This is a recurring question among cat owners. However, there are several factors that advise proceeding with bathing the animal. As a general rule, if it is a short-haired indoor kitten with its own grooming and the weekly brushing that you carry out will be enough to guarantee the good condition of its fur and fur.
Regarding the frequency of bathing, there is no consensus among veterinarians. Some advise doing it every 5-6 months while others are in favor of bathing every 5 weeks. It is advisable at this point to pay attention to the condition of your skin and how it reacts to contact with water. We provide you with all the keys in the next lines.
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When should I bathe him?
As we say, the licks of the daily grooming through the pores of the tongue allow to wash away much of the dirt that accumulates the fur of the cats. His digestive system is ready to get rid of these accumulations, although you should help him with brushing, especially during the shedding months (spring and fall).
However, there are certain situations in which it will be necessary to bathe him despite the fact that a priori the experience is not to his liking:
- You have taken in a dirty stray cat.
- Your cat has an allergy or skin condition that requires bathing as part of the treatment.
- It has fleas and you should treat it with an anti-parasite shampoo.
- It has gotten dirty with a toxic chemical and you can’t remove it with just wet wipes soaked in dry shampoo.
- It is very hot and your pet has suffered or could suffer a heat stroke.
- You have ringworm that affects your skin, hair, and nails.
- You are older or have been ill and you no longer wash daily.
- You have oily skin.
- He has long or semi-long hair and you cannot untangle it.
How often should I do it?
The general recommendation is that you reserve the bathroom for the cases that we have just pointed out. If you do not access the outside and brush it regularly, your hair and skin will be in optimal condition without the need to bathe it. You should not abuse the bath so as not to suppress the natural oils that its mantle contains that protect it from the cold and make it look beautiful.
How should I bathe my cat?
Most cats dislike bathing, although there are breeds that enjoy being in contact with water. This is the case of the Maine Coon , the Turkish Van, the Bengali, the Siberian or the Norwegian Forest. In any case, getting used to it from a young age and making the first bath a pleasant experience will facilitate the success of this routine .
If you have not bathed your kitten yet or every time you have tried it it has been an ordeal, take note of these recommendations on how to bathe a cat. You will surely find them useful:
- Familiarize him with where you are going to bathe him beforehand and trim his nails to prevent injury.
- Protect your hands from scratches with gloves, for example gardening gloves. In turn, they will allow you to exercise more precise control over the animal.
- Hold it at the nape with your right hand and across the torso with your left. Take some distance from him to prevent him from scratching you or leaning on you trying to escape.
- Cover the bottom of the tub with a non-slip mat. Your pet will be able to fit his nails, he will not slip and, in this way, he will not be scared.
- Never wet your head to prevent water access to your ears. Otherwise, otitis would be guaranteed. To do this, use a container or hose to moisten your hair.
- Always use lukewarm water, since the skin of cats is very sensitive to the temperature of the water. We can say the same about the sound of water. It is preferable that you fill the bathtub before bringing it. The water should not exceed the cat’s feet.
- Use a specific shampoo for your cat’s hair type. The pH neutral shampoo should only be used in the cases indicated by the veterinarian, because it can cause skin irritation, itching or hair loss.
Tips for a satisfying bath
Do not forget that the first bath will make a difference in the predisposition of your kitten towards subsequent baths. It will act as a reference, so you should strive to make it non-traumatic. To do this, be understanding, patient, very loving, and be calm at all times.
The positive reinforcement will serve, once again, to get your pet to associate this experience with something nice. Therefore, once the bath is over, offer him his favorite snack , a good dose of pampering or his favorite toy. Try to start it in the middle of the socialization stage, that is, between 2 and 3 months of life.
Get help from a family member to hold it and place the dryer at a safe distance to avoid burns. Use a medium temperature and power. If it is summer, you can choose to let your hair dry at room temperature after removing much of the moisture with the towel.
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