Should you give a cat a bath?

Juliet D'cruz

Updated on:

If you like cats or have one at home, you’ve probably wondered if washing a cat is a good thing or a bad thing and if it’s really necessary. Well, in this PlanetAnimal article we’ll answer all those questions and even give you some tips so you know exactly what to do if you need to give your pet a bath.

The belief that cats don’t like water and that they spend their days grooming themselves and therefore don’t need a bath is not really true, and if you continue reading below you will find out why. The truth is that it all depends on several factors active from the earliest age of the animal, if they have had a negative experience with water, or if they have not learned to clean themselves well for a particular reason. , among others. Take a look at this article and see if you can or should wash your cat.

Do you need to wash a cat?

The answer to this question depends on each animal, and veterinarians say you don’t really need to bathe your cat if it’s fine and smelling good, at least not on a regular basis, but only when it’s strictly necessary. In addition, if you wash your cat too often, you risk causing him to lose the sebum contained in his fur and, moreover, cause a traumatic experience. 

So bathe your cat only when urgently needed . Also, cats are the most cat hygiene animals there are, since they spend most of their time grooming by running their tongues around their bodies, so if your cat is short-haired and lives indoors, a good regular brushing will almost always be enough.

Everyone knows the typical phrase Cats hate water but this statement is uncertain because it is enough, in fact, to get them used to it. As happens with other animals, you can educate a cat from a young age and get it used to having contact with water, yes, ideally start bathing it from 2 or 3 months when it is already vaccinated and in the intermediate phase of socialization, to prevent him from getting sick and to understand that the water is not “bad”. If you need to accustom an adult cat to water, it will be much more complicated.

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Also, there are certain breeds of kittens that love water such as the Bengali cat who don’t see a problem playing with water and are excellent swimmers. But of course, these races are exceptions. However, it is possible to accustom a cat to water at home without a negative experience.

When to wash a cat?

Whether he’s used to bathing or not, there are a few extraordinary situations when a cat may need to bathe:

  • If you have found a stray kitten or adult cat and it is dirty.
  • If your cat has allergies or a skin infection
  • If your cat has suffered heat stroke or is just very hot
  • If you have a cat with semi-long or long hair, and you cannot untangle it with a brush or if it has oily skin.
  • If your cat has fleas and you need to remove them with a special shampoo.
  • If your cat has ringworm which affects hair, skin and claws.
  • If your cat has gotten dirty with a product, especially if it’s chemical or toxic, and it can’t be wiped off.

If your cat has stopped grooming for any reason.

Only in these specific cases will you really need to wash it, but simply for daily hygiene. More or less regular brushing depending on the type of hair and wipes soaked in a specific dry shampoo respecting the pH of cats’ skin to remove certain debris without really doing the trick and you won’t need to give it a bath.

Tips for bathing a cat properly

Above all, it is important that you consider a number of guidelines that are best to follow to make the experience as pleasant as possible.

Your cat’s first baths are always the worst because everything is unknown to them and they don’t know what to expect, so it’s very important that you stay calm, patient, and not make sudden noises or raise your voice. , which would make your cat even more nervous. You need to pet it and treat it with love at this time.

Also, if possible, have someone help you hold your cat and support it if necessary. Fill the tub or container you plan to use with lukewarm water before putting your cat in it because the sound of water coming out of the tap can make him even more nervous or even aggressive. Additionally, you can also lay down a mat in the bottom of the tub.

Use a cat- specific shampoo so as not to damage your pet’s skin or fur, and wash it gently, trying not to touch its entire head or get too close to it to avoid scratching. Once you’ve soaped and rinsed it well, take your cat out and dry it off as best you can to get all the moisture out. If you think your cat will tolerate the sound of the hair dryer, set it to medium heat and power and dry his hair from a distance.

As you bathe, chances are your cat will end up loving the experience and it will become easy for everyone, so you don’t have to be afraid and wondering if it’s okay to bathe a cat. or not because in truth it depends on many factors.

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