Yes, cats can be bathed, and cat bathers can survive the process. Most felines do not need to be bathed very often, but occasionally a bath is necessary. If someone in your household has allergies, regular rinsing or bathing can remove allergens from the fur.
If your cat is exposed to a toxic substance such as a garden chemical or household cleaner, a bath will remove the poisons that she would otherwise ingest by licking. If she gets fleas, you can remove them by bathing as part of a comprehensive flea control program.
Here is how to give your cat a bath and live to tell about it. First, brush your cat thoroughly, particularly if she has a long coat. You must remove all tangles and mats, because once they get wet, they will be almost impossible to comb out, and is left after the bath, they will hold moisture, creating a perfect place for bacteria and yeast to reproduce.
For your own protection, you may want to trim your cat's claws, too. Choose a mild shampoo formulated for cats, and use it sparingly and according to directions. Some pet shampoos need to be diluted, and even those that do not are easier to apply and to rinse out if diluted with an equal part of water.
You can find all sorts of special cat shampoos, although for most purposes you do not need anything fancy. No rinse shampoos can be handy because you do not need to wet or rinse your cat with water.
If you do not want to get her wet at all, a dry cat shampoo can be used to clean mildly oily skin. If your cat gets a petroleum product on her fur, use a mild dish detergent, veterinarians recommend Dawn to remove oil.
Rescuers often use Dawn to clean up victims of oil spills. The detergent also will remove skin oils, though, so use a moisturizing conditioner on your cat afterward. Do not use flea shampoos or medicated shampoos without consulting your vet, especially if your cat has any kind of medical condition.
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