Does your cat HATE water? Do you HATE trying to give your cat a bath? Well, you’re not alone. Even though the National Cat Groomers Institute recommends giving cats a bath every 4 to 6 weeks, many cat parents don’t do that because the entire process is not easy, and often, it’s not painless. However, don’t lose hope! We’ve compiled a list of tricks to help you and your cat have a successful and enjoyable bath time.
Develop the Habit
Getting your cat used to water might take some time. It’s best to start bathing when they are kittens, so when they are adults, much of the fear and annoyance isn’t there. Since cats are curious and like to explore, you can play with your cat in the bathtub to get them used to the area, the smells, and the sounds. It’s important to show your cat that they are safe there. Start with a trickle of water or an inch or so of water in the bottom of the tub to desensitize before using higher pressure. If the cat is scared, shut off the water to show that it’s okay! Then, let your cat play in the water to get them used to it.
Cats need a lot of exercise! Giving them a heavy play session before bath time can make them more at ease and relaxed. Spend a good while getting rid of much of your cat’s energy. When cats are more mellow, they are less likely to have issues in the bath. You can also use the aid of treats to distract them or even use catnip to calm them down before the bath starts or even during the bath.
There are a couple of things you can do to prepare your area and your cat for the bath. To help you avoid getting scratches, clip your cat’s pointy claws. If there is an accident, or if your cat just isn’t having it, your arms will be less torn up. Beyond that, you need to prepare the area. Make sure that your cat isn’t standing on the slippery bathtub surface. Put down a thick washcloth or towel, so your cat has something grippy to stand on. Then, make sure you have any cups, shampoos, or brushes you may need. If you have to leave the room, it’s likely your cat will jump out of the bathtub, and it could be a struggle to restart.
Be Calm and Take your Time
It’s important that once you start the bath that you remain calm. You should speak softly and handle your kitty gently to make them more comfortable. Don’t use a lot of pressure to hold them still. Instead, use light pressure and give them calm directions. Scratch their ears or give them a treat to make the bathtime more pleasant.
You Can Do It!
Being calm and taking your time can help future baths go well, too. Make sure that you have your area prepared, so there are minimal distractions and maximum comfort. Get your cat used to water at the earliest age possible, and make sure you associate bathtime with good things like treats or catnip. Always give your cat plenty of exercise beforehand, so you get the most mellow and comfortable cat possible. Make each bath time count!