How to Bath a Cat or Small Mammal

Washing a Cat – You will need TWO people and one cat. Cats hardly ever need washing and please don’t wash them unless you have to.

Cats do need washing when their coat is covered in toxic substances such as fuel oil. If they lick it off themselves, they could be badly poisoned. This is the best method we have found and we have practiced twice on our cat now without incurring a single scratch.

First Prepare to Wash the Cat
Clear the sink and the draining board.
Place a large towel on the draining board for the cat to stand on. Roll towels around three edges of the draining board, so that water can still run into the sink, but can not cascade off the edges of the draining board.
Fill a bowl in the sink with water at 40° Celsius and add a walnut sized piece of natural soap. Make sure it dissolves in the water and the water goes opaque. You will need something to scoop this soapy water over the cat. A small saucepan will do.
Fill up several large jugs with fresh water for rinsing also at 40° Celsius. For long haired cats, have an extra bucket of warm rinsing water to dip into.
Place two towels to warm on the radiator.
You will need some extra Hemp Oil Soap to work into the coat once it is thoroughly wet. Another 1-2 walnut sized blobs are usually sufficient, apply it in dabs on different areas of the coat. Always use a gentle pressure.
It is always advised to wear thick and protective clothing.
Warm the room ready for the bath. Close the doors and lock the cat flap – you don’t want it to bolt during the middle of the bath.
Do also this without letting on to your cat that it is about to get very, very wet.

Bathing the Cat
Capture the cat and stand the cat on the towel on the draining board facing away from both of you.
Hold the cat in the standing position with all four paws on the towel using the scruff (no need to pull it tight) and the pelvis. The person who is holding the cat does just that, nothing else.
Be absolutely sure that the cat’s head and eyes do not get wet or that no soapy water comes into contact with the cat’s head, especially the eyes and ears. It is really painful and potentially harmful to get soapy water into the eyes and the cat will hurt you back.
The second person uses the scoop to gently pour warm soapy water from the bowl over the cat, rubbing the coat slightly to assure penetration of the fur. Go under the tummy and along the legs and along the tail. Reassure the cat that you’re not using up one of its nine lives!
Rub small dabs of soap into the wet coat and against the skin. Try to work quickly, but gently, especially if this is your cat’s first bath.
Once the soap is evenly distributed, you can begin rinsing.

Rinsing the Soapy Cat Gently pour warm water over the cat, using the jugs of warm water, again avoiding the head and eyes. Do not let any water enter the ears. Lift the front end of the cat slightly to assure that the rinsing water runs under the belly. Be sure that the soap is thoroughly rinsed from the coat. Gently wipe the coat with your hands to remove excess water.

Drying your cat. Surround the cat with a warmed towel, so that just the neck and head is poking out, take care to avoid squashing the legs. Hold the cat in the warm towel, changing to another warm towel after a few minutes. Again hold the cat in the towel, gently rubbing and patting to help the towel to absorb the remaining water from the coat. After a while allow the damp cat to emerge and encourage it to recover near a fire (supervised if it is a kitten) or radiator. Small animals must be able to dry quickly and thorough so that they don’t get pneumonia. Give it a warmed towel to sit on. It will carry on cleaning itself, separating the clumped together fur. If the cat has long hair, help it out with a comb. Once the cat is more or less dry it is safe to unlock the cat flap again.

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