Hi, all you cat-loving people! Let me ask you… How often do you bathe your cats?
Why do I ask?
Because I’ve had this discussion with many people on many occasions. And I’m still not sure if there is a proper number for baths for cats.
I know very good owners and rescuers who bathe their cats once a month. I also know other very good owners and rescuers who bathe their cats once a year.
Me? I bathe my cats once a week. And if necessary, I give them a wipe-down with a wet towel with a wee bit of kitten shampoo mid week. I cuddle and cradle my kitties a lot, you see, so I like them to be as clean and sweet-smelling as possible. But I also don’t want to dry out their coats so I never bathe them more than that.
I’ve been told that a weekly bath is far too often and that my cats could come down with rheumatism when they get older.
That sounds about as true as the saying: If you kick a cat, you will develop rheumatism in that leg.
Rheumatism and arthritis are not caused by frequent baths. They are the natural wear and tear of the cartilage causing painful muscle spasms and inflamed joints. Poor diet and obesity are factors too. NOT frequent baths.
Here’s another reason why I prefer frequent baths. People who are allergic to cat fur are actually allergic to the cat’s saliva left on the fur. So while cats are quite capable of licking themselves clean enough, the saliva left on their coat will probably leave your family and friends in a sneezing fit.
And seriously, how well can a small tongue clean you?
So it seems that the frequency of cat baths is really a decision based on the caregiver’s lifestyle, not so much the cat’s health.
Is there a recommended number of baths we should all try to stick to then?
What is the magic number? Would you know?