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You are here: myPetSmart.com > Pet Care Library > Ask An Expert > Answered Questions > I Have A Longhaired Cat How Offter Should I Bath Her

How can I bathe my long haired cat?

mepritts

Question: 
I have a longhaired cat how often should i bathe her?
Answer: 

Cats can groom themselves, so they don't need to be washed as often as dogs. However, longhaired cats need to be bathed periodically to keep their hair from tangling and matting.

Washing a cat isn't easy. With the exception of a few breeds, most cats hate water and dislike being bathed. Have a friend help you, especially the first time you wash your cat.

Dip a wash cloth in warm water and wipe the area around your cat's eyes.

Brush hair thoroughly before you give your cat a bath. Check for mats and tangles. Gently separate any small mats with your fingers. If you can, try to divide them into smaller mats until they come apart. Be careful not to pull on matted hair, this hurts! Large mats should be shaved off by a professional groomer.

Select a good-quality cat shampoo for your cat's bath.If your cat has long hair, you can buy cat shampoo with conditioner, which will help keep his hair from tangling.

You'll also need several towels, cotton balls, paper towels, a rubber mat for the bottom of the sink, and a hair dryer.

Make certain your house is at least 70 degrees or warmer. Place cotton balls into your cat's ears so water doesn't get into her ear canals, which can cause an infection. Place the rubber mat in the sink, so your cat won't slip. If you think your cat might try to bite or scratch, keep the carrier nearby with a towel in the bottom. This way if your cat tries to run away or gets angry, you can put it in the carrier until it calms down. Adjust the water in the sink, and test it on your wrist. Lukewarm is best.

Now place the cat carefully in the sink. With your friend holding the cat, soak his body. Some cats are afraid of spray nozzles. If you're planning to use a spray nozzle to wash your cat, turn it on away from your cat so your cat gets used to the noise.

After you've washed your cat, blot her tail and legs with a paper towel, since these areas tend to absorb a lot of water. Then take your cat out of the sink and wrap it in a towel.

Longhaired cats should be dried with a hair dryer (on low) since their hair takes a long time to dry. Take care the keep the heat away from your cat's face. Test the dryer's heat on your wrist before you dry your cat. Brushing a longhaired cat in the opposite direction her hair lies, toward her head, will fluff the hair and remove any dead hair.