This article was co-authored by Brian Bourquin, DVM. Brian Bourquin, better known as “Dr. B” to his clients, is a Veterinarian and the Owner of Boston Veterinary Clinic, a pet health care and veterinary clinic with three locations, South End/Bay Village, the Seaport, and Brookline, Massachusetts. Boston Veterinary Clinic specializes in primary veterinary care, including wellness and preventative care, sick and emergency care, soft-tissue surgery, dentistry. The clinic also provides specialty services in behavior, nutrition, and alternative pain management therapies using acupuncture, and therapeutic laser treatments. Boston Veterinary Clinic is an AAHA (American Animal Hospital Association) accredited hospital and Boston’s first Fear Free Certified Clinic. Brian has over 19 years of veterinary experience and earned his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Cornell University.
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Although there are some cats that actually enjoy baths, there are plenty that hate being bathed. Bathing a cat that hates water can often result in scratches or bites, and a very stressed out and upset cat. To keep bathtime as stress-free as possible, it’s important to prepare ahead of time, and have an extra set of hands to help you out.
Cats generally do a good job of keeping themselves clean, but for various reasons, there will be occasions you’ll need to bathe your kitty. It’s not as hard as you may think, once you both know the routine, so practice when your cat is young.
Difficulty Level: Average
Time Required: 30 minutes
1. Assemble your “tools” next to the kitchen sink: Two thick towels, cat shampoo, conditioner, (for longhaired cats), two large cups or mugs, clean sponge.
2. Put a rubber shower mat in the bottom of the sink so kitty will not slip and slide.
3. Run about two to three inches of body temperature water into the sink– just enough to come up to kitty’s belly. Test the water on your wrist, much as you’d test a baby bottle. You should not be able to discern heat or cold.
4. Place a capful of the cat shampoo in a mug of warm water and mix well, to keep from shocking warm cat flesh with cold shampoo. 5. Pick up your kitty and lower her gently but quickly into the water, talking calmly to her all the while. Another human helper is optional at this step.
6. Give her a few minutes to relax to the idea that you aren’t going to kill her, all the while talking to her and petting her.
7. Turn on and test the temperature of the shower spray and holding it right up against the cat’s skin, wet her body, taking care not to splash in her face.
8. When she is well soaked, pour the diluted shampoo evenly over her entire body, again staying away from the head.
9. Massage the shampoo gently into her fur for several minutes. Now is your chance to give her a full body massage. You may even find that she enjoys it.
10. Rinse well, using body temperature water and the shower nozzle, stroking it the way you would a brush, in long strokes from the base of her neck down over her tail. You can gently pat some water on her tummy at this time, with your other hand.
11. Give her several long petting strokes with your hand to slick away excess water, and to test for any remaining soapiness.
12. Repeat steps 11 and 12 until all evidence of soap is gone. This is the most important process, as soap residue can dry her skin, leaving it vulnerable to rashes and infection.
13. With a clean, moist sponge, wipe down the back of her head and her muzzle, again being careful to avoid her eyes, ears and mouth.
14. Using a large bath towel, lift kitty out of the sink and pat her down, using the towel to blot up as much water as possible.
15. Repeat step 13, using another clean towel, then leave her alone to continue the drying process by herself. Don’t forget the praise!
1. If your cat won’t tolerate the shower spray, use a large measuring cup to pour the water over her in steps 7 and 11, taking care not to splash.
2. If your cat is cool with it, you can use a hair dryer set on low to speed up the drying process. This is helpful with longhairs, but don’t brush until completely dry.
3. Although not necessary, diluted cream rinse may be applied after the first rinsing, then thoroughly rinsed out.
Instead of actually bathing them I would use a waterless bath spray by Bio Groom made just for cats and I believe The Furminator has a waterless bath for cats to. That way you wont have to deal with an upset cat.
anthor way to give your cat a bath is to get a wash cloth with cat shampoo on if, wet the cloth with warm water and stroke italong the cats back and other areas. this feels like a cats mother and they like it alot when you aredone takea dry towl and dry them.
If the cat is very difficult to bathe, and many are, most vets offices will use mild sedation in the clinic to bathe cats there.
Vet clinic and groomers also use a ‘cat bag’ at times; it’s just a drawstring mesh bag. Always be careful; I have seen a cat climb a cinderblock wall to avoid a bath.
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If you look like you just got off the set of a horror film after every cat bath, you’re doing it wrong.
Cats and water rarely go together with ease. And trying to submerge them into a tub without researching beforehand can result in trauma for both you and your pet. You’ll likely end up with water on the floor, bites and scratches all over your body and a scared kitty who’s fled the scene, nowhere to be found. Besides, what’s the point? One of the many qualities we love about cats is how incredibly and obsessively clean they are. After a satisfying meal, cats will clean themselves meticulously with their little sandpaper tongues from the tip of their tails to the top of their heads.
Though bathing your cat is not something that is typically needed, there may be times when they need some extra cleaning. Whether they’re older or they’ve found themselves in sticky situations, you may indeed find yourself faced with the tedious task.
Here are some helpful tips to to make cat baths less stressful for you and your pet:
- Enlist another person to help you, preferably someone your cat knows and likes . The other person can help hold the cat while you bathe them.
- Trim your cat’s nails with clippers or a grinder before you attempt to bathe your cat. Most cats will attempt to get away from you, so keeping those nails trimmed will help reduce the amount of scratches you receive during the process.
- Brush out their fur with a brush to get out the tangles before you start the bath. If there are any mats or knots, getting them wet will only make them tighter so it’s wise to eliminate them before you put the cat into the water.
