Should I Bathe My Cat?

CatChannel expert Jeanne Adlon, professional cat sitter, talks about whether you should give your cat a bath.

Q: Should I bathe my cat?

A: Bathing a cat is not for wimps and I only take it on if it’s absolutely necessary. My senior cat Simon is very feisty and does not like to be bathed.

He is a little overweight, however, and cannot always reach certain areas to clean himself properly. That said, we have reached a compromise. I give him a very good brushing from nose to tail, then wipe him down thoroughly with baby wipes (they are just as good as pet wipes and less expensive). He is clean and we are still friends.

Cats are very clean animals but sometimes, because of age or other factors, they need our help. I remember one of my cats smeared himself against a wall I had just painted — needless to say he went into the sink immediately. For finicky bathers, a dry shampoo sold at pet stores requires no water. You just rub it in and brush it out. Please follow all directions.

If you have a sick cat who cannot groom himself and isn’t happy about your doing it, try researching groomers who will come to the house. Wiping him down with a warm hand towel once a month to remove excess oils and dirt is a good idea; speak to him in a calm voice while doing so. If you must bathe a very feisty cat, ask your vet for some calming medication and see if you can get someone to help you.

As always I welcome your comments and stories.

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