All pets need to take a bath at some point in their lives. This includes our beloved cats. We may know felines as being very fastidious. However, there will always be instances when they will need more than self-grooming to keep their bodies clean. Do cats need baths? Of course, they do. The more important question, however, is how to give a cat a bath in a manner that will not stress them. Here are 8 very simple steps in bathing your cat.
Prepare the Bathing Area
It is best to use the kitchen sink when giving a cat a bath. The bathtub can be too large for them. Using a basin will work on small kittens. What you need is a bathing space that you can fill the bottom with lukewarm water. Do not use very hot or very cold water. Hot water can injure your pet. Cold water can startle it and make it very anxious. Make the depth of the water to about 2 to 3 inches. This will help prevent scaring your cat from getting the feeling of being drowned.
Wet the Cat and Apply Pet Shampoo
Learning how to bathe a cat starts with using the right pet shampoo. Don’t use the very same shampoo that you or your baby use. They can be very harsh on the skin and fur of felines. Use only cat-safe shampoos that contain all-natural ingredients.
Start by wetting the cat’s body. Wet the shoulders, the back, the belly, the legs, and the tail. Make sure that the skin gets wet, too. You may have to part the fur to make sure that the skin gets washed as well. Pour a little amount of shampoo in one of your hands and rub this onto your cat’s body.
Lather the Shampoo and Rinse Very Well
Create a lather by performing gentle, massaging strokes. Make sure that the lather reaches the base of the fur near the roots. If you picked the right pet shampoo, this will also help replenish the oils on the skin. Shampoo and lather every part of the cat’s body except its head. This is the correct way on how to wash a cat.
Splash lukewarm water on your cat to rinse the shampoo. Be very careful not to splash any water on your pet’s face. Many cats do not like this. Continue rinsing until the water returns clear.
Clean the Cat’s Head
As mentioned, do not splash water into your pet’s face. Part of giving a cat a bath is cleaning its head using a damp washcloth. Moisten a clean piece of washcloth with lukewarm water. Use this to wipe its head and face. Be very careful so as not to irritate its eyes and nose.
You can also apply a few drops of cat shampoo on the washcloth. Rub this on the head of the cat in a gentle manner. It is best to avoid the eyes and the muzzle. The shampoo can have a scent that can be overwhelming to cats. Make sure to rinse the pet’s head well.
Clean the Cat’s Ears
The process of how to give a cat a bath will not be complete without cleaning its ears. This will help keep the animal’s ears clean and smelling nice. There are some types of pet odors that emanate from the ears. Your cat may still smell stinky right after the bath if you do not clean its ears.
Always use a small piece of cotton ball to wipe the insides of the cat’s ears. If you have an ear cleaner for pets, you can apply this, too. Apply a few drops of the cleaner in the cat’s ears and fold the ear lobes close. This will help keep the ear cleaner inside. Leave it for about 30 seconds before allowing the cat to shake its head. Finish off with a gentle wipe of its ears using cotton balls.
Dry the Cat Using a Large Towel
Make sure that you have thoroughly rinsed your cat before you take it out of its bathing area. Any shampoo residue left on the cat’s coat can interact with its skin and fur once dried. Place your cat in a large towel. Fold the towel around your cat’s body and its head. Pat it dry.
If your cat has short hair, then you can rub its coat in a gentle manner. If you have a long-haired kitty, it is best to rub it in slow strokes. Avoid vigorous rubbing as this can create tangles in the cat’s hair. You can use another towel to remove as much water from the cat’s fur as possible.
Use Pet Hair Dryer to Aid in the Drying Process
There are longhaired feline breeds that will benefit from the use of a pet hair dryer. Do not use the blow dryer that you yourself use. This is very noisy and its heat levels are not low enough.
You need a pet hair dryer that you can set to the lowest possible heat settings without causing stress in your cat. It should also have as low noise as possible. This will help prevent causing anxiety in the pet.
Give a Treat
Always end any activity you have with your pet in a happy or pleasant note. As such, do not forget to give your cat a yummy treat once you are done giving it a bath. Praise it for being a wonderful kitty. You can also extend your cuddle time or play time with it afterwards.
You want the pet to associate the experience with something pleasurable. This will make it a lot easier to bathe the pet in the future.
Bathing a cat is not difficult if you follow these 8 very simple steps. However, there will always be pet parents who may not have the time or the confidence to bathe their cats themselves. Getting a professional groomer to bathe and groom the pet cat is best for such pet owners.