Cats normally do not need help getting and staying clean. They
are fastidious about their cleanliness and spend much of their day primping and preening. Cats learn from a very
young age to stay clean, as the mother always teaches their young the art of bathing. Cats don’t have to be bathed
unless compulsorily required. For ex: if your cat rolled in the mud, or fallen in the mud accidentally, it requires
a bath. If your cat is afflicted with skin allergies or has a flea infestation, you might need to bathe your cat.
Sick and older cats may have a difficult time keeping clean, too. You will find that your cat probably resists
getting a bath, but you can do it if you are prepared.
The best place to bath your cat is in a small, enclosed room. If
you have a sink in your laundry room, that would work perfectly. A deep bathroom sink would also do the trick. The
idea is to get your cat in a small area to help him or her feel safer during the process. Another idea is to use a
baby tub and place it inside your own bathtub. This might cause an aching back on your part, but may be just the
thing for your cat.
In addition, you will want to make sure that you have everything
you need on hand before you begin. It will be almost impossible to stop what you are doing with a struggling cat to
run and get a towel or shampoo. You will need several old towels, mild, non-irritating shampoo such as baby shampoo
or pet shampoo, and a cup for rinsing. You might even consider using a turkey-basting tool to reach under the chin,
around the neck and between the legs. In addition, if your cat’s fur is matted, you might want to consider cutting
these mats away before beginning.
Get the Bath Ready
When you have gotten all of your supplies where you need them,
you will want to prepare the bath. Your cat will not like very hot or very cold water, so lukewarm water works
best. Think of the temperature you would use to bath an infant. That is what you need when you wash your cat. Next,
fill up the tub or sink. You do not need a lot of water when you bath your cat--just enough to rinse the cat off.
It is also a good idea to place a non-skid mat or folded bath towel in the bottom of the sink or tub before you
begin filling it with water. This prevents the cat from slipping around on the bottom of the sink or
Ease your Cat into the Water
It is now time for the hard part. You have to get your cat and
ease him or her into the water. This may sound easier than it is. Some cats may struggle with you more than others
may. Only you know your cat’s personality. The best way to go about doing this is to lower your cat into the water.
Do this by placing one hand under the cat’s belly and one hand firmly, but gently on the cat’s back. Lower the cat
from its hind legs into the water. If your cat is still struggling, you might want to wrap a towel around your cat
to prevent scratches. You might be surprised by your cat’s reaction. Some cats will sit there quietly and let you
work. Others will be scared and will try to run from you. You will get wet, but you may think about holding the
cat’s body close to your own while bathing so he or she feels more secure. Never raise your voice or move too fast,
as this can send your cat into a frenzy.
Begin the Bath
After your cat is somewhat situated in the water, you can begin
to bathe. Work quickly, but gently. The best method for bathing your cat is to start with the head and work your
way down. Be careful not to get water or shampoo in your cat’s ears or eyes. You will only need a very small amount
of shampoo. If you get too much, you will have to rinse longer. If you are treating fleas, then you will want to
follow the directions on the flea shampoo at this point. You can use vegetable oil if you need to remove sticky
substances from your cat’s fur. Use this sparingly because this will leave an oil residue on your cat’s fur,
although it is harmless.
Under normal circumstances, cats lick their body clean with
their rough tongue. To clean their eyes and snout, they use their paws. But they need help to remove paint or
grease from their fur.
Comb and brush your cat’s fur every day. Your cat will love it.
Use a wide-toothed comb for the purpose. While brushing, if you find ticks or fleas in its fur, remove them
carefully with a tweezer.