How to wash the cat? Practical advice and, above all, when it really is necessary to do it
Cats are very clean animals, which independently take care of their hygiene through licking and often do not like to be wet. However, there are situations in which bathing the cat becomes necessary. So here's how to wash your cat without stressing it and without causing it irritation.
Cats tend to be very clean animals, which take care of their own hygiene independently through licking, an activity in which they often indulge precisely for cleanliness needs. Being "artificially" wet is something they usually don't like, as well as the whole process behind the bath, which can be stressful for them.
Nevertheless, in some cases washing the cat becomes necessary, for example when the fur or paws have become dirty with something that he would not be able to remove with his tongue. So let's see what steps to follow to bathe the cat and what precautions to take in order not to scare it.
Can you wash the cat?
The premise is that the cat can be bathed, but that it is not always necessary and that in general it should be avoided if possible. In fact, the more the cat is washed, the more the skin gets irritated, especially if detergents are used, as well as the repercussions on psychological well-being. Many cats are frightened if they come into contact with water and may react by trying to free themselves or by hiding. Forcing them to take a bath is therefore wrong, especially if there is no real need.
When is it necessary to bathe the cat?
Washing the cat, as mentioned, is something that should generally be avoided, unless there are special situations that can occur when the fur or paws are stained or soiled with something that the cat would not be able to remove with the language. Think, for example, of sticky or greasy liquids such as drops of resin or oil, substances that stain a lot or that could prove toxic or in any case dangerous for him if he had to lick himself to clean himself, such as paints or colors. There is therefore no standard frequency, but a case-by-case and situation-by-situation evaluation.
How to prevent the cat from getting scared
Since for many cats the bath represents a stressful moment, the entire procedure must be done with the utmost calm, following the cat's rhythms, without getting nervous or forcing it, in a safe and calm environment, free from noise and additional sources of stress. This can also mean proceeding step by step: maybe the first time washing consists only of rinsing, the next time you can introduce the shampoo, after a while drying (the noise of the hairdryer can be very scary). It all depends on how tolerant the cat is, but it's important not to rush off with the idea of doing everything right away. The alternative may be to wash the cat without water, with a dry cleaning, using special shampoos for which there is no need to moisten the hair or rinse, or wet wipes designed specifically for washing cats (and therefore non-toxic).
The steps to follow to wash the cat
With the necessary premises, here is the best procedure for bathing the cat:
Find a quiet and comfortable place: shower, bathtub, sink or basin, it is good to choose the best place to wash your cat, both for him and for us. It must be a quiet room and the location must communicate a sense of security to the cat, it must not represent a risk if he reacts by running away and at the same time must allow you to have everything you need close at hand.
- Brush the fur: the first thing to do before using the water is to brush the cat's fur well to remove knots, superfluous hair and other corpuscles. This will make it easier to wash and use cleaning products.
- Using Manto products: always choose specific products for washing, never use a normal shampoo for human hair which could irritate the skin. Manto shampoo is ideal, also on the basis of the characteristics of the cat's fur. Consult a veterinarian for advice.
- Wet the fur: proceeding step by step, the fur should be wetted with water at room temperature, which should be adjusted on the basis of the cat's reaction. The jet shouldn't be too strong, and it's best to start from the back with a trickle to get used to the sensation. Great attention must be paid to the ears, nose and mouth: it is better to avoid water entering them.
- Apply the coat shampoo: once the hair has been adequately moistened, the detergent can be applied, first on the hands, causing a little foam and then on the hair with light, circular movements that recall caresses.
- Rinse: after soaping the hair, rinse with the same methods already used, making sure you have eliminated all residues.
- Drying: for drying it is best to use a soft towel and gently rub the fur, even leaving it slightly damp. Using the hairdryer is counterproductive both for the noise, which can scare the cat, and for the temperature, which can be too high.