Prepare everything in advance: use a figure-8 harness attached to a leash that can be fastened to the wall next to your tub or sink with a suction cup. This will secure the cat and leave both your hands free.
BATHING YOUR CAT
Place a non-skid rubber mat on the bottom of the tub or sink so that your cat has secure footing. Fill the sink or tub halfway with lukewarm water.
Use products specifically designed for cats. Ask your vet to recommend those that are best for your cat’s skin and haircoat. Before the bath, comb out the coat. Remove all the mats, they are twice as hard to get out once wet. Lubricate your cat’s eyes with artificial tears, or one drop of vitamin E oil, and put a cotton ball in each ear. Rinse the coat down gently with warm water and shampoo twice. Massaging your cat’s body helps get the suds good and foamy, it also feels fabulous to your cat. Finally rinse the fur thoroughly or else cats may itch and the fur will be sticky. A lemon, or Rosemary, or vinegar rinse helps insure a squeaky clean soap-free coat that shines but should be followed by a plain water rinse. Avoid conditioners they flatten the coat. Squeeze out excess water with your hands and towel dry and remove the cotton balls from your cat’s ears. Don’t use towels dried with fabric softeners, they absorb less water and leave a residue on the cat’s coat. Cats given lots of love, cuddling and reassurance may learn to tolerate a warm hand held hairdryer.
How Often Do Cats Need to be Groomed?
Your cats coat condition is your best guide as to how often grooming is needed. If your cat’s coat is in good shape, 60 seconds a day will keep it that way. In general, cats with longer hair coats need regular grooming at various intervals to keep their coats healthy and mat free. Combing for 5 minutes a day keeps most longhairs in tip top shape. Once a week keeps most short hairs slick. Cats with curly coats like the American Wirehair Devon and Cornish Rex should not be combed or brushed but do need monthly baths.
The biggest mistake people make when bathing their cats is using the wrong products. Don’t use people shampoo on pets. There are as many hair care choices for pets as there are for people: scented, unscented, medicated, herbal, flea, tick, etc. Your vet can make the best recommendation based on your pet’s skin and hair coat.
The eyes are the area to be most careful of -Use an eye lubricant like artificial tears or a drop of vitamin E oil to help keep out the suds.
© Dr. Carol’s Lemon Rinse Recipe:
“This helps insure a squeaky clean soap-free coat that shines.”
Place 1 sliced lemon into 1 pint of boiling water, cover, store 24 hours at room temperature. Use as a rinse, then rinse again with water.