When it comes to owning a cat, there are few experiences more nerve-wracking than bath time. Fortunately most cats can handle grooming themselves, but there are exceptions to the rule. If your cat is hairless, significantly overweight, has severe arthritis or parasites, you may need to wash it every now and then. Keep yourself and your cat safe by bathing it the right way. The good thing about bathing a cat is that it’s usually not as bad as you think it is.
Still, you should take a couple steps of preparation for a better overall experience. The Stillwater News Press recommends that you brush your cat and trim its nails first. Brushing removes excess hair, while trimming its nails means it’s less likely that you get scratched.
You can groom your cat without bathing it. Try a washcloth soaked with warm water, brushing your cat in the direction of its fur. It may actually enjoy the experience. Cat wipes are another good option, particularly if your cat needs a deeper clean than just a washcloth. They have cat-safe detergent, making them effective for cats that can’t groom themselves. Dry baths are powders or foam that you simply massage into your cat’s fur. These also work for cats that can’t groom themselves, but make sure you get a formula specifically for cats.
If you decide to bathe your cat, the ASPCA recommends you do it at a time when your cat is at its most mellow. Use a handheld spray hose or a cup of water to soak your cat, avoiding sensitive areas like the eyes, ears and nose. Don’t forget about drying your cat.
Wrap it in a large towel and dry it thoroughly, away from any drafts. Give your cat a treat afterwards as a reward. Bathing a cat can be tricky, but it’s not impossible. If you’re lucky, you’ll get a cat who loves being in the water; here’s proof they exist!
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