How to Wash an Adult Cat for the First Time

January 18, 2022 9:59 pm Published by

Cats are born with the ability to bathe themselves; however, some circumstances require owners to wash their cats, such as when they have fleas or get covered in a toxic, sticky substance.

There might come a day when a pet parent must wash their cat for the first time. When that day comes, help the process go a lot smoother with this guide for cat washing.

Gather supplies, and fill the tub

The first step in any guide for cat washing is to gather all your supplies. You will need special cat shampoo, towels, treats, toys, a hair dryer and someone to help you. Set up everything beforehand, so your kitty can get the bath over with as quickly as possible.

Run some warm water in a sink, bucket, basin or bathtub. It’s important to complete this step before your cat is present because the running faucet could scare them off. Test the water to make sure it’s not too hot or cold. Keep filling until the water level is a few inches deep. The water should only come up to the bottom of your cat’s belly.

Shampoo and rinse their fur

Gently set your cat in the warm water. During the bath, monitor your cat for signs of stress and fear. Never force a cat to take a bath because doing so could lead to a traumatic experience for everyone involved. If your cat starts to freak out, take a short break until they relax. Once your kitty is calm, try to see if they will tolerate standing in the shallow water.

When their stress levels die down, you can move on to the shampoo. Wet your hands in the water, and then slowly run them through your cat’s fur. Next lather shampoo made for cats in between your palms. Gently massage the shampoo into their coat, speaking to them with a soft voice the whole time. If your kitty gets nervous again, ask your helper to distract the cat with treats or toys.

To rinse off, fill a cup with water and slowly pour it over your cat. Avoid pouring water anywhere on the cat’s face or head, as these areas are highly sensitive. Repeat this step until the shampoo is completely rinsed out of their fur.

Dry with a towel and hair dryer

The last step in this guide for cat washing is to towel dry your cat. Remove as much moisture as you can by wrapping them in a soft, clean towel. If you’re washing your cat for the first time, keep in mind their fur has to get completely dry before leaving the bathroom.

To dry them off even more, place a hair dryer on the lowest heat setting, and blow air several feet away from the cat. Some cats will find a noisy hair dryer very frightening. If that’s the case, simply let your cat air-dry in a warm room.

Washing your cat for the first time can seem intimidating. The process will become much easier when you seek professional advice from the vets at Kingstowne Cat Clinic. We understand the proper technique for handling cats and will guide you every step of the way. Get in touch for more cat bathing tips.

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