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Cats are among the cleanest pets. They spend a lot of time daily washing and grooming their hair thoroughly. They are also known to have an innate aversion to water – but does that mean they must never be bathed? Not at all! Bathing a cat is in some cases absolutely advisable.
Are cats washed? Cat anatomy
Surely everyone has seen a cat twist and wash its entire body – sometimes for hours or several times a day. This is due to the evolutionary mechanisms of these animals. Cat’s tongues are covered with special hook-shaped warts. Thanks to this, animals can thoroughly comb their thick fur and distribute saliva with washing properties between the strands. So bathing the cat seems unnecessary.
The anatomy of cats makes self-care easier. These animals can easily bend to get to every nook and cranny. They reach for more problematic parts of the body with their paws moistened with saliva. In everyday situations, bathing a cat is therefore unnecessary – the pet will get rid of dirt, unpleasant odors, dead hair, etc. However, there are situations in which it becomes impossible.
When is it advisable to bathe a cat?
Bathing cats is undoubtedly an unpleasant situation – both for the owner and the pet. Cats are known for the fact that they take great care of their own hygiene. However, there are different situations, for example dirt, in which the question arises – are cats washed? Could it harm or traumatize him? Bathing a cat is a normal grooming procedure and should not harm your pet. Some breeds of cats even need to be bathed from time to time. Preparation for it is essential.
Do not bathe or bathe the cat? When should you do this?
Dogs tolerate bathing much better, some even like the process. It is much more difficult with cats, although there are exceptions – cats who love regular baths. Wondering how often to bathe your cat? In fact, you shouldn’t do it too often. Self-washing is part of feline nature and contributes to the animal’s health. It’s hard to say exactly how often cats need to be bathed. It all depends on the situation and health of the pet.
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When is it necessary to bathe a cat?
So how do you know whether to bathe a cat? There are certain situations when it is advisable and even advisable to bathe your cat:
- contamination of the hair with substances that the cat will not be able to remove on its own or that would harm its health – these include grease, paint, resin, glue or toxic chemicals. In such a situation, it is necessary to bathe the cat. Do this as soon as possible before the pet decides to lick off the harmful substance on its own;
- preparation for the exhibition – in the case of purebred cats, bathing is necessary, although not every day. However, if you are going to an exhibition with your pet, you should definitely clean its skin and coat thoroughly. A properly selected cosmetic will make its cover incredibly soft and fluffy. This is most noticeable in longhair cats. Bathing white cats is especially important – fair hair can get dirty easily and heavily;
- old age or illnesses – if your cat is diagnosed with a serious illness or is simply very obese, you will have to take care of it from time to time. Joint diseases and other ailments that prevent a cat from reaching all parts of its body can be particularly problematic. Bathing your cat in this situation is essential to help keep it clean;
- infection or infestation of parasites such as fleas, lice – if they have attacked your cat, be sure to invest in the appropriate preparation. It has to be something that will successfully kill all adults and larvae. When you manage to stave off the invasion, brush your cat thoroughly with the comb. Then start bathing the cat to get rid of dead animals and their remains;
- matted, dirty hair – this is a problem especially among long-haired cats. They are prone to frequent tanning and felting of the hair. You will need a special felt to detangle. It is also worth counteracting this phenomenon. For this purpose, bathing the cat in a special preparation turns out to be particularly effective. A well-chosen shampoo effectively removes excess sebum, dead hair, epidermis and impurities – everything that creates tangles.
Cats bathing – how often do they need it?
Does your cat meet one or more of the above conditions? This means that you need to take a little more care of it and learn to wash it. However, you must not do it too often – maximum once a month. More frequent showers will be more problematic than good – they dry out the epidermis and can lead to health problems by washing the protective layer off the skin.
It is different if your cat suffers from a medical condition. In this case, the veterinarian determines when and how much the cat will need to be bathed. You may need to do this more often until the problem is resolved. However, in the case of an exhibition – it is enough to wash your pet about a week before the event. In any other case, no more than an occasional bath is needed in the event of any contamination.
