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Bathing Your Feline Companion

May 1, 2024

One advantage of having a cat as a pet is that kitties are naturally clean. Although Fido may enjoy getting dirty and would definitely opt out of baths, given the chance, Fluffy is quite meticulous about her beauty regime. Your adorable feline companion may dedicate a significant portion of her active hours to grooming herself. While Fluffy doesn’t need a bath, you can bathe her if you choose … and if you dare. Read on for some expert advice from a local Ruidoso, NM veterinarian on how to properly bathe your cat.

Do Cats Need Baths?

There is no need for you to bathe your cat. If your feline friend happens to get something spilled on her fur, giving her a bath might be necessary. Other than that, it’s a matter of choice. However, there are a few things to keep in mind. It’s always a good idea to consult your vet before giving Fluffy a bath. This is especially important if your pet is in their golden years, recovering from illness, injury, or surgery; is just a tiny kitten; or has any health concerns.

How Often Should You Bathe A Cat?

If you are going to bathe Fluffy, only do so every 4 to 6 weeks. Otherwise, you might accidentally end up bathing her too much. This could potentially remove the natural oils from her skin and coat, which could have negative effects. Your pet might appear dry or slightly frizzy. This can also make her skin itch. Seek additional information from your Ruidoso, NM veterinarian.

Do Cats Appreciate Being Bathed?

If we could ask our feline patients, we suspect we’d get nearly unanimous ‘No’s’ for this one. Most kitties would prefer to never be bathed. Nevertheless, there are a handful of cats that seem to have missed these instructions when reading over the rules of being a cat. For instance, both the Bengal and Turkish Angora breeds are known for their affinity for water and swimming.

Are Cats Happier After Baths?

Typically, cats are not fond of getting wet. (To be honest, that’s quite an understatement.) After an unfortunate encounter with barbeque sauce or a skunk, giving Fluffy a bath will help her feel more comfortable. A cat that is infested with fleas will also experience relief afterward, but this is more related to general medical care rather than beauty routines.

How Do You Bathe A Cat?

Giving your cat a bath is a pretty straightforward process, but there are a few guidelines to follow.

  • Begin by gently brushing your cat’s fur to eliminate any loose hair or dust. If you prefer, you can do this the day prior.
  • Make sure everything is prepared. While it’s not necessary to don full-body armor, we suggest at least opting for thick jeans and a long-sleeved shirt. Have a few towels readily available. You may want to consider placing a mat in the tub or sink to prevent any potential scratches.
  • Prepare the tub or sink by filling it with a small amount of lukewarm water. Make sure that the temperature is not too high! Cats have extremely delicate skin. Water that may feel comfortably warm to us could scald your feline friend. The water level should not be any higher than your cat’s chest.
  • By now, your furry companion might feel compelled to share her thoughts on the subject. Speak to her in a soothing manner and gently stroke her to help maintain her tranquility.
  • Give your furry companion a gentle lathering. It is important to exclusively use shampoos that are specifically formulated for cats. Products designed for dogs or humans can be too potent for kitties! Avoid getting any suds on Fluffy’s head. Instead, use a washcloth to gently clean her face and ears.
  • Rinse your pet carefully. Both a teapot and a sprayer are suitable options. Be careful not to increase the heat or pressure. 

How Should I Dry My Cat Off After A Bath?

Once you’re done bathing Fluffy, gently wrap her in a towel. Avoid rubbing vigorously. Instead, gently press the towel into her fur. This will absorb some of the moisture from her coat.

If she’s okay with it, you can use a blow dryer on her. Opt for a lower heat and a gentle setting. Just don’t force it. Your feline pal may be pretty much over bathtime by now. If your pet has reached her limit, it may be best to release her.

Once you let go, your cat will quickly find one of her preferred cozy spots and begin grooming herself to restore her fur to its original state. At times, she might give you a disapproving look to show her displeasure at being bathed. We suggest trying a new toy, a delicious treat, or maybe some catnip to get that motor running.

What Is The Ideal Time To Give My Kitty A Bath?

When it comes to the time of day, it’s all about finding what suits your schedule best. Just make sure it’s not chilly inside. It’s important to ensure that Fluffy doesn’t get too cold while she’s drying off!

Why Does Fluffy Cry During Baths?

Cats are typically wary of water due to their natural instincts. There could be several factors contributing to this. For one thing, Fluffy isn’t particularly skilled in the art of swimming. She could find herself in a precarious situation, even in shallow water, and can be easily carried away by even the gentlest currents.

Getting wet also is just not a pleasant experience for our feline friends. It’s not unlikely that kitties just instinctively equate water with danger. In the wild, rivers and ponds may conceal potential threats. In addition, damp cat fur emits a unique aroma that could potentially lure in predators.

Why Is My Kitty So Affectionate After A Bath?

We have a few guesses on this, though nobody knows for sure. When you wash Fluffy, the oils are stripped from her skin. Cats have scent glands that they utilize to establish their territories. Your pet may have the instinct to rub against you as a way of marking you as their own. (Your adorable little diva may also just be thrilled that the entire ordeal is finally finished.)

Should I Take Fluffy To A Professional Groomer?

Some kitties may benefit from a trip to the salon. If your companion is quite elderly, it may be uncomfortable for her to be held. Cats with thick or fluffy fur may require additional assistance in this regard. Ask your veterinarian for further details.

What About Flea Baths

It’s always a good idea to talk with your vet before using any flea shampoo, especially if you bought it from a box store or discount place. Unfortunately, some of these products have proven to be unsafe. In addition, if you are utilizing a different method of parasite control, combining it with a bath could potentially expose your cat to excessive amounts of chemicals, which can be harmful. It’s always wise to be cautious.

Contact Your Ruidoso, NM Veterinary Clinic

Do you need any assistance regarding your cat’s health or care? Feel free to reach out to us at your local Ruidoso, NM animal clinic, anytime!