How to give a bath to a cat that hates water? We all know that cats do not really need a bath. But what happens if they get in trouble and dirty? It will come a time when your cat will need to face a bath. But what happens if your cat hates it?
It is possible to give a bath to a cat that hates water by preparing the environment properly, such as water already warm, soaps, towels, etc. However, cats owners should make sure they do not scare their cats more than necessary and wear protective elements against scratches.
Let’s see how to deal with scared cats when having to bathe them.
CAN YOU BATHE A CAT?
You can bathe a cat, but if your cat will let you touch him and bring him into the water, that is another question. Cats have their personalities. Some cats will let you bathe them. Some others will not even allow you to pick them up.
If you are lucky and have a friendly, trusting cat, there is no need for special tricks or strategies. But if you have a cat that hates water or simply a scared or anxious cat, the task will not be that easy. In my experience, it is easier to wash shy cats with a wet cloth or wipe in the interested body part only.
Or even place pour water and wash only the part of the cat body that needs cleaning. I have such a shy cat. He doesn’t let anyone touch him, besides me, of course. But, I can only touch him in certain body parts and not for too long.
I still managed to wash his bottom, paws, and other parts of his body when needed. But, to bathe him, it is required a special effort.
HOW TO GIVE A BATH TO A CAT THAT HATES WATER IN SIMPLE STEPS
Preparation is vital when bathing a cat. In some cases, you have to figure out how to pick up your cat and hold him for a few minutes. If cats understand that you want to take them, they can hide and sabotage your plans. But, let’s go with the order.
Here is a series of steps to follow in bathing a cat:
1. PROPER SET UP
Since you may have a little time and operate fast before your cat manages to escape, the best thing is to organize the bathroom or the place where you will bathe your cat. Here are some things to prepare:
- Fill the bathtbe with warm water ( just enoug to reach half of your cat body)
- Cat shapmpoo ready
- Protective gear for your arms if necessary
- Worm up the room if necessary
- Make sure you can close the door
If you are alone and your cat is known to be very resistant to control, consider getting someone to help you hold or wash your cat. But, if your cat doesn’t know the person and the fact that a stranger is in the room makes him even more aggressive, then it is better to do it alone.
Some people used to trim their cat’s nails to avoid getting scratched. It can be a good idea if the cat lets it happen and doesn’t make him too much stressed just before the bath.
2. BRUSH YOUR CAT
It is always better to brush your cat thoroughly before bathing him, so you can remove tangle and lose hairs. Also, it is better to do this before pouring water on his fur.
3.PICK UP AND HOLD YOUR CAT
Without scaring your cat and letting him understand you are up to something, pick him up and bring him to the place where the bath will take place. It is better to hold him from the back and hold him by the scruff while he is into the water to keep him still.
In this way, your cat has fewer chances to escape and scratch you. Also, if there is another person, that person can use the shampoo and wash your cat while you hold him. Otherwise, you have to keep your cat with one hand and clean him with the other hand.
4. SOAP AND WASH YOUR CAT
This is the most challenging part because you have to hold your cat and use the shampoo while your cat could growl, hiss, and try to escape. So you have to be fast and effective. Apply shampoo thoroughly, avoid your cat’s eyes, and touch sensitive parts like male genitals. Also, avoid pouring water on his head.
At this point, use plenty of water to remove the soap. If you do not rinse it correctly, your cat will lick it away and ingest chemicals later on.
Here is some good cat shampoo you can use:
Note: some cats can get really upset if you touch their tail too much. If your cat is sensitive to feeling in that area, don’t touch it. In addition, you can place towels (or a bath mat) at the bottom of the bathtub, so your cat is standing on solid and not slippery ground.
5. DRY YOUR CAT
Wrap your cat in a big towel and dry him off thoroughly. Remove all extra water from your cat rubbing the towel back and forth. If you could place the towel over the heater before starting the bath, you can have a warm piece of cloth to make your cat comfortable when coming out of the water.
You can keep your cat in the towel for a while to dry and possibly in a warm room. In some cases, it is possible to use a blow drier to dry a cat if the cat is not too scared of it and always keeps the temperature warm and not hot.
6. DON’T FORGET TO GIVE HIM SOME TREATS
Reward your cat as soon as he becomes calm. For example, give him some treats and pet him. Then, if you need to bathe him again, your cat will know that he will be rewarded at the end.
HOW TO BATHE AN AGGRESSIVE CAT
What happens if you are trying to bathe an aggressive cat? If you have an aggressive cat, the procedure is pretty much the same as explained above. But you will need to be stronger and hold the cat firmly from the back.
He has to face forward, and you have to face his back. Consider wearing special long and reinforced gloves to protect yourself from scratching. Since the cat is already aggressive, consider extra help holding him and washing him.
You could use a cat harness to prevent the cat from escaping, but the problem would be placing a harness on an aggressive cat. If you cannot bathe your cat at all because he is stronger and smarter, then consider getting help from a professional groomer.
If you have a very aggressive cat, you could consider calming aids for cats, possibly natural products. Here are products you can use:
WOULD A CAT DIE FROM GETTING A BATH?
In general, cats will not die after a bath. However, if you bathe a tiny kitten that can’t yet regulate body temperature, the kitten can die from it. The same goes for a very sick cat. If you want to bathe a cat, you just rescued, get to the vet first to ensure everything else is fine.
In addition, you should make sure that the shampoo you are using is made for cats and is composed of natural elements. Cats can ingest harmful chemicals that can make them sick either through the bath or after when they are licking themselves off.
If you are bathing a cat that seems sick, after having checked with the vet, make sure that the room is warm and that the cat is not taking any cold during the process.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How do you give your cat a bath without them freaking out?
It isn’t easy to bathe cats without them freaking out. Most likely, cats will freak out anyway. Humans can make sure their cats are as calm as possible using the best methods and the best setup.
Will my cat hate me after a bath?
Your cat will not hate you after a bath, at least in the long term. Right after a bath, your cat will be upset and try to avoid you and often try to hide. But, in general, he is not upset with you. After a short time, he will behave as before.
Is it cruel to bathe cats?
Bathing cats become cruel when it is done too many times and unnecessarily. Cats are stressed easily, and it is not suitable for them to be constantly terrified. Therefore, bathe a cat only when strictly necessary.