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How to Bathe a Cat Like the Experts

Even though cats wash themselves several times over the course of a day, there could come a time when your cat needs a real bath. If you allow him to go outdoors, you may have to give him a scrub from time to time. As a general rule, do not bathe your cat unless he needs it for a specific reason (such as if he gets mud caked in his fur, gets into something sticky, or if he is a show cat and needs to look fantastic for the competition). Over bathing can strip the fur of its natural oils, which results in dry skin and a dull, brittle coat.

When bathing your cat, only use a shampoo that is specifically made for kittens or cats. Shampoos and soaps designed for humans, dogs, or small animals, dishwashing detergent, and dish soap contain harsh chemicals that could make your cat sick.

Most cats do not like to get wet and will resist taking a bath, but if you need to bathe your cat, here's how.

First, put a non skid mar, towel or bath mat in the bottom of the kitchen sick. The mat will give your cat something to hold and keep him from slipping. The kitchen sink is small enough to allow you to hold onto the cat so that he can not escape. The bathtub is too big, and you will not be able to control him easily.

Second, fill the sink with a few inches (about 5 - 7 cm) of lukewarm water and lightly wet your cat's fur.

Third, rub a small amount of cat shampoo into the fur and lather it well. Avoid getting any shampoo or water into your cat's eyes, ears, mouth or nose.

Fourth, fill a small cup with warm water and rinse the fur thoroughly. Make sure that you rinse well, because your cat will give himself a cat bath after his human bath.

Lastly, wrap your cat in a thick, fluffy towel and take him out of the sink. Dry him and keep him indoors and away from drafts until his coat dries. You may want to offer him a treat as a reward for good behavior.

If you have never bathed a cat before, ask a friend or relative to help you. One person can hold the cat securely while the other person concentrates on washing and rinsing. Kitten owners may be able to bathe their pets without a helper until the kitten grows to full size. If you are going to give your kitten a bath, adjust the depth of the water and the amount of shampoo accordingly.

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