Guest Post: Erica, of A Sign of Life, on How to Bathe a Cat


The first thing you notice about Erica is that she’s foxy.

Check out her blog, A Sign of Life. Foxes. Everywhere. The tagline: “seeking forward motion one sign of life at a time.” Amid the foxy theme is fiction and poetry. There’s also soul-baring posts from one who admits, “I think too much and write to little.”

She first happened upon the CD for the Honesty Day lies post, and stuck around.

I’ve told her the story of the fox who greeted me outside a hotel. On a trip to Boone, N.C., I went to the car to get something during the night, and there she stood on a high retaining wall. I could see only her silhouette.

She stared down at me for an eternity, then she pranced away along the fence.

Presumably, so I could marvel. So foxy.

Today, Erica is here to tell us how to bathe a cat. She does so with that wonderful dry sense of humor I’ve come to love. Yes, she thinks too much. And yes, she doesn’t write enough. But you’ll enjoy her thoughts and words just as much as I do.

Be sure to check out her space, too.

photo credit: Jess and Colin via photopin cc
photo credit: Jess and Colin via photopin cc

Part of the reason I got a cat was because of how low-maintenance cats usually are: you feed them once a day, water them when they need it, they poop in a box, don’t need lots of attention, and they clean themselves.

Also, I just like cats.

In return, they love you/ show you affection/ sometimes cuddle/ glare at you disdainfully from across the room, and – if you’re lucky – tolerate being held. It seems like a pretty straightforward win-win situation.

The problem arises when said cat requires a bath that the cat itself can’t do; in my case, it was because the dog came home with fleas and then both the cats began scratching themselves more than usual.

Armed with only a will of steel, I set about giving the cats a flea bath, and now I impart my knowledge to you, my dear reader.


photo credit: Daniel john buchanan via photopin cc
photo credit: Daniel john buchanan via photopin cc


  • One or more cat(s)
  • Bathroom with a door that closes
  • Bathtub
  • Cat soap
  • Towel
  • Leather gauntlets that are used for holding large birds of prey (optional, but useful)
  • Dirty laundry scattered on the bathroom floor (optional, makes clean-up easier)
photo credit: Chuckumentary via photopin cc
photo credit: Chuckumentary via photopin cc


  1. Fill bathtub halfway with warm water. If the cat has done this before, it will be suspicious and hide.
  2. Find cat, and drag feline unceremoniously out from her hiding spot (mine like to hide under the couch).
  3. Make sure the bathroom door is closed, and you and the cat are on the correct side of it.
  4. Drop cat into the water and step back quickly.
  5. Repeat step 4 until the cat and bathroom are drenched in water, and the bathtub is probably empty.
  6. Soap cat. (This may come with varying difficulty, depending on the cat. My kitten tried to cuddle up to me because he was scared, poor thing, and this made it easy to shampoo him. My adult cat was having none of this nonsense and hid behind the toilet.)
  7. Repeat steps one through four until most of the soap is off the cat.
  8. Attempt to towel-dry cat.
  9. Release cat from bathroom.
  10. As cat ignores you for the next two to 24 hours, this is an excellent time to clean your wounds (because oh no, you will not come away unscathed) and mop a few gallons of water off the bathroom floor.
photo credit: Grozz via photopin cc
photo credit: Grozz via photopin cc

Hooray, you now have a (probably) clean cat, a water-logged bathroom, and several new battle scars! You did it! Now you may rest, after you find the band-aids.

A huge round of applause to Coach Daddy for inviting me to write my very-first guest post!

cat bath quote


80 thoughts on “Guest Post: Erica, of A Sign of Life, on How to Bathe a Cat

  1. Yikes! You are a braver soul than me; I would have hidden while the other member of the household did all this for me!

    1. What must be done, must be done I’m afraid. And Husband finds very elaborate excuses to get out of cleaning anything, so I just roll my eyes and get it over with, haha.

  2. Your courage is amazing Erica! I would not dare try to bath our cat. He weighs about 20 pounds and looks just like a black panther — right down to his 1/2 inch claws. He doesn’t have an ounce of fat on him. He is solid muscle and I value my life way too much to take him on 😀

    1. He sounds gorgeous! And kind of deadly! I now appreciate that neither of my cats weighs over eight pounds, squirmy as they may be. 🙂 I wonder if there’s a dry shampoo that can be used on cats to make the process a little less deadly.

      1. I don’t know, I’ve never seen it! Haha. I’d imagine it’s something that wouldn’t eat away at their skin and leave them bald and red. 😛 Probably a powder that you could rub into their fur and call it good.

        I should look up if it’s a thing or not.

    1. It’s become one of the household chores around here… A begrudging, reluctantly added chore that often gets pushed waaaaayyyy down the list. 🙂

      1. Yes. Those are evil. I would rather wash my cats than do either of those.

        OH! And cleaning the fridge. Haaate cleaning out the fridge.

  3. I’ve heard that the old lift the lid and seat, place cat in bowl, slam lid down and flush repeatedly works well. At least that’s what is on the instructions the dog left.

  4. My grandfather always said that cats were smarter then dogs, but still you are definitely braver then me and admit I won’t be bathing any animals anytime soon, because my kids are quite enough and just paid for our puppy to get a bath, because that is just how I roll 😉

    1. Your grandfather was a wise man! I count myself lucky for only having pets to wash, haha. Don’t you just love the way pups smell after getting a “professional” bath? 🙂

    1. Ooh, you’re braver than I! I only bathe mine every couple of months, as needed. And for me, it’s the kitten who throws the bigger fit, haha. I’m sure you’re quite strong after giving such a big kitty so many baths. 🙂

  5. Haha! Much braver than I am… I won’t even try to tackle bathing our dog. Although I am going to give myself a few points for bathing the kids on a (semi) regular basis! 😉

  6. Very nicely demonstrated 🙂 Thankfully I have never had to give my cat a bath, but this is a very well written post about how to do it the right way 🙂 Stopping in from Hump Day Happenings!

  7. oh gracious…. we just got a 6 month old kitten, like, a week ago. And he’s soooo cute.
    but now I’m afraid. very afraid. the littlest Who has already spilled her yogurt drink and some Nutella on him, and I am pretty sure that is a squished jelly bean stuck to his fur……
    ….this may not end well at all.

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