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How to bathe a cockatiel? Guide + Tips

Mackenzie Gary



Whether you have a cockatiel or any other bird, grooming is essential to keeping them hygienic and infection-free. Does your cockatiel demand a bath? Ultimately, every bird enjoys water for drinking and bathing. But getting the attention of untrained birds to bathe is very important. So, how to bathe a cockatiel bird if they are dirty, smelly, itchy and untrained.

Of course, dander causes a severe allergic reaction on the bird’s body. Cockatiel skin disease can be transmitted to other furry birds. However, during feather plucking and plucking, particulate matter enters the birds’ lungs. Read this full article to get rid of parasites and excess oil.

Sure, you’ll know how to waterproof feathers with a bath and ways to keep your cockatiel healthy. 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 this is your first time giving them a bath. Birds’ feathers and nails grow rapidly, which is disturbing for birds. They feel hindered by their large claws and long wings. Therefore, grooming includes trimming feathers and clipping nails.

Cut cockatiel nails

Perhaps, it depends on the age at which you cut your nails. Still, some birds’ nails grow faster than others. In this case, cutting is much needed. Ultimately, older birds have larger nails that are not healthy and friendly to their health. Nail clipping is notable for:

  • 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

Of course, birds need wings to fly and flutter. But overexertion can cause fatigue. However, a weak cockatiel with large wings puts most of its energy into flapping. However, if a cockatiel’s wings are larger than its body weight, it’s time to trim. You should trim the cockatiel’s wings:

  • Avoid escape
  • Maintain body weight
  • To move easily 
  • Promote flying in a restricted area
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Before trimming, be sure to grab the old feathers. In fact, new feathers do not cause irritation, but are dangerous to trim. However, older feathers are longer and less damaging to bite. However, try to trim both sides of the fins to keep the body balanced.

Note: Do not try this every time you shower. First, examine your birds, and then treat them accordingly.

2- Adjust water sources.

The source of water for bathing a cockatiel is a primary consideration. So, it can be thought of what kind of bath you use for your cockatiel, and what your cockatiel preferences are. You can use different mediums, but cockatiel wishes are preferred. Before adjustment, make sure about the weather. Let’s see, do you have the following ingredients for a bath?

Spray bottle

A spray bottle is good for attracting birds but not enough for a bath. When you want your cockatiel to take a bath, you can attract them by splashing them with water. Sometimes, continuous spraying is sufficient. It is useful in all seasons.

However, you should fill with hot water in winter and normal water in summer.

A shallow dish or perch

Another means of bathing is a shallow dish. Finally, love with variety for a cockatiel bath. Try to consider the size of the cockatiel and the depth of the dish before choosing a perch. A dish deeper than 2 inches indicates danger to the cockatiel.

Additionally, the cockatiel wants a means to sit in the pot and flap its wings to splash water. But the depth of the perch does not allow the cockatiel to play freely. This type of water content is highly recommended in summer.

The shower

A trained cockatiel does not fear being bathed under the shower. From time to time they show their interest in showering. Frightened birds do not interact quickly with the shower. They even feel the fear of drowning. For your friendly and pet birds, you can easily use this resource. Otherwise, avoid using shower baths 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 leaves
  • 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.

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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. Fact, 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?

Deciding on bathing days depends on your cockatiel nature. In addition, environmental temperature is another aspect. In fact, twice a week in the summer and once a week in the winter is best for a weak cockatiel.

Of course, some cockatiels love to bathe and want access to water daily. A maximum of 2-4 hours is enough to bathe an adult and healthy cockatiel. However, for a cockatiel bird under a year old, 1-2 hours would be best for a 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?

Surprisingly, the cockatiel likes to bathe. If they fulfill all the requirements of bathing, no one can stop them from bathing. Still, they like plain water, extra time, a nice perch, and a toy to pass the time for fun in the bath.

Moreover, hot water in summer and cold water in winter prevents them from taking the risk of bathing.

Can I wash my cockatiel with soap?

Often, washing your cockatiel with soap is not harmful. However, it does matter which soap you use for sensitive cockatiels. Soaps made with dangerous chemicals are not friendly to cockatiel fur.

Chemical-based soaps can be harmful to a cockatiel’s skin. Even itching and allergic reactions can cause dandruff. In addition, soft, glycerin-based, and bird-made soap cockatiels are not irritating to the body.

Even bird’s eyes are free from infection with natural and mild soaps.

When should I bathe my cockatiel?

There is nothing wrong with bathing your cockatiel in winter or summer. Still, time and day are significant for bird health. In colder temperatures, you should bathe your birds during the day.

This will protect your bird’s health from exposure to sunlight. However, avoid bathing at night. Cockatiels are sensitive and cold air attacks them directly. Moreover, summer nights are kinder to bathing. But after bathing, don’t neglect to properly cover the cage.

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How do I dry my cockatiel after showering?

Therefore, it is always preferred to dry the cockatiel naturally after bathing. Sometimes, extreme weather uses towels and toilet paper for drying. There is no doubt that these goods are well deserved. But using unnatural things like dryers can be dangerous for feathers.

The heat of the dryer may seriously damage the skin of the cockatiel. So avoid using heaters to dry the body quickly. Still, take advantage of cotton linens and soft towels.

cockatiel bath spray

In fact, a simple spray of water after filling in a spray bottle is a common cockatiel bath spray. In the market, there are many bath sprays available that prevent feather molting and shedding. Even so, color and shine are maintained thanks to the bath spray’s safe ingredients.

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

Of course, shampoo contains harsh chemicals that make it more harmful than soap. Instantly, shampoos clean the feathers and make the surface shiny. However, using your hair shampoo to bathe a cockatiel is extremely dangerous.

Because of the strong consistency and different chemicals, shampoos wash away dirt as well as cockatiel natural body oils. As a result, excess dryness persists in the skin.

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 


In summary, it is important to know how to bathe a cockatiel to keep them active and alert. However, after explaining each point you are satisfied. Cockatiel grooming, water source, attraction and drying are important concerns for bathing.

Cockatiels want to bathe to get rid of disease, parasites and toxicity.

However, cubical birdbaths, spray bottles, perches, and sink water are excellent sources of birdbaths. Still, with attractive techniques, you can entice your birds if they don’t show their curiosity in the bath.

Importantly, soaps and shampoos are not only harmful to the cockatiel’s eyes, but also to the structure of their feathers. So, always make sure to use natural ingredients so that the cockatiel remain pollution-free.