Any pet owner will tell you that bathing their animal can be a stressful experience, especially with a cat. Cats are creatures that like control. If they do not feel that they are in control they panic. Cats are also very opinionated and feel that you should listen to what they have to say. This is why bath time is so difficult. Cats feel that when there is a large amount of water, they are not in control and they are in danger. However, with a little time and the proper tips, your cat can learn to love bath time and it can become an enjoyable experience for both of you.
1) Trim your cats nails. A cat who is not declawed should have their nails trimmed and rounded only if they are indoor cats and do not have any access to the outside. If you are using a traditional trimmer, get tips from your vet on the proper way to trim your cat’s nails without hurting them. Also you could use a new effective way of filing your cats nails called the Peticure. This device is safe for dogs and cats. It simply rounds off the sharp tips of your cats claws. This prevents them from scratching the furniture, the carpet, and injuring you if they do not like bath time.
2. Use a harness to prevent your cat from jumping out of the water and onto the floor when wet. This could cause injury to your cat from slipping. The harness should be snug. It should be not be tight enough to push in on the skin, but not loose enough for your cat to slip out of. Wrap this harness around your wrist enough that it holds your cat in the bathing area.
3) Use the sink, not the tub. Deep water, or large spread out areas of water make cats uncomfortable and give them a feeling that they cannot escape in case of danger. Using a sink will limit the amount of water they are exposed to and reduce their fear.
4) Do not let your cat watch the water run. Cats do not like noises that they are unfamiliar with, more than they dislike water. Letting your cat watch the water run could cause needless anxiety. Get your cat once the water is ready and let them investigate the area and the bottle of cat shampoo before placing them in the water.
5) Let your cat place their front feet on the side of the sink. This allows water to run off of their body easier while also making them feel secure. Cats are always looking for situations that they feel could harm them. Letting them put their front feet on the side of the sink gives them the feeling of control and safety in this situation.
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