December 9, 2013
Bathing My Cats
Although cats are remarkably clean, well-groomed animals, I've always been a firm believer in bathing my cats. In general, longhair cats and outdoor cats require more care than shorthair and indoor cats, which may never need a bath. My cats are longhair and they enjoy spending time outdoors, so bathing is a necessity. I brush my cats weekly and bathe them about once a month - twice if they need it. And every night, I wash their faces quickly with a soft, damp, warm washcloth before they curl up on the bed. After returning from Canada on Thursday evening, I could tell it was time to bathe my pair of calico Persians. This is a job I enjoy and would have done it myself if I didn't have to repack for another trip in the morning. My pets are in excellent hands with my house staff and Sanu and Maria were happy to do the job.
I asked my veterinarian, Dr. Jean Quaintance, for her thoughts about bathing cats and here's what she had to say - "Cat baths are tricky- they must be performed very carefully for the safety of both the cat and the owner! Cats typically do not need baths since their own bathing apparatuses are built in, but in the cases of certain longhaired (or no-haired!) purebreds or cats that don't do the job themselves baths can be very necessary. The most important tips would be to go slow, clip their nails first, use lukewarm water, use only mild cat shampoos (not human) and if you must dry them use the blow drier on the lowest setting- it is very easy to burn their skin. In the perfect world you start bathing them early (as kittens) to get them used to the process."
1 This is beautiful Princess Peony, who is quite used to having a bath, as she's been receiving them her entire life.
2 Before placing her in the warm water of the tub, Maria gave Peony a good brushing on the grooming table to loosen up any snarls.
3 Cats are notoriously skittish about water. The key is to make it as gentle an experience as possible, and it's important to talk to the cat in soothing tones throughout the process.
4 Use a good quality shampoo specifically made for pets. The shampoo should be diluted in a container of warm water. Once Peony was good and wet, Sanu poured the water/shampoo over the back, being careful not to get the face wet. Cats don't fare well getting water in their nasal passages.
5 After cleaning one area at a time, including tail and legs, fresh warm water was poured over Peony to remove the shampoo.
6 Sanu passed her hands over Peony's fur, gently squeezing excess water.
7 Simply adorable!
8 Peony was wrapped in a large terry towel to absorb more water.
9 Her face was wiped clean with a damp cotton pad.
10 Not all cats will tolerate a blow-dryer, but if your cat will let you, use it on the low setting to dry the coat more thoroughly.
11 Comb as you blow.
12 Of course, it helps to have two sets of hands.
13 Don't forget the chest and belly area.
14 Removing matted fur is important because collected mats can cause skin irritation and hair balls.
15 Nearly done
16 So elegant and fluffy!
17 Now for Peony's sister, Empress Tang
18 A gentle shampoo and rinse
19 Another sweet face!
20 And it's off to the grooming table!
21 A clean and gorgeous Empress Tang who loves lounging in bowls