- Use a towel on the bottom of the bathtub as a bathmat, so your kitty can get a good grip on the surface.
- Only use a few inches of water, and keep the temperature very mild. Fill the tub and some extra buckets of water before bringing your cat into the bathroom so the running water won’t frighten them.
- Use a shampoo that is made specifically for bathing cats. Anything else could be harmful or even toxic to your cat.
- Be very careful with your cat’s head, and avoid getting water into your cat’s eyes, ears or nose.
- Use a soft cloth to soap down your kitty, then rinse them well with warm water until all the soap is out of their fur. Use the extra buckets of water to rinse the soap out.
- Speak to your cat in calm soothing tones as you bathe them. This will help to keep them calm.
- Blot them dry with a towel and let them air dry in a warm draft-free room. If your cat has longer fur, you may have to comb it out while it’s drying to eliminate tangling.
If your cat is absolutely intolerable of water, have no fear. Waterless cat baths are also an option! Look for cat-safe dry shampoo or wipes at your local pet supply store.
Of course, kittens are much easier to bathe, but they are also more fragile. Be careful not to get their heads wet, and dry them with a hairdryer immediately after the bath to maintain body temperature.
For more information, check out this video of one of our staffers bathing her foster kitten.
Persian cats are a mild-mannered breed; they usually prefer to stay at home, so their long and silky coat rarely gets dirty. As we said in our article on caring for Persian cats, they require daily brushing and grooming but only need to be bathed once every two to three months.
Before starting our step by step guide on bathing a Persian cat, we recommend asking a professional cat groomer for advice, at least at first, and take that chance to give the cat’s coat a good trim. Caring for a Persian cat’s coat needs to become a deeply ingrained routine for both you and the cat, and you should also pay attention to maintain the hygiene of their eyes, ears and teeth to prevent common diseases.
In order to help you, in this AnimalWised article we’ll give you a step by step guide to bathing a Persian cat.
Whether a kitten or a fully grown Persian cat, the first step to bathing them will be to get them used to warm water (37° C to 38° C or 98.5º F to 100.5º F). As always, a kitten will get used to taking a dip more easily than an adult cat.
Persian cats tend to detest water. The main problem will be keeping them calm in the water without them fleeing in terror when coming into contact with the liquid, which should always be lukewarm in order to make the experience more tolerable.
To give your Persian cat their first bath, make the most of a hot day with no unpleasant breezes. A large plastic bowl with a little bit of warm water will be the ideal container to start wetting and gently soaking your cat until they don’t try to run away and feel calm and confident.
Once the cat has realized you’re there to help and is no longer stressed, gently massage them and lather up a small amount of shampoo specific for Persian cats. It should be neutral so as not to harm their sensitive skin.
Then, rinse the shampoo by slowly pouring warm, clean water from a jug without getting water or shampoo in the cat’s face.
If your Persian cat is very dirty, try washing them again with shampoo. Remember to take extra caution to prevent the shampoo getting in your cat’s eyes or mouth. If this happens, your cat would probably run away in terror.
You can also use a cat conditioner to soften their fur and prevent the formation of knots and tangles. However, if at this point you discover that your cat has a big knot in their coat, make sure you take a look at our article to learn all about removing knots and tangles from a Persian cat’s coat.
Whether soaking your cat or giving them a quick bath, it’s imperative to thoroughly dry your pet. Use two towels, the first to absorb most of the water accumulated in your Persian cat’s fur and the second one to rub vigorously until the cat is completely dry.
Take advantage of the situation to comb and brush your cat thoroughly. We recommend visiting our article on caring for a Persian cat’s coat, where we tell you about the most appropriate brushes and the ideal materials for your feline.
Finish drying off your cat with a hairdryer, as long as it isn’t too hot and the noise doesn’t scare your cat. There are also ultra-quiet pet hairdryers available on the market.
We strongly recommend going to a professional cat groomer for your Persian cat’s first bath. This way, you can watch what they do and how your cat reacts, and take note of the guidelines they give you.
Pay close attention to what kind of shampoo and conditioner the professional uses, in addition to the combs, brushes or slicker brushes. Of course, if you leave your cat at the groomer’s and leave to do something else you’ll miss a master step-by-step guide to bathing a Persian cat – without a doubt, a groomer is the best person to teach you this process, as every cat is different.
Again, Persian cats are usually very clean. They only tend to accumulate dirt under the chin and around their neck. This is because when they eat food tends to get stuck in those areas; however, you can easily get rid of that residue through daily brushing.
If your cat has eaten any greasy foods such as tuna or salmon – which are strongly recommended because they are rich in beneficial omega-3 and omega-6 oils – you can tidy up the cat’s face and neck with a baby wipe.
It’s not good to bathe a Persian cat too often, but there are some tricks to help clean your cat without bathing them. Giving them a soak once every two or three months will be enough. Don’t forget to bathe your Persian cat with anti-parasitic shampoos in the summer.
Your cat might accidentally get dirty soon after you have bathed them, or during the first two weeks after getting a vaccine shot. In those cases, it is advisable to clean them with soap powder or dry mousse instead of bathing them. These products are applied similar to traditional shampoo, but it shouldn’t get on the cat’s face or genital area.
After leaving these products on to act for a couple of minutes, remove them. Soap powder can be removed with a thorough brushing, which will remove the dirt as well as the powder itself. Dry mousse is first removed with a clean cloth before thoroughly brushing, dragging out any remains of mousse and dirt.
This is our step by step guide to bathing a Persian cat. If you have any tips, please tell us in the comments section.
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