For the most part, cats and water don’t mix – although we’ve seen some cats willingly take a swim in hot weather.
Could their lack of affection towards water be due to those nights of having cold water thrown at them when they are serenading you at 3 AM? Or perhaps it’s that handy squirt gun many owners use as a bad behavior deterrent?
Either way, they aren’t huge fans, but cat grooming is an important part of a cat’s everyday life so here are some quick tips to help make grooming sessions much more enjoyable for the both of you.
Planning is Key
Having a relaxed cat is the key to a grooming session going smoothly. Choose the right time like after a meal or some rollicking play.
Keep this first session to about 5 or 10 minutes – nothing longer than that. And this is a great opportunity to get her used to being touched everywhere. Stick to just brushing for now until she gets used to the routine.
Tools of the Trade
This is where the type of cat is crucial. With a short haired feline, brushing once a week is plenty. Use a metal comb first from head to tail to get any unwanted critters – read that fleas and/or ticks – off the cat. Next, use a rubber tipped brush to get off any loose hair. Make sure to be careful around chest and belly. Those are two very sensitive spots for cats.
If you have the long-haired variety, brushing every day is important to keep mats to a minimum. Start by combing belly and legs carefully to remove any knots. Using a bristle or rubber brush, brush in an upward motion and to do her tail, part the fur and brush it out, side to side.
The first time we had to bathe our cat was when she decided it would be fun to crawl under the furnace. When we finally got her out, she was an oily and greasy mess so into the kitchen sink she went.
Put a non-slip mat in the bottom of the sink and fill it with three or four inches of tepid water. Using a plastic cup, wet her down being careful not to get any water in her eyes, nose or ears. Massage a gentle shampoo into her fur and then rinse thoroughly. Make sure all of the shampoo comes out and then give her a good fluff dry. Keep her in a nice warm place until she’s all dry. Cats can catch colds easily.
Before her first claw trimming, get her used to having her paws touched. Then clip her nails giving her lots of praise and some yummy treats.
While cats and water don’t typically mix, there are ways to bathe your cat without it being an emotional upheaval for both of you.
Photo Credit: istockphoto.com