Notes about Washing your Cat
by Helmi Flick
(Bedford, Texas, USA)
Siamese Kittens. A classic Helmi photograph.
If you have a multi cat household and one of your cats needs a bath, try to wash all of them. Cats recognize one another by scent and if one of them smells different, then he/she is an interloper in the household in the minds of the unwashed!
If you are bringing a new cat home and have other cats in your family, wash the new cat and then the others so they all smell the same. This will help the new one to be accepted by the others.
Ken and I took one of our Maine Coons to the vet for a shot for allergies -- when we brought him home, his littermate and brother, Quin, hissed at him -- because he smelled like the vet tech's perfume.
Do not get water in your cat's ears. Clean the ears with a tissue that is dipped in alcohol unless you see that the skin is broken inside; if there are sores inside the ear, then clean the ear with a tissue dipped in baby oil. "Rinse" with a dry tissue. Do not use a Q-tip.
After you wash and dry your cat, and comb him out, be sure to give a lot of praise, telling him how beautiful he looks and how great he smells. I believe cats see pictures in your head, so if you think elegant, soft, sweet-smelling and beautiful, your cat will revel in the praise or thoughts. Cats expect this praise and adoration; dogs love getting it.