Cat owners dread the thought of having to bath their friendly felines. Most cats hate water and can become rather scary when doused with it. While there are a few cats that seem to love water, bathing one that doesn’t is not as hard as it seems. Bathing your cat can be easy if you have a little know-how and the right tools. Here are some tips to make it less stressful and some shampoos that work well.
Choosing the right shampoo can be tricky. Shampoo and conditioners used by people tend to dry out your cat’s hair and skin. Mild ingredients, like oatmeal, work well for pets. Check ingredient labels to make sure you shampoo designed for optimal bathing results. Here’s a few that are veterinarian approved with good reviews.
Four Paws Magic Coat Cat Tearless Shampoo – water-based with aloe and lanolin
Earthbath All Natural Pet Shampoo – all natural
Top Performance Fresh Pet Shampoo – Ph balanced reduces itching and flaking
Vet’s Best Dry Clean Waterless Cat Bath – leave in foam with aloe, neem oil, vitamin E and oatmeal
Bath time is stressful for cats. You want to make them as comfortable as you can. Start bathing your cat when they are a kitten periodically. This will help them adjust to process and make bathing easier as they age. Here are some steps to make it easier for you and your cat.
Choose the right time of day. You want your cat to be relaxed and mellow. Kitty will be more receptive if you don’t interrupt their hunting hour.
Keep their nails trimmed. Clipping the nails before bath time can prevent scratches during.
Get everything ready before you start. You will need a towel, brush, a gentle spray hose or cup, and no-slip mats for you and your cat.
Start by brushing out your cat’s coat. This will help remove dead hair, mats and debris. If you see matting in their fur, try to get out as much as you can before bathing as mats will shrink and thicken when wet.
Be sure to use warm water. Too cold or too hot can be very uncomfortable for your pet. Sinks work well for small cats and kittens while bathtubs are better for larger cats. Use a gentle spray hose if available on you sink or tub. A plastic pitcher or cup is a good choice also.
Don’t rush to get done. Moving slowly and speaking in gentle tones will help keep kitty calm and less stressed.
Pour shampoo into your hand and lather as you work your way back to the tail. Always start at the neck and move in the direction of hair growth. Avoid washing your cat’s face and ears. Water can cause ear infections if poured on their head and shampoos can irritate their eyes. If you need to wash their face, use a warm moist cloth instead.
Rinse off the shampoo with warm water. Remember to move slowly. Make sure you get all the shampoo out so your cat doesn’t lick any residue off later. Have a helper available in case your cat loses patience which is common at this step.
Make sure you dry your kitty thoroughly. Gently pat and rub with a towel until dry. A hair dryer on the lowest setting can work if you cat tolerates it. Always avoid blowing directly in their face as this can dry out their eyes and nose. A wide tooth comb may be needed for additional brushing especially on long haired cats.
Reward your special feline with treats and affection after bath time. This is usually a stressful time for them. Hopefully, the treats will be remembered next bath time.
Use the tips above and a good shampoo to make bath time less stressful. Keeping your cat clean is an important part of cat ownership. Start when they are young so your cat is prepared for bathing as they get older.
Keeping my cats healthy and in good shape is important to me. As a cat lover, bathing them has always been a challenging. Taking my time and starting when they were young has paid off. The experience is less stressful for both of us.