Having cats is too much fun, but it can also be very stressful, especially if you don’t know some things to keep your life comfortable, especially bathing. Now, it’s a common belief among people that cats don’t like bathing.
No, they like to bathe, just not in water. They do that by licking themselves and other cats. However, you must bathe them once in a while to keep them cleaned and groomed. But of course, it’s not that easy, and that’s also probably why you’re here reading this article.
Do Cats Need to Get Bathed?
Cats bathe themselves, so why should we bathe them? The good news is that most breeds don’t need to get bathed as they can do it themselves. This is especially true if they’re in a clean environment and are using natural tofu cat litter, which you can learn more at Trouble and Trix.
A cat’s tongue is covered with tiny curved barbs that transfer saliva across the fur. With each lick, they transfer healthy natural oils throughout their fur and skin. Also, these barbs work as natural detanglers, which they use to smoothen out their coats.
That said, you should spend more time grooming them rather than worrying if you should bathe them. You can do so by using a gentle brush to remove dirt and loose fur on their body.
You should do this once a week if your cat has short fur, but it should be every day for long-haired beauties. But brushes and the cat’s tongue alone sometimes won’t be enough. This is why bathing your cat is recommended at least once or twice a month.
How Often Should You Bathe a Cat?
Certain circumstances would often require you to bathe a cat in water. This is especially true if they roll or walk into something that could harm them if they ingest it, like paint, motor oil, antifreeze, gasoline, etc. You should bathe them in water and soap if they have something on their fur that could harm them.
Also, it’s essential to know that some skin conditions can be soothed via a water bath, especially with seborrhea, where the skin becomes flaky, red, and itchy. In this case, your vet might recommend a medicated bath that works on conditions like ringworms and flea allergies.
If your cat is a senior or obese, you might have to bathe them more frequently as they might not be flexible enough to reach certain spots on their bodies. If you have long-haired cats like Maine coons, Himalayans, or Persians, they will benefit from a bath once or twice a month. This is also the same for some short-haired cats, albeit not that frequently.
Hairless ones like Sphynx need it more frequently as they have oily residue that can stain fabrics. It’s usually recommended to bathe them every week, but if you find that troublesome, you can maintain their upkeep with baby wipes. But with all the talk about bathing your cat, how exactly will you do that?
The day before your cat’s bathing time, you should trim out its claws first. This will keep them comfortable in the tub or sink and protect you from getting scratched. Also, brush them thoroughly to remove that matted hair and clumps. They can be tough to get rid of when wet, so you should take care of them first.
Select the Right Time
Cats aren’t the biggest fans of water, so you should pick a time when they are relaxed. This goes without saying that if you bathe your cat during the day when they are supposed to be very active and restless, rest assured that you will have a wrong time.
You could pick a time when they usually mellow out, like during the night, as they are tired by then. Or if you don’t want to do that during the night, you could also tire them out with a toy first.
Prepare the Bath
Before you bring your cat into the sink or tub, you should lay out your necessary tools first, like your cat shampoo, towels, comb, brush, and rubber mat. For the bath itself, make sure that you have access to a handheld spray nozzle and make sure that you’re using lukewarm water.
Now, you might be wondering why you need a rubber mat. A rubber mat makes sure that your cat has something to stand on and to avoid them slipping and falling into the water. Having nothing to stand on makes your cat all the antsier because they can’t keep their balance.
Also, ensure you’re preparing all this while they’re not in the bath. If you regularly bathe them, they might take it as an indication that you’re going to bathe them, making them panic, run, and hide from you. And we all know that trying to catch a cat is not that simple. However, we’re sure they would be tired afterward, making bathing time all the easier.
Now here comes the hard part, placing them in the water. Be careful, as they might struggle and even try to scratch to escape the water. However, it’s all in the technique. You can gently get them fond of the water by splashing their fur and gently wiping their fur with water. If you think they have already become accustomed, gently place them in the water.
Keep a calm and reassuring voice so they wouldn’t panic. After that, you can then use cat shampoo and gently massage them with it. Make sure you’re following the instructions at the back of the bottle.
After thoroughly massaging them, you can then rinse the cat thoroughly. Make sure that there is no matting and soap on their fur, as they might ingest it if they groom later. And after that, all that’s left is to dry them completely.
To get your cat more accustomed to bathing, you can give them rewards and treats. Giving out treats will ensure positive reinforcement and have your cats something to look forward to every time they bathe.
Bathing a cat is a nightmare for some cat owners out there. However, it doesn’t need to be as long as you know what you’re doing. But with the tips mentioned above, bathing your cat can be fun for you and your feline friend.