How To Make A Homemade Cat Spa
How to Make a Homemade Cat Spa
Cats need grooming just as much as the rest of us. To give your cat a treat, make grooming fun and create a cat spa experience, with you doing the beauty treatments. In addition to the pampering you give your pet, you can create an area where she can pamper herself alone, including a scratching post and brushing area.
Setting Up a Spa for Your Cat
Choose material for a scratching post.You could make it out of cardboard, fabric, or rope. It can be as simple as wrapping a piece of wood with some rope and gluing the ends. Scratching posts can help keep your cat’s nails under control, so you won't have to cut her nails as frequently. You can attach the scratching post to a piece of plywood, creating a play area for your cat that you can then add to — many cats would also enjoy a carpet square glued to the plywood to scratch at.
- Some cats like to scratch vertical surface, others horizontally. Watch you cat and offer her the orientation she prefers.
Make a play area.Buy cat toys for enrichment for your pet. Find time after your cat has eaten to play with him. Think about attaching the toys to the scratching post so that the fun area is all in one place (and you don’t have to go chasing after the cat toys).
Create a self-brushing station for your cat.Taking a cat brush or two, pull the handle and back off the brush. Using glue, attach the section with the tines to a piece of wood or heavy cardboard. This way your cat can rub against the brush whenever she desires. This can really help keep hair under control, particularly if you have a cat that sheds a lot. If you don’t want to make your own, there are commercial products you can buy that do the same thing.
Make a catnip toy to attach.Cats often go crazy for catnip and it can really enhance their experience in the cat spa. If your cat seems to be having a bad day, catnip can cheer him up and bring up his energy levels.
Use different textures.Cats like to run their bodies along different textures to massage themselves. Think about using pieces of different fabrics or carpets that you can glue or staple to heavy cardboard or wood pieces. It also might help keep your cat off the furniture!
Buy a cat spa and activity center.Cats enjoy the massaging, brushing action, and enrichment of a plastic cat spa, available online. They can rub their rub their faces against the massaging or brushing areas or go crazy with the catnip dispenser. If you don’t feel like making all of the different elements, this is a good option.
Brushing Your Cat
Get your cat accustomed to brushing.Start when she is happy — perhaps after eating. Even though cats do a lot of washing themselves, brushing often takes some time to get used to. Start by letting her inspect the grooming brush and try to brush her for about five minutes.
Talk and cuddle your cat as you brush.Keep your cat happy and entertained as you brush him. Start a regular brushing routine so that your cat knows what is coming and begins to look forward to it. At the beginning you might even want to give your cat a treat for doing a good job while you were brushing.
Choose the right tools.Short-haired cats and long-haired cats have different needs when it comes to their care. Always brush in the direction the hair is growing. Be sure to clean out the brush after each use — and especially if you have multiple cats that use the same brush.
- Short-haired cats need a fine-toothed metal comb for the initial brushing, followed by a soft rubber brush to get out the loose hair.
- Long-haired cats initially need a wide-toothed comb to get out the tangles and any dirt that might have gotten stuck in their hair. Work very carefully to get the knots out. Then use a wire brush to get out the loose hair. Some people suggest using a toothbrush around the face as the final step.
Deal with matted patches.Long-haired cats can easily get tangles in their hair which are often difficult to remove. Make sure your cat is in a very good mood before beginning to work on the knots. Using a wide-toothed comb, work at the edge of the tangle, closest to the end of the hair. Keep picking gently at the tangle with the comb — do not tear at it. It will eventually come out, even if it might take a few sessions to get it out entirely.
Giving Your Cat a Facial
Focus on your cat’s eyes.Check that they look healthy — they should be clear, with the area around the iris a bright white. Using a damp cotton ball, wipe away any of the dirt that collects at the edges of your cat’s eyes.Use a separate piece of cotton wool for each eye.
Trim hair.Some cats get hairs on their faces that are so long that they can poke your cat in the eye or get in the way of his vision. This can especially be a problem for long-haired cats. Brush any hair on the facial area with a toothbrush, not a wire comb or brush.
