8 Tips for Bathing Your Cat
No pet is crazy about bath time, so giving your cat a bath can be a tedious undertaking. While your fluffy feline can maintain their hygiene just fine on their own, a bath can be necessary if they get into something around the house or get dirty outside.
To make clean up easier on both of you, follow these 8 simple tips for how to bathe your cat.
- Start Calm – Start the bathing process when your cat is in their most mellow state. If possible, play with your cat and wear them out before you get them into the tub or sink. You may want to trim kitty’s nails before bath time to avoid scratches, but this should be done at least a few hours ahead of time so they are able to calm down before the bath.
- Be Prepared – Being ready for bath time is key to keeping it quick and simple, so make sure you have everything ready before you get kitty into the tub or sink. Set out the shampoo, a couple of towels and a non-slip mat for the tub so it’s easier for your cat to stand up, which will help ease their stress.
- Respect Their Fears – Generally, cats dislike water. When bathing kitty, never place them in standing water or pour water over their face and ears. Wash them from the neck down. It also helps to talk quietly to them in a reassuring voice during the bath. Don’t worry—they will let you know when and if they are not happy with the situation.
- Brush First – Brushing your cat before bath time will help remove any loose hair, knots or tangles in their fur, and make it easier to get them clean during the bath. Trying to brush your cat after the bath will be much more difficult and can be painful for them.
- Shampoo Session – Make sure you use cat shampoo for washing. Human shampoo or detergents can be dangerous for your feline friend and dry out, irritate or even burn their skin. Remember to lather in the direction of their fur to avoid tangles or causing them pain. Also, try to keep shampoo away from their face, eyes and ears. If you must wash their face, use a damp cloth that is free of shampoo and be very gentle.
- Rinse – Rinsing your cat is easiest with a low-stream hose or a pitcher. Make sure to rinse thoroughly with lukewarm water, as any left over shampoo residue will irritate your cat’s skin when it dries. Multiple rinses may be required to fully wash out the shampoo—expect a few more if your cat has a long, thick hair.
- Dry Off – Now that bath time is over, grab a big towel to wrap your cat in to dry off. If your cat doesn’t mind, you can also use a blow dryer on low heat to dry their fur.
- Treat Time – After all is said and done, rewarding your cat is key to helping kitty tolerate and even get comfortable with baths. A treat will associate bath time as a positive experience, and make it easier to accomplish in the future. Not to mention, they deserve a treat after all of that!
Giving your cat a bath may always be a challenge, but establishing a routine and rewarding your cat’s bravery with treats and praise will go a long way in making bath time a little easier on both of you.