Cat Bathing???? Is that Even Possible?

If you are a cat owner, then you are probably more then well aware that cats do not like water. They avoid it at all costs. Even when they drink, it is daintily and far less then their canine counterparts, who they watch with disdain as they slobber in their water bowls. Unless you are the cat owner with that rare kitty who actually enjoys a quick dip, you probably have never thought about giving your cat a bath. Of course you haven’t… you enjoy having all your digits, right?

Though it is not often, there are times when a kitty bath is warranted. This may cause you, the owner, to run and cower behind the living room sofa in fear. But fear not… we are here to help! The first step is understanding when Mrs. Flufferkins actually needs a bath. Most cats can go their entire life and not need help from their human companions to keep clean. They are usually very good at grooming themselves. Unfortunately, as some cats age, they lose the ability to properly groom themselves and need some assistance. Then there is the adventurous cat that finds themselves in a substance of unknown origin. And you, the ever diligent owner, do not want them ingesting this. True story… we once had a cat that rolled in motor oil! Not the type of stuff you want them grooming off their fur.

If you find yourself in a situation where your cat needs a bath, you can either take them to the groomer (and have no fear of judgment from anyone that knows cats!) Or, you can choose to try and do the job yourself. If you do decide to forage into that great unknown of kitty bathing, we have a few tips to help you and your little darling get though the event with as little trauma (for both of you) as possible.  Here we go:

 Step 1:

Choose your battle plan. You may want to enlist some help. Cats are crafty and amazingly strong when they want to get away. Plus, there are those very sharp things they have called claws! A couple set of hands are always a good idea.

 Step 2:

Figure out where the bathing is going to take place. Get your kitty into the room and close the door! If Fluffy makes it out mid bath, it is not going to be an easy task to her back into the room!

 Step 3:

Place a rubber mat in a clean, empty sink or bathtub for kitty to stand on. This will help give sure footing and prevent slipping.

 Step 4:

Test the water. You want it warm, but not hot. Use the inside of your forearm to judge the temperature. Remember, your pet can suffer a burn just like you can.

 Step 5:

Slowly and gently pour the water over your cat. Bring it to her and not the other way around. Talk softly to kitty in a low, steady voice to keep her calm.

 Step 6: 

Make sure you are using a cat-specific shampoo. All species have a specific pH balance and using a shampoo not balanced for cats can cause skin irritation.

 Step 7:

Be sure to rinse thoroughly. Shampoo residue can contribute to skin allergies.

 Step 8:

Have a clean bath towel handy and gently stroke your cat’s fur to soak up as much water as you can. Keep the house warm and free from drafts until your cat is completely dry.

 Step 9:

Reward! Talk gently to your cat and lavish her with praise during the entire bathing process. When your cat comes out of hiding, that is the time for lots of extra love and a treat or two!

We hope that if your kitty is one of the multitudes of water phobic cats, you never need this article. But if you do, good luck and let us know how it goes!

By on September 1st, 2023 in Pet Care