Why I Can’t Explain How to Bathe a Cat

somali cat looking stoic, getting ready for bath

As you might guess from my facial expression, I’m about to embark on one of my least favorite parts of being a public kitty: I’m getting a bath. I get full show baths twice a month, whether I am showing or not. (Usually I have at least one show a month where I’m a Pet Me Cat.) I also need to be bathed as part of my therapy cat gig. I don’t need a full bath for my therapy cat work, but if I am not doing a show that month, I get one anyway. That is to keep both me, and my human, in practice.

So as you can tell, I have a lot of experience getting baths, and my human has a lot experience giving them to me. But I will never be able to explain how to bathe a cat. Why? Because I don’t deal with baths like a normal cat! I don’t squirm, struggle, get hissy or whap anybody. I maybe meow once or twice, but other than that, I don’t complain much. For this particular bath, my human gave herself a challenge. She wanted to be able to give me a full bath and take photos of me at the same time, sometimes without even touching me. And she did!

wet somali cat in bath

The first thing she did- as she always does- was wet me down with lukewarm water. Then she took a photo of me while I was standing there and I didn’t run away. (I won’t say I’ve never jumped down and walked off, but it doesn’t happen very often.)

is this how to bathe a cat?

Then I got soaped up and rinsed off. Along the way, she usually gives me a few butt skritches. I had no idea my tail was so skinny!

somali cat getting blotted dry

Once I’m rinsed off, my human wraps me in a towel and blots off all the excess dampness. Then she sprays on a leave-on conditioner. It’s one of the reasons my fur feels so soft.

somali cat getting combed out

Next, my human uses my big comb to carefully get any tangles out of my fur before blow drying me. And yes, I just stand there like that.

somali cat getting blow dried

Then I get blow dried. My human is supposed to be using my small silver comb for the blow dry, but she picked up the wrong comb for the photo. She didn’t want to use up too much time with taking photos because she knew I didn’t want her goofing around.

somali cat grooming herself after bath

If she takes too long messing with other things and not grooming me, I will take over and start doing it. For some reason, she wants to do it all herself.

somali cat excited about post-bath treat

When we are about three-quarters of the way through the blow dry, I get a treat or two! That’s because I am a good kitty. Actually Boodie gets treats too when she gets bathed (which doesn’t happen often), but it’s not because she is good- it’s to distract her when she is getting impatient. She loves treats so much that even getting a bath won’t stop her from wanting treats.

somali cat striking a pose after being groomed

I’m still a little bit damp, but I am already striking a pose! That’s because I know I’m nearly done, I’ve had treats, and I know I look awesome! Seriously, near the end of every grooming session, I start to realize how great I look, and all the getting wet part doesn’t seem to matter as much anymore. Besides, I know that when I have a bath, I’m going to have some sort of adventure. This time, it’s one of my therapy visits.

I will tell you a secret: a lot of cats who have competed regularly at cat shows are as good as me with the bath thing. That’s because we start getting baths from an early age and it just becomes a part of our lives. Which only goes to show- cats are way more adaptable than people realize.

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