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C2005-13

Dear Christopher Cat

How often should I bathe my cat?

Christopher Responds

My answer to you – and my mom, in case she’s getting any ideas – is never.

We cats are self-cleaning animals, yet one more reason we are superior to dogs.

We groom ourselves daily, so most of us don’t need – or like – baths. My mom has a two-inch scar on her hand from the cat who taught her that lesson.

Of course, there are exceptions. Many show cats enjoy baths, and cats with pollen allergies sometimes find relief when they are rinsed with plain water for five minutes every week.

If your outdoor cat is sprayed by a skunk, a bath will reduce the offensive odor.

Should you need to bathe your cat, choose a mild shampoo labeled as safe for cats, and be sure to rinse it thoroughly from your cat’s coat.

If your cat has a dermatological problem, ask your veterinarian to recommend a shampoo and bathing schedule.

Still, most of us healthy, indoor cats look best when we are brushed regularly – and we feel best when we are kept away from bathtubs.

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