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How to Clean a Cat without Water: The Ultimate Guide to a Waterless Bath

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Every cat owner wishes to keep their cats as clean as possible all the time. However, given the fact that cats don’t like to get wet, this usually remains just a wish to most cat owners. Luckily for you, we are going to show you how to clean a cat without water.

Even though it is still possible to clean your cat through a regular bath, you don’t want to go through such a trying experience. Besides putting your cat under a lot of stress, you will also risk getting scratched. So why go through a lot of trouble when you can clean your cat without using any water? Here are ways you can do it.

How to Wash a Cat Without Cat Shampoo: Using Cat Wipes

Using a cat wipe clean your cat

Keeping cats has clean has never been this easy, thanks to cat wipes. Besides maintaining your cat’s hygiene, using cat wipes also helps in removing dander and reducing allergens. If you have ever used baby wipes before, then cat wipes shouldn’t be a surprise to you, since they are similar. You can use them daily without any negative effects since they are made to be pet friendly.

You can buy the wipes from pet stores or online. However, you should ensure that whatever cat wipes the brand you are using is vet-approved. The best time to clean your cat is when they are relaxed. This is usually after meals or playtime. Cleaning your cat while they are relaxed gives you an easy time. Here is how you can go about it.

Start by Petting Your Cat

You can make your cat comfortable by petting her before you introduce the wipes. While petting your cat, ensure that you have the wipes ready. Once your cat is relaxed, transition to petting her using the wipes.

Massage Your Cat

Use the wipes to massage your cat. This should make the whole experience more enjoyable for your cat. Massaging also helps to distribute your cat’s natural skin oils throughout her entire coat.

Clean the Face and Ears

It is very easy to ignore your cat’s face and ears when cleaning her. Keep in mind that dirt and fleas tend to accumulate in areas around the ears. You shouldn’t also forget areas under the limbs. While cleaning, make sure you pet your cat or reward her with a treat to create a positive association.

What Are the Benefits of Cat Cleaning Wipes?

Cute cat playing with roll of toilet paper in bathroom
  • Reduces Dander and Shedding: Cat wipes reduce dander and shedding by removing flakey skin and excess hair. They also moisturize the coat hence further reducing shedding.
  • Conditions and Softens the Skin: Besides cleaning away dirt from your cat, using wipes will also soften and conditions the skin. Cat wipes are made with natural ingredients like oatmeal and aloe vera.
  • Alleviates Dry and Itchy Skin: Is your cat suffering from dry skin? Does she scratch herself as a result of itching? Using cat wipes can help to soothe the skin thereby reducing itching. Cat wipes also reduce skin drying by keeping it moisturized.
  • Convenient: With cat wipes, you can clean your cat anywhere, anytime. This makes it perfect if you are traveling with your cat. Jut pack them in your traveling bag and you are good to go with your cat anywhere.
  • Removes Dirt and Eliminates Bacteria: You don’t have to worry about your cat getting dirty. Let her play outside with and chase birds for as long as he feels like. Their antibacterial effects eliminate 99.9% of bacteria on your cat. Even better, cat wipes will also leave your cat smelling fresh.

How to Wash a Cat Without Water: Using a Waterless Shampoo

Cat and dog bath in wooden tub

If you want a more thorough cleaning without getting your cat wet, then a waterless shampoo is your best option. Waterless shampoos, also known as dry shampoos, remove dirt and excess sebum from the skin. They also have a deodorizing effect that leaves your cat smelling fresh. There are different types of waterless shampoos:

  • Sprays: They aren’t as popular with pets as they are in the world of human cosmetics. This is because they tend to frighten cats.
  • Foams: They are used by gently massaging them in your cat’s coat. After you are done, you can use a towel to dry your cat.
  • Powder shampoos: You can use them by distributing them directly onto your cat’s coat. The only disadvantage they have is that they tend to whiten the fur. You need to use alongside a brush to eliminate dirt and excess powder.

Here is How to Clean Your Cat Using a Waterless Cat Shampoo:

Choose the Right Waterless Shampoo

There are several brands of waterless shampoos. You have to make sure that you only use dry shampoos that are meant for cats. Never use dry dog shampoos on your cat. The shampoo needs to be safe and made with all-natural ingredients. You can ask your vet to recommend you the best waterless cat shampoo.

