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You can bathe your cat!

You can bathe your cat!

A popular joke about bathing a cat involves putting your cat in the toilet and letting it self-agitate. But giving a cat a bath doesn't mean that you have to put it in the toilet.

Cats usually groom themselves by licking their fur and their paws.  They may not need to be bathed as often as dogs; however, there are times when a cat is excessively dirty or sweaty and will need a bath.

So, is it really possible to bathe a cat without holding it in the toilet? And if so, how do you do it?  

You'll need the following supplies:

Rubber gloves, to protect your hands from your cat's claws.
Cat shampoo. It's important to use cat shampoo, since human shampoo will dry out a cat's skin.
A bowl, cup, or spray hose for rinsing your cat.
A large towel (perhaps more than one).
Cotton balls, to clean the ears and also to place in the ears during bathing so that water won't get into them and possibly cause an ear infection.
A small washcloth to clean the cat's face.
A non-skid mats for the tub or sink.
Old clothes, preferably with long sleeves. Long sleeves will protect your skin if your cat tries to scratch you during the bath.

First, trim your cat's claws. Even a mellow cat can get agitated in the water, and trimmed claws will minimize any damage she may cause.

Next, brush her fur. This will remove loose hair and straighten out any mats in the fur, which will be impossible to remove once the fur gets wet. This is a good time to put cotton in her ears to keep the bath water out.

Put a non-skid mat in the tub or sink so that the cat won't slip. 

Fill the tub or sink with three to four inches of lukewarm water. 

Thoroughly wet the cat, using a cup, bowl, or spray hose. If you use the spray hose, be gentle and don't spray directly in her eyes, ears or nose.

Use a solution of one part cat shampoo to five parts water and bathe the cat, working from head to tail and in the direction the hair grows.   Avoid the face, eyes and ears. 

Use a spray hose, cup, or bowl to thoroughly rinse your cat, making sure that the water is still lukewarm.

Wipe your cat's face with a washcloth. Use plain water unless her face is dirty. If her face is dirty, use a much diluted solution of shampoo and be very careful washing around the eyes and ears.

Wrap your cat in a large towel and dry her in a warm place, away from drafts. If she doesn't mind noise, use a blow dryer on the lowest heat setting. 

Praise her lavishly and give her a favorite treat after everything is over.

Follow these instructions, and you won't have to resort to the toilet bowl!

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