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Armitage Animal Clinic

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Call us today! 905 836-4001
Call us today! 905-836-4001
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Newmarket, ON L3Y 8C9

GIving Your Cat A Bath

February 15 2024

Kitties are naturally very clean, which is one of the many benefits of having one of these charming balls of fur as a pet. Although Fido loves rolling in mud puddles and usually prefers not to take baths, kitties are very fussy. Your furry friend may spend as much as a third of her waking time cleaning herself! However, Fluffy may need a bit of help from time to time. In this article from Armitage Animal Clinic, your Newmarket, ON animal hospital, a local vet offers some tips on bathing your cat from a local vet.

Should I Bathe My Cat?

Fluffy should stay pretty clean without baths: she’s pretty good about grooming herself. So while there is no need to bathe your cat, you can if you want to. You might also have to bathe your feline pal if she gets something spilled on her fur.

Check with your Newmarket, ON vet before proceeding, though. This is especially important if your pet is a senior, a very young kitten, or has a medical condition. You also shouldn’t bathe a cat that’s recovering from surgery Unless your vet says it’s safe.

When Should You Wash Your Indoor Cat?

Even if you are bathing Fluffy, you don’t need to do so very often. You really should only bathe her every 4 to 6 weeks at the most. Otherwise, you might inadvertently over-bathe her. Your pet may look dry or even frizzy. This can also cause skin irritation. However, hairless cats may need more frequent baths, as they do get a bit greasy. Ask your Newmarket, ON veterinarian for more information. 

Do I Need To Take My Cat To The Groomer?

If your pet is quite old, just being held may be uncomfortable for her. Cats with thick or fluffy fur may also need some extra help. If Fluffy is very matted or has gotten something very thick on her fur, you may also need professional help. Ask your Newmarket, ON vet for more information.

Should I Brush My Cat?

While our feline pals may not be very enthusiastic about being bathed, many do enjoy and appreciate being brushed. You may need to brush your kitty during sheds as well, as this will help keep her fur from getting, well, everywhere. This is particularly helpful for senior cats, as they often have trouble grooming themselves. Just be careful not to pull too hard. Also, don’t force Fluffy to submit beyond the time when she’s comfortable. That could cause her to form a bad association with being brushed, which is the last thing you want. 

Do Cats Hate To Be Bathed?

If we were able to poll them, we’re pretty sure that most of our feline patients would say ‘No’ to this question. Most cats hate water. In general, cats do not enjoy baths. (Actually, that’s an understatement. Many cats absolutely hate being bathed.)There are, however, a few kitties that didn’t get this memo. Bengals and Turkish Angoras are two examples of this: both breeds enjoy water and even swim well.

Are Cats More Comfortable After Being Bathed?

If Fluffy is getting bathed because you accidentally dropped barbeque sauce on her or she got sprayed by a skunk, she’ll definitely be much more comfortable afterward. A cat that is infested with fleas will also feel relief after. However, that falls more under general medical care rather than beauty regimes. 

Please note: check with your vet before giving your cat a flea bath. Many products sold in big box stores for this are not safe. It can also be dangerous to give Fluffy a flea bath if you already have her on parasite prevention. This could expose her to dangerous levels of pesticides.

How Should You Bathe Your Cat?

Cat bathing isn’t rocket science, but it is important to do things the right way. This will not only make bathtime more pleasant for Fluffy, it also reduces the chances of you ending up covered in scratches.

Here are few tips:

  • Brush your cat the day before to remove any dead fur or dander from her coat.
  • Prepare everything beforehand. You don’t need full-body armor, but thick jeans and a long-sleeved shirt. It’s also a good idea to put a mat down in the sink or tub to prevent scratches.
  • Make sure the water isn’t too hot! Our feline friends have quite sensitive skin. Water that seems pleasantly hot to us could burn them. The water should also not be deeper than Fluffy’s chest.
  • If your pet decides to express her opinion, talk gently to her, and pet her to help keep her calm.
  • You should only use shampoo made for cats. Products made for dogs or humans are too strong for kitties! 
  • Don’t use suds on your feline pal’s head. A washcloth should suffice to clean her face and ears.
  • Rinse well! Using a teapot or a sprayer, rinse your pet gently. 

What Is The Best Way To Dry My Cat After Her Bath?

As soon as you’ve finished bathing Fluffy, wrap her in a towel. gently press into her fur to help it absorb water from her fur. You can blow dry your pet if she doesn’t mind, but don’t force it. 

Once you’re done, let your feline pal go. She will immediately retreat to one of her favorite warm, comfortable spots and begin grooming herself. A new toy, a delicious treat, or some catnip will get her motor going again. 

Are There Good Or Bad Times To Bathe My Cat?

As far as time of day goes, it is up to you. Just make sure your place is fairly warm. You don’t want Fluffy to be too chilly as she’s drying off.

When I Give My Cat A Bath, Why Does She Get So Dramatic?

Most cats are instinctively scared of water. There are a number of possible reasons for this. One of them is that Fluffy isn’t a strong swimmer. she can easily get swept away by currents, and is over her head in just a foot of water. In addition to being uncomfortable, being wet may also feel unsafe to your pet. Additionally, wet cat fur is odorous, which may attract predators. Rivers and ponds can also hide predators, which may be a factor as well.

Why Do Cats Like To Snuggle After Baths?

The majority of things we don’t know about them are still unknown to us. However, we have a few good guesses. When you wash Fluffy, you strip her of her oils. Cats have scent glands that allow them to mark their territory. Your pet will likely want to rub all over you so that she is properly anointed, and therefore ‘claimed’ by her. Your furry little diva may be relieved that the whole thing is over.

Conclusion: Even though cats are usually very clean, you can bathe them if you like. Just make sure you do it safely. Use the proper products and protocols, and take care not to over-bathe your feline friend. 

If you have any questions about your cat’s health or care, feel free to contact us at Armitage Animal Clinic, your Newmarket, ON animal hospital. We are dedicated to offering top-notch care!