Despite having natural grooming practices, some cats require regular baths for purposes of hygiene. This is so because their coats get sticky and greasy. Those cats with issues with their weight can only reach certain parts of their bodies, therefore, need help in keeping clean. The skins at their backs can end up getting flaky, itchy and infected. Cats with long fur also need regular baths as they may not get all their skin thoroughly cleaned. This ensures good healthy skin and coat.
Since cats can get aggressive when you are giving them a bath, starting them off when they are young will get them accustomed to the routine. Getting your supplies ready before bathing your cat makes the routine go smoothly.
One thing to remember is that cats are not fond of baths but can only tolerate the experience. If they get stressed or frightened and bail out, let them go.
Why Bathing Is important
- Bathing Will Keep The Cat Cleaner
Although cats are good groomers, their cleaning only works to rid of dirt, dead hair, food left over and parasites. This, however, does not meet the human standard of cleanliness.
- A Bath Reduces Shedding
Many cat owners complain of having cat fur all over their home furniture. This is especially true for cats with long and soft fur.
- Bathing Will Keep The Coat Healthier And Shinier
Using natural shampoo and a coat conditioner will reduce dandruff keeping the skin and coat healthy. Regular brushing after baths will ensure the fur is mat-free.
- A Bath Will Stop Skin Parasites And Fleas
If your cat has fleas, using the right shampoo to control fleas is highly recommended.
Bathing Frequency Between Outdoor And Indoor Cats
On average a regular indoor cat needs a bath once or twice a year. This is however dependent on some factors like the breed of the cat as well as the below-listed factors:
- The Environment
Outdoor cats get dirty rather faster than indoor cats; therefore they need baths more often. The indoor cat will need to get a bath to improve its look since their coats collect dirt over-time making them unattractive.
- The Type And Length Of Coat
Longer coats need maintenance which includes brushing them too.
- A Cat’s Activity Level
Highly active cats need a higher frequency of baths since they get dirty easily and faster.
- Health Issues
Skin irritation, flea infestation, tick and loose stool require the necessary attention to help remedy the issues.
- Cats Grooming Behaviours
Some cats are not able to groom well. The back of most long haired cats tend to get matted; skin gets flaky, itchy and infected. For purpose of keeping them healthy and clean, they require regular baths.
The Danger Of Over Bathing
Over-bathing your cat will cause the skin to get dry as it removes essential oils, this causes the skin to flake or get dandruff.
Steps To Bath A Cat
Before washing your cat, ensure the tub is secure both for you and your cat. Put a towel on the floor and have a small rack to secure your cat in the wash tub. Wear protective clothes or old clothes.
1. Try To Familiarize It To Water
Use cat-toys in the empty tub and playing a little with your cat. Add a little water and keep adding as the cat gets used to the water in the tub. You can have a special bath-toy which will inspire your cat to look forward to bath time.
2. Invite The Cat To Bath Instead Of Forcing The Cat To Bath
Let your cat walk around get used to the room you will be bathing him in. Keep the room inviting by either closing the door, if other cats are in the house to keep them out or removing the litter box if it is kept in the room you will be using.
3. Be Careful Not To Hurt Yourself And The Cat
Trim your cat’s claws before you starting the bathing process. Your cat may get excited when water covers him. Trimmed claws will ensure your cat does not hurt himself or scratch you.
4. Never Use Force
Talking to your cat through the bathing routine will help keep him calm. Ask for someone’s help to bathe your cat together. If your cat gets irritated and jumps out of bath water, let it go but keep it within the bathroom so that it doesn’t catch a cold. You can wait until it is calmer before try to dry it with a towel.
5. Use Warm Water And Appropriate Cat Shampoo
Ensure the water is of right temperature before bringing your cat into the bath. If using a faucet, try the water with your hands to be sure it is the right temperature.
Shampoo your cat from the neck down. Wash him using massaging motion so he gets soothed. Keep shampoo out of the cat’s nose, eyes, mouth, and ears.
Rinse out the shampoo ensuring the water temperature is not too cold or too hot.
6. Towel Dry The Cat As Much As It Allows You
Press a towel on your cat’s body to blot out as much water as possible. Wrap your cat and rub gently. Should the towel get wet, change to another wrapping your cat and rubbing to dry its fur.
7. Skip The Hair Dryer
For short haired cats, you can skip the hair dryer and let the cat lick itself dry. Let the cat do the licking in the bathroom or an enclosed area away from drafts.
8. Repeat The Routine Regularly
For your cat to get used to the bathing routine, keep bathing regularly and reward them for good behaviour. Rewarding your cat after a successful bathing routing will help reinforce their cooperation during bath time.
Cats generally do not like bathing but getting your cat inspired, will keep him cooperative during bath-time. Bath your cat only when they want to instead of forcing it to. Trimming your cat’s claws will prevent the cat from hurting itself or even scratching you should they get excited during the bath.
Do not force your cat to have a bath when they clearly do not want to. Let them go and plan for another day for bathing. Using the right temperature of the water will keep your cat calm and enjoying their bath-time routine. Use the right cat shampoo for the care of the skin and coat. Blot out the water off of your cat, then wrap the cat and rub gently. Skip the hair dryer and let your cat lick itself dry in an enclosed room away from drafts.
In repeating regular bathing routine will get your cat used to bathing experience. Rewarding your cat will help reinforce your cat cooperation during bath-time.