Should you bathe your cat?
A cat with short fur does not need to be bathed because it can keep itself clean. When the cat licks its fur, a sufficiently thick protective layer of fat is secreted. The fat layer acts as a conditioner and helps keep the cat dry in wet weather.
A long-haired cat will need some help to keep itself clean. How often you need to bathe them depends on how much natural fat your cat secretes in its fur. If you are not going to show your cat, it is usually enough to bathe a long-haired cat every two months.
For a cat that is exhibited, fur care, including bathing, is hugely important. There are loads of different shampoos, conditioners and other fur care products to choose from on the market. Breeders of show breeds usually start getting the cats used to being bathed even before they move to their new homes.
Hairless, or naked, cats should be bathed more often than those with fur. All cats have fur oil, cats with no fur, such as Sphynx cats, can get sticky as they can't absorb the oil. As the cat owner, you need to bathe your cat to remove the fur oil.
Giving your cat a bath
Cats prefer warm water when it's time to bathe. It should be slightly warmer than your own bath water, but certainly not hot. Shampoo and rinse thoroughly through the coat. If your cat has long fur, you can use conditioner, this will make it easier to detangle their fur afterwards.
Towel dry the fur as much as possible but avoid rubbing too much as this can result in a matted fur. Blow-dry the fur completely with warm air. Make sure it's not too hot, but also not too cold, as cats can easily catch a cold. Finally, brush through the coat. If you use an antistatic spray, spray it on the brush and not directly on the cat.
Get your cat used to water
Whether you have a cat that needs a bath or not, it's a good idea to get them used to water at an early age. Cats can get into all sorts of mischief, leading to a mucky coat that needs a bath!
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