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Bathing Your Cat


Anyone who decides to bathe their cat, must be prepared for a long afternoon. Most cats do hate getting wet and they'll probably be very clear about letting you know that they don't like what you're doing. So think it through ahead of time. Get everything you need lined up and be prepared to remain patient, kind and good humored in the face of your cat's wrath.

Before you begin bathing your cat, you will need to gather a few supplies. At the minimum, you will need two absorbent terry cloth towels, a pet safe shampoo, a pet safe conditioner, a sponge, and a sprayer attachment for your sink or tub. If you don't have a sprayer attachment, you should have a pitcher or large cup that you can use to scoop clean water over your cat's body. Ideally, you should also have a non-skid mat to help your cat feel more secure.

If you decide to bathe your cat in the tub, you may have a harder time holding on to him if he becomes frightened. However, it is usually easier to keep him contained if he escapes in a bathroom than in the kitchen.

Place your non-skid mat in the bottom of the sink or tub. Add two to three inches of warm water and gently place your cat in the tub. Talk to him quietly and reassure him. He will most likely settle down within a few seconds. Once he is calm, begin to wet him down. If the sprayer attachment scares him too badly, you may have to pour water over him using your pitcher or cup, instead. Do not pour water on his head. You will clean his face later.

Once your cat is wet enough to shampoo, apply the shampoo with your hand, massaging your cat's fur and talking kindly and calmly to him while you do. Rinsing the shampoo is probably the most difficult part of the bath. It's important you do it thoroughly even if your cat objects, because the residue from the shampoo will irritate his skin.

Now, work a palm sized dollop of conditioner into your cat's coat and then rinse it out. This step is actually optional if the cat has short hair. However, conditioner will not hurt a short haired cat, so, if he is not too upset, you may still want to use it.

Once your cat's body is clean, dampen your sponge and use it to carefully wipe down his face. Pay close attention to the area under his eyes.

The drying stage is the easiest. Wrap your cat in a towel and rub him down. Change towels when the first one is wet. Get your cat as dry as possible. If you have a long-cat, some people suggest a hair dryer, but most cats are afraid of the sound. Use your judgment. If you do use a dryer be careful that it doesn't get too hot for his skin. Tell your kitty he smells wonderful and is going to look so beautiful now that he's clean.

Submitted by:

Ron X. King

Copyright 2007 Ron King. This article may be reprinted if the resource box is left intact and the links live.

For more info, see Cat tips at: http://www.new-cat.com or Cat health at: http://www.new-cat.com/Cat_Health.php. Ron King is a webdeveloper; visit his website on Authoring Articles at http://www.ronxking.com.





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