Generally speaking, cats are some of the most hygienic pets you can have. However, their cleanliness does not mean that you shouldn’t wash them at all. If you are asking yourself: what can I wash my cat with, keep reading. This article will cover all your options and tell you which ones are the safest for your kitten.
The Most Common Solution: Cat Shampoo
The question: what can I wash my cat with? has a rather simple answer for many people. They simply use cat shampoo whenever their pet needs a bath, and call it a day.
If you look up such shampoos online, you’ll find that there is a variety of choices for you to try out. There are ones that fit into every budget and those that are way more expensive than any similar products for humans. Likewise, there are shampoos made for different purposes. Some of them make your cat’s fur softer, some help with shedding, and others are great for fleas and ticks.
A good way to pick out shampoo is to read online reviews. By doing so, you’ll get to hear what other cat parents have to say about a product you are interested in. If you also consult your vet about good options, you’ll be able to make the best decision for your little feline friend.
You can also try and experiment with more shampoo types. That way, you’ll be able to see which one suits your cat best. Still, it is important that you don’t switch shampoos too often, as that could irritate your pet’s skin.
Finally, if you are worried about how to use the shampoo, don’t fret. It is rather easy. You just follow all instructions on the bottle to a T, and you should be good. Make sure to protect your kitty’s eyes from the soap and that you wash away all of it before starting the drying process.
A Word of Caution
Whatever you do, it is pivotal that you never use regular human shampoo on your cat. The same goes for any other non-cat shampoos, including those for dogs and bunnies. All of these options are not suitable for cat fur and could cause irritation and allergies. Moreover, they could cause your cat’s skin to be dry or their fur to fall out in certain spots.
Thus, no matter how dirty your cat might be, never attempt to wash it with anything other than products that are made specifically for that purpose. If you don’t have any at hand, just using water is still a better choice than anything that could be harmful.
What Can I Wash My Cat with Other Than Shampoo?
There are certain kittens that absolutely detest regular baths. They might be scared of water, or they’re simply moody enough to hate it without any real reason. Moreover, it is better to not get your cat too wet during the cold winter months. Doing so could lead to it getting a cold or even pneumonia, which can be extremely dangerous.
Thus, it is important to know some alternatives to ordinary baths. Here are some options that you can consider in the cases above.
1. What Can I Wash My Cat with? Dry Bath
A dry bath entails cleaning your cat with either a damp washcloth or some cat wipes. Moreover, you can also use certain foams and powders that work a lot like dry shampoos for humans.
Whichever option you go for, it is essential that you make sure the products you use are fully safe for your cat. You have to check whether they contain any harmful chemicals or toxins.
The best way to ensure that is to consult your vet before purchasing anything. They will know which products you should avoid and might already have some suggestions for you to try out.
Once you have decided on which method and product you are most comfortable with, you can follow the tips below.
Cleaning Your Cat with Wipes
The great thing about high-quality cat wipes is that they have a lovely smell that will linger on your cat’s fur long after you are done with the cleaning. Moreover, the wipes will clean the fur thoroughly and remove any residual dirt that might have accumulated there.
Before you begin the wiping process, it is essential that you ensure your cat is calm and in a good mood. Begin by petting it with your hand and then slowly introduce the wipe while continuing to stroke their fur. That will help your pet adjust to the process and ensure that they are fully cooperative.
Making sure that your cat enjoys the process is the secret behind every successful bath. So, just keep petting and massaging it, and you’ll be able to get it cleaned up in no time.
Cleaning Your Cat with Cat Powder
Cat powder is another great answer to the question: what can I wash my cat with? In this method, you take some powder and distribute it directly onto your cat’s fur. Then, you take a grooming brush and work it through the fur, removing all the excess powder.
The powder will accumulate all dirt and make it easier for you to remove it. Moreover, it smells rather nice, which is always a plus. The only disadvantage of the powder is that you can make quite a mess with it, especially if your cat keeps moving around and making it hard for you to work. Likewise, it can leave white spots on your cat’s fur (although they are neither permanent nor dangerous).
Cleaning Your Cat with Cat Foam
Cat foam, also known as waterless shampoo, is another great dry bath option you can try out. You use it by taking the amount of the foam specified on the bottle and applying it to your cat’s fur. Using a grooming brush, you should work the foam through every strand. That way, you’ll get all the dirt out and make your cat look nice and presentable again.
