How do I give my cat a bath?Back to overview
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Your cat is naturally clean and grooms himself/herself several times a day. By doing so, he/she maintains a smooth, shiny coat without you having to do anything! And as everybody knows, cats hate being bathed!
Nonetheless, it may happen that you have no choice and have to give your fluffy friend a bath. Before putting on your protective gloves be aware that it is not impossible to give a cat a bath… The following tips help you face this situation, more calmly.
CAN I GIVE MY CAT A BATH
Ordinarily, you should not need to give your cat a bath as he/she does very well without one. However, under certain circumstances a bath becomes vital and you should take over when:
- his/her coat is very dirty
he/she is sick and not able to groom himself/herself properly
he/she is overweight and cannot reach some areas, especially his/her lower back
- his/her coat is very long (some breeds need to have a bath at least once or twice a month)
WHAT DO I DO?
If your cat is likely to scratch, consider going to your veterinarian to have his/her nails trimmed before the bath.
Take a deep breath! If you are tense, your cat may sense that you are stressed.
Make sure your cat is out of the bathroom or kitchen while you are running the water.
Make sure the bath is no deeper than his/her belly.
Water temperature should be around 35°C.
Have a towel and shampoo handy. You can find cat shampoo at your veterinary clinic and in speciality stores. Never use your own shampoo!
Hair knots get tighter in water, so brush your cat and untangle his/her fur before the bath.
Bring your cat into the bathroom or kitchen and close the door.
Have someone help you (if possible). With two people, it is easier to keep your cat still while you give him/her a bath.
In the tub
Carefully place your cat in the tub. Make sure he stays there.
Wet his/her fur completely with warm water, but never wet the top of his head. And never immerse your cat under the water.
Apply pet shampoo, being careful not to get water or shampoo in his/her eyes or ears.
Rinse thoroughly to remove any trace of shampoo residue. Remove excess water by smoothing the fur with your hand.
Wrap a towel around your cat and gently rub his/her fur. If your cat has long hair, rub more gently to avoid knots
- Ideally, keep your cat inside until he is completely dry.
- If your cat is not afraid of the hairdryer, you can use it, setting the temperature as cool as possible. However, do not hold it too close to his/her skin so you do not burn him/her!
Tips & Tricks
- Ear infections can occur in dogs and cats. Here are some ways to identify if your pet has an ear infection and if he needs to be seen by his vet.
- Cat owners are often interested in what their cat thinks. Many would like to know how their cat feels about them! The answer might surprise you.
Many owners are interested in showing their dog how much they care. My advice: treat your pet like you would want to be treated. It is that simple!