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Introducing your kitten to water
Many people assume that cats and bathtime are like oil and water – they simply do not go together. While most domestic cats do not exactly seek out pools to swim in, in the wild, cats have a healthy relationship with water. With a little careful training, you can get your feline comfortable with H2O, too.
Why get Kitty in the water?
If you recently got a cat, you may see no reason to get your cat used to the water. After all, cats do groom themselves, and are able to find shelter if they happen to get caught in a rainstorm. However, being able to bathe your cat is important for its overall health. Sometimes, the only treatment for skin conditions is a particular type of pet shampoo or topical pet drugs that need to be washed off. Also, if your cat gets sprayed by a skunk, you'll be happy you're able to bathe it.
Introducing cats to water is easiest when they are kittens. At this age, they have no reason not to like the wet stuff, so you have more of an opportunity to create a positive association.
That said, if you suddenly spray your cat with a hose or plunge it into the bathtub, the trauma will likely be enough to send it running away for good. The trick is to introduce water gradually, and reward any small progress. Try setting out a bowl of water for your kitten. It may drink it, which is also good, but reward it for sticking a paw in it or otherwise exploring. Another way to introduce water is by running the faucet slowly and quietly in front of your cat. Keep some Feline Greenies Dental Treats on hand for instant gratification for the cat when it touches the water.
The calm before the storm
One way you can make bath time more pleasant for everyone involved is to make sure Kitty is calm and relaxed before you take the plunge. You might consider using pet products like Comfort Zone for Cats, a plug-in diffuser that releases a natural pheromone that calms the cat. Other natural anti-anxiety remedies can help, too. Try Be Serene for another natural approach. This solution has a number of flower essences to soothe your cat's nerves.