Cats bathing – how to do it?
Your pet does not have to feel like torture during each bath. You just have to prepare him for it. For this purpose, it is very important to familiarize your pet with the dish in which you will wash it. It is worth doing this well in advance, before bathing is necessary. Do not force him there – give him a room and let him enter a dry tub, sink or bowl by himself. You can make your cat enjoy this experience by stroking or treats.
We have one more advice for you – shorten the claws a few days before bathing your cat. This will reduce the risk of scratching. However, don’t do it on the same day that you plan to wash it. This way you will spare your cat unnecessary stress.
Cats bathing – what will you need for this?
If the cat is comfortable in the bathroom, washing will be less frightening for him. On the day of bathing, make sure that the coat is free from knots and felted fragments. If necessary, you can comb it and remove rubbish such as pieces of thread or twigs. Remember that bathing a cat is usually extremely stressful for him. Therefore, you should do everything to make him feel safe and at ease.
Bathing cats should always be as quick and efficient as possible. So let’s bring all the essentials first. Before you bring your cat to the bathroom, prepare:
- the right shampoo, adapted to your cat’s fur type. Invest more in natural ingredients and proven fragrance-free substances that will not sensitize, irritate or dry out your skin. Never use products intended for humans for this purpose – animals have different needs and the pH of the skin;
- conditioner – can be useful to strengthen and moisturize the skin, as well as to facilitate detangling fluffy hair;
- a large, delicate towel – you will need it to gently dry your cat after bathing; for long-haired or large-breed cats, prepare a few towels;
- a rubber or silicone pad – thanks to it, your pet’s slippery and wet legs will not drift around in the bathtub.
Remember that a bowl or shower tray will be better than a bathtub. Your cat’s bath will be better if you have someone to help. For a more pleasant atmosphere, you can throw your pet’s favorite toys into the water. Also, don’t forget to talk to him in a calm, soothing tone all the time.
Time to bathe your cat!
The water in the paddling pool should be around 38 degrees. Do not pour too much of it – just fill the selected vessel with it up to about half of the cat’s feet. Ideally, your cat should be tired and relaxed before bathing – for example, after intense play. Then, he will have less energy to obstruct your washing.
Bathing the cat should run as quickly as possible. Proceed gently but confidently; leisurely but efficiently.
- Take the cat in your arms and carefully place it in the water, without making any sudden movements. Try to be firm and calm when doing this. Pets can easily sense your stress, which will scare them even more.
- Hold your pet with one hand and wet its fur with the other, moving from the top to the bottom of the body.
- Pour a small amount of shampoo on your hands and gently lather it in your hands or dish. Only then should you spread the cosmetic all over your pet’s body, without jerking it. The whole process should look like pleasant caresses rather than a struggle.
- Be careful and avoid the area of the mouth – just wipe it with a damp towel.
- After rinsing off the shampoo, massage the conditioner into the hair and leave it on for as long as recommended by the manufacturer.
- Rinse off each product with a gentle stream of water with low pressure and a pleasant temperature.
- When you are sure that the coat is clean and thoroughly rinsed, take your pet out of the bathtub and put it on a towel. Drying should also be gentle and gentle – knead the hair with a towel and hold it until it absorbs excess water from all over the place. Do not tear or rub. You may need a few towels for this – change wet to dry ones and keep doing the same until the cat’s body is only slightly damp.
You can use the dryer only if you are sure that your pet is not afraid of it. Use only the gentlest air flow with a not very high temperature. Avoid nose, eyes and ears. If the hair dryer is not an option – bathe the cat in a warm room until the coat is completely dry.
Although cats are by nature cleaners and are perfectly hygienic, bathing a cat is sometimes useful. It is your responsibility to keep your cat clean when sick or disabled. However, even less drastic reasons sometimes require interference. If it turns out that you will have to bathe your cat – do not be afraid and follow our tips, and everything will go smoothly and safely.