If you are considering bathing your cat you may have looked at the best cat shampoos available (Click here for my best choice on Amazon). But, maybe you have even been considering other solutions, such as baby shampoo. But, can that really be used?
Can you use baby shampoo on a cat? Yes, you can use baby shampoo on a cat. However, it is not ideal and not really recommended. This is because cats do not need a bath unless they have really got uncontrollably dirty. Also, there is shampoo designed for them which is much safer.
Now that you know that it is ok, but not recommended (Click here for my article comparing two top cat shampoo brands Vet’s Best vs Tropiclean Cat Shampoo), let me explain why this is not a good idea. Also, other similar options to avoid, how to bath your cat correctly if needed and more. Keep reading…
The reason I say this is not ideal is for two main reasons. I mentioned earlier, briefly, cats generally do not need to be bathed. The only exception to this is if they get exceptionally dirty. When I say “exceptionally” I mean, so much so they are unable to actually lick and groom the dirt off, are you with me?
For example, if she fell into a big bucket of mud or even worse, tar. In this situation, she could not physically clean this off. And you wouldn’t want her to attempt to lick this off, right?
Apart from these rare exceptions, cats typically groom and bathe himself ( Click here to see my article: Is it Bad to Give Your Cat a Bath?). Even if they do need to be bathed. Baby shampoo is not the ideal remedy.
This is because there are specific cat shampoos that are available on the market that are designed for their skin sensitivity and pH level.
However, as I said earlier it is possible to use baby shampoo. But you have to make sure that you use the correct one which is going to be mild enough for their skin so it does not cause irritation.
The biggest difference between baby shampoo and adult shampoo is the fact that they are advertised to not cause eye or skin irritation. The big sale is its “kind for kids”. The angle used in these advertisements is it’s allegedly “tear-free”.
This is the reason why people believe that baby shampoo is a better choice than an adult shampoo with regards to using it for cats.
They claim to achieve this by not using any Artificial Colours or other chemicals in the product. However in reality, if you really look into the ingredients of some of these products you will see there is not a lot different to the adult version.
In some cases you will find the same chemical agents and sulfates found in the adult version but with a reduced quantity. Therefore, making it a solution should not be used for cats. And, questionable even for babies.
It depends on which one you use. If you go for an unscented shampoo then it reduces the chance of irritation and the alkaline level is closer to a cat’s. Therefore, there is less chance of it irritating your cat’s skin.
There are also some soaps, such as the castile soap, which has been known to be used with cats. This particular soap is known to have additional moisturizing qualities that will stop your cat drying out.
However, the best solution is to use actual cat shampoo, which has been specifically designed for their needs.
You may be wondering could you not just go ahead and use a dog shampoo instead then? The reality is you cannot do this because most dog shampoos can be toxic and very dangerous for your cat.
The reason for this is, dog shampoo is formulated specifically for dogs. However, dogs have very different sensitivities to cats. Therefore the chemicals used in a dog product can cause severe irritation or even be toxic for a cat. Therefore, it is not advised to consider doing this.
If you have been searching the web for solutions or confirmation that you can use different types of shampoos for your cat.
You may have come across people discussing if it is a good idea to use Johnson’s Baby Shampoo for your cat. For that reason, in this section, I’m going to discuss if this is a good idea or not.
Firstly Johnson’s Baby Shampoo is called baby shampoo for a reason. This is because it is designed for babies and not cats. Are you with me?
Therefore it is not a good idea to use this on your cat. The reason why people gravitate to Johnson’s Baby Shampoo is because it is quite a mild shampoo.
If you do have to use baby shampoo, then most people look out for one that is unscented, not concentrated and does not have any additional chemicals in it.
The Johnson’s Baby Shampoo ticks a lot of these boxes. Which makes people believe it is a good solution to use for their cat.
On a short-term basis, to be honest, you may get away with using it. But regardless, it is not a long-term solution and I would not advice using it for your cat.
If bathing your cat is something that you need to do on a regular basis it is better to buy a specific cat shampoo rather than trying to cut corners.
In this section, I am going to answer some questions related to cats and shampoo. If you feel there are some questions unanswered, feel free to drop a comment below.
You may have heard rumors that you can use Dawn dishwashing liquid for your cat. People have discussed if this is a good idea to use for their cats, in particular for flea control. The reality is some cat owners have used Dawn liquid for their cats and swear by it.
According to this site the one that works is the original blue version. However, I wouldn’t advise this as a solution for your cat.
If you have a flea problem with your cat there is specific cat flea shampoo solutions (Click here to see) that you can get hold of instead of using Dawn for this reason.
Also if you do still consider going ahead with this, regardless of the warnings, make sure that you don’t consider using just any random dishwashing liquid, in the absence of the dawn original blue, because you really do not know what the effects will be.
Yes, you can get away with not bathing your cat. Think about it this way in the wild how do they survive without us bathing them?
The only exception to this rule is if they have a medical issue and they are unable to groom themselves. Or, you may have a rare issue where they fall into a substance that completely covers their coat.
In that situation she will be unable to clean themselves so you would need to help her. For example, as I said earlier, she fell into a whole bucket of mud, paint or tar. Obviously this is rare. You probably will never have to deal with this.
If you have recently bathed your cat and you have noticed that she is obsessively licking herself, you may be standing there and scratching your head wondering what this could be. For that reason, in this section, I’m going to explain what this may be and how you can get around it.
