How to Wash a Cat With Dawn Dishwashing Detergent

According to, Dawn dish detergent is gentle, safe and effective for keeping your cat's fur clean and free of fleas. It is not as harsh as shampoos, which can irritate your cat's sensitive skin. When giving your cat a bath, you will need to take the right precautions to prevent injury to yourself and the cat. It can be challenging, but with patience and preparation, you can have your cat clean in no time.


Step 1

Prepare the bathroom for the cat bath. Line the floor with towels, and place towels on everything within close range of the bathtub.

Step 2

Fill the bathtub with 3 to 4 inches of warm water. You only want the water to reach the cat's stomach.

Step 3

Fill a plastic cup halfway with Dawn dishwashing detergent and warm water from the sink.

Step 4

Pick your cat up, and pet him to soothe his nerves. Keep a firm grip on the cat, and lower him carefully and quickly into the water. You may need to grab the cat by the scruff of the neck.

Step 5

Keep a firm grip on your cat. Have someone assist you when cleaning the cat to prevent injury to yourself and the pet.

Step 6

Place cotton balls into your cat's ears. Cats are susceptible to ear infections if water enters their ears. If you cannot get the cotton balls in your cat's ears, avoid getting the cat's ears wet.

Step 7

Scoop up water from the bathtub with another plastic cup, and gently pour it over the cat to soak its fur.

Step 8

Pour the diluted Dawn dishwashing detergent over the cat. Massage this into the cat's fur, and avoid getting it near the cat's face, eyes and ears.

Step 9

Run fresh, warm water over a washcloth, and run the washcloth over the cat's face and nose area.

Step 10

Rinse the soap from the cat's fur with clean water from a nearby sink or from the bathtub facet. Make sure that you rinse all of the soap from the cat's fur.

Step 11

Pour more diluted dishwashing detergent over the cat's fur if dirt or debris still exists. Make sure that you work the dishwashing detergent into the fur well. Rinse well.

Step 12

Lift the cat from the bathtub with a soft towel. Keep the cat wrapped in the towel, and blot the excess water off. Place the cat in a quiet and warm room until it dries off completely.