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Bathing and grooming your cat

Updated on April 13, 2015

Trim your cat's nails.

Before bathing your cat it is a good idea to trim his nails.
Before bathing your cat it is a good idea to trim his nails. | Source

Prepare ahead before starting the bath.

Although cats are well-equiped to groom themselves, on the odd occasion they can get into something sticky or come back home from a tour of the neighbourhood with mats that are too difficult to remove on their own. These mats can accumulate to the point of being very uncomfortable and even prevent further self-grooming. We therefore sometimes need to give a little help to our furry friends. Take the time to clip your pet's nail a day or two in advance to protect yourself from getting scratched.

Follow these tips for bathing your cat.

1. Purr-fect timing is very important. Choose a time when your cat is least active. Take a cat toy and tire her out if she is too frisky.

2. Assure that you have clipped her nails. Clipping the nails a day ahead is a good idea to eliminate the stress of the nail cutting just before the bath.

3. Brush out excess loose hair and mats. If the mats are excessive or close to the skin you may need to shave them out. I use an Oster clipper for clipping out large mats beforehand. Get your cat used to the shaver before using. You can show the shaver to fluffy, turn it on for a few seconds and then give her a treat. Do this several times before placing the clippers on her.

4. To prevent water going into the ear, place a little cotton in the ear. Water in the ear can cause an ear infection and is very uncomfortable and will necessitate a visit to the vet. Take the precaution and don't forget to remove the cotton after the bath.

5. Place a rubber mat in the sink or tub to prevent your pet form slipping. Some cats like to be showered with water as opposed to standing in it. Test your cat. I would try a warm light shower first. If you are unable to control your cat and hold the shower head at same time either engage someone to help or try another method. You can place three to four inches of water in the bath or sink beforehand and place your cat directly in the water. Be quick to wash your cat. Your time will no doubt be limited as cats in general do not like water.

6. Gently place a small amount of shampoo specific for cats on your cat's back and lather up. Work from head to tail in the direction of hair growth. Be careful to avoid the eyes and ears.

7.Rinse thoroughly the shampoo off with a spray hose or use a pitcher filled with warm water. Be sure to remove all of the shampoo to avoid irritation to the skin.

8. To wash fluffy's face use a warm washcloth. Plain water is best on the face and will suffice to wash off any dirt.

9. Dry your cat with a towel and keep her in the warm room away form drafts. You can try to use a hair dryer on low. Some cat's don't mind the noise, others do. The dryer is an option. If it is a stressful event to your cat, don't use it.

10. Make sure to give praise and offer a favourite treat after the bath is finished. The extra attention given is also a reward in itself. Next time the bath might even be easier.

Congratulations on achieving a difficult task. Best of luck if you have not begun yet. Be sure to provide your comments after bathing your pet.

Giving your cat a bath.

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