Cat Grooming 101: The Keys to Getting Your Cat to Take a Bath
Getting your cat to take a bath is probably one of the hardest things you’ll ever do. Indeed, there aren’t many felines who take to this experience with a sense of pleasure. However, that doesn’t mean cat grooming has to take a back burner. When you have the right tools, information, and patience, Fluffy will be the squeakiest clean cat on the block. But don’t just take our word for it – try it! Your cat may even like it after a while…maybe.
First of All, Why?
Cats are famous for their almost persnickety self-grooming methods. Sure, cats sleep a lot, but when they are awake, they’re almost always cleaning themselves. Why, then, should your cat grooming routine include bathing?
Because You Can
Cats like to roll around in the dirt and grass. They hunker down in messy places or climb less than clean surfaces. Sometimes, cats get sprayed by skunks. Whatever the reason, bathing your cat is a worthwhile endeavor when you have the following supplies:
- Kitty-safe shampoo (a flea shampoo on top of a flea preventive could result in high exposure of pesticides)
- Small soft washcloth
- Pitcher or small cup for rinsing
- Rubber mat
A gentle word of caution: trim your cat’s nails before you bathe him or her. Not only does this protect your bathtub or basin, but your own safety against scratches is also paramount during bath time.
Another helpful hint involves playing with your cat prior to bathing him or her. This will help get out any excess energy before the tub. It may even wear your cat out to simply accept bath time.
Cat Grooming at its Finest
The rubber mat will also protect your bathtub, and your cat won’t slip on it either. A few inches of lukewarm water are a good introduction. The water level should never be higher than the tops of your cat’s legs. Then:
- Work the shampoo into a gentle lather on your cat’s fur.
- Offer lots of soothing remarks for your cat to hear.
- If your cat will take a treat, offer him or her a couple during the experience. Otherwise, wait until after bath time to reward your cat for great behavior.
- Gently pour water over the soapy fur with the pitcher or cup.
- Avoid the eyes, ears, mouth, and nose.
- Apply the small washcloth to the face.
- Once completely rinsed, wrap your cat in a warm towel and pat dry.
- Only use the hair dryer on a low setting if your cat can handle that (many simply can’t or won’t!). Otherwise, just continue to towel dry.
- Offer a special treat or toy.
- Repeat whenever you think your cat could benefit from a cleaner, softer coat.
Offering Cat Grooming
Did you know that you could also bring your cat in to see us for cat grooming? It’s true! We offer nail trims, sanitary shaves, and even lion cuts (you know you want that!). Of course, your cat must be current on all vaccinations, and we’re able to help you with that, too!
If you have further questions about cat grooming or ways you can help your cat accept bath time, we’re always here for you. Good luck!
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