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Should you bathe a Maine Coon?

Maine Coons are feline royalty. That is a given. These cats have long majestic coats which may leave many new and seasoned cat owners wondering if their fluffy buddies need a proper bath. To answer that question, in some situations, it it necessary to bathe your Maine Coon. This article will explore the benefits and downsides of bathing a Maine Coon and address common questions surrounding this topic.

maine coon cat getting ready to be cleaned

Will a Maine Coon Groom Itself?

Yes, Maine Coons are meticulous groomers and are pretty good at keeping themselves tidy. They spend a significant amount of time grooming to maintain their beautiful fur. However, as with any long-haired cat breed, they may need additional help with grooming and untangling fur that their tongue alone cannot reach or do. Regular brushing, bathing and occasional visits to a professional groomer can ensure their fur is flawless, keeping them comfortable and looking their best.

Benefits Of Bathing A Maine Coon

While Maine Coons are great at cleaning themselves, there are situations where a bath can be beneficial or is required. Here are a few of the potential reasons/situations for getting your kitty in the tub.

  1. Removing dirt and debris: If you take your Maine Coon on a walk, they might come back with some dirt in their fur. Bathing helps remove this dirt before it causes damage to the coat or becomes ingested during grooming. You don’t want to make your kitty lick off an excessive amount of dirt, do you?
  2. Reducing shedding: A regular bath can reduce loose fur, which decreases shedding and the formation of hairballs. 
  3. Decreasing allergens: If allergy sensitivity is a concern, bathing can help reduce allergens present in the cat’s fur. If your cat is suffering from something that is deep within their coat or all over them, getting it off with a bath is a good idea.
  4. Freshening up the coat: Hygiene issues may arise when your cat’s self-grooming cannot keep up with a dirty coat. Regular baths can keep their fur shiny and healthy.

Downsides of Bathing a Maine Coon

While there are benefits to bathing a Maine Coon, there are also some downsides:

  1. Stress: Cats are usually averse to water, and bathing can cause stress for both you and your Maine Coon. Some cats may never grow comfortable with being washed. Maine coons are a special breed that usually likes water, but that doesn’t mean all Maine Coons are a fan. If your Maine Coon doesn’t like water, baths might not be their favorite activity.
  2. Risk of injury: A frightened cat may freak out during the bathing process, potentially hurting you or themself.

How Often Should You Wash Your Maine Coon?

There isn’t a one-size-fits-all frequency for bathing cats as it depends on your cat’s lifestyle and specific needs. It’s important to assess your cat’s condition and adjust the grooming routine accordingly. If your Maine Coon gets mats a lot, you might want to bathe them more often. For cats who spend their days indoors, a bath every couple of months should suffice. Outdoor cats may need to be washed more frequently due to dirt and debris that sticks to fur. As always, it’s best to have a conversation with your vet if you’re unsure about how often you should bathe your Maine Coon.

How to Bathe a Maine Coon

To bathe a Maine Coon properly, follow these steps:

1. Prepare a warm environment and fill the tub with warmish water.

2. Slowly put your Maine Coon in the water, maintaining a comforting voice and gentle touch.

3. Use a shampoo made for cats and its better if it is specifically for Maine Coons. Watch how they are doing and don’t rub it into their face to keep their eyes and mouth from getting irritated. 

4. Rinse the shampoo thoroughly, ensuring that there is none on them. 

5. Gently dry your cat with a towel, and brush their fur to get rid of any hair that became loose from the bath and to keep it straight while it dries.

Ways to make it easier to bathe a Maine Coon

This can certainly be a daunting task, but there are ways to make it easier on you and your kitty. One effective method is to acclimate your cat to water gradually. Start by letting them get used to the tub without water and reward this action with treats or affection. Once they are okay with this, you can start to add small amounts of water to the tub over time until one day they know what to do when they see a full tub of water. 

Another helpful approach is using items that your Maine Coon associates with positive experiences. This could be a favorite toy, a comfortable towel, or a tasty treat. Having these items present during bath time can help ease stress and create a more positive association with the experience.

Another tool to use is a bathing harness. Here is a great video that shows how this can be useful.

Lastly, remember to always maintain a calm demeanor yourself. Cats are very perceptive and can pick up on your emotions. If you’re stressed, your Maine Coon will likely feel the same. So, take deep breaths, speak in a soft voice, and be kind and patient. Over time, your Maine Coon may even begin to enjoy or at least tolerate their baths.

What Shampoo To Use With Maine Coons?

When it comes to selecting a shampoo for bathing your Maine Coon, ensure that it is a mild, cat-safe product. Use a shampoo specifically designed for cats as they have different pH levels than humans. These shampoos take into account the unique requirements of a cat’s skin and fur.

Shampoos with natural ingredients are often a good choice, as they tend to be gentler on the skin. Avoid shampoos containing harsh chemicals, fragrances, or artificial colors as these can irritate your cat’s skin and eyes. Ask your vet for specific recommendations based on your Maine Coon’s needs. Here is an entire article we wrote about good shampoos for Maine Coon cats.

How Can You Clean a Maine Coon Without Giving Them a Bath?

For owners who prefer not to bathe their Maine Coon, alternatives include:

  • Regular brushing to keep their fur untangled and remove dead hair.
  • Spot cleaning with a damp cloth or disposable wipes designed for cats.
  • Professional grooming services for more thorough cleaning.


Consistently keeping your Maine Coon clean is a crucial part of their grooming routine. Although some cats may not enjoy baths, there are alternative ways to ensure their hygiene and well-being. Pay attention to your cat’s behavior and change the bathing routine to make it better for your kitty. Once you figure out the perfect bathing routine, you can enjoy the companionship of a healthy and spotless Maine Coon for years to come.

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