A bath seems like an innocent thing to do for our pets. It washes the dirt off of them and can leave them feeling refreshed. But some cats may not be so fond of baths, and they can act a little strange after one.
The reason why your cat is acting strange after a bath is that cats are naturally clean animals that groom themselves. A bath disrupts this routine and leaves your cat confused about what they should be doing to stay clean.
The other effect a bath has on your cat is that it messes with their hunting instincts as their smell changes without the dirt on their skin – making it easier for prey to escape. Also, most cats just hate water! So if you’re trying to take care of a frightened kitty, here are some helpful tips about how to give your cat a bath.
Table of Contents
How To Give Your Cat a Bath That Hates Water
If you would like to bathe your cat yourself (as opposed to going to the vet or pet store), there are many options available for you. You can bathe your cat in the kitchen sink or tub just like you would with a human. But what if your cat hates water?
If you’re trying to bathe a cat that hates water, try using a simple squirt bottle filled with water instead. It’s also possible to buy or create your own shampoo for use on cats (it should be formulated for animals, not people). If those don’t work, try mixing liquid dish soap and 3 cups of water in a bucket and pouring it over your cat gently.
Just be sure to have a good hold of the cat before you put them in the water so they do not escape! It may also help to close all doors and windows so your cat does not run off once it is dry.
If you do not want to wash your cat at home, there are other options available. Many veterinarians and pet stores offer cat washing services where they will come to your house and take care of the process for you (this is especially a great option if you have multiple cats!).
This can be a bit costly, but they will probably have more experience handling cats with fear of water. If your cat truly hates water it can be almost impossible do get the job done properly by yourself.
Some people also choose to use dog shampoo on cats because many brands are tearless, making them kinder on kitty’s eyes.
How To Dry Cat After Bath
It is important to know the best way to dry your cat after a bath. You can try using a blowdryer on your cat, but this is an option that some cats hate. The best alternative may be to use a towel and pat your cat dry.
If you have a long haired cat, then you might need to brush some of the knots out of their fur after drying them off with the towel. The benefit of drying your cat after bath with a towel is that it can help to decrease the amount of fur your cat sheds around the house. If you get a chance, give them a good brushing afterwards while they are still damp.
After drying off your cat, try giving them a small snack and hiding somewhere for some kitty alone time because they will probably be hungry after all that!
Another great option is to use a chamois cloth. It is more gentle on a cat’s skin and it will also help remove all of the moisture from their fur. When drying your kitty, be sure to give them plenty of love! Cats love attention, so this provides an opportunity to bond with your feline friend while they are already in a vulnerable state.
Why Some Cats Hate Bath
Cats don’t generally like to take baths. They like playing with water, but they would rather drink it instead of getting soaked.
One other reason they may be acting up after a bath is because of the shampoo or soap you used. For us, it may have smelled pleasant, but to them, it smells awful and wants to get rid of it quickly.
Cats clean themselves by licking themselves. They can lick their whole body. They don’t need a bath.
After bathing your cat, they may try to get back the unpleasant scent that was replaced by soap by rolling around on any surface that is not made of fabric. Another reason might just be that the cat is still wet.
One final reason may be the rubbing and massaging you did to them while you were soaping their body, and that made them invigorated and stimulated, hence the weird act after the bath.
What Should You Remember When Bathing Your Cat?
Do not spoil the surprise. If you need to sneak up behind them, then do so. If your cat is trying to get away from you every time you try to bathe them, then maybe it is time to outsmart your cat. Don’t show them the towel that you are going to use cause cats are also smart and they can do association like dogs.
Know how to keep them relaxed, it can be a scratch in the back while you are holding them, or it can also be a belly rub that will relax them before you bring them to the bathroom.
Lock the doors and then do what you need with them to get them cleaned up.
You can start early. When your cat is still a kitten, help them get used to bathing. Make it a pleasant activity instead of a stressful one, when it’s time for their bath. You can give them their favorite toy or even their favorite treat, after. Make sure that you dry them up after each bath, or they will remember what a torture it is if you let them freeze afterwards.
