How To Give Your Cat A Shedding Bath
Siamese cattery owner, Jamie Lombardi demonstrates how to properly bathe your cat in a shedding bath. In her demonstration she bathes her own two Siamese cats, Isis and Kali.
Shedding Bath: Prepping for the Bath
It is important to prepare your bathing station before you begin bathing your cat. You can bathe your cat in a sink or a bath tub. Although because bath tubs can look huge to a cat you reduce the risk of fear by bathing them in a much smaller place. I personally use my kitchen sink. To prepare your station for bathing you will want to remove anything in reaching distance that your cat can grab onto or knock over.
Once your bathing station is clear and ready for your cat there are a few more things that you will need to have set up and ready once your cat is in the sink. Here is a quick checklist of items you will need for your shedding bath:
- Shampoo & Antiseptic wash
- Baby wipes & cotton pads
- A comb and/or brush
- Towels, shammy’s or micro fiber towels
Now you are ready to grab your cat and begin the shedding bath. If your cat is bathed regularly from a kitten or on a consistent basis during shedding seasons then your cat will get more comfortably each time you need to bathe them. Hold your cat close to you as you turn on the water. You will want the water temperature to be warm to the touch but not overly warm or hot. A cat has very sensitive skin so it is important to not get it to warm. However, it is important that the water is warm to the touch to allow the hair follicles to open up and release the shedding cat hair.
Shedding Bath: Wetting & Washing the Body Process
The next step is wetting your cat from the neck down. You do not want to wet any part of their head (face or ears). Wetting their head affects their equilibrium and will cause them to get angry and upset. Your cat may whine or be very vocal once the water touches their body. Do not be alarmed or worried, this is natural and your cat is safe and you are not hurting them. To control your cat from jumping out or getting away from you just take your hand and grab a big handful of their skin on their neck starting at the base of their ears. Grabbing them on the neck will keep them calm and prevent them from scratching you. Again, holding them in this manner is not harmful to them and will not hurt them.
Once you have your cats body completely wet you can begin applying the shampoo. You can use whichever shampoo you like. In this demonstration Jamie uses an herbal brand for white coats. Begin applying the shampoo from the bottom of the neck and down the back of the body. Begin scrubbing your cat from the bottom of the neckline and work your way down their body. It is important to pay attention to cleaning their arm pits, toes, and hind-end areas.
Shedding Bath: Rinsing Process
To rinse your cat you will begin the process at the same starting point that you began shampooing. Rinsing them til there is absolutely no soap left on them is very important. A cat will lick their body afterwards and if there is any soap left on them it can make them very sick.
Shedding Bath: Head & Ear Cleaning Process
Now is the time to begin cleaning their head. Grab a baby wipe (or similar non-chemical, hypoallergenic wipe) add a dab of antiseptic wash on the wipe. Use your finger tips to gently wet their head and neck. Use the wipe to scrub their head and neck removing all of the dirt that they cannot reach or clean themselves. Rinse the wipe and repeat the process to rinse the soap from their head and neck area.
The last area you will clean is their ears. For this you will need the cotton pads (or something similar) and the antiseptic wash. It is important to not clean the inside of their ear canal. Clean only the outside and inside flap. You can make a cone shape with the cotton pad and clean on the inside gently. Also check for excessive dirt or if it smells, they may have an ear infection if you notice either thing.
The final step for giving a cat shedding bath is rinsing them in cool water. The reason you want to use cool water is to keep the non-shedding hair follicles from opening.
Shedding Bath: Drying Your Cat
Before drying your cat get as much excess water off as possible. Using your hand as a squeegee. To continue drying them you can use a towel, shammy or microfiber towel. In between drying them use a comb or a brush to remove excess shedding hair and then continue to dry them. If your cat will tolerate the noise of a blow drying you can blow dry them using the lowest speed.
Congratulations! You have properly completed giving your cat a shedding bath. Repeat this process every shedding season. Major shedding seasons are in the beginning of May or towards the end of August.
Jamie fosters for the Siamese Cat Rescue. A cat organization dedicated to finding homeless cats a forever home. Visit their website to find out more about fostering or adopting a Siamese cat.
Filed under: Cats 101
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