Can Cats Be Bathed?
Can cats be bathed by us humans? We all know how clean cats are, that’s one of the reasons they make the perfect house pet. Cats instinctively self-bathe all the time, however occasionally you may have to intervene.
Sometimes your cat may end up really dirty and his little tongue and paws aren’t quite up to the challenge.
(For us it is when our Bobby sits beneath a particularly filthy car and comes home with dark streaks across his white fur, no amount of kitty cleaning can budge that)
Other times your cat may need to be bathed for medical reasons. Either way, when these situations arise it is perfectly okay to bathe your cat.
Knowing the correct way to do so is key however. It is a rare cat that enjoys the experience of being bathed, so knowing how to do so can save you and them a lot of anguish (and scratches).
How to Bathe Your Cat
1.It is important that you use a specialist cat or kitten shampoo. Don’t use anything meant for humans, (not even baby shampoo) or dogs. Human shampoos are unsuitable for felines due to the difference in PH levels.
2. Prepare the space you are going to bathe your cat. A large plastic bucket is a good option, (you are going to expect thrashing so bathing outside is preferable). If using bath or sink line the bottom with a non-slip floor mat.
3. Fill the bucket or bath/sink with just enough warm (not hot) water to be able to wash your cat. There is no need to dunk them so do not fill the water too high – this will only scare your cat.
4. Your cat is very likely to bite or scratch if they find the experience distressing. If this occurs, and your cat is really too anxious to bathe, you may need to seek help from your vet.
5. Verbal cues are important – praise and stroke your cat throughout the bathing process, try to make them as comfortable as possible. Treats can be used to distract them too.
6. Use only a small amount of shampoo, being careful not to get any in their eyes, mouth or ears. Concentrate on the area of dirt or contamination, (if you do not need to clean the whole cat, don’t).
7. If a whole body wash is required, lather the soap up and down from head to tail, ensuring the underside is done too. It may help to remove your cat from the water and to carry out the cleaning on a towel.
8. The best way to rinse your cat is to use a shower head or jug of warm water, using your fingers to rub off the soap. Again, avoid the mouth, eyes and ears.
9. After the rinse your cat will be keen to shake off the extra water. Make sure you have a dry towel on standby to wrap them up and rub this water away. Dry them up in a warm room, and do not let them outside until they are completely dry.
Congratulations, you now have a pristine cat.