Tips For Bathing Your Cat Without a Catfight
How to Acclimate Your Cat to Take a Bath
You’ve probably heard horror stories of how an angry, wet cat can rip your shower curtain to shreds and leave you bleeding. But it doesn’t have to be that way. In fact, bathing your cat can be a calm, agreeable experience for both of you. Mija, my tuxedo cat, sits calmly in my hand under the faucet without biting, scratching, or struggling. Here are nine tips I used for bathing Mija.
Start early. Being bathing when your kitten is still a baby. I began giving Mija a bath when she was about 5 weeks old.
Bond with your kitten and develop a high level of trust. The more your kitten bonds with you, the better she will trust you will not drown her.
Bath your kitten in the bathtub. The large, flat tub bottom allows your kitten to walk around. Keep the drain open. Most cats don’t like putting their feet into standing water. However, they will usually walk on wet surfaces without complaint.
Warm the water and the room. A cat’s body temperature is slightly higher than a human’s, so be sure the water is comfortably warm. A wet cat can get cold very quickly. Be sure your bathroom and your bath water stay toasty warm during the entire bath.
Prepare your kitten for the bath. I sit on the side of the tub with Mija’s back to the running water. I wet my fingers in the bathwater and using them to wash her face. Once your kitten accepts you wetting its head with the warm bath water, place her in the tub. Put her in the middle of the tub away from the faucet splash. Your kitten may react with some resistance but typically calm returns once your kitten figures out she is not drowning and you are not letting her out of the tub.
Tip # 6
Keep eye contact with your kitten. Make eye contact with your kitten continuously so that she is focused upon you, not the water. This is where the trust you have with your kitten is put to the test. If you have bonded well with your kitten and her trust in you is strong, she will likely allow you to run warm water over her body as long as you keep it out of her eyes, ears, and nose.
Use baby shampoo. Use a mild unscented baby shampoo with a “no tears” formula. Later, as your kitten accepts the bathing process, you can switch to a good pet shampoo designed for cats. Work quickly as you lather as your kitten will chill rapidly when not under the warm water.
Pick up your kitten for the final rinse. I place Mija in my hand, which allows me to lift her out of the sudsy water and rinse off her paws and tail. Now, as a three-year-old grown cat, she sits calmly in my hand when I rinse her under the faucet.
Avoid rough, scratchy bath towels. Baby towels work well for the final drying off.
If you don’t succeed at first, just stop the process and try again another day. Over time, you should be able to lessen any resistance and get your kitten to readily accept bathing. Mija really appreciates her bath because she loves to be clean and well-groomed. I hope your cat will too.