Posted 16th Aug 2016 by Peter Byrne
Cats and water do not normally mix well together. In fact, it is quite common that they will go out of their way to avoid getting wet, but sometimes you simply cannot avoid having to bathe them
However, there are certain tips that can make the experience more comfortable for you and, more importantly, your cat.
Make sure that you have everything you will need to hand, so that you will not have to run out half way through, leaving the cat alone in the water.
As an aside, it can be helpful to have someone with you, to hold and comfort the feline throughout.
Before starting you should:
- If you can, line the sink or bath that you're going to use with a non-slip floor mat.
- Have specialised cat or kitten shampoo. Do not use human shampoo, as these include harsh chemicals that are unsuitable for cat hair and skin as it has a different pH level.
- Have a towel to hand.
- Fill the bath with warm but not hot water and gently lower the cat in. Don't overfill the bath - this will only cause panic.
- Praise and reassure throughout - treats can offer a welcome distraction.
- Avoid wetting the head and instead lather the rest of the body, including the tail.
- This may be a more obvious point but do not put anything inside the cat's ears that could get caught, such as cotton wool - cats will feel stressed if they cannot hear properly. To wash the shampoo out, you can either use a shower nozzle or a jug of warm water.
Once the shampoo is washed out, the last step is to dry them. While cats will normally shake themselves dry, you should have a towel to remove as much of the excess water as possible. While it can be tempting, avoid using a hair dryer unless it is something they have been used to since kittenhood - it's a sensation they are unlikely to enjoy otherwise.
And as a last point, you should keep the cat indoors until they're completely dry.
Image courtesy of Pixabay