The chances are, if you see your cat behaving in this manner, it is because she is desperately trying to dry herself off after leaving the bath.
This can happen if you have not correctly rinsed her, before allowing her to leave the bath. And, it can cause issues. Why? Because the soap suds will effectively be licked up by your cat and then digested.
These soaps odds are not designed for a cat to digest and therefore can cause digestive irritations. Also, the leftover soap which hasn’t been rinsed off can dry out the skin.
Therefore it is important to completely rinse any soap suds before you allow your cat to leave the bath. Also, make sure that she is dried off properly once she leaves the bath.
If you want to keep your cat clean, but are frightened of bathing him you may be wondering if you can keep him clean without water (Click here to see the best waterless shampoo for cats, on Amazon). Let me explain…
Can you clean cat fur without water? Yes, you can clean cat fur without water. You can use cat wipes and waterless shampoo. However, to do this there are a couple of things that you’ll need. This is to make sure that your cat is cleaned well and kept safe in the process.
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Now that you know it’s possible I will explain why you even need to bathe your cat, ways to clean them delicate areas that need your attention, how to clean her, without drying out her skin, and more. Keep reading.
There are occasions, which I will explain in greater detail in a moment when you need to bathe your cat.
To bathe your cat you will either need some cat wipes (Click here for my best choice cat wipes, on Amazon) which are specifically made for cats. Or, you can consider using waterless Shampoo.
You may be thinking to yourself, why do I need to consider bathing my cat? The reality is, most cats can keep their self clean by licking their own fur, typically referred to as and grooming themselves. However, there are situations when your assistance will be required.
For example, if he gets excessively dirty. On this occasion, no matter how much licking he does, it is unlikely he’ll be able to deal with it. Also, you want to avoid him swallowing a large amount of dirt, which could infection, sickness or both.
As discussed in the previous section, you can use waterless shampoo or wipes to help with this. However, there are other proactive methods that you can use to make sure dirt doesn’t build-up to an uncontrollable level. Also, some of these methods can help to avoid their fur getting matted (Click here to see if GoPets or FURminator is better for de-matting your cat).
Simple things like regularly brushing your cat’s fur can eliminate the chances of him swallowing hairballs or collecting parasites.
In this section, I’m going to break down how you can actually go about cleaning your cat’s fur using baby wipes as well as waterless shampoo. This will help to keep him clean and avoid infection.
Using baby wipes is a good way to deodorize your cat’s fur as well as massaging in essential oils to its body. This will help it maintain good skin and fur health.
The best time to use the baby wipes is immediately after he’s eaten or has had a good playtime session.
Why is this?
Simply because this is likely to be the best time. Basically, when he is feeling calm. This will avoid him getting frustrated and potentially scratching you (more on this later).
While he is in this good mood, gently wipe his paws and face with the wipes. Also, use them to wipe around his ears and body. However, you need to use these wipes sparingly, because you want to avoid drying out his skin.
Waterless shampoo is a great way to keep your cat clean without any need for water. It is also convenient because you can do this without having running water around you at the time.
It’s quite straightforward really. Select the best cat waterless shampoo (Click here to see the best) that you can find and meets your needs. Apply the shampoo to your cat’s fur. After you have applied the shampoo, gently remove the excess using your hands or a pin brush.
After you have removed the excess shampoo. There is no need to rinse it off, as discussed earlier, it does not require water (which is the beauty of this stuff).
If you want to maintain your cat’s fur on a regular basis, it is advisable to get hold of a good pin brush (Click here to see my best choice, on Amazon). Pin brushes are good for short or long-haired cats. It will help to keep their fur in check.
If you have a long-haired cat a de-matter brush is a good idea. This will help him to eliminate any matting in your cat’s fur (click here to see how to remove matted hair from a Persian Cat).
You might also require thinning shears and a grooming glove to remove any loose hairs and remove any troublesome matting.
If you have ever attempted to bathe your cat or manhandle it in any way for that matter. You will agree with me that it can be a real challenge. One of the biggest problems with this is their claws. The chances are you will pick up some big scratches.
The reality is, your cat really doesn’t want to hurt you, it is just a defensive mechanism when it feels stressed.
Therefore, in this article, I’m going to explain how you can avoid being scratched, to save your poor hands.
Before I go into the detail of how you can stop your cat from scratching you. I want to explain how you can make life easier from the absolute beginning.
If you have a kitten it is a good idea to get them used to this proactive grooming and bathing from early. This will get them used to it and will cause you a lot less hassle for the future.
If you have an adult cat it’s better to start slowly. Ease them into the process, rather than jumping into full-on grooming immediately, are you with me? This is one of the reasons some cat owners use cat brushes that are ideal for cats that do not like to be brushed (Click here to see what I mean).
As discussed earlier, even the most gentle and lovable cat has a good chance of scratching you. Especially when you attempt to groom or bathe them. Therefore, trimming their claws before you do this, in my opinion, is essential.
The best way to do this is to try to disassociate the claw trimming with the actual grooming or bathing itself. Therefore, it is advisable to do this a couple of days before you plan to bathe or groom them.
Also, when you actually come down to bathing or grooming, make sure they’re in a cool and calm mood to avoid any trouble.
It is a good idea to offer your cat some treats. This will stop you looking like the bad guy. It will help them associate you with positive experiences. Simple treats like this will help them to get used to the process.
So far we have put a lot of emphasis on your cat’s fur, grooming, bathing, etc. However, there are some delicate areas that your cat will definitely need help with on a regular basis. This is regardless of the condition of their fur.
