Tips on Bathing Your Cat

Most cats keep themselves clean and rarely need baths, but in cases of flea infestation or, perhaps, he got into mischief and got himself dirty, then your cat will need to be bathed.

 

The first step before even attempting the bath would be to trim your cat’s nails to reduce the chance of getting scratched.

Also, be sure to choose a shampoo that is safe for your cat. Some shampoos may contain insecticides that can be toxic to cats.

The Aloe and Oatmeal shampoo is safe to use on cats and also helps to relieve itching and condition their coat and skin.

Another tip that I like to use is a mesh cat bathing bag or the mesh bag you may use for laundering your delicate unmentionables. This can be transformed into a cat bathing bag buy using a shoe lace and threading it around the opening. Then place your cat in the bag and with his head sticking out of the bag, pull the shoe string and tie the bag closed. You can then shampoo and rinse the through the mesh and cat’s tend to tolerate the bathing very well.
You can also put a cake rack or dish rack in the bottom of the sink. This helps to keep the cat out of the water and give him something to dig his claws around instead of your arm.NEW! The Cat Bath Sack - Small (1-15 lbs)
When bathing the cat, use a cup to pour the water over the cat rather than the sprayer. You can use one hand to scruff the cat behind the neck to maintain control and the other to gently pour the water. Start at the head and gently pour the warm water down the back of the head and on the rest of the body. Do not submerge the cat’s head or pour the water over his face. Once you have wet the cat, then apply the shampoo and work it into a lather. Follow the directions on the bottle to see how long to leave it on the cat before rinsing it off. Now you are ready for the rinse cycle. Again start at the head and work your way down until all of the suds are rinsed off. Gently squeeze the remainder of the water out of the fur and wrap your cat in a towel to dry. Some cats will tolerate the hair dryer but be sure to use the low heat and low air setting and go slowly.

Post-Operative Care of your Cat

catAfter your cat has undergone surgery there are some things to remember to assure a speedy recovery.

Anesthesia
Your cat may not feel himself for the next 12 to 24 hours. Keep him in a warm, quiet area, away from other pets, where he can rest and is not likely to injure himself. An airline kennel or a small room is ideal.

Never feed or give water to a cat that still seems groggy. Once your cat seems awake and alert, take things slow. Some anesthetics can cause nausea. Introduce water first. If all goes well, a small amount of food can be offered a few hours later. Wait until tomorrow to return to his normal feeding schedule.

Exercise
Your cat should be kept quiet today. For the next week, his activity should be moderately restricted. It can be difficult to keep a rambunctious cat calm, but do not encourage vigorous running, jumping, or rough play. Restrict him from areas where you know he likes to climb and jump, and avoid leaving him unattended with other pets with whom he normally rough-houses. Excessive exercise after surgery can cause swelling and delayed healing.

Some surgeries require more severe restriction or specific types of exercise. Be sure you understand your veterinarians instructions, and follow them diligently.

Environment and Grooming
Keep your cat inside today and tonight, even if he is normally allowed outdoors. It is unsafe for him to be out around cars and other hazards if he is still feeling the effects of anesthesia. If its at all possible, it is better to keep him in for a few days to a week. This will help him stay clean, and can help minimize excessive physical activity.

Make sure your cats bedding and the area where he lives are especially clean and dry. Your veterinarian may recommend a soft, shredded paper cat litter.

If the area around his incision appears soiled, you can carefully wipe his skin with warm water and a mild antiseptic soap, then rinse by wiping with plain water. Avoid getting soap or water directly on the incision.

Self-Trauma
A surgical incision may feel sore, itchy, or just different to your cat. His natural instinct is to lick, scratch or chew. If you notice him bothering his incision, ask your veterinarian if he might need an Elizabethan collar. The Elizabethan collar should be worn at all times when you are not watching him its amazing how quickly a cat can pull out a stitch when you turn your back.

Monitoring
Check your cats incision daily. Notify your veterinarian if you see any increase in swelling, discharge, bleeding, redness, or if you think stitches might be missing.

If your cat has a cast or bandage, check it daily to be sure its dry, clean, and has no foul odor.

Medications
If your cat has medication, thoroughly read and follow all label instructions. If you have any questions, your veterinary office can help. Always use the medication for the full duration prescribed, even if your cat seems better sooner.

Getting Help
Never hesitate to call your veterinarian or local veterinary emergency clinic if you think you cat may be having a problem. Your diligence may catch a complication before it becomes serious.