Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Tips for bathing a dirty cat

Bathed my cat today and it sure wasn’t easy
Honestly, I didn’t think that cats needed bathing. Unlike when I decided to raise my two Labs, bathing them went with the decision. And so did walking, grooming, and keeping them dogs active.

With cats, it was different. It came like a complete package with its straight back and sidewise glance to me, and a snobbish attitude that seemed to say, “Thanks, but no thanks; I can take care of myself.” And just what I thought, it was more than capable at grooming itself. It didn’t bother me like my overly active pups.
However, one sunshiny morning,my cat came slithering between my legs and I noticed it was slick in an oily kind of way. It smelled funny, too. It happened to be a Saturday, and a lazy one at that. I brought the cat to the yard to bathe it. But I haven’t washed a cat before, and the cat looked like it has not taken a bath in its whole life. Its paws poised for attack weren’t reassuring, either. It was beginning to stress me. I took to the internet and spent a few minutes ticking out pointers. Here are the steps I followed:

1. I trimmed the cat’s nails since I was so scared that it would scratch my eyes off. I used the dogs’ clipper and took note that the cat needs its own beauty kit. I think it detested the fact that the clipper smelled of naughty Labs.

2. I brushed the cat’s coat – yes, before I even started bathing it. I realized how knots were formed under the slick top coat. This was a useful tip I got from an article. Prior to wetting the cat, the coat must be brushed to minimize tangles. I think that the cat also relaxed with the brushing that it got.

3. Then I wore gloves that went up my arms – to cover as much skin as possible. I also tied my hair because my hand will be full with a squirming cat later to be keeping hair away from my face. I also wore an old pair of comfy denim pants.

4. Then I brought the cat to the bathroom, I decided against the yard because it’s too wide a place to be chasing a wet cat around. I locked the bathroom door behind me; I didn’t want a soapy kitchen, living room, and every other place. Washing a cat for the whole Saturday was enough; I hadn’t planned on cleaning the whole house.

5. I used a baby shampoo for the cat. But I read somewhere later that cats have their own shampoos. Human and even dog shampoos can be toxic or irritating for cats. Well, the baby shampoo didn’t hurt my cat; if anything, it smelled like a baby. I’ve never bothered smelling cats before, I sneeze at the thought!

6. I made circular motions with the diluted shampoo (yes, dilute it), being careful with the head and tender with the belly. I don’t know, but I didn’t want to tickle the cat lest it flies in a rage.

7. All the while the cat squirmed but it had nowhere to go. It surrendered and allowed me to rinse it (her, him?). I was all wet, too. I thought it would have been easier had there been another person to hold it for me. Anyway, it got all rinsed and smelling clean. But it looked like a scared rat. Who wouldn’t if it was your first time to get shampooed and watered down? I took my towel hanging on the towel rack and wrapped the poor thing with it. Now, I have one less towel.

8. I can’t say that it was a great first time for the cat. I read that I should have prepared all the things I needed in advance, like the water should be lukewarm, the shampoo should be that for cats, and I should talk to the cat reassuringly. As it happened, I think it was I who needed reassuring.

Anyway, the cat was out, and it smelled fine. It came back later with its catty grin. Maybe it wasn’t very traumatic after all. Hmmn, next time would be much improved - in two months again, maybe. For now, it’s my bath time.

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