Anyone who has bathed a cat knows how much of a hassle and a hazard this task can be. Cats don’t respond in quite the same way that dogs do when they are told a basic command, such as sit, stay, or stop. Thankfully giving your cat a bath isn’t something that is usually carried out regularly. Here are 8 tips on bathing your feline, in case you find yourself needing to wash a less than clean cat.
This tip should be common sense, but I’ll add it to the list anyway. Who wants to flounder about trying to find the shampoo with a wet and angry cat in hand? Make sure the shampoo, towels, brush, and anything else you will need to bathe your cat are all right where you can easily reach them.
If you have to bathe your cat, you probably have a specific reason for taking on this challenge. For instance, if fleas are an issue, then make sure the shampoo is medicated and will kill fleas, as well as flea eggs. Using the jasmine scented shampoo, which you normally use in the shower, on your flea-ridden cat probably won’t be great for getting rid of the fleas. Sure, Miss Kitty will smell fantastic, but she’ll still be itching like crazy and angrier that she is now wet and itchy.
Having a sink or shower that has one of those hand-held sprayers attached to it makes bathing the cat much easier. This feature will enable you to prepare the water temperature before drenching your cat. If you have to place the water in a pitcher before pouring it on your kitty, then make sure the temp isn’t too hot or too cold. Test the water temp on your wrist or forearm, not with a finger or hand.
Want to know the quickest way to get scratched beyond all recognition? Wait and see what happens when you accidentally spray your cat in the face. You also have to be careful not to spray water up the nose or into the ears. This is just as uncomfortable for a cat as it is for a human. I know I don’t enjoy water being forcefully put up my nose or in my ears!
It is much easier to get shampoo to lather up when your cat’s fur is already wet. Just reflect back to washing your own hair. Don’t you usually wet your hair first? It’s too difficult to wet your cat’s fur with one hand and apply shampoo with the other. Miss Kitty would be out of the sink or tub in no time at all. Soak your cat’s fur thoroughly and then apply the shampoo.
You may not think that items placed around the edge of the tub or kitchen sink are going to be in the way, but you might be in for a surprise. I’ve had cats try to scramble up the side of the tub and end up toppling bottles of shampoo and conditioner right into the tub. The kitchen sink can be an even bigger mess. Flailing cat arms catch all sorts of objects that happen to be sitting near the sink. It’s very helpful to completely clear off the bathing area.
Even short-haired cats can shed a lot. During bath time, the loose fur doesn’t show up as well as you might think it would. Tons of fur ends up going down the sink or bathtub drain before you know it. This accumulation of fur is fantastic for causing drains to become plugged. Use a comb designed for a cat’s fur and give kitty a good brushing before her bath.
I don’t always ask for help when I need it, but giving a cat a bath is one event that I would greatly appreciate some assistance with. If you have an unruly cat or are the least bit hesitant about giving your cat a bath on your own, then it might be wise to get some help. What’s even more helpful is having someone assist you who has already experienced the joy of bathing a cat.
Hopefully these 8 tips on bathing your feline will prove to be useful to you someday when you need them most. Feel free to pass these on to someone who is thinking about bathing a cat. Have you already had this experience? What did you learn most from bathing your cat that you think others should know beforehand?
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