How To Give Your Cat A Flea Bath

March 19, 2023

Keeping your cat well-groomed and clean is vital for their health. If your cat is a lover of the great outdoors, there is a good chance they have come into contact with a few vermin and parasites. Giving your cat a good flea bath is the best way to ensure a healthy and happy pet. In some cases, you may see the fleas crawling on your cat's skin, just beneath their fur. You may even spot them in their ears. If this is the case, be sure to get ready to give them a flea bath sooner, rather than later. By understanding what supplies you need and how to properly wash your cat, you can effectively rid them of fleas at home.

Get The Right Flea Shampoo

Choosing the shampoo may seem like an insignificant part of the process, but in reality, it's the most important step. There are three major types of flea and tick shampoo: organic, natural, and chemical. Each cat's skin has its own level of sensitivity, and the shampoo you choose is really a personal preference according to your cat's needs. Ideally, you want the strongest shampoo possible, yet not so strong that it causes discomfort or harm to your cat's skin. Organic flea shampoos are typically made from oils, most commonly peppermint, melaleuca, and clove oil. Natural shampoos are usually made from citrus-based minerals, the most common one being d-limonene. Chemical flea shampoos usually contain pyrethroids, which are man-made substances that are effective at killing fleas. Flea shampoos work by essentially smothering the fleas to death as they breathe through their protective exoskeleton. The shampoos permeate the shell, cutting off their oxygen. The shampoos also work to kill off flea eggs that are yet to hatch. In addition, you will need to select the right conditioner to make sure your cat's skin and fur remain moisturized throughout this process.

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Gather Supplies Before Starting

After you have chosen your flea shampoo, it's time to prepare for bath time. Gather all of your supplies before you get started. For cats, bathing indoors in a small tub is easiest. If you bathe them in the larger bathtub, your cat may scramble away during the bathing, causing chaos in the house. For the bath, have the shampoo and conditioner bottles nearby and unsealed. Open the caps to make the process seamless. You will also need a water source like a sprayer or hose. A bucket of water will work as well. You will also need plenty of clean towels to dry your cat immediately after the bath. Warm the room to a comfortable temperature, and make sure the water is tepid. Most human bath temperatures are too warm for a cat's sensitive skin. Gather any brushes or combs you intend to use as well. It may also help to wear thick rubber gloves and a raincoat. You must have these items laid out before the bath starts so you can work quickly and efficiently.

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Bathe In The Sink

It helps to leash your cat if possible if you think they may leap out of the sink. Start by wetting your cat's neck completely. At this point, you are only wetting their neck, not the rest of their body. Apply the shampoo and work into a rich lather in the neck area. By doing this, you will stop the fleas from running to your cat's face and ears when you start lathering the lower parts of their body. Do not add any shampoo to your cat's head or face as it can get in their eyes and cause damage. Once you have thoroughly wet your cat's neck, start lathering the rest of their body. Let the shampoo sit for a few minutes and gently massage it into their skin. Rinse the shampoo well, going over it several times with the hose to make sure all of the product is removed. Dry your cat thoroughly with a towel before letting them leave the room. Your cat may start to frantically lick themselves during this process. This is normal.

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Tips For Washing Technique

The most important tip is to not use more flea shampoo than the recommended amount. Read the label carefully to determine just how much to use. Remember your cat's skin is thin and sensitive, so using too much could cause them harm. This is likely an unusual situation for your pet, as most cats are not used to getting a bath. Comfort your cat during the bath by wrapping them in warm, dry towels and speaking calmly to them during the process. Some individuals find having another person on hand to comfort the cat while they do the bathing is helpful. Bathe your cat in an enclosed area like a kitchen with a door or a small bathroom. Your cat may attempt to leap away, so making sure they can't escape and wreak havoc in the house is important.

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Don't Forget To Condition And Dry Well

Condition your cat's fur using a specially formulated conditioner for cats. It is important to note you should never use products made for dogs on your cat's fur, as these products can harm your cat. By conditioning your cat, you will ensure their skin doesn't become dry and itchy. Just as when you select the shampoo, it is important to select a conditioner that works well for your cat's skin type and level of sensitivity. Rinse the conditioner thoroughly to ensure there is no product left on their skin after the bath. You may need to rinse your cat several times to make sure all of the shampoo and conditioner is removed. Your cat will likely start licking as soon as the bath is over, and ingesting shampoo and conditioner can endanger their health. Dry your cat well, making sure to use fresh, clean, warm towels. It may help to confine your cat to a small area in order for them to stay warm while their skin and fur dry.

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