If a kitten has just come into your family, you are probably asking yourself a lot of questions: what do I feed him? What can he play with? Do I have to bathe him? It is normal that, in the first moments, you feel a little lost not knowing how to take care of a cat. But in this article, we are going to help you solve one of the most common questions: when to start bathing a cat? The truth is that it is recommended that it be from 3 months of age but, remember, cats are very clean and neat animals and, for the most part, do not require extra baths or washing.
How often can you bathe a cat?
Now that you are clear on when to start bathing a cat, it is important that we make it clear that you will not need to bathe it every week, not even remotely! Cats are very neat animals and will take care of their daily cleaning themselves. In addition, thanks to their rough tongue they can remove accumulated dirt and excess hair that accumulates.
Therefore, the cat’s bath will depend a lot on the way of life it has since a domestic cat does not get dirty the same as a cat that goes outside every day. In fact, if the cat does not go outside, 1 wash a month will be more than enough to keep his hygiene at bay.
On the other hand, if the cat goes outside, its washing frequency may be increased. You should bathe your cat in the following circumstances:
Dirty fur: If you see that your cat has spots on its fur or fur, then you will have to wash it (mud, oil, etc.).
Chemical contact: If you think that your cat has come into contact with bleach or products that may be toxic to him, it will be essential that you bathe him immediately to avoid damage
Oily hair: Like our hair, that of cats can also be oily (especially in long-haired breeds). So if you see that their coat is greasy or excessively tangled, it’s time for a bath
On the recommendation of the vet: It may also be that the vet recommends that you bathe to improve any condition.
The cat’s first bath: what you need to know
The age at which you can start bathing a cat is somewhat controversial. There are experts who argue that the ideal age is from 2 months, however, the most widespread is that it is from 3 months when bathing a cat for the first time.
Why? Basically because, before this time, the animal has not yet defined its body temperature well and, therefore, it could catch a cold. In any case, it is always recommended that we take great care of your first bathroom and that, if it is in winter, we have the heating open so that it does not get cold at any time.
In addition, it is at 3 months when you can start bathing a cat because it is also at this time that the first vaccine has been given. In fact, subjecting him to a bath without being well vaccinated could be dangerous for the health and even for the life of the animal. So don’t play it!
Tips for a cat’s first bath
In addition to knowing the best time to start bathing a cat, it is also important that you take into account other tips that will help make the experience perfect for the animal. Here are some ideas to help you accomplish this task:
Use a small basin: the first time it is much recommended that you bathe the cat in a basin or a bathtub for babies. Well, in this way, you will have more control and prevent it from slipping or being scared.
2 cm of water maximum: cats are very curious, and even more so when they are puppies. Therefore, it is recommended that you do not exceed 2 cm of water to prevent it from being scared or falling.
Warm water (approx. 35ºC): avoid bathing your cat with very cold or very hot water. The best thing is that it is pleasant and that the environment is in good temperature conditions so that, as we have already said, it does not catch cold.
Relax it: The most common thing is that the animal is tense and nervous not knowing exactly what is happening. But, for this reason, it is recommended that you speak to him in a soft tone and caress him so that he can relax.
Bathing a cat step by step
Once you have all the materials ready, it’s time to start the bathroom. To do this, you must follow these simple steps that we indicate below:
- Wet the lower part of your body with your hand or with a sponge that is very soft
- Little by little, ascend so that the cat does not panic and get used to the water
- Apply the soap gently, as if they were caresses and let it act for 2 or 3 minutes to achieve a greater cleaning
- Then, rinse the soap with lukewarm water, making sure that it is thoroughly cleaned of any debris (think that the animal will continue to wash with its tongue daily, therefore, it is better that it does not find foreign substances in its body)
- Towel dry without being rough. Do it carefully and with a soft and relaxed voice so that the cat is calm
- Give it a final brush to make it perfect and totally neat
In the event that you bathe the cat in winter, you can blow-dry it, always keeping a safe distance. Also, be aware that the noise from this device might scare you so avoid this method if you can. The cat has to be very dry to prevent it from catching a cold or getting sick.
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