This includes the following:
In this section, I’m going to give you some examples of how you can tackle some of these delicate areas.
You can buy specific sprays which are made for cat ears. In addition to this, you can use very basic gauze to help to keep them clean.
However, in my opinion, the best course of action is to consult your vet to see what they advise. Also, if there is a big issue with there ears, for example, a build-up of wax. Your vet can help you to get around this.
Their eyes will need to be cleaned. In particular, the rheum that collects around the eyes.
What is rheum?
Rheum is that weird crusty mucus which appears around your eyes when you wake up in the morning, are you with me?
This happens to us humans as well as cats. Some people call it “eye matter” and, to be honest, there are a number of different names for this, but essentially it is rheum.
To clean this you’ll need some damp gauze. But, one warning, do not be tempted to use cat wipe. Why? because it can irritate their eyes.
For cats, you can get specific toothpaste and toothbrushes to deal with the inevitable plaque that will build up. However basic things like offering them dry food and chews (snakes) can help to keep their teeth healthy.
If you have sen flea dirt on your cat, you may be thinking of how to get rid of it (Click here for the solution on Amazon). Obviously, with fleas, you can use some effective cat flea shampoo. However, what about the actual flea dirt?
What’s the big issue with Flea dirt? Flea dirt is an indication of an infestation of fleas. It is an alarm bell that should not be ignored. If you see it on your cat you need to take immediate action before the matter spirals out of control.
Now you know what the big deal is, let me explain how to get rid of the fleas as well as the flea dirt. As well as how to prevent fleas from coming back to cause you problems and more. Keep reading…
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Flea dirt is essentially the feces of fleas. It looks like a messy dirt patch, hence the reason it is called “Flea Dirt”.
Basically, it looks like little flicks of black or brown colored dots. Sometimes they are noticeable immediately, from your cat’s fur. Especially, if they’ve got light or white colored fur.
However, if they have darker fur you may only notice it if you run your hands through their fur and see this. In some cases.
If you have noticed your cat scratching itself more than usual or noticed flea dirt specks on their fur. There is a good chance that they have a flea infestation.
Getting rid of flea dirt is the easy bit. To be honest you can just brush or wipe this off without an issue. The true challenge is getting rid of the actual fleas themselves.
To get rid of the fleas on your actual cat the best solution is to use a fine-tooth comb which is designed for this. This Flea comb, if used regularly will help. It will help to clear the eggs settling in your cat’s fur and remove any fleas that may be hanging around.
Also, it is a good idea to use flea shampoo on a regular basis. To prevent them from coming back. Be warned, your cat will not like this, but it is needed.
Flea dirt is an issue because it is a natural sign that there are fleas infesting your cat. The problem with this is if the signs are correct, and your car has a flea infestation, then this can affect you, your family as well as your cat.
In addition to this, some cats have allergic reactions to fleas. Meaning the actual flea saliva can cause an allergic reaction. Unfortunately, this can result in severe irritation. Or even, in extreme situations, actual fur loss.
The problem with fleas is, once you see one or two, there is a good chance that there are another hundred more you haven’t seen yet.
Also, their numbers are going to grow substantially within a short period of time. Therefore, it is a good idea to get in front of the problem and deal with it sooner rather than later.
One last thing to consider, in some cases fleas can carry diseases as well. Which can be dangerous to you, your cat and your family.
Firstly, you can deal with the fleas directly by using a good cat shampoo which has flea protection built into it (click here to see my best Cat flea Shampoo choice). Alternatively, there are cat collars (click here to see the price on Amazon) which have flea solutions built into them as well.
In addition to this, there are ways that you can do basic things around your house to prevent fleas from coming back. Let me explain…
This is quite simple and obvious but doing regular vacuuming in your house will help a lot. This will hoover up the eggs that are being laid by these fleas and reduce the chances of them coming back.
However, to make this effective you have to be quite thorough with your vacuuming. You need to catch all the hidden crevices as well as fabrics and carpets. Basically, anything that could be infected.
In addition to this when you finish vacuuming, do not just leave the vacuum until you use it next. Why? because all you have done is transferred these flea eggs from one place to another. They are just now living in your vacuum bag.
So, it is important to empty the bag and throw it away immediately. Also, wash out the canister with hot soapy water to get rid of the flea eggs.
As well as vacuuming, it is a good idea to have a weekly clean. This needs to cover the fabrics that you use in your house.
This includes any duvet bedding any fabrics. It should even include cushions that you use on your sofa, etc. Take all of these fabrics, which your cat is likely to have rubbed against and potentially left eggs on.
Then place them into your washing machine. Put them on a high-temperature wash, just make sure that it doesn’t shrink the fabrics (read the fabric labels first to check). This will help to prevent the flea eggs coming back.
Fleas are clever. Sometimes they will use you, even if you have no idea what is happening. Let me explain…
Sometimes you may visit a house, which may have a cat with fleas. The danger of this is, you can unwillingly bring a flea infestation to your own home. Which can, in turn, transfer to your pets, including your cat.
The best way to avoid this happening is to immediately remove your clothes once you return home. If you can take them off before you actually enter your home then this is best practice.
However, I understand this may not always be practical, depending on the layout of your home. Once you’ve taken your clothes off. Immediately put them into a high-temperature wash to get rid of any fleas or flea eggs.
In this section, I am going to answer some related questions to Flea Dirt. If you feel there are some extra questions that are not covered feel free to leave a comment.
