Many cat owners will know how much cats hate getting bathed. However, there are times when a little bathing is necessary, so even though they will most likely hate the experience, it’s essential for them to have it done.
There are ways in which you can bathe your cat that will make them less stressed, as well as products that will significantly improve the health of their skin and coat. If you are curious to learn how to bathe a cat most effectively, we have the facts that you need to know.
How to Bathe a Cat: The Considerations
In order for you to succeed in giving your cat a stress-free bath, we have included the things you need to consider before and after bathing your cat, as well as during their bath time.
1. Before You Bathe Your Cat
If you have decided to take the plunge and bath your cat, then there are some things you could do prior to the event to make it a lot easier for you and more enjoyable for your cat.
First, make sure to collect all the things you need and place them within easy reach of the bathtub so that you don’t need to leave your cat alone. You will require:
- A large bucket, sink, or bathtub (lined with a good-grip floor mat) to keep your cat from slipping.
- Shampoo that is formulated for cats only. Medicated shampoos are the recommended variety, as well as formulas with no added chemicals or all-natural products.
- A few large towels
- A kitty comb or brush to remove tough knots or matting in the fur
2. While Bathing Your Cat
It is important to start by filling the bucket, bathtub, or the sink with just enough water. That is because overfilling it with water will frighten them off.
You should also make sure that the water is not hot and is not too cold. Having hot and/or too cold water will frighten your cat once they touch the water, making the experience a lot more stressful.
Additionally, throughout the process, it is essential to offer a lot of praise and reassurance to your cat since hearing your voice in a positive tone will help them to remain relaxed. This will also help them to feel less stressed, as they think they are doing something right which is praised.
Once you have your cat in the bath and ready, simply take a small amount of shampoo and warm water to the area that needs to be cleaned. If your cat’s entire body needs to be washed, then it is recommended to avoid the head, and only concentrate on the body and tail, as well as the underside and the neck. It might be easier to perform the shampooing while the cat is on the towel, especially with medicated shampoos which take a couple of minutes to activate.
It is also best to try not to get any water in your cat’s ears since this could cause them distress, and possibly an ear infection. It is also highly recommended always to keep their heads dry when bathing, and this means their face won’t be included. If they have some dirt on their face, just wipe with a damp cloth without any shampoo.
When it’s time to rinse off the shampoo, use the shower head to remove it gently or pour over a jug of warm water, using one hand to protect the eyes and ears. Repeat this process if you are using a conditioner. It is also crucial that you make sure to remove all of the product from your cat’s fur since if anything is left, there may be a chance that they lick it, which can get them sick or worse, poison them.
Once you are content that your cat is thoroughly cleaned, allow them to shake off any excess water, and remove them from the tub.
3. After the Bath
When your cat has shaken off the excess water, you can wipe them with a towel to make sure they are completely dry. Using a hairdryer is not recommended since it can frighten them. After towel drying your cat, you can leave them in a warm room to cool off and don’t let them outside until completely dry as they may catch a cold.
If you have more than one cat, you may notice a little conflict between them after the bath. This is simply caused by the change in scent on the bathed cat and can be fixed by separating the cats until they are calm again, You may also dry them with the same towel to redistribute the same scent.
How to Improve Cat Bath Time: The Recommended Ways
There are a few ways you can improve the bath process by following these pieces of advice:
1. A Helping Hand
If it is the first time you are bathing your cat, having another person to help you might be ideal. A second pair of hands can be used to hold the cat’s head to stop them from trying to escape while you are shampooing and washing them. The second person can also help to provide the reassurance while you get the job done.
2. Using Treats as Distraction
Many owners recommend using some cat treats to distract your cat throughout the bath. If you are bathing the cat alone, then this may be trickier. Sometimes, if you have a second pair of hands to offer a treat at different intervals, this may distract the cat enough to be washed without worrying.
3. Taking Them to a Professional
It is normal for cats to bite a little and scratch when they are first becoming accustomed to a bath. However, if you are finding that it’s entirely impossible to bathe your cat, and they just won’t cooperate, then it is probably best to consult your vet and ask for advice, as they can also wash your cat for you. Otherwise, you could take them to a professional groomer who may be better prepared to treat nervous cats.
Learning and understanding how to bathe a cat properly and how to keep them feeling comfortable throughout the process is important. It will ensure that they’ll stay healthy and clean, as well as free from trauma. Just always remember to keep your cat’s head free from water, and you should be fine!