Cats do not require baths as much as other pets. While cats naturally groom themselves, outside cats may need baths more often than strictly indoor cats. Overweight cats or cats with health issues that prevent them from properly grooming themselves may also need regular baths.
Generally, the only time a healthy cat needs bathing is when its coat is dull, smells bad or looks oily. It is best to use shampoos that do not dry out the skin. Cats should also be thoroughly rinsed and towel-dried after a bath. Any soap residue that remains on the cat's skin after a bath can cause irritation.