Cats learn from a young age how to groom and bathe themselves, but sometimes they need help getting clean. Considering that cats don't exactly have a reputation for being easy to bathe, you might ask yourself -- how do the pros do it?
Quick and Calm
One professional secret to bathing a cat is to remain calm, and be quick. Many cats dislike getting wet, and nothing you can do is likely to change this, but the more you're able to give off a calming vibe, the more relaxed the cat will be during the process. Wet the cat down, lather her fur and rinse her as thoroughly and as quickly as possible. The less you prolong the experience, the less agitated your kitty will be.
Cats have sensitive skin, so select a hypo-allergenic shampoo that is lightly scented and specially formulated for cats. Use as little of the shampoo as possible and dilute it with water so it will be easier to rinse out. A cat with shampoo residue left in her fur is likely to lick and ingest it, which could lead to tummy problems. Shampoo left in the cat's fur can also cause skin problems.
Rinse and Dry
It's important to rinse thoroughly, but this can be the most challenging part of the cat bath. One groomer trick is to provide a mesh screen that the cat can hold onto while you rinse. Using a spray nozzle, maneuvering the screen rather than the cat to rinse from all angles. Afterwards, wrap her in a clean, dry towel and pat her dry. If she's not terrified of the blow dryer, you can use it on the lowest setting to blow her dry.
Many professional cat groomers have special equipment at their disposal that isn't readily available at home. Recirculating bathing systems provide a gentle and thorough bathing experience for cats while cutting down on water and product usage. Special drying systems, such as the Catty Shack Vac, can dry cats quickly and efficiently without the undue stress that a conventional blow dryer can cause.
Jean Marie Bauhaus has been writing about a wide range of topics since 2000. Her articles have appeared on a number of popular websites, and she is also the author of two urban fantasy novels. She has a Bachelor of Science in social science from Rogers State University.