This week, billionaire domestic goddess and part-time DJ Martha Stewart announced she was launching a new line of CBD products. Which is all fine and good, but that’s not what we’re here to discuss. No, we are here to contemplate another truly fascinating tidbit that was hinted at in a Thursday New York Times interview: Over the past few years, Martha Stewart has penned multiple blogs about giving baths to her cats.
This is revealed in an offhand comment to the Times, where she explains that her quarantine routine involves updating the Martha Stewart Blog, with posts that “show you how to do something” — like, for example, “how to wash your cat, or how to take care of your canaries.”
Let’s set the canary example aside for now, as there are only so many hours in a day. What’s this about washing cats? Is that something cat owners should even be doing?
According to several vets quoted on Martha’s own blog over the years, the answer is no.
“Domestic felines do not need to be bathed,” Vanessa Spano, associate veterinarian at Behavior Vets of NYC said in a January 2020 post on MarthaStewart.com titled “How to Bathe Your Cat — Plus, How Often to Do It.” She adds that cats “may not like being exposed to water” (yes …), and that “an unnecessary bath can be very stressful and uncomfortable for those felines unaccustomed to water.”
This is not the first time a vet has told this to Martha, but she apparently remains unswayed. For a 2013 blog called, simply, “Bathing My Cats,” Martha interviewed another vet, Jean Quaintance, who said, “Cats typically do not need baths since their own bathing apparatuses are built in.”
Nonetheless, Martha proclaims that she remains a “firm believer” in cat bathing. Her own cats are brushed weekly, per the post, and subjected to baths once or twice a month. She also washes their faces every night with a “soft, damp, warm washcloth before they curl up on the bed.”
How does a busy business mogul find the time to wash her longhaired cats on such a regular and arguably unnecessary basis? Well, it seems her staff are often the ones to do it. Per her 2013 blog:
After returning from Canada on Thursday evening, I could tell it was time to bathe my pair of calico Persians. This is a job I enjoy and would have done it myself if I didn’t have to repack for another trip in the morning. My pets are in excellent hands with my house staff and Sanu and Maria were happy to do the job.
And in 2017, she wrote:
Yesterday was bath time for my pair of calico Persians and my French Bulldogs. I love to do this task myself when I am home, but since I was traveling, Carlos and Enma were happy to do the job.
Hopefully the cats get to enjoy some of Martha’s CBD products for pets after enduring their monthly baths.