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Learn How To Give Your Cat A bath

Aug 17, 2007
Have you ever considered giving your cat a bath? Your dog and cat both require a certain amount of maintenance to keep them happy and healthy. While most cats are self-sufficient, all cats could use a little boost in the bathing department.

When it comes to cat care, very few cat owners think to give their cat a bath. A bath can help get rid of excess fur during the shedding season.

You could take your cat to the veterinarian or a professional groomer and have them give your cat a bath, but giving your cat a bath on your own isn't all that difficult. As long as you have patience and take things slowly, the two of you can get through the ordeal in one piece.

Before you think of bathing, give your cat a good brushing. Use a soft brush or grooming glove for short haired felines. For cats with longer fur, use a wide-toothed comb. Don't brush too hard. Cats don't have very thick skin like their wild cousins, the big cats.

Brush out any tangles and check the cat over for any sores or abscesses. Clean the cat's ears and trim its nails. If your cat starts to get a little antsy, take everything in stages. Start with one task, then put the cat down and come back to the next task later.

While your cat is off wandering the house and working off stress, you can get the bath ready. Make sure you have a soft towel and shampoos made for your cat at hand. Remember that your cat will be licking himself after the wash, and some soaps might have a residue that could make your cat sick if ingested.

If you can, use your kitchen sink as a tub. The sink is much easier to work with than trying to bend over a tub. Place a towel in the bottom of the sink as a mat to keep your cat from slipping. The most important thing is to give your cat a bath in a warm room so that afterwards, he'll have a warm place to dry off.

When you're ready to bathe your cat, put cotton balls in its ears to help keep the water out. Run some lukewarm water into the sink, but don't fill the sink all the way. You might want to fill the sink first, since the sound of the rushing water could make your cat nervous, especially if he knows what's coming.

Try not to restrain your cat too much either. If the cat feels like it's being trapped, you'll have a harder time holding it through this cat care process.

Keep talking to the cat calmly and reassuringly. Don't yell or try to scold him if he decides not to cooperate. If you're nervous, your cat will be nervous, too. Hissing, flattened ears and yowling are all signs that you have a very stressed kitty on your hands.

To wet the coat, pour water over your cat. You can also take a thin towel, wrap it around your cat, and wet its fur through the towel. Once the fur is wet, apply shampoo, and then rinse well. When you rinse your cat, try to avoid using the spray nozzle. If your cat didn't like the sound of running water, the hiss of the spray won't be calming at all.

Make sure that you get all the shampoo out of its fur. When you're done rinsing, dry your cat by blotting instead of scrubbing. Blotting long fur is far more effective than rubbing the towel over the cat's body.

If your cat will tolerate the noise from this cat care routine, you can use a hair dryer on the lowest setting. If you can't use the dryer, that's okay. Dry your cat as much as you can and let it go find a warm place to dry off.

The best advice for bathing a cat is to start while the cat is young so that they become familiar with this form of cat care. If you get your cat used to bathing early in life and make the first experience as enjoyable as you can, your cat will be more cooperative in the future.
About the Author
Mike Selvon owns a number of niche portal. Please visit our cats portal for more great tips on cat care, and leave a comment at our cats blog.
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