Think of something you detest having to do. Maybe having the doctor give you a jab? Very unnerving and downright uncomfortable! And while it may not be as painful as that jab, most cats equally detest taking baths. So naturally they will put up a fight, and things can get really ugly. Cat owners, therefore, need to outsmart their felines. Learning how to bathe a cat properly will lead to an easier and injury-free bathing session.
We are pretty sure you do not want to ruin your kitty’s trust and affection towards you just because you had to give them a bath. Neither do you want your cat to get provoked and pounce on you—tearing you into ribbons in the process. Is there a safe way of going about this daunting task? Yes, there is!
You don’t have to reinvent the wheel in this task. There are cat owners who have skillfully mastered the art of bathing their cats. Note that we didn’t say professional groomers but ordinary cat owners. As a matter of fact, their kitties jump with glee at the prospect of a bath.
We are going to divulge a few tactics you can employ to coax even the most “water averse” kitty to enjoy bath time. In here you will find invaluable tips on the best way to give a cat a bath. Some of these best practices will help turn “nightmare time” into bonding time between you and your beloved cat.
How Often Should I Bathe My Cat?
Before exploring the best practices in bathing a cat, we can preempt the burning question on your mind: Just how often do I need to bathe my cat? We are glad you asked.
Excessive bathing in cats will strip their coats of their natural oils which could damage the skin. You, therefore, need not be overly zealous in grooming your cat. The rule of thumb is that indoor cats will be fine with one or two baths in a year.
What a relief! But not so fast, cat owners will tell you that they often exceed this frequency. Long haired felines need more baths than short haired ones. You may also find yourself offering more baths under the below circumstances:
- Stubborn Dirt. It is inevitable that Kitty will often pick up various forms of dirt in one of his curious ventures. This may be paint, greasy oil, or toxic substances that may harm more than just his coat.
- To Ward off Parasites. Some external parasites like fleas will require you to give kitty a bath. Your veterinarian may recommend a medicated shampoo for this.
- Show Cats. If you are the proud owner of a show cat, you will need your cat to always be at his best. Cats that participate in championships are expected to be near flawless and require frequent baths.
- Skin Conditions. Some skin problems like dandruff are easily alleviated by giving kitty a bath.
- Obese Cats. If Kitty is overweight, chances are he has a few grooming challenges. Most obese felines are not able to groom all their body parts. Like the base of his tail and his lower back. Such cats need more baths to ensure they maintain healthy and clean coats.
Find yourself in any of the above circumstances, and you may end up having to bathe your cat every month. Proper preparation is key to an easy and injury-free monthly ritual.
Preparing The Bathing Supplies
It is important to have all your items ready before you embark on this exercise. You do not have the luxury of pausing midway to pick a towel or a shampoo. Your cat will most likely not afford you this opportunity. He will be long gone by the time you return.
Here is a checklist of what you require:
- A washcloth
- Mats or towels to keep your cat from slipping
- Rubber gloves
- Two or more towels
- Hair dryer
- Cotton balls for kitty’s ears
- Cat-friendly shampoo
- Cat toy
- Soft brush
- Wide-toothed comb
- A pitcher or another container for rinsing
- Warm water for rinsing
Never use a human shampoo for kitty’s bath, no matter how mild. Only use veterinarian-approved cat shampoos. Human shampoos will damage your feline’s skin.
Getting a special fascinating toy purely for kitty’s bath time can also be a rewarding idea. A little distraction from the drenching experience will go a long way. Keep all of the aforementioned things within arm’s reach in the bathroom, pick up your cat with confidence so you won’t alert him to any danger, and then it’s bath time!
Steps To Consider When Bathing Your Cat
The actual process of bathing a cat is not complicated. With proper preparation and a dash of courage, anyone can hack it. The process of bathing your cat can be summarized in the following steps:
Step 1: Select The Perfect Time
You should wash your cat when he/she is mellow. You can tire your cat out first by subjecting him/her to some vigorous play session. This step is important for ensuring control. It’s tiring trying to wash an energetic cat.
Step 2: Do Some Basic Grooming
You should also trim your cat’s nails and brush their coat first before bathing them.
Step 3: Use A Rubber Mat
Remember to use a rubber mat to stop your cat from slipping.
Step 4: Begin Bathing Your Cat
Start by wetting your cat’s coat using a hand sprayer. Don’t spray your cat’s nose, eyes, or ears directly. Massage the cat shampoo and lukewarm water solution (1:5 ratio) from the tail to the hear, avoiding the ears, eyes, and face.
Step 5: Rinse
Rinse your cat using lukewarm water until all soap residue is removed. Use a cloth to clean your cat’s face, ears, and around the eyes. You can soak the cloth in diluted shampoo.
Step 6: Dry And Comb
Wrap your cat in a towel in a warm place. You can use a blow dryer to dry all the water. However, use the lowest setting. Finish by brushing your cat using a wide-tooth comb to untangle her fur.
Step 7: Reward Your Cat
You’ll need to give your cat a reward for completing the bathing session. A treat is critical for making a not-so-pleasant process bearable.
Thankfully, cats do a good job of cleaning themselves up. But once in a while, you will need to step in and offer a bath. Learning the best way to give a cat a bath is inevitable to all cat owners. Although cats should not be bathed excessively, there are many instances where baths are needed. Like when your cat picks up toxic substances that pose a danger to his skin.
Apart from getting your cat all clean and fresh, bathing a cat rids him of external parasites and relieves some skin conditions. Cats that are used to baths are also less resistant when being handled by a veterinarian. They take it in stride.
Proper preparation is key if you are to succeed in bathing your kitty. We have discussed ways in which you need to prepare both yourself and your cat. Getting all the necessary items ready before the bath is another critical step that can make or break the experience. When done meticulously, your feline will easily adapt to this new adventure.
We have also explored several tips you can employ to lure your cat into taking a bath. Such include distracting him with an intriguing toy and giving him his favorite meal after a successful bath. Also, aim to give your cat a bath when they are tired. They are most likely to be more yielding then since their energy is already spent.