We’ve all grown up believing that cats hate water. It’s about time we debunked this myth! Cats love water, except when they have no control over it, such as when they’re being washed. Washing cats is not exactly “mission: impossible”, but you’ll definitely need to be patient and follow a few handy tips.
Cats are very clean animals by nature, and they spend hours and hours licking and grooming their coat. Nevertheless, they do need to be washed every now and then, especially if they’re free to leave the house. Every cat owner has found himself with a dirty cat in his hands, and if you don’t want to take your cat to a pet shop for professional grooming, the only alternative is doing it yourself.
Your cat may not be very happy about it, but you can help her get over her fear of water and get her used to being washed. This should be a gradual training process, and it’s easier if you start when she’s still a kitten. Here’s how:
- start with a mini-bath. Fill a basin with a few centimetres of warm water and place your cat inside, watching her initial reaction. Caress and pamper your cat, then take her out and dry her well;
- do this again for a couple of days in a row, to get your cat used to the sensation of being wet a little at a time. Gradually increase the amount of water in the basin;
- once your cat has stopped panicking, you can think of adding an element of disturbance, such as a little toy that moves in the water, makes waves and perhaps a little noise;
- if everything is going smoothly, you can start with the bath itself. Begin by wetting your cat, starting with the neck and then moving on to her body and paws, her belly and tail. Soap her up and then rinse the soap off, as gently as possible, avoiding jerky movements that may scare her;
- a good piece of advice is to talk to your cat throughout the bath, to make her feel safer. Once the bath is over, dry her up with a warm towel, then gently brush her with a suitable brush. To pamper her even more, use a massaging glove, also great to make her coat look soft and glossy. These gloves are very easy to use: just slip your hand inside and caress your cat’s fur. With its soft rubber teeth, it helps get rid of dead fur and is very pleasant for your cat.
Keep in mind that it may take weeks for the bath to be successful, but if you’re patient and calm enough you can make your cat’s baths fun even for the most fearful cat in the world!