How do you know if the fleas are gone for good? The only way to check this yourself is by inspecting your cat. If you have the opportunity to visit your vet’s do so. This will completely verify they are gone or not.
However, if you want to check at home. The best way to do this is to get some white paper or a light surface. It has to be light because you need to check for fleas and you need the contrast of color to see them clearly, are you with me?
Place your cat on the whitepaper (or light-colored surface) and use a flea comb. Comb around the areas which typically gather fleas the most. Comb the area to see if any fleas or flea dirt are speckled on the white paper.
If you see any at this stage it is obvious that the problem is not gone and you need to continue the treatment.
If you still don’t see any then you can try and apply a little bit of petroleum jelly and continue combing. The idea behind this is to catch any loose fleas in the jelly.
If you do not see any fleas or flea dirt (Click here to what spiral flea dirt is) then this is a good indication that the problem has gone.
However, the only thing I would say is this, unless you do this very thoroughly there is a chance that you can miss a flea. If you miss one, you may find the flea problem will still be there. Hence the reason why visiting a vet is the best way.
If you are curious about feral cats, you may wonder how they deal with fleas, right? We know a normal domestic cat can use things such as flea shampoo (Click here to see my best flea shampoo on Amazon), but how do feral cats deal with this?
how do feral cats deal with fleas? They can’t deal with it. They have to live with the fleas. Unfortunately, the fleas will, in turn, lead to other issues, such as causing them to scratch their skin severely to create open wounds that get infected and leads to other diseases.
Now you know it’s not that easy for a feral cat just to use flea shampoo (click here for my top cat shampoos) let me explain what happens when a feral cat gets fleas, how you can help them if feeding them is a good idea and much more, keep reading.
Firstly, what is a feral cat? It is essentially an abandoned/stray cat that typically avoids any human interaction. Basically, it is not used to humans and sees them as a threat. Hence the reason they avoid them.
Let’s be honest, wouldn’t you be scared of us, if you were as small as a feral cat?… Exactly…
Unfortunately, the reality is, these cats do not deal with the problem. They basically suffer in silence and deal with the related symptoms and follow on issues that lead on from this.
Here is a list of a few of the problems they face:
It sounds grim, I know. But this is the harsh reality of a feral cat. They have no idea how to deal with the issue. And, they do not have anyone that cares for them to deal with the issue.
The problem with fleas is, they multiply on a rapid scale. If you do not deal with the issue early on, they will quickly spread and cause an infestation in no time.
For that reason, for your knowledge, let me explain what their typical life span is…
Firstly they start life as an egg, which is laid by the female flea, as you would imagine. It will end up falling onto a fabric surface or on your cat. It gets its nourishment and food from your cats dead skin, other fleas feces (lovely!) or any other related organic matter.
In time, they grow and turn into larvae. Following this stage, they will eventually hatch and become an adult flea (this sounds ling, but it really isn’t for them).
At this point, they either live within your cat’s fur feeding on their flesh or hitch a ride on the nearest human (a host). If they latch onto a human, you probably won’t notice this, by the way, you will unwillingly transfer this bad boy to your house.
If the flea takes the route of using you as a host. You simply walk him right into your home, he hops off onto your cat and the cycle continues, over and over again. This is why many cat owners rely on flea collars or other types of treatment (Click here to see why I rate this one). If you end up using a flea treatment such as Frontline, just make sure you let it dry off fully to ensure it is effective.
You may be thinking, well, I have heard enough, how can I help, right? Well, you can, let me explain. To do this correctly, you need to deal with the host (the cat) as well as the environment around the host.
If you do one without the other, there is no point. Why? Because these little scoundrels will just grow in the neglected area. E.g. You clean up the feral cat and leave their environment. All that will happen is the cat will get infected again from its contaminated environment, are you with me?
If you really want to help the feral cat, you need to really take the cat into your house. While he is free it will be a perpetual cycle. Wouldn’t be worth your time in the first place.
Once you take the cat in, you can consult your vet on what flea treatment he recommends.
You may be thinking, why are these feral cats always picking up these diseases and ailments? Well, let me take some time to explain this now.
The short answer to this is their environment. They tend to live in abandoned houses, dumped cars, etc. Places where rats and vermin are rife. They even routinely eat from rubbish bins.
As you can see its a recipe for disaster. They face a content cycle of disease, infection and content reproduction. Each kitten is born into the same environment and the cycle continues.
In addition to this, their life span is often quite short. You can expect them to live as little as 2 or 3 years in these conditions.
If you see one of these cats out in the wild, there is a chance that you may feel sorry for them and attempt to feed them to ease your conscious. Some owners even buy outdoor feeders for feral cats (Click here for my best ones). But is this the right thing to do?
To be honest, no it’s not. Although it may make you feel better, it doesn’t address the real issue. It’s similar to feeding a homeless person one meal or giving them some coin. Yes, they will appreciate it, but does it really solve the route cause of their problems? No.
To really help, they need to be taken in and nursed back to health. This will break the vicious cycle and make a difference.
On the other hand, if you throw them a sandwich, they will eat it, move on with their day and have more kittens, and the cycle continues, are you with me?
In this section, I will answer some questions related to feral cat fleas. If you have a burning question that you need to be answered, that you can’t see covered, drop me a comment below.
You can usually see some obvious symptoms for this one. Typically the cat will scratch and shake their head. To be honest it will usually look quite excessive. These ear mites cause some serious irritation.
