It’s a well-known fact that cats hate water. So, if your cat gets muddy and you need to give your cat a bath, it can be an unpleasant experience for both you and your pet. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to help keep your cat calm and comfortable.
Here’s how to give a cat a bath, the easiest way possible.
Do Cats Need Baths?
Are you supposed to give your cat a bath? Pet owners know that dogs should be bathed regularly, but this is not necessarily the case for your feline companion. Cats spend over half of their days self-grooming, so they’re naturally pretty clean.
So, how often should you give your cat a bath? Washing your cat frequently can actually have negative effects. Their self-grooming also helps them cover themself in their scent, so you are essentially erasing their self-identification when you bathe them. Additionally, because cats tend not to enjoy baths, regular bathing may cause your cat to associate you holding her with bathtime, which may make them adverse to regular petting and holding.
Of course, there are certain times where bathing your cat is necessary. If they’re covered in hard-to-remove dirt, paint, sap, or other substances, or if you discover an external parasite, like fleas, bathing with shampoo and water and cat grooming tips can safely get them clean.
To ensure as smooth a bath time as possible, here’s how to wash a cat.
Steps for Bathing a Cat
Before you give your cat a bath, pick a time of day where they are at their most relaxed. Whether it’s just before a nap or after playtime, if your cat is calm, it will make bath time more manageable.
First, brush off your cat to get rid of any loose hairs.
Put down a rubber mat
Whether you’re bathing your cat in the sink or the tub, a rubber mat will keep them from sliding around as you wash them.
Fill the tub
Fill the tub (or sink) with two or three inches of lukewarm or room temperature water, depending on your cat’s size.
Get your cat wet using a hand-held spray hose, being careful to avoid their eyes, nose, and ears. A pitcher or cup will also work if your tub or sink does not have a hand-held nozzle.
Massage in a cat-friendly shampoo – human shampoos and other soaps can dry out their skin – working from head to tail in the same direction as their hair grows. As with rinsing, make sure to avoid the face, especially the eyes, ears, and nose.
Using the same hose, pitcher or cup, rinse your cat thoroughly with lukewarm or room temperature water to ensure all cat shampoos have been removed.
Clean your cat’s face
Dampen a washcloth with water and gently wipe your cat’s face. Be careful around the eyes and ears.
Dry your cat by wrapping them in a large towel. Make sure to dry them in a warm place. You can use a blow dryer on the lowest heat setting to dry your cat, just be sure that the noise won’t startle them.
One last brush
If your cat breed has long hair. Use a brush after drying to avoid any tangles.
Other Tips for Your Cat’s Bath
- Use a small amount of cotton in your cat’s ears to keep water out.
- Flea shampoo for cats can help get rid of existing fleas and prevent future outbreaks.
- For best results and easy lathering, use one part cat shampoo to five parts water.
Unlike dogs, cats do not require regular bathing. In the event your cat needs cleaning beyond their regular self-grooming routine, bath time can be a difficult task. By making your cat as comfortable as possible, using warm water and soap that will not irritate and stop the cat them from biting, and avoiding your cat’s face or , you can make the process as smooth as possible.