How to bathe a cockatiel? Guide + Tips

Whether you have a cockatiel or any other bird, grooming requires keeping them hygienic and infection-free. Do your cockatiel demand bathing? Ultimately, every bird enjoys the water for drinking and bathing purpose. But it’s crucial to grab the attention of untrained birds for a bathe. So, how to bathe a cockatiel bird if they are dirty, smelly,  itchy, as well as untrained. 

Undoubtedly, dryness shows serious allergic reactions to the bird’s body. Skin disease of unclean cockatiel can transfer to other beloved birds. Although during plucking and preening of feathers, pollutants particles enter into birds’ lungs. Read this full article to remove parasites and excessive oil. 

Assuredly, you will know how to make the feathers waterproof with bathing and ways to make your cockatiel hygienic. Just spend your few moments to find your best answers. 

Guidance to bathe a cockatiel birds

Without applying some rules and tips, it is risky to leave a cockatiel under the shower. There are various possible ways to bathe. Even care about suitable weather and cockatiel age are vital aspects. So, before bathing, maintenance of physical appearance is a must. Then you should adjust your cockatiel favorite bath. Let’s discuss influential factors for bathing.

1- Prepare your cockatiel before bathing

Prepare your cockatiel if you bathe them for the first time. Feathers and nails of birds grow fastly, which is annoying for birds. They feel a hurdle to walk due to larger nails and longer wings. So, grooming includes trimming feathers and cutting nails.

Cut cockatiel nails

Perhaps, it depends upon your cockatiel age to cut their nails. Yet, some birds’ nails grow fastly than others. In this instance, there is a high need to cut. Eventually, ager birds have larger nails that are not hygienic and friendly for their health. It is noteworthy to cut nails due to:

  • Maintain body balance
  • Firmly grasp of perch
  • Picking up of food cake easily
  • Easy to walk
  • Maintain smoothness of cockatiel skin
  • Avoid scratch on humans’ skin

All points are deserving, but it is more sensitive to cut nails. If you are professional, then that’s good. Otherwise, go for a veterinarian to avoid cutting the quick blood vessel. Although it is very hurtful for a cockatiel to trim nails continuously, even after every week.

Trim cockatiel feathers

Undoubtedly, birds need wings to fly and flap. But overgrowth can be the reason for fatigue. Yet, a weak cockatiel with larger feathers invests most of its energy to flap. However, if a cockatiel has larger wings than its body weight, then it’s time to trim. You should trim cockatiel feathers to:

  • Avoid escape
  • Maintain body weight
  • To move easily 
  • Promote flying in a restricted area

Before trimming, make sure to hold older feathers. Factly, new feathers do not become the reason for irritation but are dangerous for trim. Although, older feathers have longer and are not harmful to cut. However, try to trim both sides of feathers to keep the balance in the body. 

Note: Don’t try it every bathing time. Firstly, examine your birds, and then treat them accordingly.

2- Adjust water sources

Water source is the main consideration to bathe a cockatiel. Hence, it is thought able that what type of bathe do you use for your cockatiel, and what are your cockatiel preferences. You can use different sources, but cockatiel desires are on priority. Before adjustment, makes sure about the weather. Let’s see, do you have the below materials for a bathe. 

Spray bottle

A spray bottle is good to attract birds but not enough for a bath. When you want your cockatiel to take a bath, you can lure them by sprinkling water on them. Sometimes, the spray is enough due to continuous sprinkling. This is helpful in all seasons. However,  you should fill up warm water in winters, and normal water in summer. 

Shallow dish or perch

Another source for bathing is a shallow dish. Ultimately, cockatiel loves with variety to bathe. Try to take care of cockatiel size and dish deepness before selecting a perch. More than 2 inches deep dish shows the danger sign for cockatiel. Furthermore, cockatiel wants a source to sit in the dish and flap wings for splashing water. But the depth of perch does not allow cockatiel to play freely. These kinds of water materials are more suggested in summer. 


Trained cockatiel does not feel fear to bath under shower. According to time, they show their interest in shower bathing. Scared birds do not interact fastly with the shower. Even they feel fear to drown. For your friendly and tamed birds, you can easily use this source. Otherwise, avoid using shower bathing for shy birds.

3- Attract cockatiel to bathe

After deciding on a good water source, you can tempt cockatiel to bathe easily. You should lure:

  • With gentle spray 
  • By avoiding soap and shampoo
  • With normal and warm water
  • By using colorful toys
  • With green leafs
  • To keep the spray away from the face
  • With splashing sounds

Ultimately, don’t force your cockatiel to bathe if they are not in the mood. Assuredly they take some time to examine the area and accessories before bathe. However, toys, leaves, and mist voices make them interested. Hence, cockatiel feels anger and loses their interest in bathing if you used to spray directly on cockatiel face.

4- Dry your cockatiel

Perhaps, after careful bathing, dry your cockatiel. A cockatiel has a habit of drying itself by shaking its body. Moreover, maximum water drops off from feathers. But it’s necessary to fully dry your cockatiel in winter. However, if cockatiel remains wet, dust particles will again spoil the beauty of birds.

