Now that winter is gone and spring is here, you might notice that your outdoor cat is showing up at home with stuff stuck in its fur. Cats are more active in warm weather and they’re more likely to go exploring during the spring and summer months. The downside to that is you’ll be need to be cleaning your outdoor cat more often than usual.
Sure, most cats like to groom themselves with their tongues, but some don’t. You might think that the easiest way to remedy this is to keep your cat indoors or to just bathe them. Well, keeping an outdoor cat inside might be harder than it sounds, and we all know how cats feel about water. So, we’ll go over some of the more common, and not so common, ways to keep your cat clean and its fur clump-free this summer.
Bring your cat in for the summer
Slowly try to acclimate your cat to being inside. As with all transitional things, like changing foods, moving, and getting your cat used to the carrier, do it slowly.
Feed your cat inside
One way to start is by giving your cat a place to eat inside and feeding them one meal a day in that spot. As your cat starts to get used to its time inside, move another meal to that same spot.
Invite your kitty inside
Call them or use a toy to entice them in. Once inside, engage with your cat. Pet them, brush or groom them, use a laser pointer to encourage them to run around. Cats are naturally curious animals, so once they are inside, chances are they will want to do some exploration.
Make your cat feel welcome
Create an environment inside that your cat will enjoy. Give them scratching posts, cat trees, and places to hide. Although they are curious creatures, cats love to have a home base. Let your cat claim a part of your home that it feels most comfortable in. This is will make it easier for you to call your cat in when you need to.
Cleaning your outdoor cat
If, and only if, your cat enjoys the water, then can you attempt to give them a bath in a tub. Most cats do not enjoy getting their whole body wet. Do not force your cat into a bath – they will become afraid of you and be less likely to have a good transition indoors.
Gently place your cat in some warm water and let it just be in the tub for a moment until it’s comfortable. Then apply shampoo to its entire body except for its face. Be sure to massage the shampoo into the fur and onto the skin have your cat. This will help loosen any stuck-on dirt and ensure a thorough cleaning.
To rinse, gently pour some of the bath water over your cat’s body, making sure not to pour over their face. Do not submerge your cat or try to push their body down into the water if they do not seem amenable.
Alternatives to bathing your outdoor cat
If you’re looking for something more natural-based that will clean your outdoor cat but won’t dry them out or irritate sensitive skin, then a homeopathic tonic is great option. Apply it like shampoo and work it through the cat’s fur. Not only with your fur ball love the complimentary massage, buy it will help lift dirt from the skin and keep its fur detangled.
Another great option for cleaning your outdoor cat is using dry shampoo. Dry shampoo, as the name implies, requires no bath or water at all. It’s perfect for cleaning your cat if you’re away from home and don’t have access to a shower. It also won’t irritate their skin or dry them out like other options might.
Have more questions? Call Catonsville Cat Clinic and we can go over the best way for you to clean your outdoor cat.