm will come for your cat. Always read the instruction that comes with the product to know how much and how to use.   

Waterless shampoos can be applied in 2 different methods – Spray and Foam.


This method comes in a spray applicator that uses a misting nozzle to apply the waterless shampoo. The spray can be applied on the cat’s fur without touching your cat, it is basically as easy as spraying perfume on yourself. Be careful when spraying it directly on your cat, she may get provoked and bolt out if she feels the water coming out from the spray.


A waterless foaming shampoo should be directly applied on your cat’s coat. Just like with the other methods, wait for the time when she is calm, pet her while applying the foam, lather and distribute it evenly throughout her body. Remove the excess foam using your hands or her favorite pin brush.

Perform regular grooming on a daily basis

Do the grooming yourself every time she comes home looking particularly dirty, sometimes it is better to act proactively before your cat swallows dirt which can lead to infection.

1. Grooming tools

Find a pin brush that she likes to use on the cat’s fur, so that you can spend time and make her feel comfortable when using her favorite brush. You can also use a dematter, thinning shears, and cat grooming gloves if she hates brushes. Remember that by regularly grooming your cat you can stop her swallowing hairballs or dirt and even prevent the appearance of parasites.

2. Brush her frequently

Brushing your cat not only removes dirt, grease and dead hair from her coat, but it helps to remove skin flakes and stimulates blood circulation, improving the overall condition of her skin. Her sensitive areas are chest and belly so a gentle brush is required for those parts.

3. Fixed tangled hair

Never bathe your cat before removing mats because it may make the problem worse. Do not use scissors, use the long prongs of dematter to lure out the knots and clippers to cut off the stubborn mats.

4. Clean delicate areas like ears, eyes, and mouth

For ears, use an ear cleaning product for cats. If there are big issues with her ears, like wax build-up, your vet can solve this.

Use gauze or damp cloth for cleaning the eyes to remove rheum, do not be tempted to use wipes on this particular area since it can irritate the eyes.

Get a specific toothpaste and toothbrush for cats to deal with the inevitable plaque buildup. Also giving her dry foods or treats can help to keep their teeth healthy.


Cats are vain and have a well-deserved reputation of being clean pets. Once she gets used to being bathed, she will hopefully learn to appreciate being all fresh and clean after a bath. Make it a positive routine and maybe one day your cat will not only tolerate but even like the process.