Use soft fabric

You can use soft fabric to soak extra wet from the cockatiel body. Fabric is not harmful to cockatiel skin. Simply dab on feathers, and leave the cockatiel to dry properly.  

Small size towel

A small-sized towel is beneficial for winters. Factly, it performs well to soak maximum water. Although, birds will get heat to keep them warm with this item.  

Note: Avoid using dryers to dry your cockatiel after bath. 

How often to bathe a cockatiel?

It depends upon your cockatiel nature to decide the days to bathe. Also, environmental temperature is another aspect. Factly, twice a week in summer and once a week in winter is preferable for weak cockatiel. Undoubtedly, some cockatiel loves to bathe and wants water access daily. A maximum of 2-4 hours is enough for a mature and healthy cockatiel to take a bath. Although, 1-2 hours will be preferable for less than one year of the cockatiel bird for the shower.

How to get a cockatiel to bathe?

  • First and foremost, know about your cockatiel behavior. If your cockatiel becomes tamed, you can easily get them to bathe.
  • Most importantly, engage your birds by doing various activities. Such as spraying on your birds and sprinkling water in front of them. 
  • Variety in bathe material can grasp cockatiel concentration. However, various designs with perfect depth are accurate to engage them.
  • If you access your demands, then cockatiel will feel uneasy. Ultimately they will never be your friend. 

Do cockatiels like to bathe?

Amazingly, cockatiel likes to take baths. If they meet all needs of bathing, no one can stop them to take a shower. Yet, they love normal water, excessive time, beautiful perch, and a toy to spend time with for entertainment during bathing. Moreover, warm water in summer and cold water in winter stop them from taking a risk of the bath. 

Can I wash my cockatiel with soap?

Most often, it is not harmful to wash your cockatiel with soap. However, it counts which soap you use for sensitive cockatiels. Soaps that are made with dangerous chemicals are not friendly for cockatiel skins. Chemical-based soap impacts badly on cockatiel skin. Even rashes and allergic reactions become the reason for dryness. Besides, gentle, glycerine-based, and bird-made soap are not irritating for the cockatiel body. Even the eyes of birds remain infection-free with natural and mild soap.

When should I bathe my cockatiel?

It has no problem to bathe your cockatiel in winter or summer. Yet, time and days are notable for birds’ health. In cold temperatures, you should bathe your birds during the daytime. It will save your bird’s health due to sunlight. However, avoid giving a bath during the night. Cockatiels are sensitive and cold wind will attack directly on them. Moreover, summers night are more kind for bathing. But after showering, don’t ignore covering the cage properly. 

How do I dry my cockatiel after a bath?

Hence, it is always preferred to dry a cockatiel naturally after bathing. Sometimes, weather extremes impose the use of towels and toilet paper to dry. No doubt, these items are deserving according to need. But using unnatural things like dryers can be dangerous for feathers. Maybe cockatiel skin will damage badly due to dryer heat. Therefore, avoid using a heater for instant drying the body. Yet, take benefits from cotton fabric and soft towels.

Cockatiel bath spray

Factly, a sprinkle of simple water after filling up in a spray bottle is a common cockatiel bath spray. In the market, lots of bath sprays are available that prevent the molting and plucking of feathers. Yet, color and shine retain, due to the safe ingredients of bath spray.

Best bird bath for cockatiel

Acrylic cubic Bathtub

A cubic bathtub with transparent acrylic material is always a favorite of the cockatiel. With the help of clippers, you can hang a cubic bathtub with a cage as well as place it on the ground. The beneficial point is that it’s very easy to adjust and clean. However, cubic boxes give the maximum space for a cockatiel to splash water in a limited place. It has double benefits; useable as a feeder and as a water bath.

Cockatiel shampoo

Undoubtedly, shampoo has harsh chemicals that make it harmful than soap. Immediately, shampoos clean the feather and make the surface shiny. However, using your hair shampoo to bathe cockatiel is highly dangerous. Due to strong consistency and various chemicals, shampoos will wash out dust as well as cockatiel natural body oil. As a result, the skin retains extra dryness. 

What to do if cockatiel hate bathe?

It is genuine that sometimes cockatiel hates to bathe. This is due to your daily forceful behavior toward a cockatiel. Even though they become fade up with the same water source and toy. So, you should:

  • Introduce a cockatiel to bathe
  • Take less water
  • Use colorful perch
  • Provide them a water dish
  • Use mist bottle
  • Engage them with a sprinkle 


Summing up, it is obvious to know how to bathe a cockatiel to keep them active and smart. However, you are satisfied after the clarity of every point. Cockatiel grooming, water source, attraction, and dry off are the main concerns for bathing. Cockatiel wants to take bathe for getting rid of sickness, parasites, and toxicity.

Although, cubic birds bath, spray bottle, perches, and sink water are the best birds bathe sources. Yet, with engaging techniques, you can lure your birds if they don’t show their curiosity in showering. Importantly, soap and shampoo are not only harmful to cockatiel eyes but also for their feather textures. So, always make sure to use natural material to maintain cockatiel pollutant free.






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