Dr. Dog Cat and Dog Health Care and Pet Supplies
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Bathing Your Cat.

Cats are naturally clean animals and generally do not need to be bathed. There are some occasions, however, when a cat may need a bath. This might be if something gets on your cat's fur that you don't want him to lick off, or if a cat is unable to properly care for himself. This may happen with kittens, or with strays or outdoor cats that haven't had good care. Sick or injured cats may also have difficulty keeping themselves clean. Finally, longhaired cats may need help with brushing and/or washing.

Since most cats dislike water, bathing a cat can be as traumatic for the owner as it is for the cat. For cats that need regular bathing it helps to start when they are a kitten. This promotes cleanliness, and familiarizes with bathing making the process easier as time goes on. Some may wait and give a bath only if absolutely necessary.

Proper preparation for the bath is essential. Human shampoos should not be used on cats as they are too strong, although some baby shampoos may be used. Dog shampoos often contain ingredients that can be harmful to cats. Make sure the shampoo is safe for cats. Next, protect yourself. Even mild mannered cats may become upset by a bath. Wear long sleeves, long pants, and a sturdy pair of gloves. Some people even wear goggles for protection. Bath your pet in an enclosed space. Usually a bathroom with the door shut works; escape is always a possibility. Fill up your sink with water warm to the touch. Gently put some cotton loosely in your cat's ears (if possible) to keep the water out. As you start to wet down your cat and shampoo him be especially careful not to get water or shampoo in the eyes or ears. The bath itself is a matter of what works best. You may need a partner to help hold the cat while you wash him, or you may be able to hold and wash him yourself. Make sure your cat is rinsed thoroughly after shampooing. Left over shampoo can dry the skin causing irritation. Have plenty of towels ready to dry off your cat with after the bath. In some rare cases a cat may tolerate a blow dryer, but usually it is a case of drying him off the best you can with towels.



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