If your cat gets fleas or gets a bit dirty to the extent that they can’t clean themselves, a bath is an option, but these can be stressful for both you and the cat, as cats and baths don’t go well together, and you may be putting it off.
However, there are ways you can prepare your cat for this experience so it feels calm and patient enough for you to get them nice and clean, but getting your cat used to this change is essential.
Below you can find ways to make bathtime for your cat less stressful and prevent you from getting all scratched up.
Prep Your Cat Before The Bath
Before you do anything, a good idea is to trim your cat’s nails, as it’s likely that when they are in the bath, they will do anything to get away from it.
Plus, you can keep yourself scratch-free for the most part.
As well as this, make sure you untangle any of the hairs on your cat so you have an easier time when trying to clean them, and once you’ve done this, you can get your cat used to the environment by having them in the same room while you fill-up the bath.
Prepare The Bath
This can be a daunting part, but it doesn’t have to be, as you can prepare the bath by using a towel in the bathtub so your cat has a good grip and can become used to it more, and for the water, it only has to be a few inches and keep the temperature very mild.
If your cat is skittish around running faucets, you can fill up a bucket and fill the tub that way, and for the shampoo, you can find ones that are made for cleaning cats, as other kinds could be harmful to your cat.
Once you’ve done this and your cat has adapted to its surroundings, you can begin cleaning it.
Clean Your Cat
For this step, you want to be as patient and reassuring as you can to your cat, as any hesitation could be picked up on by your cat, which will make them uneasy, and if you are feeling doubtful, ask someone else who the cat recognizes to help keep the cat in position.
If you’re struggling to get them in, place their toys in the tub, or if they dip a paw, reward them for taking that step and be sure to wash them gently and avoid any sudden movements, and by assuring them, they will be a lot more comfortable.
When washing them, scoop some of the water with your hand and pour it over your cat, being sure not to get any water into their ears, eyes, or nose, and you can do this until they’re wet down to the skin.
With the shampoo, you want to work it into your cat and avoid its eyes, and once it’s applied, you can rinse it all off and use a towel to dry any excess water.
Let Your Cat Dry
Now your cat is nice and clean, you can let them dry out on its own by placing the cat in a warm, draft-free room where it can air dry, and if it has longer fur, you may want to put a comb through it to avoid any of it getting tangled.
Some cats will let you dry them off with a towel or hairdryer, which you can do quickly, but make sure that your cat has the temperament and can take a sudden change, as it’s unlikely that nervous cats will let you do this.
What If My Cat Refuses A Bath?
There are those cats that no matter what you try, there’s no chance you can reassure them enough to get them to stay in place, and if so, there are other alternatives.
One of these is by finding a cat-friendly dry shampoo that you can work into your cat and should dry off pretty quickly, or if you’re afraid of fleas, you can use flea and tick spot for cats, which is something you can put on the back of your cat’s neck.
You can do this every 30 days, and if you want to prevent these from being a problem in the future, you can spray your carpets, rugs, and yard so that they can repel any critters that are lurking around, as your cat can find itself in many different places.
Can I Train My Cat To Like Baths?
This can only be done if the cat is a kitten, as you can get them used to the bath easier.
As they get older, they can get used to it, and there are many scenarios where this isn’t possible, so all you can do is be as patient and reassuring to your cat as possible.
As kittens, though, they can be more fragile, so you want to take extra care when bathing them and dry them off quickly with a towel to maintain their body temperature.
Part of getting your cat used to baths is by the proper introduction, so be sure to remove any distractions from the room and use a diffuser that can give off pheromones that can reassure your cat that they are safe.
Cats can sometimes be unpredictable, so you want to expect any outcome when introducing them to this environment.
One of these is that your cat is going to try to escape, which is something that can be frustrating.
As long as you keep them as warm and comfortable as possible, there’s a chance your cat can get relaxed while in the water, and while you may have to be patient for this, you may be rewarded with some perseverance.
At Love4Cats, our practice involves consistent collaboration with licensed veterinarians and reputable industry experts. However, it's important to note that the content provided on Excited Cats is not intended as veterinary advice. While we strive to enhance your understanding of feline care, the information presented on this blog should not replace professional veterinary guidance.