Most cats need to be bathed infrequently, if at all -- a fortunate circumstance given their inherent dislike of getting wet.
However, there are some good reasons to bathe your cat, whether occasionally or regularly. They include the following:
- Your cat has gotten an unusual amount of dirt or mud on its fur.
- Its coat has come into contact with a harmful substance.
- Your pet is unwell and can't groom itself as it normally would.
- You suffer from allergies, and bathing can help remove the allergens your cat sheds.
- You have a show cat and are about to enter it in a show.
Cats won't enjoy an elaborate bath ritual, so keep their tub time as brief as possible. Following these pointers will help you get them clean in a hurry without undue stress:
- Place a rubber mat in the kitchen sink to keep your cat from sliding around.
- Fill the sink with 2-4 inches of warm (not hot) water. Pick your cat up and gently place it in the sink. Let it leave its front paws out of the water if it wants.
- Wet the cat's fur with a sponge, except for its face. Rub cat shampoo into the wet fur. Be sure to use a shampoo made specifically for cats. Some dog shampoos can be toxic to cats, and even the mildest human soap will dry out their skin.
- Rinse the lather off thoroughly until there are no suds in the rinse water. If your sink has a spray attachment, using it can make this job simpler.
- If you have a double sink, you can use one basin for soaping up the cat, the other for rinsing it off.
- Dry your pet off with towels, and keep it out of drafts until its coat is completely dry, to prevent it from catching cold.
- Once your cat's fur is dry, you can comb it.