How to Give a Cat a Bath

Looking How to Give a Cat a Bath? Most cat owners never have to really worry about giving their cats a bath. They do such an awesome job of grooming themselves that in most cases, you never really have to give them a bath unless you want.

Nonetheless, learning how to give a cat a bath can come in handy in future. With cats, you can never be too sure what they will run into next so having the information is vital. Additionally, giving a cat bath once in a while never does any harm as long as you follow the right procedure when cleaning the cat.

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Why Do You Need to Bathe a Cat?

Other than the usual reason of wanting to give your cat a good scrub once in a while, there quite a number of other reasons why you might end up giving your cat a shower.

For outdoor cats, you might want to give the cat a bath as a pest control methods. For cats that are heavily infested with fleas, giving them a bath first offers them some relief before you apply other solutions to control the fleas like Bayer Advantage II for Large Cats.

If your cat is allergic to fleas, it might be a good idea to visit the vet before you apply anything on her. It is best to get professional advice on other ways to manage the infestation.

My neighbour’s cat once had a run-in with a skunk and that was the perfect reason to give the cat a bath. Cats are naturally curious creatures and are very adventurous. Your cat might not run into a skunk but there are plenty of other reasons like muddy pools and pollen in the outdoors that could push you to give the cat a dip.

If your cat develops ringworms, a bath is one of the methods of making it better. You will need to see a vet for an accurate diagnosis and the medication that you should use. Typically, the vet will prescribe a special cat shampoo that you should use when bathing the cat to take care of the lesions.

There are also certain breeds of cats that need a bath more frequently than others. The long-haired breeds of cat will typically need a shower every once in a while because they are unable to get all the dirt under their fur out. If you have a Sphynx, you should also consider giving him a bath more frequently because they tend to develop an oily skin over time.

Are you Supposed to Bath a Cat?

Not all cats hate water. Most of the wild cat species like jaguars and tigers actually love taking a deep once in a while. Unfortunately, domestic cats like our lovable pets do not take water too kindly. The simple explanation is because the coat of a cat does not deflect moisture, instead, it gets soaked which can be uncomfortable for the cat and makes it harder for it to get dry. Nonetheless, their hatred is not strong enough to make it impossible to bath the cat.

After a couple dips, the cat eventually gets used especially if you usually make sure that he is properly dried after the shower.

When to Bath Cat

There is no specific time that is ideal for giving your cat a shower. However, it is better to wash the cat when the weather is warm. It makes it easier for the cat to dry. Other than that, there are no other preferences on when to wash the cat. If you have a blow dryer, even washing it a night and using the dryer (which might scare the cat initially) to dry the cat can work.

What Do You Need?

Before you get started, you need to make sure that you have all supplies ready before you actually soak the cat in the water. They are not patient animals and their hate for water is well documented. If you were to forget something in the other room, you would be at pains thinking of whether to do without it or go get it and have to run after your wet cat after.

Some of the equipment you will need when learning how to give a cat a bath includes;

  • Shampoo for your cat
  • A large towel
  • A small cloth for cleaning the face
  • Cotton balls to clean the ears
  • A gentle spray nozzle or a large pitcher for rinsing
  • Rubber gloves

How to Give a Cat a Bath

It is better to bath the cat in a kitchen or bathroom sink as opposed to bending over a tub. With a sink, you will have just enough space to bath the cat and not too much that he will cause trouble. For the best results, you might want to follow this step by step procedure. Before you get the cat wet, make sure you brush it to get off the mats. They are not any different from those found in dogs. If they get wet, they won’t come off. Brushing them off before washing the cat will help a great deal.

  • After you have prepared everything you need to bath the cat, fill the sink with about three inches of lukewarm water
  • Take the cat and wet it from the shoulders down to the tail then apply the shampoo
  • Once you have applied a generous amount of the shampoo, work it in the same way you would if it was your hair
  • Rinse the cat
  • Because cats are very sensitive about having water on their face, it is best to use a small dump towel to clean the cats head and face you can also use the cotton balls to clean the cat’s ears. You should never insert anything into the cat’s ear. Even Q-tips should not be used to clean the cat’s ears.
  • Once you have thoroughly rinsed the cat and you have cleaned the face, head and ears, place the cat in the towel and rub as much as water as possible.
  • If your cat is a long-haired breed, then you can use a blow dryer to dry the cat. Some cats will be terrified by the noise. If this is the case with your cat, then you’re better off leaving him alone and using the towel to suck up as much water as possible.

How Often Should You Bath your Cat?

Your cat does not need to be bathed more than once a month. If you bath it too often, this can dry the skin and cause irritation. However, in cases where there has been mishap like the cat getting into a pool of mud or being sprayed by a skunk you need to have the issue addressed as soon as possible.

What if I can’t Bath my Cat?

Some cats can be feisty especially if this is her first time taking a shower. If she becomes difficult to handle and a shower is necessary, the best approach would be to get in touch with your vet. With the experience that they have in handling animals, they are better equipped to do the cleaning for you.

Alternatively, you can get in touch with a grooming service that knows how to give a cat a bath. Most services have invested time and money understanding the different sceneries and environments that would be calming to the pet. While selecting the service be sure that they use humane and kind methods even when the pets become a handful. With time, the pet will get more accustomed and become more relaxed.

Can I use dish soap to bath a cat?

As much as cats do not need to take a bath frequently, once in a while and more frequently for some breeds is a great ideal to keep them healthy and clean. However, it is imperative that you use only products that are approved for cats. Remember that with a cat’s habitual licking, anything on its fur will end up in its digestive system. So, you have to be careful.

Rebecca Welters

Yes, I am that weird cat lady with 200 cats and live in the darkest corner of the city where no one dares to go! Joking! But I am a cat lover and have 2 Ragdoll cats called Toby, he's 3 years old and Dory, she's 8 years old. I'm 36 years old and live in the quiet town of Washington.

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