How to Bathe a Cat?

Bathing a cat is generally done only when necessary in order to save as much flesh as you can. This is why I am going to teach you from my experience the art of surviving a very angry, wet kitty. Some reasons why you would need to sacrifice yourself include: kittens may have poop and urine on their paws or body, or if after bottle feeding them they get milk all over themselves. Older cats may need to be bathed because they are too sick to clean themselves, or because they have incontinent accidents. Some cats have a skin rash that require a medicated shampoo.

The cat can get something on it’s body like tar, oil, tree sap or, god forbid skunk spray. These things will clog your cat’s pores if it gets on it’s skin or when able to self clean, your cat can become sick if it ingests too much. If the cat steps into something poisonous like weed killer, anti-freeze, rat poisons or insect sprays, these could cause your cat to become extremely sick and die if not treated in a timely manner. The Animal Poison Control Center Hotline is (888) 426-4435. A $55 consultation fee may be charged.

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Although there are some cats who like water, many of us own felines that can turn into “spawns of Satan” when it is bath time. So, when one has to enter Satan’s Hell to wash a cat, keep these tips in mind:

  1. It is wise to be organized beforehand by putting out shampoo, wash cloths, three absorbent towels, your cat’s favorite treat and a non-skid mat in the tub. The mat is ofter overlooked, but do not make this mistake because when your cat is trying to slip through your hands like a fish, the mat can act as an extra hand to grip the slippery feline.
  2. Lure the unsuspecting cat into the wash area by using all your wily talents. I personally have had success by distracting the cat with either wet cat food or cat nip, then grabbing and putting it in a bear hug till I can get to the bathroom and shut the door.
  3. Get a helper, preferably one with no fear. I once had a helper gear up for the bathing process by wearing the thickest coat and gloves he owned and crouching in the tub with the angry cat.
  4. Have him or her perform the “scruff hold” which means gripping the skin behind the cat’s head like a momma cat carries her kitten, which when applied correctly, can make the cat stop struggling. Praying and or chanting may also be useful at this time). Have your helper do this while supporting the cat’s body as he or she lowers it onto the mat.
  5. With a wet, soap-less washcloth gently clean their face. Then move on to the body by lifting their chin and pouring clean, warm water down the back of their head and over their body. Do not use a sprayer! I learned this one the hard way. While my helper was fully geared and crouching in the tub, I was behind the little piece of wall dividing the space between the tub and sink with the sprayer blindly aimed in their general location. Our cat tried it best to kill both helper and sprayer, but we all came out alive. Rub a little shampoo between your hands and massage it into the cat’s body, legs and paws. Be careful not to use too much soap as it may be irritating and hard to remove. (Continue praying and or chanting)
  6. Use clean, warm water to rinse while using your hands to squeeze the water off their body and legs, repeating as necessary. Do not run the faucet, instead have a large container of tepid water at the ready.
  7. Talk to your sad ball of furry wetness softly the entire time you are bathing them. . Try to keep your heart in the right place as you remain tranquil, forgiving and humane, even if your cat is going psychotic. (Continue praying and chanting as necessary)
  8. Stay persistent and keep things progressing or you’ll give your little beast an opportunity to make you bleed, scratch you and possibly scar you for life; hence the need for a fearless helper.
  9. Towel your newly traumatized cat off by rubbing and massaging (this helps to calm them down).
  10. When you think they’re dry, wrap a clean, dry towel around them and hug them (if it’ll let you) while talking gently.
  11. It may be a risk to yourself using a blow dryer on your cat. (P. S. If you do, avoid dropping the dryer in the tub of water).
  12. Give them their favorite treat as a reward (or apology).
  13. Give yourself your favorite treat as a reward (or apology).

If Your Cat Is Skunk Ambushed Popular Cleaning Myths

  • Praying and chanting are only helpful the cat owner
  • Tomato juice contrary to popular belief. (adding Vodka is only helpful to the cat owner)
  • Lemon or orange juice. (Goes well on chicken too)
  • Perfumes or other sprays. (Chanel No. 5 can be rather expensive).

What Does Work

  • Skunk Shampoo. Mix together and use immediately: 4 cups 3% hydrogen peroxide 1/4 cup baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) 1 teaspoon liquid soap or dish detergent.
  • Bathe the cat thoroughly.
  • Rinse with tap water and repeat as necessary.
  • If your cat was sprayed in the eyes, flush their eyes as soon as possible. Don’t forget your ever important, fearless helper to do the appropriate scruff hold.
  • If the stench rubs off on you or your’ partner try the same skunk shampoo on yourselves. After all it has been animal tested and will give a pleasant after glow you can enjoy and show off.

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How to Bathe a Cat?. (2018, Apr 14). Retrieved from