You might think that since your cat is constantly grooming, you don’t have to worry about bathing them. However, as you probably already know, cats tend to get in trouble quite often. Whether that’s knocking over a plate of food, getting all muddy, or sticking their paws into something they shouldn’t have, you might have to learn how to bathe a cat to ensure your little one won’t be smelling like garbage for the rest of the day.
Image source: Pixabay
We’re here to answer the question on every cat owner’s mind: “How will I bathe my cat and live to tell the tale?” From a cat owner to another, all you need to do is follow these 10 steps. Here we go!
How to Bathe a Cat: A Cat Owner Advises
A word of warning: your cat is not going to like their bath and there’s little you can do about it. However, sometimes cats just need a bath. Be careful though - the same isn’t true of kittens. Avoid making one of the most common mistakes of raising a kitten by not bathing your cat if they’re younger than 8 weeks old. If you’re wondering how to clean a kitten, moistened towelettes or baby wipes are the answer.
Step 1: Choose the Right Shampoo
Using human shampoo on cats is a huge no-no. It can dry out your cat’s skin due to the different pH level. That’s why cat shampoos exist, to make your little devil’s life easier. When you select the shampoo for the upcoming bath, choose one that’s mild and doesn’t contain any perfumes or chemicals that might irritate your cat’s skin.
Step 2: Trim Your Cat’s Claws
If you want to survive the process of bathing your cat, you’re going to have to trim their claws. You can do that in the same day or the day before if you know your cat gets agitated after a trim and needs time to calm down. Putting them through a trimming and a bath in the same day might be a bit much.
Image source: Pixabay
Step 3: Gather the Necessary Supplies
For the process to run smoothly, make sure you have all necessary supplies at hand.These include:
- Non-slip floor mat
- Damp washcloth
- Cotton balls
- Rubber gloves (if you care about our hands)
- Spray nozzle (or a large pitcher)
Step 4: Prepare the Bath & the Cat
The moment is finally here, so make sure your cat is as comfortable as possible before giving them a bath. I recommend doing it when they’re at their most relaxed. For instance, my cat gets extremely relaxed when I brush him, which helps me out as well, since you need to brush your cat before bathing it. That way, their fur will be tangle-free.
Image source: Wikimedia Commons
Run the tap and allow both the water and the room to warm up. Close any windows that might cause a draft and once you get your cat inside, close the door to make sure they don’t escape during the bath, all lathered up and splashing everywhere.
Speaking of getting the cat inside, if you’re having trouble with this, try using toys to attract it. Toys that float are particularly effective because they encourage your cat to interact with water without regarding it as a foe. Treats might help as well.
Step 5: Be Gentle but Firm
You don’t want to scare the poor kitty away but you also don’t want to give them the opportunity to hurt you or run away. If you have a friend or family member who can help you do this, ask for it. Four hands are better than two.
Take the cat in your arms and gently place them in the tub talking to it all the while with a reassuring voice. Allow them to adjust their position as they see fit and try to accommodate their choice as much as possible.
Step 6: Get the Cat Wet
Here, you have two options. You can either use a pitcher to get water out of the tub and onto your cat or you can use the spray nozzle if your cat is comfortable with it. Whatever you do, don’t get their head wet. They won’t like it one bit.
Step 7: Lather up
Whether you choose to use undiluted shampoo or dilute it with water, it’s time for a nice scrub. Work your way from head to tail and massage the area just as you do when you wash your own hair. Don’t forget to scrub in places that are harder to reach as well, such as the underside.
Step 8: Rinse
Using the pitcher or the nozzle again, start rinsing your kitty carefully, making sure you leave no excess shampoo in their fur. Again, steer clear of getting their head wet.
Step 9: Clean Their Face
Now that their body is squeaky clean again, it’s time to give their face a clean as well. Do that using a damp washcloth. Gently wipe their face and if you want to (and they allow you to), use a cotton ball to clean inside their ears.
Step 10: Dry Them off
Help your cat get rid of the excess water by running your hands down their body. Then, wrap them in a towel and dry them off as best as you can. If your kitty has long fur, you may need to use a hairdryer, but not all cats can stand one. Regardless, make sure they’re warm and cozy until they get dry.
Image source: Pixabay
Congratulations! You just learned how to bathe a cat and not get killed in the process. You deserve a reward, and so does your cat. Give it a delicious treat to show them you appreciate their cooperation. Do you have any tips on bathing cats that are not huge bath fans? I’d love to hear from you in the comments.