Bathing Your Cat? It’s A Thing & Here’s How You Do It The Purrfect Way
It turns out, bathing your cat can be good for your pet’s health (this only applies to the occasional bath). Here’s a pawfect guide to bathing your cat and not walking away looking like you came from an epic battle.
Your kitten will learn to lick herself when she is between 2 and 4 weeks old and adult cats will spend 50% of their time awake, grooming themselves. So, why do we need to bath our cats?
Did you know that bathing your cat can help remove excess oil, shed hair and even stimulate their skin?
When it’s time for a bath
There are certain situations when your cat will need a bath…
In some cases, your cat might have stopped grooming herself, she might be too overweight to reach certain places on her body or she might be old and struggle to properly groom herself. In other situations, your cat might have gotten mud on herself or she rolled in something really smelly.
If you have recently adopted your cat from a shelter, then she might be covered in fleas and is in need of a good bath.
Bathing your cat too often can dry their skin, this is why you should wait at least 4 to 6 weeks between baths.
How to properly bath your cat
1. Clip her nails the day before
This is more for your own safety than your cat’s. By trimming your cat’s nails, you are ensuring you don’t walk away from bath time looking like you rolled over a barbed-wire fence.
2. Get your equipment ready
- A brush
- Grooming shampoo for cats (this must be for cats as human shampoo can be too harsh for their skin)
- Some old towels
- A rubber mat
- A washcloth
- A floating distraction such as a ping pong ball
- A large cup or a sprayer in the bath
3. Get some help (trust us, you’ll need it)
If you can get somebody to help you, then this will make the job a whole lot easier.
4. Time it purrrfectly
Schedule bathtime when your cat is at her most mellow. Figure out based on your cat’s playtimes when this would be best (cats tend to nap after playtime).
5. Prepare the lukewarm bath
Place the rubber matt at the bottom of the bath, this will give your cat something to grip onto as cats don’t like the feeling of slipping around. The bath should be a warm temperature (body temperature), but not hot. Get your bathing items ready and next to the bath.
6. Brush her before the bath
Before bathing, grab your cat’s brush and give her a good grooming before the bath to get rid of any excess hair.
7. It's time for the bath
Carefully and slowly place your cat into the bath and slowly wet your cat with the sprayer or cup. Don’t forget to wet her belly and her legs. Try not to wet her face and ears, rather use a damp cloth to wipe these areas, making sure you don’t get water in the ears.
8. Lather up
Grab the pet shampoo and gently massage your cat. Working from her neck to her tail. Ensuring you work in the direction of her hair growth.
Use the sprayer or cup to rinse your cat, making sure the water is still lukewarm. Make sure all the shampoo is removed from under her belly and her legs.
10. Don’t forget the face
After rinsing, use a damp face cloth to carefully wipe her face. You can just use plain water. If her face is very dirty, then dilute the shampoo and ensure you do not get any soap in her eyes or ears.
11. It's time to dry
Let the bath out and wrap your cat in a large towel, drying her in a warm spot with your hands. If your cat does not mind the noise of a blow dryer, then you can use one. Just make sure it is on its lowest heat setting. If your cat has long hair, you might need to carefully detangle her fur with a wide-tooth comb.
12. Treat time!
Your precious girl was so brave and deserves a treat!
Make sure you reward your cat with a little treat and endless praise after her bath. She might hate you for a little bit, but her fur will love you for it.
And don’t forget to give yourself a little treat too - you’ll deserve it after bathing your cat!
Things to keep in mind
Some cats absolutely love bathtime and others, not so much. The trick is to be patient with your cat during the entire process and do not scold her at all.
A professional groomer who has amazing experience in grooming cats is also a good alternative if you absolutely can not bear the thought of your cat giving you the stink eye after bath time (we all know how temperamental cats can be).
Don’t forget to make sure your precious pet is covered with pet insurance that pays you before you see the vet and lets you go to any vet of your choice.
Yours in cuddle-worthy pet insurance,