You can keep your kitty's coat fresh and minimize her exposure to chemicals by using homemade cat shampoo. Making shampoo for your kitty isn't hard, and it's a good way to control potential irritants to your cat's sensitive skin.
Bathing Your Cat Using Homemade Shampoo
Some cat experts snicker at the idea of cat bathing, claiming that cats are naturally clean animals due to their inborn cleansing mechanism. It is true that cats bathe themselves quite efficiently with their tongues. The inherently bristly cat tongue is great for picking up dust particles and many forms of dirt. Still, particularly when it comes to outdoor cats, many pet owners continue to feel that their cat is not quite clean. In fact, this licking mechanism , which is supposed to reign as the equivalent of a bath, often leaves a cat feeling somewhat less than clean. This is typically what drives some cat owners to decide that fluffy needs a real bath.
How to Make Homemade Cat Shampoo
Most cats hate baths. This is because they hate water. Cats despise being lowered into a tub of water, sprayed with water, and they especially dislike being coated with frothing shampoo. Can tweaking the shampoo formula make baths any easier?
Dry Shampoo Method
Some pet lovers have suggested that you can skip the bathwater altogether and instead use warmed oatmeal to coat your cat's fur. That's right, oatmeal warmed on a baking sheet and then rubbed deeply into your cat's fur is one alternative to a water bath. Once the warmed oatmeal has been rubbed thoroughly into your cat's fur, all the way to the skin, you can then spend the next half hour brushing this grainy material out of his coat. Owners who use this method of dry bathing claime the oatmeal attracts dirt and other foreign particles. This method is inexpensive. It eliminates the need for water, but it may not be quite so practical as it sounds. It's possible that kitty will flee the scene - mid rub - and oatmeal will end up scattered throughout the house. Moroever, nothing beats soap for cleaning. After all, oatmeal does not possess the deep cleaning power necessary to dissolve lipids and oils.
Alternative Cat Shampoo
If you're brave enough to attempt bathing your cat, try the following shampoo recipe.
- 1 quart of warm water
- 1/3 cup Apple cider vinegar
- 1/3 vegetable glycerin
In a pitcher, combine all three ingredients and stir gently. First rinse your cat with warm water, and then slowly pour the shampoo mix along the cat's spine. Use your hands to work the shampoo downward into the fur, and then rinse very thoroughly for about five minutes to make sure no soapy residue is left behind. Towel dry your cat, and follow up with a quick blow dry on a warm (not hot) setting. Blow drying may be easiest to carry out by placing your cat in his travel carrier so he can't run away.
Although it may seem better to try to make your own cat shampoo and avoid commercial products, keep in mind that cats are very sensitive to many of the same products that dogs and even humans can use. Detergents, essential oils and a variety of other substances can produce toxic reactions when used on cats, so you need to carefully research any shampoo recipe you'd like to try. In the long run, it may be safer to stick with commtercial shampoos that are specifically formulated for felines. Since you'll rarely need to bathe your feline anyway, a single bottle of shampoo will go a long way.