The good thing is, they are not lethal. But they are still very painful and frustrating. In some cases, they may even draw blood and scratch themselves quite severely.
These parasites come in a few different forms. Such as Coccidia and roundworms. These annoying scoundrels lay dormant in the cat’s system. You may find that they may suffer from diarrhea at this time, which is a known symptom.
Many people may assume that all feral cats have fleas. To be honest it is a fair assumption because it is quite a common issue. However, no they do not all have fleas. But, the chances are they do.
The reality is, even an indoor cat can get fleas (click here to see how to get Flea Dirt off your cat). The reason for this is because of the way fleas work. Remember earlier when I talked about the flea life cycle? Well, this is the reason why. They travel from one place to the next using innocent bystanders, in particular, you. So, they can multiply and reach many unexpected areas.
can I use human shampoo on my cat? The short answer is no. But, why? The main reason for this is, humans have different PH tolerance levels. Meaning cat shampoo is specially formulated so it does not harm cats.
The shampoo we use can be very harsh on a cats skin. This can result in dried-out skin and other related skin issues, such as skin flaking and dandruff, etc. The main ingredients that cause issues for cats are Parabens, dyes, etc. Let me now explain the difference between our skin and cats, what shampoo kittens can use, which ingredients are important and more.
Apart from the obvious visual differences, there are other issues under the surface that I will discuss. The main difference is the acidic level on a human is different (hence the PH level mismatches).
Also, humans have distinct glands made for sweat, while cats do not. These subtle differences require a cat to have different ingredients in their shampoo. This is so they do not get harmed by the chemicals (as discussed earlier.
You may be thinking, what about my little loveable kitty, right? Can she use just any cat shampoo? The short answer is no. But let me explain why…
Kittens skin is even more delicate than adult cats. Therefore you need to take extra precaution with them, are you with me? You can get special shampoo for kittens that is more delicate. This is ideal and better for your peace of mind.
When looking for cat shampoo you need to make sure the ingredients are right. Therefore in this section, I am going to explain what to look out for to make sure you get this right.
The main thing is making sure the ingredients are basic. But, what do I really mean by that? Well, ideally from natural ingredients. Basically, avoid all those chemicals and “E numbers”. The problem with these chemical ingredients, it is not always obvious exactly what is in these chemicals by glancing at the ingredients, are you with me?
However, even if the ingredients are basic, it does not guarantee that it is safe. Yes, that’s right, it is a bit complicated. The problem is, there are some natural ingredients that cause unwanted side-effects for your cat.
Let me give you an example of what I mean by this. Vinegar is a great thing to have on your chips (or fries for people in the US)? And in fact, it makes a great cleaner for fish tanks coincidently. However, it is not great for cats. This is just one example.
Here are a few others to avoid:
One thing to be mindful of. Even if you attempt to rinse off these things from your cat, in the event that they come into contact with it, it does not mean it is gone for good, but why?….
The reason is, they can penetrate their skin and a surface level rinse may not cut it. This is worrying because you may feel its gone. And, there is still a chance that your cat can lick the contaminated area and fall ill. So, best to avoid them at all costs.
You may have seen the ads, don’t these natural soap bars look, prefect pure and natural, right? Well, unfortunately, as good as it looks, it is still a risk. But, let me explain.
The problem is, not all natural products are good for your cat (as briefly discussed above).
In some of these products, you will find essential oils. They are natural oils that help to make the soap smell delicious. But, even though they smell great, they are not good for your cat.
In fact, these essential oils are quite dangerous for your cat (toxic even). The problem with these oils is, unlike us humans, cats can’t metabolize these oils. Therefore it causes them issues.
In extreme cases, cats could suffer from liver failure. Best case vomiting or other related sicknesses. So best to avoid this.
Cats are not really built to be bathed on a regular basis. The more you bath them it increases the chances of irritating their skin. The best way to prevent this is to avoid them getting dirty in the first place. Are you with me?
For that reason, I am going to share some ways that you can reduce the chances of your cat getting dirty.
These may seem quite obvious, but you will be surprised how many people overlook these simple tips and instead over bath their cat (Can I Use Baby Shampoo on My Cat ? Click here).
In this section, I will answer some related questions to cat shampoo that will help you. If you feel that there is a question in your head that has not been answered, feel free to leave a comment below.
You can actually create your own homemade shampoo products. However, be warned, it is not cheap to do this. But, I will give you some ideas never the less.
You can create a dry shampoo. You may be thinking, why would I want to do this? Simple, it will fluff up and clean your cat’s fur. Think of this of the home equivalent to waterless shampoo (click here to see my best waterless cat shampoo).
To make this you will need oatmeal, cornmeal, baking soda, and corn starch. The corn starch will add a nice shine to your cat’s fur. And the baking soda will remove any unwanted odors. To use this you just need equal parts of oatmeal and cornmeal. With the addition of a few tablespoons of corn starch and baking soda.
Bathing your cat is quite a difficult and unpleasant activity. This is for you as well as your cat. Therefore, you can consider cleaning her without using water. One method is using a damp towel.
The idea is to substitute running water completely and uses a damp towel. This is less traumatic. But I will say, it is still not a walk in the park, are you with me?
You can still use shampoo using this method, but it’s not 100% necessary. Another thing I would say is this, it will never be as effective as conventional water and cat shampoo. But it is a viable alternative.
In reality, there is no easy way to do this. Simply because cats naturally hate water. There are ways that you can help to improve their natural fear though. For that reason, I will share some pointers here for you.
