Training your cat to enjoy a bath – Part 8

Cats don’t like baths. This becomes painstakingly clear when you plop your Persian in the water. After your wounds have healed, sit back and reflect on what went wrong. Was it the bubbles that threw him off, or was it simply the fact that he was dropped in a heaping tub of superheated fluid? Whatever it was, there has to be a better way to keep a cat clean than to go through this misery. When cat wipes don’t cut it, a cat bath IS possible. Just make sure your health insurance claims have all been filled out in advance.

To begin, don’t expect your cat to like it. Unrealistic expectations on your part only add to your misery. The best way to approach a cat bath is to expect it to be as efficient, and clean as possible, with adding as little injury to your person as necessary. I give my cat a bath with industrial gloves on, as a person who has been seriously inconvenienced by razor-sharp claws before. Next, no bubbles. This adds to the annoyance of the cat, and that is your last possible avenue to explore at this point. Make sure the water is tepid, but not hot. This will enable your cat to feel calm during the procedure, and enable you to live through the experience.

Use a shampoo/conditioner in one. There will be no time to “wait 2-3 minutes” for the conditioner to settle in. Your window of time is MAYBE five minutes here. You’ll be lucky if you actually get the shampoo on at all. This is why a two-in-one shampoo/conditioner is required here. To get your cat to actually enjoy bathing is a little unrealistic, however, it can be done. The key is consistency. If you only give your cat a bath once a year, they will never get the hang of it. If you give your cat a bath once a week, or every few days, there is a better chance of the cat getting used to the experience.

The next thing to remember is to have towels on hand. Your bathroom floor will get soaked if you are not prepared. Make sure the cat feels safe, and don’t make any sudden movements while bathing him. He is already so annoyed that any false move could spell doom. Your best chance to bathe your cat is to get in and out of that bathroom as fast as humanly possible, avoiding cat-astrophe’s along the way! No fancy clothes (they will get wet), and no hair-drying afterwards. I towel-dry my cats and then let them run free to go lick themselves dry for the next ten hours. It’s nature’s way. Just go with it. If you try to use a hair blower on your already angry cat, then prepare for the possibility of losing the use of one of your hands. Trust me.

So, in conclusion, if you feel the need to bathe your cat yourself, instead of spending $20 to watch your groomer go through the misery, then feel confident in the fact that you can get your cat used to it, and you can make it out alive. Just follow the tips and advice of those who have gone before you and know that, this too, shall pass.

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