Grooming Your Cat: Bathing
Why bathe a cat? Cats get dirty just like dogs, especially if they go outside. And if they pick up fleas, a flea bath is certainly in order. Since not all cats take to water easily, you can try bathing your cat with plain water to see how he reacts. If he puts up a terrible fuss, you'd likely get bitten or clawed, so you might as well give up on the whole idea. If your cat's fur is exceptionally dirty or greasy, you will have to have him professionally groomed.
Some cats will tolerate having their hair blown dry with a hair dryer - on low heat only. But test the cat's reaction to the blow dryer before actually using it on him - the noise may frighten him. One useful strategy is to place the cat in the cat carrier that you use for trips to the vet, and let the hair dryer blow through the wire from of sides of the carrier. Even though the noise of the dryer would normally frighten the cat, he feels secure within the confined space of the carrier. After he is dry, brush the fur thoroughly to remove loose and dead hair.
When you are bathing or grooming your cat you have the opportunity for checking out the skin all over the body for any irritations or lesions that may need attention. At this time, check also for fleas and ticks. If you find them, remove them as detailed on this page: Removing Fleas And Ticks In Cats
If, however, your cat takes well to the water and bathing him seems like a reasonable proposition, the best place to do it is in a sink or basin. Before bathing, use a dropper to place one drop of mineral oil into each of the cat's eyes; this will protect the eyes from the shampoo. Fill the sink with warm water to reach the cat's elbows, and lower him carefully into the water. Then shampoo him, talking encouragingly to him in a soothing voice. After lathering, empty the sink and fill with fresh water to rinse out the shampoo. Towel dry him, and don't let him outdoors until the fur is completely dry.
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