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3 Easy Steps To Bathe A Cockatiel (Guide)

All parrot species, including cockatiels, wash themselves naturally in the wild. Some people love bathing in puddles, while others prefer to take a shower while it rains.

Cockatiels and other parrots have an instinctual need to take a bath. It helps remove debris from their feathers and facilitates preening.

Bathing also helps birds maintain their feathers so they can evade predators and soar with ease. Also, bathing reduces the feather dust1 that naturally accumulates on bird feathers and ultimately creates a mess of their cage and other surroundings.

If you own a cockatiel and are curious about how to bathe your pet parrot, you've come to the correct spot. We will walk you through the easy steps required to properly bathe your cockatiel in "3 Easy Steps To Bathe A Cockatiel (%year% Guide)" by BestForPets (bestforpets.org).

Preparation Before Bath Time

It is essential to understand that not all cockatiels bathe in the same manner. Some cockatiels enjoy soaking in water directly, while others prefer misting or showering. Thus, we will discuss the three primary methods for bathing cockatiels so that you may master each technique.

Before washing a cockatiel, the bird’s wings should be properly clipped. This will keep them from fleeing if water frightens them. Close all of your home’s windows to prevent your cockatiel from escaping if it decides to avoid taking a bath.

Different Ways to Bathe a Cockatiel

There are three distinct methods for bathing cockatiels. Providing a cockatiel with a water dish so it may clean itself is one method for washing the bird.

Instead, you can sprinkle your bird with a spray bottle of water. The third method for bathing a cockatiel is to bring the bird into the shower with you when you take your morning shower.

How to Know What Bathing Method to Use

Pay close attention to your cockatiel’s behavior and routines in order to choose the best technique of washing. For instance, if your cockatiel attempts to take a shower with you, they will likely like to do it in this manner every time.

If your bird follows you about as you spritz your houseplants with water, they would likely prefer to be misted rather than placed in the shower. However, your cockatiel may just prefer to splash about in a water dish. Attempt to determine which way your bird prefers.

Now, let’s examine the stages involved in each of the three cockatiel bathing methods in further detail. Hence, you will be able to do each procedure correctly.

How to Bathe a Cockatiel (3 Simple Steps)

1. Bathing a Cockatiel Using a Dish of Water or Indoor Birdbath

If you observe your bird attempting to bathe in its water dish, they likely prefer an indoor water dish or birdbath. If this is the case, bathing is a straightforward operation.

You may either bring a bowl of simple tap water into your bird’s cage and allow them to bathe in it, or you can purchase a birdbath that connects to the outside of your cage’s open door.

If you wish to avoid cleaning a damp and untidy cage, mounting a birdbath on the cage is the ideal alternative. This sort of birdbath is completely enclosed, preventing water from escaping into your bird’s cage.

If you use a water dish or birdbath, do not leave any remaining water in the cage after your bird has consumed it. Instead, remove the dish or birdbath, empty the water, and clean the dish/bath so that they are prepared for the next use.

2. Bathing a Cockatiel With a Spray Bottle

Another simple method of bathing a cockatiel is to sprinkle it with water.

First, remove your bird from its cage and transport it to the bathroom or another area of your home where water spills are acceptable. Once you have relocated your bird to its proper location, spray its entire body with simple, lukewarm tap water.

Be patient while spraying your bird. Continue showering your bird with a fine mist until it stops flapping its wings and preening itself. When they are finished bathing, they will frequently leave the local area. This indicates that spraying can be discontinued.

3. Bathing a Cockatiel in the Shower

If you’ve seen that your pet cockatiel follows you into the shower, it’s likely because it wants to clean itself with the water. Purchasing a specific shower bird perch will allow you to bring your cockatiel into the shower. This device will immediately transform your shower into a safe, bird-approved rain shower, similar to what your cockatiel would experience in the wild.

Placing the shower seat on a shower wall that is not too near to the water flow is recommended. Your bird will still get wet due to the mist and water splashing off the walls of the shower.

If your bird has never been on a perch before, it may take some time for them to adjust. Be patient and invite your bird to enter your home prior to beginning your shower.

You may bring your bird to the shower perch by offering it its favorite food or by coaxing it with beautiful words. Try not to make loud noises or sudden movements when taking a shower. Also, keep your bird away from soaps, body washes, and shampoos, since they may contain bird-unfriendly substances.

How Often to Bathe Your Cockatiel

Like to other pet birds, Cockatiels require a daily wash. Nonetheless, many cockatiels may resist bathing if they believe they are not dirty, but others will constantly want to bathe.

Let your bird to determine the frequency of its baths. If they want to bathe daily or many times each week, you should satisfy their request. If they just choose to shower once each week, that’s perfectly ok! Your bird will instinctively know when it is time for a wash, so allow them to make the call.

How to Dry Your Cockatiel After a Bath

Put your cockatiel back in its cage to sit on a perch and dry after giving it a bath. They will probably spend a few minutes preening and fluffing their feathers. Simply ensure the cage is located in a warm, draft-free environment.

It is good to position the cage near a sunny window so that the cockatiel may dry in the sun. Your cockatiel will dry quickly after a wash, especially if it is sitting in the sun. Remember to return the cage to its original location out of direct sunshine so the animals do not become overheated.


As stated previously “3 Easy Steps To Bathe A Cockatiel” by BestForPets (bestforpets.org), Cockatiels often like bathing, therefore it’s probable that your pet bird will enjoy multiple weekly washes. Get to know your bird well to determine which way of washing they prefer.

After you and your bird develop the habit, bathing will become second nature. Remember that bath time should be pleasant, so make it as stress-free and entertaining as possible.

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Dr. Deborah Fletcher

Deborah R. Fletcher, DVM, is a skilled veterinarian with more than 15 years of experience dealing with companion and exotic animals. She has experience caring for a variety of animals, including household cats and dogs, reptiles, birds of prey, and even primates. Dr. Fletcher is a valuable part of the BestForPets team, where she contributes to their aim of providing pets and their owners with the finest possible treatment and services.

Veterinarian (DVM) Dr. Deborah Fletcher


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