It is a common misconception that cats do not need bathing. Realistically when you wash your cat for a
few minutes and note how often they’re licking themselves, it’s easy to imagine why many people
think that. The truth is that cats do need bathing, perhaps not as often as dogs will, but at least once
every six months (or if they have gotten themselves into a sticky situation!) is a good starting point.
Now it must be said that cats and water are not friends, in fact your cat may actively not enjoy the
water, so you should be prepared to deal with a cranky customer for a few minutes. In this article
we’ll cover how to bathe a cat for the best results, how to bath train a cat so cleaning times are less
stressful for everyone, and how often should you bathe a cat to keep them smelling good and free
In how to give a cat a wash, you’ll need to start by prepping the area, many cats are
wise to what is happening, and are a lot savvier than people give them credit for so preparing the
bath needs to be completed as stealthy as possible for the best results.
About cats and grooming
When it comes to grooming, cats are absolutely the king of all the animals. They will spend about
fifty percent of their awake hours grooming, preening, and cleaning their body. Some cats are quite
adept at cleaning themselves and others not so much, also when cats get older, they can start to not
take care of themselves as much.
This is where it can come down to their owners to make sure they
are still being kept clean and free from any problems. The issues can also be increased if you have a
cat that has longer hair. Cleaning and brushing your cat’s coat are important in keeping them free
from any problems, this includes potential matting which can become infected if not taken sorted
Learning how to bathe a cat for the best results
Learning how to bathe a cat properly will set you up to get the job done properly. It will make sure that everyone is having a good and stressless time. The majority of cats do not like getting wet. There’s a reason many use a water bottle to train them, and therefore bathing can be quite stressful for them. Before you get started in your journey of learning how to bathe a cat, you need to get ready and have everything on hand.
Using the right specialised shampoo is an absolute must, especially because cats will ‘clean’ themselves after the bath it needs to be non-toxic. Never use human shampoo to bathe your cat. These can contain ingredients that may cause an issue for your cat, it is also possible these are too harsh for your cat’s coat and it can cause problems later on.
Other equipment that you’ll need to wash your cat is a clean towel and some brushes, you can use a hairdryer on very low heat. However, some cats may be stressed by the noise of these. You’ll need a small tub where you can control your cat. Ideally it should be placed in an area where you have total control. Try to have the bathing area being at your waist height as this will give you the most amount of control.
Unusually a laundry sink is ideal. It is in a place that can be easily closed off, and it is deep enough that your cat cannot jump out too easily. A cat harness and lead can aid in controlling your cat while you wash them and allow you to have a free hand. Many of these include ‘break away’ clips so don’t rely on them to restrain your cat if they get panicked and want to get out.
How to give a cat a bath and keep them loving you
When it comes to how to give a cat a bath, it is best to have everything ready to go. Get your cat at the last moment. As cats can be quite aware of what is happening around them, you’ll want to mix up your routine when you’re planning on bathing them. Get the tub filled with the right amount of water. You only want to have it just deep enough so that it reaches just above their belly. It should definitely not be so deep they can’t touch the bottom.
The water needs to be warm, to test it put your hand in the water and it should feel neither hot or cold. Cats have quite sensitive skin so water that is too hot or cold can be very bad for them. After you have poured the water, get everything else ready. Have a dry spot next to the water with a couple of towels on standby. Have the shampoo and any brushed within arm’s reach.
If you’ve got everything sorted and ready for your cat to have their bath, it’s time to go and get your cat. Try to be as gentle as possible and give them lots of praise and cuddles. Take them into the room you’re planning on bathing them and close the door to limit their escape possibilities; it’s at this time they may get a little anxious so be mindful of that.
Now you’re ready to start washing your cat
If your cat is really aware try filling up the bath, and then leaving it for about fifteen minutes before getting your cat. This will lull them into thinking that they are not getting bathed and help them relax a little. There are some cats that enjoy baths, and it is possible to train your cat to like (or at least tolerate) the process.
How to give a cat a bath can be up to you, but generally, place them in the water and be prepared to gently restrain them. You may need a second person if your cat is especially aggressive or anxious but at all times remain relaxed. Get your cat wet by using a cup and pouring the water over them. Try to limit the amount of water going over their face.
Use the shampoo as directed, and then rinse it all out, you can repeat this if your cat is especially dirty. After they are all clean, you can take them out of the bath and place them onto a clean towel. Ideally have one towel for them to stand on and another to dry them with. Again, go gently and give them heaps of loving attention.
Once you’ve patted them dry, you can try using a hairdryer on a gentle setting to dry the last bits of wet fur. If you’re lucky enough for your cat to sit in the warm air, you can use a brush to take care of any loose hair. If your cat won’t sit for the hairdryer, let them go and they’ll take care of the rest themselves. Make sure you have a nice warm spot they can go to and finish the cleaning job