The first thing you can do is start exposing your cat to water earlier. Ideally as early as a kitten. This will acclimatize your cat and make here less likely to put up resistance.
Before actually trying to bathe her, allow her to play in the water first. This will help to associate fun with water, rather than being dragged into an unwanted bath, are you with me?
If you have issues with your cat’s fur, such as matted (click here for my best De-matting comb), tangled or shedding problems, you may feel that shaving is a consideration. But is this really a good idea?
Do cats like to have their fur shaved? No, cats do not like having their fur shaved. This is because it’s important to them. It not only protects them from the cold and windy conditions, but it also helps to regulate their body temperature in the hot weather.
Without their fur, they will also face psychological issues such as feeling embarrassed. This is quite similar to how humans feel. Their fur is a critical part of their body. Let me explain other ways to avoid shaving, the importance of their fur if you should consider the controversial lion shave, and much more, keep reading…
Yes, shedding is expected behavior from any cat (click here to see if how much Calico cats shed). In fact, it is quite a healthy thing for a cat to do this. Think of it this way, if an animal has fur, it will naturally shed. This is natures way of dealing with excess fur and refreshing itself with new growth.
Shaving fur is more of an extreme measure. It should not really be used unless you really have to, are you with me?
Also, even if you decide that shaving is the only way forward, it should not be done at home by you. Instead, it should be done by a professional.
The best way to avoid shaving is to maintain your cat’s fur in the first place. Prevention is better than cure, right?
This includes using a shedding tool or comb (click here to see my best shedding and de-matting combs) which can help to get rid of the unwanted fur leftover from shedding.
Also, you can make a conscious choice to make sure that your cat has a good diet, including proteins. Protein is an important part of fur health. It will help them avoid extreme issues with shedding.
Yes, grooming your cat, such as using de-matting tools, should be used as a preventative measure to avoid shaving your cat.
I’ll admit, there are times when shaving can’t be avoided. But, this is reserved for extreme measures.
To avoid this, prevent it from happening by using a de-matting tool or comb. Making sure matted fur doesn’t even get a chance to form.
You can even use your fingers and run it through your cat’s fur. It’s not great, but better than nothing. To be honest a de-matting tool is better.
A cat’s fur has many different purposes. It’s not just to keep them warm. It is used to keep them dry in wet weather and to keep them warm when it’s cold.
Not many people know this but, your cat’s fur can also keep them cool during hot weather. This may sound unbelievable, but it’s true. Their fur has the ability to trap a layer of air which can protect them against extreme heat conditions.
It is also used as a communication channel, yes communication! Think of a startled or shocked cat, what do you see? a cat being shocked with its fur standing on end, right?
Cat’s fur also protects their skin underneath from sunburn. Also, from any other injuries that may occur. The reality is the skin underneath their fur is quite sensitive. So, the fur is needed to protect it.
If the skin is exposed to too much extreme heat conditions and they get sunburned, there are risks of other health-related issues such as skin cancer.
No, in fact, whether the cat is indoor or outdoor it doesn’t matter. There is not really a strong argument for shaving unless there is a real extreme issue.
Your average indoor cat really does not need its fur shave in the summer. Even though some cat keepers swear by it.
The reality is if it becomes too hot indoors the indoor cat has the luxury of reducing its activity (not that they do much indoors anyway) or hiding in a more cool area within the house to avoid the sun.
As long as they have access to freshwater to stop himself getting dehydrated there should be no issues. and thus, they should not need to have their fur shaved.
Outdoor cats need their fur even more than indoor cats. This is because they have more exposure to the sun while they’re outdoors. And, fewer places to escape from it if need be. Their fur is needed to help regulate their body temperature. So, it is not a good idea to shave it.
In fact, if you do shave your cat in the summer, you run the risk of exposing them to sunburn. This can cause other related health issues.
If you are really concerned that your outdoor cat is getting too much exposure to the sun and you are considering shaving her, it is much better to bring her indoors. Keep her away from the extreme outdoor heat rather than considering shaving.
There is a trend amongst cat keepers to shave their cats in the shape of a lion’s mane during the hot weather.
Typically the cat’s hair is shaved on the belly and the body leaving the head area looking like a lions Maine. Also, the tail and paws are typically not shaved. Leaving the rest of the body shaved right down to the skin.
It is not advised to attempt to do this at home. Arguably, not advised to do at all.
In this section, I will go through a number of different reasons why cat owners decide to use this lion shave.
The main reason people do this, as discussed in the previous section, is to do with weather conditions. Such as in the summer when it gets hot.
Also, sometimes it is done because of problems with heavily matted fur (Click here to see how to get rid of matted fur on a Maine Coon cat) or fur shedding issues.
Other issues can be obesity. Basically, the cat is unable to groom themselves due to being heavily overweight.
Also if there is heavily overgrown fur, which may be a health issue, can sometimes cause a cat owner to resort to this.
Lastly, if some cat owners have serious problems with fleas, they may resort to this as well.
In this section, I’m going to go through a number of reasons why you should avoid this lion shave trend.
Firstly regular shaving of a cat’s fur can cause follicular dysplasia. Something that you need to avoid. Also, a cat’s skin is a lot more sensitive than human skin.
In fact, it is up to 30% more sensitive. So, when the cat’s skin is exposed to the natural elements (outdoors) by shaving its fur, it is more susceptible to health-related issues.
