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Read About Bathing Your Cat

ImageIn general, bathing your cat is not a necessary practice. Cats spend about 30% of their time grooming themselves. There are very few animals that clean themselves as much and completely as cats do. That doesn’t mean that at some point you will not have to bathe your cat. There will be times when you cat have gotten into something smelly, oily, or exceedingly dirty that bathing your cat is the only option! Or you wish to control fleas and ticks with a medicated shampoo. As with grooming practices, the younger you start bathing your cat, the easier and more accepting your cat will be.

Preparation for the bath is paramount to a successful bath. Most cats hate getting a bath so before you get ready to begin bathing your cat, make sure you have the following items at hand:

1. A rubber mat or towel on the bottom of the sink or tub for you cat to grip.

2. The sink or tub filed with warm water about as deep as the cat’s belly.

3. Quality, gentle cat shampoo.

4. Cup or small bucket.

5. Clean, dry towels.

Before bathing your cat, it would be helpful to gently brush your cat to remove tangles and loose hair. If possible, clip your cat's claws. You should bathe your cat in a room that is quiet, small and escape proof like a bathroom. If your cat permits, place a cotton ball in the each ear. Make sure that your demeanor is relaxed and confident as well. While bathing your cat, talk quietly and gently to her to reassure them that all is okay. Gently start by wetting down the cat from the base of the neck to towards the tail. Do not wet or wash the face at this point as wetting the face will elicit a negative response from the cat. Proceed to wash the cat using only the minimal amount of shampoo. After completely washing the cat’s body, wash the face with a soft, moist washcloth.

The most important part of bathing your cat is fully rinsing the soap from the fur. Drain the water from the tub or sink. If you have a shower attachment, use it if the cat allows as this seems to work best to remove all of the soap. If not, make sure that you run clean, warm water from a cup or small bucket until there is no shampoo residue. If the cat needs a conditioner, apply it and rinse again thoroughly.

Finally, cover the cat with a towel and pat or blot the water from the cat. Patting or blotting rather than vigorous rubbing will prevent tangling especially in long-haired cats. Remove the cat from the tub and place on another dry towel and complete the drying process. If your cat will permit it, use a hair dryer on low setting to dry your cat. If your cat will not let you use the hair dryer, make sure that your cat is in a warm room while he dries off so he does not catch a chill. Remember to remove the cotton balls from the ears. After drying your cat, brush the fur again and remove any knots.

You may find that working with another person may make bathing your cat easier. One person can hold the cat with two hands while the other washes and rinses the cat. Remember to reward your cat with a treat for positive reinforcement. Bathing your cat can be a daunting task, but with a little preparation should not be a terrible experience for you or your cat.