Bathing is good for the mental and physical health of your cat; and no, it won’t dry out the coat unless you are bathing twice a week or more. Whether bathing to resolve current issues or bathing for prevention, proper introduction and regular routine will help to make the process enjoyable for everyone.
Here’s how to tell when your cat needs a bath.
#1. It is shedding.
Most animals have a bi-annual shed cycle if it lives outdoors. If you have an indoor or indoor/outddor cat, you will experience shedding all year round. This is because the hair growth cycle is triggered by hours of light.
Loose hair is bad news. The cat’s tongue barbs are designed so that once hair is collected while self-grooming it it can’t be spat out. It can only go one way – down the gullet – and that means hairballs. Brushing definitely helps but a warm exfoliating bath followed by a blow dry makes a huge difference. Short-haired cats actually shed more than long-haired due to the life cycle of their hair.
If no outfit is complete without cat hair, or you think you need to buy hairball laxatives, what you really need is to get your cat bathed.
Dandruff/Dander is a subject for a whole other blog post. Either is unsightly, and unhygienic. Dead skin and dried salvia……mmmmmmm yummy. And it’s left everywhere your cat has been. Think about it. Pet wipes just smear it around and brushing seems to only break it into ever smaller particles.
Only a thorough bath regularly will help resolve this problem. And please, don’t use conditioner or a medicated shampoo. On a cat, this is NOT the answer (trust me) and it will only create a vicious cycle of flakes. More on this subject, another time.
If you can mohawk it, create parts and peaks, looks clumpy, feels like Brillo cream; it needs a bath. Cats are naturally oily. As a matter of fact, they are oilier than dogs, plus they have finer hair to absorb all that grease.
Ever seen a Sphinx cat a week with out wiping or bathing? It gets yellow, lard-like deposits in the folds of it’s skin. We only see it because it is a hair-less cat. Your furry cats produce the same oils, it’s just absorbed by the hair.
Greasy hair attracts dirt, dirty hair velcros to other hair stands, creating mats, (even on short-haired cats) resulting in greasy, dirty, smelly, matted, messy, and unhappy kitty.
How bad does it have to get before some humane intervention is considered? A regular routine of bathing will keep your narcissistic feline clean, a pleasure to snuggle and caress, and mats, a thing of the past.