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4 Simple Tips for Washing Your Kitty Without Getting Scratched

By E. Swift
November 13, 2017

Wet CatIt’s no secret that very few cats enjoy getting wet, and for the most part, our feline friends are adept at grooming themselves (and their kittens!) with their scratchy tongues. However, sometimes your kitty might get into a very sticky situation, like a mud puddle, an open paint can, or, heaven forfend, a fight with a skunk, and you have to step in to keep them (and your floors) clean and tidy. Even mellow cats will want to avoid the bath, and may struggle with you, but with these handy tips, you can minimize the discomfort for both you and your dirty boy or girl.

Get Them Good And Tired

Before you get your cat into the bath or sink, spend some time playing with them in a room where you don’t mind getting a bit messy. You can use any of their favorite toys, but a laser pointer is probably the best tool for the job, as the running back and forth will be sure to get your cat nice and tuckered. Once they’re tired and spent, they’ll have less energy for fighting when it comes time to get them wet.

Clip Their Nails

Now, it’s a good idea to be clipping your cat’s nails every once in awhile anyway, both to save your furniture and so that they don’t accidentally break a claw if it gets snagged in something like the carpet. But it’s especially good if you’re going to be bathing your cat, because if they give you a painful scratch, they may escape and run away, and then you’ll be chasing a wet soapy cat through your house, and that’s never a good way to spend your Sunday.

Cat with water

Keep The Water Feeling Safe

Cats will get spooked if you lower them into water, so don’t fill up the sink or bathtub before washing your furball. Instead, use a handheld shower head (if in the bathroom) or the spray nozzle (if in the kitchen sink) close to your cat’s fur. It’s more relaxing and feels less dangerous than standing water.

Have Confidence!

Cats can tell if you’re scared and stressed, and they’ll mirror your anxiety. If you use practiced, steady movements, and act like you’re not scared of their little claws, your cat will trust you more and be less likely to struggle.

Unless you get very lucky and find a rare cat (like my old cat Hannibal) that loves water, washing your feline companion can be a harrowing experience. But with these tips, you can hopefully minimize the stress and get back to playing with your clean and happy kitty!