For as much grooming as they do, cats seem to be the cleanest felines out there. But, surprisingly, giving them a hand at maintenance with a thorough scrub is not a bad way to pamper them a little.
Even with the help of their built-in grooming tools (tongue and teeth), cats can all use an occasional bath. But each feline is different. From their hair (short vs. long) to how they live (indoor vs. outdoor) to what sticky messes they may get into, the frequency of how often you bathe your cat will vary. Regardless of what kind of cat you have, though, a bath will be great for a kitty’s health in the long run.
Veterinarian, Dr. Jean Quaintance says, “Cat baths are tricky — they must be performed very carefully for the safety of both the cat and the owner! Cats typically do not need baths since their own bathing apparatuses are built in, but in the cases of certain long haired (or no-haired) purebreds or cats that don’t do the job themselves, baths can be very necessary.”
Here are five tips the ASPCA would like you to keep in mind when you’re making your feline especially fancy:
1. All In The Timing: Make sure not to surprise your cat with a bath when they’re already in a grumpy mood. Getting your cat when they’re chilled out or in a good mood after a play session may be the best time for a clean-up.
2. Quick Trim: If you plan on trimming your cat’s claws, make sure to do this before they bathe. It will be a good way to prevent any unnecessary scratches to you while you give them a dip.
3. Prep Work: Make sure to brush and remove any loose or matted hair, especially if your pretty kitty has longer hair. It’s advised to gently place cotton in their ears to keep water out.
4. Execution: Now that your pretty kitty is ready to go, use a hand-held spray hose to get things started. Make sure to avoid spraying directly in their ears, eyes and nose. Do not use human shampoo as it can dry up their skin. When lathering up, it’s best to use one part cat shampoo to five parts water. Work your way from head to tail and in the direction of how their hair grows.
5. Wrapping It Up: Rinse your cat gently with lukewarm water, making sure to rinse off all residue to prevent skin irritation. Wrap your now clean cat in a towel and place them in a warm area. Some choose to use a blow dryer to help the drying process, but make sure it is at the lowest heat setting. For cats with long hair you will want to brush it out with a wide-toothed comb.
For the more detailed list of cat bathing tips check it out here!
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