How to Survive Giving Your Cat a Bath
In the wild, there are many big cats that actually enjoy being in the water. Tigers, leopards and lions all like to soak, most likely because their usual habitat is in a hot environment and it helps cool them off. Domestic cats may have evolved to dislike water because most breeds have coats that absorb rather than deflect moisture. It's harder for them to get dry after they're soaked.
So, Why Would a Cat Need a Bath?
In many cases, cats don't need to be washed with water. They groom themselves naturally, so regular brushing is usually enough to keep your pet looking clean and comfortable. However there are occasions when a real bath is necessary. Kitty may have soiled himself in the litter box, for instance. Cats have been known to try to climb up the inside of a chimney.
Preparing Your Cat's Bath
The best solution is to make sure that you have all the necessary supplies handy, so you can make your cat's bath very quick:
- Rubber gloves
- Cat shampoo
- A large pitcher for rinsing or (even better) a gentle spray nozzle
- A large towel
- Cotton balls to clean the ears
- A small cloth to clean the face
It's much easier to wash your cat in a kitchen or bathroom sink than bending over a tub. Following is a step-by-step procedure for the quick and painless cat bath:
- Fill the sink with about 2 or 3 inches of warm (but not hot!) water
- Wet the cat from the shoulders to the tail and apply shampoo.
- Just like your own hair, lather and rinse thoroughly
- Since most cats hate having water splashed on their faces, use a damp washcloth to gently clean your cat's head.
- Use a cotton ball to clean inside the cat's ears. Never put any kind of object (not even a Q-Tip) in your cat's ear.
- After a thorough rinsing, lift your cat onto a large towel and fold it around him.
- Rub as much water from their fur as possible
- Long-haired cats may require the use of a blow dryer, but only if the noise does not terrify them. Set it on low and see if the cat will tolerate it.
It's best if you have the time to purchase a shampoo specifically formulated for cats. If you don't have any cat shampoo, a mild baby shampoo may be used. You don't want to use any other kinds of human cleaning products, as it may sting your cat's eyes or irritate their skin.
Read more cat care tips on Catster.com.