So you have a kitty and you've asked the question 'can I bathe my cat?'. Well, the answer is yes, you can. However, not all cats will be receptive. In fact, not all cats need it. For those that do, we're here to help!
While cats are incredibly efficient at self-cleaning, there are times when your fur friend might need a clean. Whether they have long fur, end up in the mud, contract a parasite, or simply moult due to the changing seasons, there are a number of reasons why your cat might need a helping hand.
In instances where they do, here are a few things to know to help you manage the process.
So I can bathe my cat. What do I need to know?
Introducing kittens to water from a young age will make the process easier for them and you in the long-term. Providing a safe and comfortable space for them will also help to reduce any stress. A water toy may also be helpful.
If your cat is sick or old and they do not like water, using a wash cloth to clean any problem areas may be the best solution. If that's not even possible, you can talk to your vet about how best to manage washing.
The most important thing to note is that cats do not have the same pH levels as humans. Therefore, using products designed for humans will only hurt your fur friend - this includes your expensive, 100% all-natural, organic shampoo. You will need to buy a quality cat shampoo designed specifically for their skin or talk to your vet about what they recommend.
How do I bathe my cat?
The best solution to washing your cat is to bathe them. For long-haired cats, this can help to ensure they receive a thorough clean with all that fur.
Before bathing, make sure you brush and untangle your cat's fur to ensure you get a thorough clean all over. This will also help to avoid matted or knotted hair getting worse.
Set up your washing area with plenty of towels (be prepared for some resistance and scratches!), a wash cloth and your cat shampoo. You might want to wear some old clothes as you're likely to get wet yourself!
The important details
The water temperature of your tub should range between 35°C and 40°C. Ensure the room is warm so they do not get cold after they've been bathed. And make sure door of your wash area is closed to avoid any escaping kitties.
After you have brushed and untangled any long fur, bring your cat into the bathing area. Carefully holding them under the bottom and around the chest, gently immerse your cat in the water, feet first. Ensure you don't dunk or splash water onto their face.
Once your cat is wet and a quick rinse has been completed, remove them from the tub and rub the shampoo over their body. Concentrate on the chest, legs and between their toes, but avoid the head. Instead, use the washcloth to clean their head, face and eyes gently. Rinse, and repeat if needed.
Once washed and your cat is thoroughly rinsed, it's important to get them warm and dry quickly. Wrap them up in a warm towel and rub vigorously. You can also dry them with a hair dryer on medium heat but be careful how close you get.
If your cat is completely resistant to bathing in a tub, you may want to hand wash them instead. This can often be done in the kitchen sink.
For this method, pre-arrange your area beforehand with plenty of towels and anything breakable out of reach. Using a wash cloth, wet their body with warm water (again, between 35°C and 40°C). Avoiding the head, clean them thoroughly with the cat shampoo. Once rinsed, wrap them in a warm towel as above and dry thoroughly.
What's your experience washing your cat?