Shampoo and the bath
If we are discussing shampoo for cats, then it’s obvious there is a cat who is about to be bathed. If there is no real reason to do so, like Vet recommended, or the need to remove something foreign from the fur. It should probably be avoided. Reasons being, the cat can naturally clean itself and cats really, really dislike it. Like oil and water, so to a cat submerged or dowsed with water, is a naturally repelled mix. Should your cat have nails, you’ll discover quite quickly, to what degree they don’t mix 😊.
To understand shampoo, you need to understand soap, which is derived from heating fatty acids at a temperature close to 100 degrees, in the presence of alkali (sodium, or potassium hydroxide). This process is known as “saponification”. The result is a soap molecule, which is interestingly unique. One end of the molecule is hydrophobic, which means “water hating”, while the other end is hydrophilic, which basically means “water loving”. So, what basically happens when you when you wash with soap is, the hydrophilic end gets attracted to the water, while the hydrophobic end, gets attracted to the oil and grease. The result, oil and grease molecules get trapped in the soap molecule whose outer ends are hydrophilic, allowing the grease and oil to be suspended in water and then washed away.
In the simplest of terms, soap gives you a medium by which you can now separate that foreign something, from the cats’ fur. Soaps can be of varying strengths, which is important to note, when we are talking about shampooing, poor little Fluffy.
Now soap being the base ingredient, of shampoo. It is only one of the ingredients. What else is in shampoo? There could be several things such as fragrances, dyes, softeners or added medicinal compounds. To treat something, you or the Vet feels needs treating. It could be as simple as dry skin, or to combat parasites.
Always use a shampoo formulated for cats. It’s easy to assume, baby and no-tear shampoos must be delicate enough to use. Yes, but not for a feline. Even the gentlest human formulas can be quite an irritant for a cat. When selecting a cat shampoo, it should be derived from natural products and void of any additives, such as fragrances and dyes. If in doubt, ask your vet.
Now another approach to cleaning your cat, is by using a dry method. I’ve never tried this myself, but many people have had pretty good success with rubbing the cat down with oats. Yes, oats. It works as a mild abrasive, being worked through the fur. It might not be as effective as a soap based product, but it might do just enough, where the cat can take over following a rub down. It’s certainly a natural method and a messy one at that, so, you might want to do this outside.
Another consideration, is using just warm water applied by dabbing with a face cloth, or rag. If you can avoid using soap, great and hope these tips help you do just that. I know your feline friend will be happy about that.
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