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."