When you think for the first time to wash your cat at home, a question arises: should you wash your cat? There is a false belief that you should never bathe a cat, something that is totally false. You can bathe a cat, but it is true that some do not like to be in contact with water and that, if a cat is a homebody and has never had an “accident” playing with mud, oil or any other messy product, the cat can perfectly live without taking a bath.
But cats are playful and we may need to bathe our cat at some point. That’s when he will need our help. Cats, like dogs, should not be bathed before the age of 3 months, if we bathe them at this early age we can endanger their health because their defenses are not yet fully developed.
For all these reasons, in this article, “How to bathe your cat – Tips and products”, we give you some guidelines and tips on how to bathe your cat at home!
- Tips before bathing a cat
- Trim your cat’s claws. To minimize the damage that our cat can cause in a moment of fear or stress, it is advisable to cut the cat’s claws. If you’ve never done this before, it’s best to have them trimmed by a professional, or you could unintentionally injure the cat.
- Brush it. It’s always easier to untangle tangles while the cat’s coat is still dry, this will prevent tugging during the bath and ensure that the bathing experience is as relaxing as possible. Pay particular attention behind the ears and neck, these are usually the areas most prone to knots.
- Adopt a strategy. During the bath, we must never leave our cat alone in the bathtub because it is very likely that he will get scared and escape. Before starting we must make sure that we have everything at hand: shampoo, towels, toys, treats, brush, hair dryer…
What should you wash your cat with?
Warning: the shampoo must be specific to cats, it would be totally harmful to use our shampoo or that of our dog.
- Bath or container already filled with water. The sound of running water from a faucet can scare our cat and stress it out. That is why, before bringing our cat to the bathing area, the bathtub must already be filled.
The water must be lukewarm, not too deep, so that our cat can stand up or sit down and that the water does not come near his neck, otherwise he could get scared.
It is recommended to put a non-slip mat at the bottom of the bathtub as well as a small towel on which our cat’s paws can rest. Thus, if at some point our cat has a little fright and pulls out its claws, it will be able to stick them in something and relax again.
- A toy in the water will help our cat associate bath time with play and we can bathe him quickly and easily.
- Finally, relax! You have everything prepared, everything is at hand and everything is secure, in a room where calm and harmony reign, all you have to do is pick up the cat to give it a bath. Take care, because if, when you pick it up, the cat notices that you are tense and scared, it will not have served to have prepared a relaxed and welcoming little nest, because your cat will notice this tension in you. and will be infected!
Take a deep breath, relax, and go about it happily, as if you were going to play with the cat. He will notice this positive and happy energy in you and will gladly take his bath.
- How to wash your cat step by step + some tips
- Get the cat into the tub. You know your cat better than anyone, so you’ll know what fun tricks you can use to get your cat into the water (toys, treats, games, etc.) and try to get him into the water naturally.
If the cat does not come in of its own accord, you can pick it up and let it in little by little, without pressure, without obligation, without fear.
A trick to being able to pick up a cat in a relaxed way is to grab it by the scruff of the neck. When you take it by this area, the cat is easily moved to where we need it to be.
- Wet the cat very slowly. Once in the water, we will start to wet it little by little, without rushing. If the cat is scared, that’s okay, we’ll let him relax for as long as he needs. It is therefore preferable not to bathe him this first time but that he has had this first contact. If he feels coerced and scared, we’ll have a much harder time bathing him next time.
If all goes well, we continue with the bath. It should never be wet beyond the neck, the head should never be introduced under water, this could frighten it.
If the body is very wet, we will take a shampoo for cats and gently wash our cat in the direction of the hair. Once everything is well lathered, always very gently, we will rinse our cat calmly and patiently with lukewarm water.
Be especially careful not to get shampoo in their eyes, ears, nose or mouth, as this could cause infection.
Now we are left with his face, since we didn’t get him wet during the bath, but don’t worry, you can wash his face with a damp soft cloth. Our feline companion will certainly not object to these caresses.
- How to proceed after the bath?
- Dry your cat with a bath towel. Take the towel and squeeze as much water as possible from his coat, making gentle movements similar to the caresses we normally give him.
If your cat is short-haired and in an area where there is no cold draft, at this point you can skip this step.
- Dry it with a hair dryer. If his hair is long or medium-long and he is not afraid of the hair dryer, we will dry him with soft, warm air while we brush him in the direction of the hair.
On the contrary, if it does not accept the hair dryer, it will be necessary to continue drying it with a towel as much as possible.