Cats tend to take care of themselves when it comes to staying clean but sometimes they need a bath. They may have rolled in something gross or maybe you need to bathe them to help with your allergies. Sometimes your cat may smell like a port-a-potty on a hot day… don’t think about why… they just do now and then.
So you’ve prepped your bathroom with a towel, pet shampoo, and a way to rinse all the shampoo off, so now what happens?
Tips to bathe a cat
- Get in the tub – Cats are quick, nimble, and can shred a shower curtain in under .03 seconds. What to do? You are stronger than the cat. Hold him still as best you can, fill the tub with a few inches of water to slow down the skating around he’ll do trying to escape, and if you have a sliding glass door close all openings except where you are kneeling. If your cat has moves of a jungle cat, you may want to consider getting into the tub with him and closing the glass shower doors completely. Sit on the ledge and begin wetting your cat down. Be careful of the face and ears. You don’t want to get water in their eyes, ears, or nose.
- Protection – Cats have claws and won’t hesitate to use them. Your advantage here would be to wear long sleeves or kevlar. The best outfit is a hockey mask, soccer goalie gloves, chainmail, canvas jeans, and work boots.
- The element of surprise – Use your ninja skills and surprise your cat. Pick up your cat like it’s just another day and pet him. Get him to be a little happy and carry him towards the bathroom. Your cat won’t care that you look like you’re dressed for halloween. They have little to no interest in your fashion sense. Once you get to the bathroom, close the door, and yell “AH-HA!” with an air of triumph.
- Speed – It’s essential to getting your cat washed, dried, and clean. In a single motion, wet your cat down, shampoo, and rinse! Having a few inches of water in the tub will not only slow your cat down but will also wet his feet, legs, belly, tail, and give you a few seconds to get his back wet. The head is last and often the hardest. You may want to avoid the head until you’re a black belt in cat baths. Shampoo him up quickly and begin rinsing by turning on the shower or faucet and quickly moving the water over his body. This may be the wildest and scariest 3 min of your life.
- Slippery Critters – Cats do not have handles or grips on their bodies. A wet cat is slippery. Do not expect to hold him for more than a few seconds at a time. This is when the glass doors of the shower come in handy. He may run around but he can’t get out. Rinse like crazy and then get ready for the final step – drying.
- Drying and Crying – Drain the tub. Ignore the screams and wailings of your cat. Once all the water is drained you will notice your cat will have calmed down a little. Drying is going to be simple compared to the previous steps. This is because the cat has now attached himself to your leg and your pants are absorbing all the water. Reach for the towel, wrap it around your cat, and carefully step out of the tub. If he squirms let him sit on the floor as you dry his fur and get most of the water off his tail, legs, and belly. Now you’ll have a clean, freaked, soggy cat walking around the house for a few hours. Be aware, chances are he’ll be sitting on your bed in a few minutes leaving a wet spot of loose cat fur on your blanket but he’s clean! Isn’t that the point?
Image from OhYeahTotally