Apply the Shampoo

Read the label to see how much shampoo you should use. Apply the product on your cat and massage it so that it can penetrate the coat and get into contact with the skin. Massaging also helps to distribute the shampoo evenly on the coat and skin.

Brush Your Cat

After you have evenly distributed the shampoo on your cat’s body, use a brush to remove any excess shampoo. You can then use a towel to dry your cat.

Benefits of Waterless Cat Shampoo

Little kittens bathing in the sink

Dry Bath: You are not alone if the thought of bathing your cat in a tub sends chills down your spine. What with the scratching and resistance that your cat will subject you to? With a waterless shampoo, bathing your cat can still go on without water.

Time-Saving: A waterless shampoo lets you clean your cat in less than two minutes. This is perfect for busy cat owners who don’t have all day to fight with their cat in the name of bathing them.

Great for Travelling: You can travel with your cat without having to worry about accidents such as vomits or diarrhoeas. You can clean your cat wherever you are.

Alleviates Several Skin Conditions: Dry cat shampoos will leave your cat’s skin moisturized and the coat looking beautiful and shiny. This helps to alleviate skin conditions such as itching and dry skin.

How to Clean Cat Without Bath: Grooming Your Cat Regularly

Tabby cat lying in her owner's lap and enjoying while being brushed and combed

Another way you can keep your cat looking her best without using any water is through regular grooming. Here is how you can go about the whole routine of grooming your feline.

Buy the Right Grooming Tools

You need the right grooming tools at your disposal to keep your cat looking her best. One of the grooming tools that is a must-have is a brush. The best kind of brush for grooming cats is a pin brush, whether you have a long-haired or a short-haired feline. To remove mats and knots from the coat, you will need a de-matting tool. For cats that hate being brushed, you can use a grooming glove instead.

Brush Your Cat Regularly

Brushing your cat, if done properly, can achieve the same benefits as that of using waterless shampoo. These benefits include removing dander and redistributing skin oil evenly. Brushing also helps to stimulate the skin. However, you should brush the skin gently to avoid causing any injuries. You shouldn’t also over-brush your cat as this may lead to hair loss. Make sure you don’t forget to brush the areas under the legs and behind the ears as well.

Eliminate Mats

You should also keep your cat mats-free. Clippers or de-matting tools are the best for this task. Avoid using scissors as you may end up inflicting injuries to your cat accidentally. You should also be gentle enough while dealing with the mats and tangles.

Keep the Ears Clean

For cats, having clean ears contributes a lot to their overall hygiene. You can seek recommendations for the best ear cleaning liquids from your vet. Apply the cleaning liquid to the pinna using a cotton ball. Avoid using water to clean the ears since it can build in the cat’s ear canals which may lead to infections.

Benefits of Regular Grooming to Your Cat

Woman using a comb brush the Persian cat

Since cats spend almost half of their day grooming themselves, then you stepping in with grooming them will be very beneficial to them. Here are the reasons why you should continue being your cat’s stylist.

Keeping Hard to Reach Areas Groomed: Even though your cat is capable of doing the grooming by herself, there are certain areas of her body she is unable to reach. She will need you to brush her belly, back, shoulders, and areas around the genitals.

Creating Some Bonding Time: Giving your feline a good brushing helps you to bond since you become part of their favourite ritual. Don’t be surprised if your cat starts expecting you to brush her every time you come home.

Time for Examining Your Cat: Brushing allows you to closely examine your cat’s body. If there are any injuries, scratches, or any skin conditions, you will notice it. If you brush an area with rashes, your cat will let you know by pulling away.


Now that you know how to clean a cat without water, grooming and cleaning your cat should now be stress-free. You can either choose to use cat wipes, waterless cat shampoos, or just go with brushing your feline, whichever method you feel will suit your cat.

However, there are situations where you may have to give your cat a full bath. For example, in the event that your cat gets into a mess that it stains her coat, a regular bath will be the only option to get her clean.

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