…. and you can bathe her, although it’s not necessarily straightforward.

How NOT to wash a Bengal cat…

As you may have read in the article ‘The Best Cat Shampoos 2021‘, there came a point when it was felt Hazel needed a bath.

She’d acquired a smell that needed dealing with, apparently.

I’d never bathed a cat before, because typically they don’t need them. Nor am I into that sort of thing. Unnecessary work I mean.

We didn’t plan much in terms of getting her used to being in a bath tub or one with water in.

The general thinking was “Bengals are supposed to like water, so she’ll be fine.”


We didn’t do any research on this.

It was simply a case of visiting a local store, choosing something suitable for cats taking into account price and scent.

There wasn’t a great deal to pick from, but we settled on a bottle of Animology Feline Great (peach scented) Shampoo.

She’s browny orange, so peach seemed an appropriate choice.

There can be much to consider with regards to which shampoo to use if bathing cats with skin conditions for example. See that article again for more on this.

Bengal Bath Time

I wasn’t really going to play much of a role in this.

My girlfriend thought she’d be ok on her own with Hazel so I left them to it.

However, events played out differently in the bath than in the head.

Hazel really didn’t like being there or getting wet, and despite being a kitten, she was still fairly strong and difficult to securely hold.

It needed the two of us.

One of us held her whilst the other rapidly applied water, shampoo and water again, ignoring her calls to be released as she frantically tried to claw her way up the side and out of the bath.

Imagine this, but with a Bengal and more thrashing about…
Photo by joão gouveia

With the washing side complete, we managed to subdue her in a towel and held/dried her a little before allowing her back into the wild- or spare room as it’s more commonly known.

It was all over in a matter of a few minutes, but was far more harrowing than it should have been.

I probably should have taken some photos, but a) it didn’t cross my mind, and b) my hands were largely occupied with either an unhappy Bengal or an emotionally neutral bath towel.

The After-bath

Having read up on bathing cats in more detail post-bathing Hazel, we’d probably approach this next time (if there is a next time) using some of the tips listed somewhere here.

As for Hazel, she smelt a bit peachy after and was wary of going near the bath for a couple of weeks, but it’s just part of her ‘territory’ again now.

Featured image by Charles Deluvio

Further Reading:

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