If you have a long-haired cat, he may need occasional brushing or trimming of the fur to keep him clean. He also might get into a lot of dirt and need to have his paws clipped occasionally.
Unless you’ve got an especially dirty cat or you need to do something extra-special for your pet, bathing is not usually needed. If you do need to wash your cat, the process can be very stressful for her and for you as well. Here are some tips to help you make the experience easier for both of you.
Before You Begin – If possible, prep your cat for the bath by getting them used to being in a sink or tub without any water. This will make it easier for you to put them in when you’re ready to give them a bath and they won’t resist as much.
Once your cat has gotten comfortable with the sink or tub, run about 4 or 5 inches of lukewarm water, setting some aside in your cup or pitcher. Carefully wet the area around your cat’s neck and gently talk to them while you do it, avoiding soaking their face as well.
Step 2 – Prepare the Bathroom – Fill the front half of the bathtub with a very small amount of lukewarm water, just an inch or two. Leave the back half empty so your cat has a dry place to stand.
Next, lure your cat into the tub by using a toy or treat to attract them into it. Avoid picking them up and putting them in, as that removes their choice to stay and they are more likely to jump out of the tub if you do.
Then, add a little shampoo to your hose or a cup and give them a good rub down with it. Be sure to thoroughly rinse the shampoo out of your cat’s coat; leftover soap can cause excess licking and irritations in their fur.
After you have scrubbed away most of the shampoo, drain the water and wrap your cat up in a towel to let it dry. You can also use a fan to dry it off, if you have one available.
Keeping Your Cat Comfortable During The Bath – While cats don’t like being in the water, they do love to be brushed. Recruit an understanding friend to help you and try to time the bath when your cat is least stressed or tired.
If your cat seems to be distressed during the bath, stop and talk to your vet about what might be causing it. They may be able to recommend some calming solutions or even suggest another method of washing your cat.
While many wild animals enjoy swimming and lazing in the water, few domesticated cats have the same inclination towards water. This is why most cats dislike baths so much, and it can be a painful experience for both you and your pet.