It basically strips their natural defenses against the environment.
Also, this lion shave is definitely to be avoided if your cat is overly aggressive (Click here to see how to stop your cat attacking your TV screen), elderly, or has any other health-related issues.
An elderly cat’s skin is even more delicate and susceptible to health problems than your average cat.
If the cat is aggressive and they don’t have their protective fur, its a recipe for disaster. And finally, Any cat with health-related issues, obviously avoid this. Because it can increase their problems.
Understanding why cats lick themselves is confusing and weird at times. In particular, I have often wondered why cats seem to lick their paws, the way they do. I looked into this and discovered the answer, let me explain…
Why do Cats Lick Their Paws then Wipe Their Face? This is their way of cleaning themselves. And also a method to replenish natural oils in their fur and skin. They also detest water baths, unlike us humans. So this is their only way to keep clean.
As I grab my ice cream, I find myself licking my lips. Have you ever tried not doing this? Drives you nuts, right?
I think this is a great comparison to the natural instincts of cats. But let me dig deeper now and address the following, why they lick their paws after eating, reveal other reasons why they may lick themselves in this way, and much more…
There are two theories behind this:
Regarding the first theory, it is believed that they are simply cleaning their face with their paws. If you watch any cat, whether it’s your’s, a neighbor’s or any cat for that matter.
They will usually clean their body first by licking then follow up with licking their paws. Then, wiping their face. This is common amongst all species of cats.
As you probably know, cats do not really like to be doused in water. Therefore, this is their method for keeping their body and face clean.
This theory suggests that the natural oils in their body is being replenished by licking their paws and then wiping their face. I say “theory”, because there is not any real hard evidence to support this.
Typically this is done to clean their paws. However, there is another dimension to this. You need to understand that cats are definitely agile creatures.
However, there is a limit to their agility. Meaning, areas such as behind their head, face and their chin is not easy to be touched without using their front paws. Think of their paws as a cleaning cloth in this regard.
After they eat, they will firstly clean their paws. But, then moisten their paw, so that they can then wipe and clean their face.
Also, you should expect your cat to be doing this kind of grooming on a regular basis. If they are not doing it, then there clearly is an issue.
However, on the other extreme, if they are doing it excessively, this could also be a concern.
Yes, essentially there are quite a few different reasons why they may do this. For that reason, I will break this down for you now…
In extreme heat or cold conditions licking themselves can be used as a way to help control their temperature.
The theory is that cats, in cold weather, lick their skin and fur. The saliva will help to coat their fur to generate a barrier against a cold.
On the other extreme, in hot weather, you may find them licking and cleaning themselves as a way to help cool down.
Cats are very sensitive to smells. In addition to this, they have scent glands in their mouth and cheeks.
You may find that if your cat is using its paws to wipe its face, it may actually be trying to ease this scent out.
For example, if your cat had an unexpected bath. They may want to try and get their scent back onto their body.
You may also notice, in some extreme cases, if your cat is feeling very anxious. They may start doing some excessive grooming. This is obviously some cause for concern. This is something that you should follow up with your vet.
If your cat is injured. It may also attend to its injuries by gently licking the wound. Sometimes these wounds are not necessarily serious.
They may not be big open gaping wounds. They could actually be injuries that are not even noticeable with the naked eye.
Another technique used by cats is to hide their scent. Cats have very sensitive noses. To put it into perspective, their scents of smell is 14 times stronger than a human. They can smell things that we would never be on our radar.
Sometimes this skill can work against them. In the wild, for example, mother cats will try to clan off herself and her kittens in an attempt to mask their scent.
In some cases, you may find that your cat just generally likes to groom. Simple as that!
Obviously, this is almost impossible to confirm. But, it’s something that you can see just by their general body language.
Grooming and licking themselves starts from when they’re kittens. Before they are even 4 weeks old their mother will lick them. This is for a few reasons:
At about 4 weeks old they will start mimicking their mother and start to groom themselves. 5 weeks and beyond you will even notice them starting to groom the other littermates as well.
This grooming process is built in their DNA and is something which is part of cat culture.
In some extreme cases, you may find that a cat is grooming itself too much. In a way, it can become excessive. This can lead to physical problems.
An example, it could start to affect their skin and fur. Causing unsightly bald patches, or even skin sores. You may find some of these anxious behaviors for a few subtle reasons.
If there is a change in circumstance or something which is making your cat feel uncomfortable, this can trigger this anxiety.
Be mindful. This does not have to be anything drastic to us. If you recently moved house. Or maybe you’ve got a new addition to your family, such as a new baby, are you with me?
Why do cats lick themselves after they’ve had a bath? In all honesty, cats should not really be bathed. They are not like dogs and do not like exposure to water in this way.
For that reason, you can expect your cat to aggressively lick itself after it’s had a bath. This is because, in your cat’s mind, she is unhappy with the fact that she’s been bathed.
Therefore, she is frantically licking hirself to replace the bodily fluids and scent that she believes should be there. Only bathe cats in extreme cases when it’s necessary.
Could cats be licking themselves due to fleas? It is possible (Click to see why your cat may get fleaes). However, in most cases, it is likely to be something else. If you notice it almost nibbling itself, in an effort to scratch itself, then this could be cause for concern.
Could my cat be attacking and biting me because it’s anxious? It could be (Click here for 15 Ways to Stop Your Cat From Biting and Attacking You).
