by Maggie Sharp
(Hobart, Tasmania, Australia)
This is in response to the page "How to wash a cat" the same day that was published I took Chilli for a walk in his walking jacket, it was cold outside so we went back in and sat on my bed, Chilli fell asleep so I admired his beautiful ticking, and that's when I saw these little black specks in his fur... Dirt?
Yes, that's what I thought it was, so I kept looking and wondered why there was only dirt in one section, and that's when I saw a black insect moving on his skin.
I called my grandmother (who has owned more cats than you can count!) and she told me about her Aby, Spooky (not around anymore, died from a snake bite about 10 years ago...) she said that Spooky used to always go outside, and once she noticed that he was itching in his ears a lot so she took him to the vet, the vet said that Spooky had rabbit fleas (they don't jump, but they form clusters on the cat) the first thing the vet did was bath him, and the fleas went.
Spooky used to get so many fleas on him that in the end grandma was bathing him once a week, and he loved it!
So I took her advice and filled up a sink with about 10cm of warm water and placed Chilli in there, at first he didn't like it at ALL, but he didn't try to scratch, he didn't even meow... I poured water over him using a small cup and then I used this stuff called 'FLEA-DI' (a flea shampoo) and rubbed it all over him (avoiding the face area) then I poured more water over him and ensured that ALL the shampoo was gone... Then I put him in a big warm towel and dried him off. He was such a good boy, but spent about 10 minutes (without a break) licking himself. I checked him for fleas, and they were all gone... It worked like a charm...
I've also learnt that it's okay to bath cats, but you should only do it with at least an interval of 7 days, to ensure that the natural oils in the fur can reform. That the washing machine is really unnecessary. Your cat feels so soft and silky afterwards.
I probably won't bath Chilli again, it just doesn't seem necessary for anyone to bath a pet cat, unless it's got fleas, is going to a show, or has been advised by a vet for any sort of reason...
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