It’s true that cats (especially indoor ones) don’t really need baths. Cats keep themselves clean. But once or twice each year (if they get dirty), I give the alcohol cats a wash, which makes them smell brand new.
Here are my tips for surviving a cat bath:
1. Collect your supplies and prepare the cat.
You will need pet shampoo (I use the hypoallergenic variety because Bacardi has sensitive skin), a washcloth, a clean towel, and several containers. I like to trim my cat’s nails right before the bath so that they (Bacardi in particular) can’t accidentally scratch me if he squirms.
2. Pre-fill containers with lukewarm water.
For the past few years, I’ve tried just using the tap in the bath. But the noise, and trying to contain a cat under flowing water doesn’t end well for anyone. Gather up a few large containers such as water pitchers, large (but not heavy) bowls, and fill them up and place them in the bottom or beside the bathtub.
3. Close the door.
Make sure there’s no escape route! The last thing you want is a wet cat hiding under a dusty couch. Gross.
4. Use a wet washcloth to apply the shampoo.
Don’t douse your cat in water just yet. Use just enough water to get a lather going. Allow your cat to walk around the bathroom while you massage in the shampoo. (Note: it’s important not to put shampoo on the head or face.)
5. Remain calm.
Once it’s time to wash the shampoo off, put your cat in the bathtub and gently hold them down while you pour water over their backs (again, don’t get their head wet!) If your cat jumps out of the tub, just calmly walk over, pick them back up, and return them to the tub.
6. Towel dry.
If your cat likes to be held, you can try to pick them up using the towel and dry that way, or allow them to walk around while you dry. Then you can let your cat out of the bathroom and allow them to air dry. (Obviously, if you have an indoor/outdoor cat, don’t let them outside until they are completely dry.)
Don’t worry, your cat will forgive you soon enough, and they’ll smell wonderful! Bacardi finished drying while curled up in my lap.