Raised well, a cat will actually look forward to the next bath session. In fact the biggest problems well nurtured kittens is that, as long as the weather is right, they will take any chance they get to jump into an open water bucket, and so owners have to keep everything lidded always. Now, there’s this other lot that never sees eye to eye with water. They’d rather die than let a single drop touch their skin. Where does your cat fall?
If it’s in the second group, it must be hell cleaning your friend. It is likely that you have sustained injury from scratches you got during one of those struggles. Maybe the morning you give a wash, it spoils your whole day. Probably you have decided to let another person do the dirty work on your behalf; or you have simply given up on the whole issue.
A dirty cat, however, is a threat unto itself and to you. It might become a vector for diseases and parasites which may harm the entire family. To be safe therefore, you must just find a means to clean your pet often and properly. So why does your pet fear water? Here are the possible reasons:
While this is quite rare, the phobia might arise from a past experience which caused trauma to the animal. It is highly likely the cat nearly drowned (most cats are not good swimmers) or was burnt by hot water. If your cat tolerated water before but has suddenly started to avoid it, you should find out if there is any bad incident that is influencing this.
In this case, do not force the cat into getting wet. You will have to find an expert to help your cat unlearn the experience. You can also buy a book on pet training and apply the reconditioning techniques.
If the above case doesn’t apply to your pet, probably it’s the water that is too chilly. It is utterly cruel to forcefully pour cold water on a cat even if it’s summer. Let them join you in a cold shower out of their own volition, but avoid dragging them in. Otherwise always wash your cat with warm water.
Remember that their body temperatures are slightly more than that of a human being, so warm the water a little higher than what you are used to, but don’t make it too hot; about 100 Fahrenheit would do. After wash, use a clean, dry towel to wipe off the moisture and wrap it around the pet.
Bathing is an activity that requires getting used to. Even humans themselves would start to fear water if they did not bathe frequently. That is the same reason your pet won’t like water if you only give it a wash after a week or two. No matter how busy you are, ensure that you administer baths at least every three days.
Correcting the above mistakes will go a long way in improving your companion’s attitude towards water. Find out more on cat care.