Clean your cat’s ears.Ask your veterinarian for a recommendation of a good ear cleaner you can buy at the pet store. Be aware that some of the ear cleaners sold in pet stores are not suitable for use in cats, so make sure you talk to the vet first. Put a drop of the cleaner onto a cotton ball or piece of gauze.
- Fold your cat’s ear back and gently rub away the dirt and earwax that has gathered there.
- Do not rub at the ear — just dab and lift with the cotton ball or gauze.
- Be sure to stay away from the ear canal — it is sensitive and trying to clean it can easily cause infection.
Giving a Cat Pedicure
Get your cat ready for a nail clipping.If you’ve never done it before, it’s a good idea to observe someone else do it first. Ask at the veterinarian's office if you can watch someone. For some cats, a scratching post will be enough work for their nails that you don’t need to clip them. For most cats, however, nail clipping is an essential part of their grooming and care. Make sure your cat is in a happy and even sleepy mood before beginning. Cuddle and scratch your cat to get her ready. Some cats dislike getting their nails cut and might need to be wrapped in a towel so that you can complete the task.
Choose good nail clippers.Cats need clippers specific to felines, available at pet stores. You might want to put a drop of baby oil on the nail so that you can see its length better. You don’t want to cut it too close to the quick, which will bleed if cut.
Begin cutting.Holding onto one paw, place your index finger on the pad on the bottom of the paw connected to the nail you want to clip. Put your thumb on top of the same area. By gently pushing with your index finger and thumb, the nail will come out (they typically retract in, so you need to get it out enough for you to cut it). Cut the nail just above the pink area (called the dermis or quick).
Reward your cat.For a job well done, give your cat a treat or toy. Play with your cat to reinforce good behavior. Try to start clipping his nails when he is young so that he gets used to it early and it becomes normal.
Washing Your Cat
Wash your cat.Some cats love water, but many are actively resistant to baths. Luckily, most cats can keep themselves generally clean with their tongue, but sometimes it does become necessary to give a bath — particularly if she has gotten into something smelly or sticky. Bathing your cat should be the last step at your cat spa. Brush and trim nails before putting your cat in the bath. If your cat enjoys the water, a bath can be a real treat. Fill your tub with 3–5 inches (7.6–12.7 cm) of warm water. Put in a rubber bath mat so your cat doesn't slip.
Get cat shampoo.Always use shampoo specifically for cats, because other shampoos can have toxic oils. Use one part shampoo to five parts water. Mix it in a bowl and have it beside you on the floor ready to put on your cat.
Ready your sprayer, pitcher, or washcloth.You will need a sprayer, unbreakable pitcher, or washcloth to wet your cat down and then rinse the shampoo. Make sure youneverspray or dump the water directly in your cat’s face. It shouldn’t get in the eyes, ears, or nose, so be careful.
Prepare your area.Make sure the door to the room where you will be washing the cat is closed. You don’t want to have to chase a wet cat around the house. You also might want to put down a few big towels in the room in case the cat escapes or is particularly agitated in the tub. Have your supplies at hand — shampoo, pitcher, washcloth, or towel — whatever you have decided to use. Carefully pick up your cat and put him in the tub.
Start washing your cat.Soak your cat from the neck down in water using your sprayer, pitcher, or washcloth. Keep at least one hand on your cat at all times to prevent escape. Put a little shampoo on your hand or the washcloth and rub it through your cat's fur, starting at the neck and massaging through to the tail.
Rinse thoroughly.Using your sprayer, pitcher, or washcloth, make sure to get all of the shampoo out. With clean water on a clean washcloth, gently wash your cat’s face, making sure not to get near the eyes, ears, or mouth.
Dry your cat.Get your cat out of the bath with a large towel wrapped around her. Pat your cat dry. Give your cat a treat for behaving so well.
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Video: How to Make a Homemade Cat Spa - Taking Care of Cats
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