Bathe your cat, but don't get clawed!

Cats are generally self-cleaning machines, but may need a rare bath to keep their coats clean and odour-free. "Cats learn to lick themselves when they are two to four weeks old and as they grow up, they spend most of their time grooming themselves. But a bath now and then can help stimulate their skin and remove excess oil to keep the fur healthy," says Abhijeet Sharma, a pet grooming specialist.
The first rule about giving your cat a bath is figuring out whether your cat needs it and when? "A bath is usually necessary for long-haired breeds or if you have a cat that loves to play in the dirt," says Abhijeet.

If your pet is ill or injured, they may need grooming. So does elderly cats, but elderly cats may be stressed by bathing, so it is advisable to consult your veterinarian in these instances.
Before a bath, brush your cat’s fur to get rid of knots and debris. "When the fur is smooth, your cat will likely lick its fur. If you still see dirty areas, use a damp, soapy washcloth to spot clean," suggests Karuna Sarthy, a pet parent.

Patience is key
The actual process of bathing can be a little difficult as cats don’t like coming in close contact with water often. "Cleaning your cat is a tricky job. A lot depends on the comfort level that a pet and their human shares. And even though every cat is different, patience is key when it comes to bathing your cat," says cat parent Neha Upadhyay.

One can use some simple techniques to make the process smoother. Here are some points to keep in mind:

  • Trim your cat's nails and tire them out by playing with them before the bath
  • Choose an open space for the bath with a bucket or pipe
  • Use lukewarm water and choose the right cat shampoo
  • Start by putting their paws in the water and wait for them to relax, before going ahead
  • Wrap your cat in a large towel and gently use a blow dryer afterwards
  • Reward them with treats once done

End of the article

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