Anyone who has ever attempted to bathe their cat might instantly recognize the screaming cries of both the pet and their human when water touches the fur of the feline. While they will often try crying first, cats are more than willing to defend their right to remain dry with claws and fangs.
Bathing a cat on a regular basis is not generally necessary, but there are times when it has to be done. It can be a trial for both parties, but the relief after it is over can be a time when both species appreciate being fully prepared beforehand.
The reasons to bathe a cat generally have to do with keeping them healthy, so here are the four main for embarking upon this adventure. Flea infestations are generally controlled today, but a cat that is allergic might need to be bathed to give relief. Anything a cat should not eat or drink because it is toxic should be washed off their fur, and even ringworm can present an opportunity to bath a cat with medicated shampoo to keep them healthy. Mobility issues can arise in older cats with arthritis or obesity issues, so bathing them can become a regular habit.
If the cat has any one of these issues, it may be time for the bathing contest to begin. Being prepared before attempting to corral the small beast is best, so running a few inches of warm water into the sink where the cat will be bathed and placing plenty of fluffy towels in the area is a good start. A detachable shower head will be helpful if one is attached to the faucet, but a pitcher or even a large tumbler will work. Any medicated or animal safe shampoo that will be used should be ready for immediate application.
Catching the cat will be the most important step in the process, and it can be difficult if the cat realizes what is about to occur. Using their favorite treat to lure them into range for capture will often produce the quickest results, and it might even lull them into a false sense of security.
The cat must be thoroughly wet before the shampoo is used, so holding them firmly by the shoulders in the warm water while pouring more over them is the best way to accomplish that task. It will also help to avoid being bitten or scratched.
Once the cat is completely soaked, it is time to apply the shampoo. Keep it out of their eyes, mouth and nostrils for safety reasons. Rinse the cat thoroughly with the tumbler or shower head to ensure they will not ingest any leftover shampoo, and then begin drying them with the fluffy towels within reach.
Make sure they are completely dry before releasing them into the wilds of the house so they can hide and sulk under furniture where they will feel safe. At this point, another cat treat should be offered for the bad human behavior they have endured.