Cats aren’t known fans of water and thus the experience of maintaining the fur of your pet in good condition can prove quite tricky. With this in mind here is a guide to bathing your cat, the precautions you should take and how to do this without needing stitches afterwards.
Some Trimming and Brushing
Cats can react badly when confronted with water so one of the first things you should do is to trim their claws before the bath. There are special instruments for this procedure and it is best to use those instead of a simple nail clipper as those might cause unnecessary harm.
The procedure which should always be done before getting your cat into the tub is to brush their fur thoroughly. Especially when it comes to cats with longer hair, this can get tangled and form knots which will be much more difficult to untangle when the cat is wet. Not to mention that it will be more painful for your pet. Most cats like to be brushed and thus this part can relax them. You can combine these two procedures (trimming and brushing) to make them more pleasant but it will take two persons to do that at the same time.
When Is the Right Moment?
If the cat is tired then they will be calmer, meaning they will be less inclined to scratch you. After they have eaten is also a good moment for the bath. Take some of their favorite toys and leave them in the empty tub for some minutes and then start adding some water to allow the cat to get used to it. Doing things this way will make the cat associate the bath with a playful activity.
Cats can slip in the tub as well so make the tub secure by putting a towel or mat in it. The water shouldn’t be too hot and you should have the bath fully prepared in advance since some cats get frightened by running water.
When it comes to your protective outfit, a jumper with a long sleeve shirt is the best choice of outfit because they might still scratch you in the process and gloves can make things too difficult. Make sure you pay extra attention to the sensitive areas of the belly and head.
Keep talking to your cat and maintain a calm voice. If they want to get out of the tub and start fighting then perhaps you should only do a little at a time, clean the feet and stop. It can take more than one session to get the cat properly cleaned. Don’t soak the cat’s head in water and keep the shampoo away from their eyes, nose, mouth and ears. A cotton ball put in each ear can reduce the risk of infections and the head is best cleaned with a washcloth.
Drying the Cat
A towel pressed on their body will absorb some of the water and when it gets too wet you should have another one at hand. When their fur is quite dry you should put the cat near a heat source as many of them won’t enjoy a hairdryer experience. Remember that you should always reward your cat after this experience since this will help it be associated with something pleasant in the future.