If you’ve got battle scars from your last attempt, you may be wondering how can I give my cat a bath without getting clawed? It’s not the easiest thing in the world, and you might get a glimpse of your feline friend’s primal instincts when you see them resist the whole experience.
Cats are really good at figuring out that something is up, so even before you start the process they may start to act differently because they know you’re planning something they won’t like. When you go to make your move, it will almost be like they’ve got the jump on you. Try to remain calm, and optimistic, because animals, especially cats, are in tune with your energy and can sense a shift in your vibration.
How Can I Give My Cat a Bath? Answer: Carefully, and Strategically
Having a game plan before you go into this is crucial. Get the area ready where you plan to get this done. While most people think the bathtub is the best place, it’s actually not. We recommend the kitchen sink. For one, you get to remain in a standing position, which puts you at an advantage if things start to get hairy. If you use the bathtub you have to crouch, kneel, or sit on the toilet, and if they start to bolt there’s not much you can do.
Another reason the kitchen sink is a better stage is because it’s more open. The bathroom and the bathtub are more confined spaces, and your cat may feel like they’ve been cornered, only increasing their panic and the likelihood that they are going to try to bolt on you.
Have Your Supplies Handy
If you’re giving them a flea bath, make sure you have the flea shampoo nearby. Also, you’ll want to have a fresh, dry towel within arms reach so that you can immediately switch to drying mode once you’ve done the hard part.
When Your Cat Resists
If your cat is wired like 99% of cats they won’t want to get wet, and they won’t want a bath. You’ll feel all of their muscles tense up as you try to get them into the bath, and they’ll put up the fight the entire time. They won’t relax and just go with things like you’d think they would, or like most dogs do once they finally get all wet and you start massaging their coat with shampoo. A cat will usually fight you the whole way.
If your cat still has their claws this can pose an added threat. Try to use a soothing voice and don’t give them the opportunity to strike. Stay behind them, or in their blind spot, and put a firm yet soothing hand on the back of their neck. If they start an attack, gently grab them by the back of the neck and let them know they’re OK, and that there’s nothing to be afraid of.
This isn’t going to be a relaxing, soothing, bubble bath time for you or them, so don’t try to make it this way. Get in and get out is the best method. Most cats don’t even need to be given a regular bath because they handle their own grooming with their specialized tongue and saliva. However, if you were instructed by the vet to give them a flea bath, or you have noticed that they’ve accumulated too much dirt and grime to overcome with their tongue, you need to do something.
A warm, damp cloth can actually work wonders, and it helps you avoid the need for a full-fledged bath. It replicates their own cleaning system, and you can usually do a sneak attack, wiping them clean before they even realize they’ve been bathed. Of course, they may give you a nasty look afterward, and retreat to their personal space to try and lick themselves clean as a way to show you they can handle things themselves, but at least you’ll have the peace of mind of knowing you got that sticky spot, or that extra dirty spot they’ve been missing.
Many a cat owner has a scar from the last time they tried to give their cat a bath, so definitely treat this task with respect and form a plan.