Cat foam is a lot less messy than cat powder. Thus, it is a great option if you do not have a lot of time but still want to clean your cat efficiently and thoroughly. Just make sure that the foam you get is actually made for cats and that you consult your vet about it before using it, and you’ll be good to go.
2. What Can I Wash My Cat with? Other Options
If water isn’t too big of a problem for your cat, but you still don’t want to use cat shampoo, you can try and make a washing solution of your own. This method will work great if your cat is allergic to most shampoos and needs something a bit more natural.
The best solution you can try is mixing a cup of vinegar with a gallon of water and letting your cat soak in it for a bit. The vinegar will help eliminate all the dirt effectively without causing any irritation.
It is important that you don’t put too much vinegar in the water. Doing so could make the smell too harsh for your cat, which could make it hard for you to get it into the bathtub.
Another great idea is to make your own cat shampoo. You will need to mix two cups of warm water, half a cup of any apple cider you might have, and one-quarter of a cup of Dawn dishwashing liquid soap. Put all of the ingredients in a bottle and shake it until you see bubbles starting to form.
Use this solution as you would any other shampoo, and you will be golden. It is extremely important that you rinse all remnants of the shampoo thoroughly before beginning to dry your cat. That way, you’ll avoid any matting of the fur.
What Can I Wash My Cat with? Useful Tips
Now that the question: what can I wash my cat with? finally has an answer, it is time to turn to some helpful bath time tips. These will help you make every bath a relaxed and easy occurrence.
1. Make Your Kitten Comfortable
As you already read above, the best thing you can do to ensure your cat lets you bathe it regularly is to help it feel as comfortable as possible. To achieve that, you need to pet it and talk to it and make the atmosphere as relaxed as it can be.
Cats are extremely intelligent creatures, and they will know that you are up to something as soon as you approach them. That is why you need to be patient and make them feel good before taking any real steps. Do so, and the bath will be successfully finished before you even realize it.
2. Don’t Bathe Your Cat Unnecessarily
Cats are notoriously clean creatures. They use their tongues, paws, and claws to keep themselves clean at all times. Thus, it is not really necessary to wash them too often.
In fact, you can only wash your cat when it gets really dirty. That can happen if it goes outside or if it makes a mess with one of your house plants. If you still feel the need to wash it more often, try not to do it more than once a month. That way, your cat will get used to the routine without it being too overwhelming.
3. Experimentation Is the Key to Success
Not all cats are born equal. Thus, every single one will have its own preferred bathing method that they will prefer over all others. Unfortunately, there is no way to find out which method a particular cat likes without trying all of them first.
So, you will have to go through some trial and error before you find out what your cat likes most. Be patient, and give your feline friend the time to adjust to each new idea. Once you find one that seems to be working, stick to it. Cats like routines, so keeping one is the best thing you can do to help them be comfortable.
4. Drying Is Just as Important
The drying process can be just as overwhelming for your cat as the bathing itself. That is why you need to be as gentle as possible and take your time with it.
Since most cats are afraid of blow dryers, you will have to use a soft towel and dry them the old-fashioned way. Make sure that you are gentle and that you keep petting your kitten through the whole process. Another trick you can use is giving your cat a treat for being obedient and quiet.
Make sure that you dry your cat thoroughly, especially if it has longer fur. Otherwise, it might get a cold, which can be especially dangerous during winter. If your cat allows and likes that, you can even dress it warmly, at least for a few hours after the bath. That way, you’ll be completely sure that your pet will stay safe.
5. Clean the Ears and the Face as well
When asking the question: what can I wash my cat with, most people are only thinking about washing the cat’s body. However, cleaning your cat’s ears and face is just as important as giving it a thorough bath. However, you must do it after the bath. Never pour water directly over your cat’s head, as that could make it get scared and turn violent.
Instead, leave the ears and the face for after the bath is already done. Take some soft cotton balls and use them to clean the ears. Do not push them inside, but just roll them gently over the parts of the ear that are visible. Remember to talk to your pet and caress it as you do this to keep it calm.
For the cat’s face, you can use a damp washcloth. Just run it gently over the space between the eyes and over your kitten’s little nose. Make the entire thing playful, and you’ll get to do it more easily.
If your cat refuses to let you clean these parts of its body, do not fret too much. It will do so by itself, using its paws and tongue. You probably already see it doing so all the time already, so it should be quite fine.