Cats instinctively groom themselves, keeping their fur clean, tangle-free, and conditioned. Cats may also need to be bathed occasionally to keep their coats in peak condition, especially if they are longhaired.
Outdoor cats occasionally give themselves a dust bath, rolling in dry earth to clean their coat of grease and parasites, such as fleas. You can buy dry shampoos for cats, which work in a similar way. A longhaired cat will require frequent bathing. Do not wash your cat if it is covered in oil or any other substance that is not water-soluble—instead, consult your vet. Few cats enjoy being bathed, and it’s easier for both you and your cat if you accustom him to the experience from an early age. Use soothing words throughout the session. Before you begin, close all doors and windows, and make sure the room is warm.
Brush your cat’s coat before you begin. Line the bath or sink with a rubber mat so he will not slip. Slowly place your cat in, talking to him soothingly. Spray him with warm water that is as near body temperature (101.5ºF/38.6ºC) as possible. Soak his fur thoroughly.
2 . Cat shampoo
Always apply a special cat shampoo. Never use products formulated for dogs or humans, which can contain chemicals that are an irritant or are toxic to cats. Avoid getting shampoo in your cat’s eyes, ears, nose, or mouth.
3 . Wash and condition
Lather in the shampoo thoroughly, then rinse it off completely. Repeat the shampoo wash or rub in a conditioner and rinse off again. Remember to keep comforting your cat throughout.
4. Drying off
Towel-dry your cat, or use an electric dryer on a low setting if the noise doesn’t upset him. Brush his coat and allow him to finish drying off in a warm room.