Clean your cat — without getting scratched

Cats are usually low-maintenance pets. One of the biggest aspects of this is that they are self-cleaning. But that doesn’t mean they never need a bath. On the contrary, a bath might be necessary every now and then, especially if you have a particularly mischievous feline friend who always seems to get into some kind of mess. Cats are not known for their affection towards water, but you can bathe them without getting scratched – just follow the steps below.

Get your equipment ready. While you may be eager to get this whole process over and done with (after all, being faced with the prospect of getting scratched is no fun), you need to make sure your bathing space is properly prepared. First, figure out where you will bathe your kitty. The bath works well for this, especially if you have a handheld shower head, but the sink will do just fine as well. Place a towel or a rubber mat in the tub or sink so they don’t slip. You’ll also need cat shampoo, a comb or brush (depending on the length of their fur), a washcloth and a pitcher or basin for rinsing. Don’t forget the towel for drying off. In addition, a second set of hands might make things easier, so you might want to ask someone to help.

Capture the cat. Everyone has a different method for doing this, but it’s important to do so in a way that keeps your cat as relaxed as possible. If your cat is anxious before he or she even steps into the washing area, the whole process is only going to be more difficult. Giving the cat a treat before the bath starts is a good idea so that he or she associates bath time with a reward.

Wash from the back. Instead of filling the bath or sink with water before your cat gets in it, try starting by gently pouring warm water over their legs and back, taking care not to get any on their face. They’ll acclimate to the feeling of being wet better this way, and be more relaxed, as they won’t start off bath time trying to avoid being placed in water directly.

Lather gently. Once your cat is wet down to their skin, carefully pour shampoo onto them, again avoiding the face. Be very calm and gentle when doing this, all the while working up a lather that will get them the deep clean they need.

Rinse thoroughly. Once your cat is sudsy all over, wash it all off with pitchers of water, poured very gently all over their body. You want to ensure that all of the shampoo is washed out at this point, as any residual amount can dry out your cat’s skin. This is also the point at which you will wash your cat’s face, using a wet washcloth and no soap.

Dry off. Just as you thoroughly rinsed your cat, take your time when drying them off. Wrap them with a warm towel, and place them in a warm room where they can return to normal. Some cats might enjoy the blow dryer, but some cats are frightened by them. Once dry, comb or brush them to keep their fur healthy.

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  • February 16th, 2017
  • Posted in: WAG