Every pet owner wants the best for their pets and this includes ensuring that their skin and coat are clean and healthy. Cats take care of their hair care needs by licking themselves. This removes most of the dead hair, dirt, parasites and food leftovers from their coat, however, some dirt can only be removed through bath.
Most cats do not enjoy taking a bath. Unnecessary baths can be very stressful and uncomfortable for those that are dislike water. However, there are several benefits to taking a bath. A bath rinses dead hair away so there will be less to shed. It also makes their coat shinier, healthier, and free of fleas!
A healthy adult cat doesn’t require bathing unless fur is stained and can’t be easily removed with brushing. By brushing your cat regularly, it is less likely your cat needs a bath as the dirt can be removed through brushing. Cats feel discomfort when being submerged in water as it causes their coat to become heavier. So washing only the areas that are dirty on your cat will make them feel more comfortable around water.
There are several ways in which owners can make bath time more bearable.
1. Tire them out with play session before bath
Engaging in a play session will decrease their energy level which is less likely for them to be hyperactive during bath.
2. Give treats during bath
Treats will encourage your cat to resist less and make bath time more tolerable. Washing them gently from their legs to their body or using a washcloth during bath time will allow them to stay calm as pouring water directly onto their body might cause them to be startled.
3. Brush before bath
Brushing removes loose hair and mats, which shortens the amount of time for their bath. This is especially good for short-haired cats and highly recommended for long-haired cats. Brushing can be easily done with a soft brush or a fine-toothed comb!
4. Use a hand-held shower head
Using a hand-held shower head will give you control over where the water goes. This way, you can easily direct the showerhead to prevent water from going to your cat’s eyes, ears, and nose.
There are some factors to consider when deciding how often to bathe your cat. Outdoor and active cats require more frequent bathing due to the environment. Over time, their coats will build up dirt and oils that may cause matted fur. Cats with longer coats require more frequent bathing and brushing to reduce tangles. This will help to reduce hairballs as they may swallow less hair.
A hairless cat requires to bathe only every now and then. They don’t require regular bath time because a hairless cat benefit less from bathing compared to furry cats. However, it is always best to consult a veterinarian on the number of baths your cat needs especially if they are prone to have any skin allergies.
Your cat uses innate grooming techniques to clean itself. By supplementing this with regular brushing, you can reduce the number of baths your cat needs. While it may not be an absolute requirement for most cats to bathe, we cannot deny that bathing provides several benefits to your cat. To make sure that your cat is clean, it should probably receive a bath at least once every two months.
One last tip before signing off. It’s always good to start young so that your cats will get used to the water and less likely resist a bath as they grow up!
Adopted from sources
– How Often Should You Bathe a Cat. By Vetericyn.
– How often should you bathe a cat? By Maris Munkevics, Signe Munkevica, PET-happy.
– How to Bathe Your Cat Plus, How Often You Actually Need to Do It. By Caroline Biggs, Martha stewart.