No Need To Shower With Your Cat
This is not at all a good idea cause if your cat suddenly acts up and tries to escape from the confines of your bathroom, they may accidentally scratch you while doing so leaving you with a wound in the process. Bathing your cat should be quick and simple. Don’t make it too hard for you or your cat.
Follow the 3 tips below to get the best experience.
- Don’t take too long. You need to clean your cat and do it as fast as you can with no rituals or nonsense that your cat will not appreciate. Use just a mild soap, not the highly perfumed block of soap in the market, and as long as your cat’s fur gets cleaned, you are doing an outstanding job.
- Use nothing fancy to bathe your cats. You may plan to have a spa-like experience for your cat where you will put some bubbles in her bath and the likes, but your cat would rather have it done and over with. If you don’t like to have a messy bath experience with your cat, keep it easy and straightforward.
- Refrain from soaking your cat in the tub. This should never be attempted cause your cat will just act like a psycho, thinking you are trying to hurt them. Their head should not be dunked underwater.
Just keep them relaxed while you are using the sprayer, or just put a bit of water in the tub or the sink where you can get your cat wet and soap. Then you can use the sprayer to rinse them, but be sure that the sprayer will not be at top scale, or your cat will run out of the bathroom fast – and in a blur.
Have The Things You Need For You Cat’s Bath Ready
Do not leave your cat in the tub while you look for the fur-comb or the soap and shampoo cause they will not feel relaxed if you do that to them. They will get anxious as well if it took you so long to look for what you need.
After bathing, the towels and comb that they will need should be ready as well. Keep a fluffy towel at the ready where you can wrap your cat after bathing. This can also add to the enjoyable experience of after-bath for them and will help get them more relaxed next time around.
If they are used to blow-drying have this ready as well, and set the blow dryer to the lowest setting so your cat will not freak out if the dryer is set too high that can even burn your cats.
Keep The Bathroom Door Closed
If you are to bathe your cat inside the bathroom, make sure that the door is closed so that when you find your cat suddenly jumping out of the tub and running for the door, there is no chance for them to get out, and you can continue bathing them instead of going after them outside the house.
If all else fails, there is always the vet who can help you groom your cat. It takes time to get used to bathing your cat, and that goes the same for your cat if they are not acclimatized with water.
Grooming requirements will depend on how dirty you think your cat is, so it doesn’t need to be every week, especially if your cat is just used to staying inside your home.
If bathing your cat can be a traumatizing experience for both of you, then maybe it is best to trust a professional groomer and let them take care of this important task.
If you have a cat that is freaking out about getting a bath or if you’re not sure what to do, take the time to read this article. There are easy to follow tips on how to bathe them and keep them calm. For when your cat is freaking out, make sure that they know they’re safe before trying again.
Can You Use Head And Shoulders On A Cat?
Yes, Head And Shoulder is a shampoo you can use to wash your cat. Shampoo typically has a pH of 4-7 which is acidic enough to replace soap for cats, but not too acidic as to cause skin irritation. Head And Shoulders is pH balanced making it even safer to use on a cat.
The question of wether normal human can be used on cats most often comes up when you run out of real cat shampoo. Maybe it is the first time you want to give your cat a bath and all you have is Head And Shoulders shampoo.
The main difference between regular shampoo and shampoo for cats is the pH level. The Head And Shoulders pH is a bit more acidic than regular human shampoo. Head And Shoulders pH is are around 6.7 while the average regular adult human shampoo has a pH of 5-6 which makes Head And Shoulders more alkaline or base than regular human shampoo.
The pH of cat shampoo is typically 6.5 which means it is pH balanced. Most quality brands of shampoo including Head And Shoulders are pH balanced. This means there is a perfect balance between base and acid. For this reason Head And Shoulders is perfectly fine to use for your cat.