How To Give A Cat A Bath?

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We all know this:

Cats are not big fans of getting wet. Some will even lift their noses at the very thought of walking over damp floors.

Now, giving them a bath? That would result in an angry feline and you getting lots of scratches.

Cats can groom themselves continuously throughout the day so they do not need to be bathed every week. However, there are times when they could really use a soak in the water and a few bubbles.

Why Might You Need To Bathe Your Cat?

Here are a few scenarios as to why you might find yourself bathing your cat:

1. Ringworm

Actually, this is a fungus, instead of a worm. And depending on the severity of your feline’s case and other factors, your veterinarian might prescribe medicated baths to reduce infestations.

2. Dirt on Coat

If you need to get something off their coat, a bath will be great. Examples of things that might get stuck in their coat include gasoline or motor oil, tree sap, potpourri, antifreeze,  and pyrethrin or permethrin flea killing products that may cause tremors if not removed.

Or if your cat’s coat is just exceptionally dirty and smelly, maybe they’ve run off somewhere or climb the chimney, then a good bath will keep them clean and smelling great.

3. Arthritic Cats or Obese Cats

These cats might be unable to groom themselves fully and properly. Thus, you might need occasional baths in order to keep their skin and coat healthy. Arthritic cats, in particular, might even appreciate a nice bath since the warm water and slow massage of lathering shampoo can actually feel good.

Materials Needed When Bathing Your Cat

Before dragging your feline to the bathroom, you need to make sure that all the necessary materials are ready. This should make bathing your feline easier and quicker with less stress.

  • Cat shampoo (It would be best if you get a shampoo specially formulated for cats. If you do not have a cat shampoo at the moment, use mild baby shampoo. Don’t use in human cleaning products since it might sting your feline’s eyes or even irritate his skin.)
  • Rubber gloves (to protect your hand from scratches)
  • Gentle spray nozzle or a large pitcher for rinsing
  • Large towel
  • Comb
  • Small cloth to clean the face
  • Cotton balls to clean the ears

Giving Your Cat A Bath

1. Preparing For Bath Time

A. Brushing The Coat

Before anything, you will have to do a thorough brush of your cat’s coat in order to remove debris or dust as well as loosening tangles, particularly if you got a long-haired feline.

Remember that a dry tangle is easier to comb out than a wet tangle and this should prevent your feline from getting annoyed during the bath. Brushing your feline’s coat can also remove matted fur that can trap soapy residue on the skin and cause flaky and itchy patches.

B. Cut The Nails

In addition to brushing the coat, it would be best to cut your feline’s nails before bath time. This should reduce the risk of getting deep scratches as well as preventing his long nails to get caught on your clothing or towel.

C. Preparing The Tub and Preventing Escapes

In order to avoid getting scratches or freak out your cat caused by the slippery surface, place a towel at the bottom to sink his claws in and keeps him steady.

Fill the sink with 2 – 3 inches of lukewarm water. Remember not to use water that is too hot since cats can overheat easily.

In addition, you do not want your cat running off in the middle of bath time. So, keep your cat from escaping by closing the door.

2. Placing Your Cat On Bath

Put on your rubber gloves. Speak gently to your feline in an assuring tone and place them gently in the sink or tub. Hold him by the scruff of his neck or ask some help with this. Ensure that you hold your feline with their back to you so you avoid getting scratched.

Stroke him as you wet his head and neck with water. Make sure to keep the water out of his eyes in order to avoid irritating him. Next, wet their legs, back, and hind end until they are wet enough.

3. Lather, Lather, Lather

Pour a generous amount of cat shampoo into your cat’s coat. Make sure that you clean his paws, legs, tails, belly, chest, neck and back. Lather well to remove all debris and dirt.

Most felines hate getting water splashed on their faces. So, to clean his face, use a damp washcloth and gently rub his head and face. Also, if your cat allows you, use cotton balls to clean the inside of his ears.

4. Rinsing

Next, you will have to remove all those soap. You may have to rinse several times in order to ensure that all lather and soap is removed from his coat. Leftover soap may irritate your cat’s skin, so you will need to rinse until you don’t see or feel any more suds.

5. Drying

Most felines love a good rub down with a towel after their bath. Using a large towel, dry your cat and try to absorb as much water as possible with the towel. If not, your cat will likely shake off any excess water from their coat and this could lead to puddles of water where they walk.

Consider using a hair dryer to dry your cat, but never use the hottest setting since it can burn your feline’s sensitive skin. Also, set it to low noise level so as not to freak out your cat.

6. Good Kitty!

Well, after all those struggles, your precious kitty deserves endless praise as well as her favorite treats. And with such a happy ending, your cat may think that bath time is not so bad and even (hopefully) volunteer to take a bath next time!

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