So much for cat washing – cats spend up to four hours a day intensively grooming their fur. Although house cats are very clean, they are considered to be afraid of water. With their rough tongue and supportive paws, the animals still manage to clean themselves thoroughly without water. Many cat owners wonder if cats need to be bathed – and if so, what’s the best way to go about it.
When you should help cats with grooming
In principle, bathing is not necessary for a short-haired cat, because the velvet paw takes care of the body and coat care completely by itself. Cat owners should only brush out loose hair during the change of coat. Long-haired cats need regular support because their dense fur tends to become matted. Particular attention should be paid to the area around the anus: It is advisable to shorten the hair around the genital area so that no feces get caught here. In principle, even a long-haired cat should not be washed.
Hairless cats have very sensitive skin due to the lack of fur. The animals are protected by a film of sebum, which cat owners should wipe off regularly with a lukewarm cloth. However, a full bath is usually not necessary.
If an outdoor cat comes home completely dirty, some cat owners think about whether they should bathe the cat. As a rule, it is sufficient to wash off coarse dirt with a lukewarm, damp cloth. You should only think of a full bath in exceptional cases, for example, if the most stubborn incrustations cannot be removed.
Important vet visit in case of parasites or contact with toxic substances
Unfortunately, you cannot kill parasites with water: if the cat has fleas, for example, a bath is not enough. In this case, a visit to the veterinarian is advisable. You will usually receive a spot-on preparation that reliably eliminates the parasites.
If the cat has come into contact with something poisonous, you should immediately remove the remains from the fur. Lukewarm towels or a washcloth are well suited. Bathing is not recommended in this situation, because if the animal is not used to washing, you will create an additional stressful situation. A visit to the veterinarian is helpful, during which the expert rules out that the cat has already ingested something poisonous. In case of doubt, the doctor has the necessary equipment to professionally clean the animal.
Wash cat: how to do it
You should only bathe a house cat seldom, if at all. If you bathe the pet for some reason, such as being unable to groom itself due to illness or injury, you want to create a calm and stress-free environment. Prepare your project well and lay out everything you need.
It is important to only use products suitable for animals as bath additives, such as cat shampoo, which do not destroy the natural protective film of the skin. Ideally, provide a small bathtub with lukewarm water, or use your shower tray if you want to bathe the cat. A non-slip pad is useful to ensure that the animal does not slip. A large bathtub is not a good choice because there are too many alternatives. It is best to keep the room comfortably warm so that the cat does not freeze when wet. You should also have a towel ready so that you can dry the house cat right away.
Bathing a cat – tips for getting used to the water
Cats don’t like water very much, so you have to reckon with resistance in your project. A clever idea is to familiarize the animal with the water before the bath. Splash some water on the paws once in a while or dip the paw in a bowl of water. In this way, you take away the animal’s fear of the unknown water in the long term and you can bathe the velvet paw if you have to.