How to Get Rid of Smelly Fur on a Cat

Bathe your cat when it is calm and relaxed.
Bathe your cat when it is calm and relaxed. (Image: Hemera Technologies/ Images)

Felines groom themselves regularly and this is the reason why they don't necessarily require baths like other pets do. However, if your cat has a difficult time grooming itself because it is ill or overweight or if it has an unpleasant smell you want to get rid of, a bath may be what your pet requires. Bathing is an effective means to remove nasty smells from your cat's fur and keep it clean.

Things You'll Need

  • Brush
  • Cotton balls
  • Bath mat
  • Shampoo or waterless shampoo
  • Conditioner (optional)
  • Cup or bowl
  • Towel

Brush your pet's hair. Brushing removes dust, dirt and debris, which may make your cat's fur smell.

Insert cotton balls in your cat's ears. The cotton balls protect the ears and water won't get inside them.

Fill a sink with lukewarm water or if using a bathtub, make sure the water level is not higher than your cat. Use a bath mat, to make sure your cat won't skid while you bathe it. Place the cat in the sink or bathtub and hold it with one hand or have someone hold your cat for you while you apply the bathing products because it may what to run away from water.

Bathe your cat using shampoo for felines. If your cat hates water and opposes bathing, select a waterless bathing product, which you can find in pet supply stores. In this case, you don't need water, you can perform the cleaning on a couch or an area where your cat feels comfortable.

Rinse the cat by pouring cups or bowls of lukewarm water on your cat. Apply conditioner if you choose to use one, leave it on for five to 10 minutes and rinse again.

Towel dry your cat and praise it or reward it with treats.

Tips & Warnings

  • If your cat has sensitive skin, select a bathing shampoo containing catnip or chamomile. Catnip is also an insect repellant.
  • If your cat sheds excessive amounts of dander, opt for a shampoo that contains cleavers.
  • To make the bathing less stressful for the cat and easier for you, start bathing your cat when it is still a kitten, so it gets used to the routine.
  • Change the litter in the litter box daily because small, smelly litter particles may get trapped in your cat's fur, especially if your cat is long-haired.
  • If the smell persists even after the bath, take your pet to the veterinarian because it may have a skin infection or a medical condition causing the smell.

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