In fact sometimes, as discussed earlier anxiety could be seen from excessive licking as well, not just aggression. Is there anything obvious that you can see causing this anxiety?
It may be advisable to consult a vet to clarify if this is the case. Because, there are many reasons, and unfortunately it is not always obvious what the issue is.
What is the best flea medicine for cats? This is the best option (Click here for its availability on Amazon). Read on to see why.
|01. Bayer Advantage II (Best Option)
Click here for the price on Amazon
|02. Seresto Flea and Tick Collar
Click here for the price on Amazon
|03. Frontline Plus Flea and Tick
Click here for the price on Amazon
|04. Petcor Flea Spray
Click here for the price on Amazon
|05. Sentry Capeguard Oral Flea
Click here for the price on Amazon
Cats are some of the cutest and adorable furry friends one can have as pets. The sad thing is that these pets get infested with fleas. A flea infestation is not only a nuisance but can also affect your cat’s health in a big way.
When the infestation is extreme, it can damage the cat’s skin or even cause an allergic reaction. What is worse is that your cat could end up being anemic. Cats can ingest fleas which introduce tapeworms to their bodies.
To check whether your cat is infested with fleas, wipe a damp white cloth across it fur and ensure you get close to the skin. If you happen to see red patches, it means your cat has fleas. These patches are fleas’ dirt, which is usually their feces from digested cat blood.
If you want to control the flea infestation, the best way is through prevention. There are so many flea elimination options that it is hard to determine which one to pick. You will get to learn about the 5 best flea control products for cats in the subsequent section.
The following is a list of the best flea treatments that are highly rated due to their convenience, availability, and performance, among other things. If you have a cat that loves the outdoors, controlling fleas can be an uphill task. This is because you simply cannot cover all the areas it frequents.
With these products, your cat will still be free to roam around with total protection from fleas. This will, however, be possible if you take care of the problem in good time. This issue can be dealt with in different ways, and some of the products work well if used in conjunction with others.
With this in mind, below is the list.
This is a perfect product (Click here for the price on Amazon) for helping you get rid of the fleas and also kill their eggs and larvae. It protects your cat from fleas for long since it is always applied on a monthly basis. Killing the adult fleas ensures you destroy the life cycle and no more eggs can be laid. This helps ensure that re-infestation doesn’t happen.
When you use the Advantage II flea treatment, it will stop all the biting pests in just 10 minutes of application. Within the next 20 minutes, 99% of the egg larvae will also die, while 98% of all fleas will die within 12 hours. Expect all lice to disappear within a week too.
All that is needed is to topically apply this treatment around your cat’s neck where it will not be able to lick off. You can safely use this product on cats and kittens that are over 8 weeks old and weigh more than 9 pounds.
The Advantage II treatment comes with a six-month supply, and you can even use it on many cats. Each tube serves one cat. Do not worry if you like bathing your cat as this treatment will still work effectively and protect your pet from all fleas and lice.
This product tends to be strong and should be used outside your home where the cat can stay and wait for it to dry before getting inside the house. Use a flea spray for spot treatments.
If you hate using chemical-based topical products or are tired of having to apply flea spray all the time, the Seresto Flea and Tick Collar is your best option (Click here for the price on Amazon).
It is manufactured with a release technology that has been patented by its manufacturers. It will offer eight straight months of protection against fleas in your cat, regardless of its age. The collar is odorless and non-greasy and can fit any cat irrespective of its size. The active ingredients in this collar include imidacloprid and flumethrin, which get released slowly over the cat’s skin to kill all the fleas before they even start biting your cat. The collar is lightweight and very comfortable for any cat.
This collar is, however, not recommended for kittens that are less than 10 weeks old since it might be hard to adjust the size. It might also cause diarrhea during the first several days in some cats. Also, this product tends to be pricey than its alternatives.
This is a renowned product that helps cat owners to protect them from fleas, lice, flea eggs, and ticks (Click here for the price on Amazon). You can use it on cats and kittens from 8 weeks old but not younger.
You are simply required to place drops at the base of your cat’s neck. To ensure the application process is successful, ask for assistance to keep the cat still.
Separate the cats that have no lice with those that you have applied the treatment on until it dries off. The product comes in 3, 6, and 12-month doses.
This spray (Click here for the price on Amazon) acts instantly to kill all fleas and stops any re-infestation. The good thing about this product is that it offers your cat instant relief from itching and scratching. If you want to stop the spread of fleas in the house, spray it on beddings and all your cat’s napping spots. You can also use it around the house.
This spray works for up to 63 days, and it will help stop fleas throughout their life cycle. It is suited for cats and kittens that are younger than 12 weeks, and a single bottle will be used several times on cats or surfaces. Avoid applying too much of it as it might cause lethargy.
This is an over-the-counter pill used to control fleas (Click here for the price on Amazon). It has the same ingredient as that found in other expensive pills that veterinarians recommend. Also, it is a great way of providing day-to-day relief to your cat, though you might be required to combine it with other products if you want to destroy the fleas’ life cycle.
It can be challenging to get your cat to consume this tablet. So, you can butter it (Click here to see if cats can eat margarine) or hide it in your cat’s favorite treat.
Once ingested, it starts to work within 30 minutes by killing fleas. It lasts the whole day. You can administer it on a daily basis to your cat without having to deal with the mess created by topical applications.
Its downside though is that it doesn’t kill larvae and needs to be used along other products to completely get rid of fleas from your home.
Take care of your pet kitty with any of the above treatments, and you will have yourself one happy friend.