How to Bathe a Cat Video
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Video:How to Bathe a Cat

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In this video learn some tips on how to give your cat a good bath.See Transcript

Transcript:How to Bathe a Cat

Hi, Dr. Richard Meadows here from the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine. I've been asked to speak to you today about how the bathe your cat.

Overview of Bathing Cats

The thing that I would tell you at the outset is that frankly most cats are easy to bath. There are cats that nobody short of god could bathe. I have seen them, they exist, and they would rather die than to have a bath.

Fortunately they are very rarer, much more rare than people think they are. Many cats, when you bathe them, freeze. They're not water animals in general and so they just freeze and they don't move at all, making it quite easy for you.

That can traumatize them and I'm not here to have you traumatize them so there are things that you can do to make that easier.

One is to make sure the water doesn't make a lot of hissing noise. Cats don't like hissing noise. So a nice flow without a lot of pressure behind it that has a hissing noise because that scares most cats.

Don't Make Water Too Hot

Two, make sure that the water is not real hot. They don't like hot water. Start with a little bit of cooler water then test it on your own hand, make sure that it's not too hot for you and even then a little bit lower than that perhaps.

Use Bathing Bags

Some cats can be put in like a laundry bag, there are specialized cat bags for this, bathing bags, where you put the cat in there and it gives them a place to be secure. Cats, when they're scared, like to go hide. It's something they're under, it's something they're in, it's something for them to hide in.

Don't Force Cats Into the Tub

The third thing I would tell you is that just holding them down with steady pressure, you don't push them down real hard and for many cats, in fact most cats, less restraint is more. They don't like the idea of being held down real hard because that means they're trapped. So less pressure on them. Hold them where you need them to be but be very gentle. Talk to them in a soothing voice. Don't grouse at them, don't yell at them, don't scream at them, don't grab down and hold down real hard because they're going to react negatively in those cases.

Healthy Cats Keep Themselves Clean

I'm often asked how often cats need a bath and the answer is when they're dirty. Cats are very good about grooming themselves. They're quite successful at that if they're happy and healthy and so many cats really do a good job of cleaning themselves.

Is your cat has an unkempt hair coat and it's real dirty than there could be a medical reason for that but in general bathing your cat more than once a week would be an unusual thing.

Buy a Cat-Friendly Shampoo

One thing to note is that the pH of their skin is very different from human skin so get a shampoo approved for dogs and cats. Go with that and that way it won't irritate their skin and dry their skin out and make them have itchy skin afterwards.

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