Cats are very clean animals. They clean their fur for hours with their tongue. This has a rough structure, so that cats, dirt, loose hairs or parasites simply lick out of their fur. Hair is also swallowed in the process, which balls up in the stomach as a fur ball. The cat must choke this out again. Eating cat grass helps the cat to get rid of the hairballs.
Should I give my cat a bath?
As a rule, domestic cats are considered to be shy of water and healthy cats with short hair or long hair can cope with their grooming alone. Therefore, it is to be expected that the cat resists bathing. In longhaired cats, feces may get caught in the long hairs on the butt and the cat should be bathed for that reason. Old and sick cats need assistance with grooming by bathing. If the outdoor cat has taken a bath in the mud you can try to remove the worst dirt with a damp washcloth, because a bath means stress for the cat as well as for the cat owner. It is different with feral cats. They have no aversion to water.
How to successfully bathe the cat?
If the cat’s fur does not become clean, you can pour lukewarm water into a suitable container. The water should reach the cat’s belly at most. Use a special cat shampoo or just water to clean the fur. Cat shampoo has a different pH than shampoo for humans. Provide some dry towels in advance and some treats to reward the cat for not piling up.
- put the shampoo directly into the lukewarm water or onto the washcloth with which you want to wash the cat.
- now get the cat and close the door. Calm the animal with some treats and scratch the fur.
- once the cat is relaxed, put the cat in the container with water. If the cat does not know the procedure, it will immediately want to jump out of the water. Therefore, keep body contact with it to prevent it from jumping out.
- now start washing the cat with the washcloth. Start washing the cat on the belly. This is followed by the legs, back and tail Do not submerge the cat and make sure that the cat’s head remains dry. Especially the cat’s ears are very sensitive. They should never get wet.
- remove from the fur remains of the shampoo with clean water. Keep in mind that cats find showering very uncomfortable. Therefore, use a container from which you can pour out the water or a sponge from which they squeeze the clean water. Now lift the wet cat out of the bathing container and place the cat on a dry towel. Gently massage the fur with dry towels until it is halfway dry.
- Can I blow dry a cat? If so, only from a distance and on a low setting, because cats can’t stand the sound of the blow dryer. An alternative to dry the fur is a radiant heater.
- reward the cat with enough treats and open the door so that the cat can run into the apartment. You should let the cat outside only after a few hours, when the fur is completely dry. Protect the wet cat from drafts.
Tips and tricks to make the cat’s bath successful
Accustom the cat to the bath as early as possible. Young cats are almost not at all afraid of water. Therefore, you can let even small kittens play with water. A second person is very helpful when bathing the cat, because four hands can tame the cat better than two hands. One distracts the cat, the other washes the cat. Close the door to the room. First show the cat the bathing container without water so that it can get used to it. Then fill only a little water into the container. Before washing, comb or brush the fur with the stroke first, so that no nodules are formed during washing. Also remove adhesions caused by dirt and mud with the comb before bathing. Short fur is advantageous when bathing the cat. If a long haired cat cannot be bathed, then trim the fur on the butt so that droppings do not get caught in it. Naked cats are considered less water-shy than their hairy relatives. A bath should nevertheless remain the exception with them. The sebaceous film that forms on the skin of naked cats does not need to be removed with a bath in. A damp cloth is sufficient.