Monday, April 9, 2012

How to Wash your Cat

Cats are known for their cleanliness, keeping themselves clean with coats regularly groomed and free from dirt. Cats are also known for their dislike for water, which pretty much isn’t a downside given how clean cats are with themselves, negating the necessary need for regular baths and such.

But as many cat owners have come to learn, there are times when giving a cat a bath is needed, either when cats come home with really dirty coats, a flea/tick infestation, or when harmful substances get into a cat’s coat.

For such situations, here are some tips to help you bathe your cats.

Identify the need – Before anything else, assess the need for a cat bath. If you can clean spots of dirt on a cat by brushing or rubbing the area with a damp cloth, then go for those options. If a bath is really needed, then…


Wear appropriate clothing – when giving your cat a bath, scratches will be involved and wearing appropriate clothing against scratches is a good move.

Have everything ready – before getting your cat wet, have everything ready and handy. Prepare a tub (you can use a basin big enough to fit your cat) with around 4 to 5 inch deep warm water. Ideally, fill this up before bringing your cat close to the tub since most cats don’t like the sound of running water.

Alternatively, prepare a separate tub of water for washing/rinsing. Doing this helps calm down cats who badly react to the sound of running water. Apart from having tub(s) ready, it’s also helpful to have towels nearby, along with shampoo and other soaps.

The Bathing Process

Though it sounds crude, once you’ve got everything ready, the next step would be to “dunk” your cat and being the bathing process.

If possible, avoid turning on faucets or running water sources while your cat is in the tub, as you’re lathering shampoo/soap on his/her body. Also, try as much as possible not to get your cat’s head wet, especially if your cat is really against water.

Do not “dunk” your cat’s head under water, soapy or otherwise. You can rinse over his/her head with small amounts of water, or use soft cloths or brushes in cleaning your cat’s face, but do your best not to dunk his/her head.

A cat will do its best to wriggle out of the tub, so it pays to have someone else around to help you while you’re bathing your cat (especially if your cat is strong).

Do well in rising your cat, since he/she will be grooming himself/herself once you’re done with the bath. After rinsing, squeeze out as much excess water as possible, and use the towel you’ve prepared in drying your feline.

You may have to use two or more towels in drying your cat, but once you’ve pretty much towel-dried your cat, let him/her head out to his/her own niche in the house. Ensure that your cat doesn’t get the chance to get out of the house, since this would simply render the bathing pointless.

Your cat will be heading down for warm areas, and areas in the house with ample sunlight would be one of the first places he/she would go to. Reward your kitty with a treat after bathing, so as to reinforce his/her trust on you.

Though the steps sound simple and doable enough, its simplicity is dependent on your cat, and regular baths help instill the concept of bathing in him/her, though the practice isn’t a way of curbing your cat’s fear of water.

Do well in doing these tips, and giving your cat a bath doesn’t have to be a huge hassle for you and your cat.


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