Known for its fluffy long coat and distinctive blue eyes, the Himalayan cat is quite a fine breed. Smothered with a fur coat along with a second woolly coat, these cats are high maintenance since they require consistent brushing, cleaning and bathing.
Himalayan cats require bathing since it’s an important process to remove excess dirt, sebum, dead skin and fur. While brushing alone can help, it cannot substitute bathing, even if the cat stays indoors. Himalayan cats are long-haired cats and it’s very easy for their coat to get dirty and matted, bathing remains an essential practice and shouldn’t be ignored in providing the best overall care for your cat.
Cats are naturally fastidious animals, and their meticulous hygiene habits shouldn’t go unnoticed, however, Himalayan cats have quite thick and long coats which may be very difficult for the cat to groom itself properly, and to get through to hard to reach areas, Therefore they need help and bathing is basically the way to help them remain clean. Especially along their bottoms that usually get messed while they relieve themselves, bathing only can adequately remove the waste and odour.
What I’ve seen regularly is that many people who own Himalayan cats take really good care of them by consistently brushing their hair, cleaning their teeth as well as practising good overall hygiene, but they skip the baths. In this case, the cats fur remains untangled, fluffy and well maintained but because of the lack of bathing, over time the hair becomes very oily since the sebaceous glands on the cats skin secrete sebum.
This excess sebum on the cats coat attracts dust, debris and tiny dirt particles making the cats coat become dirty and less vibrant. This can also become a breathing ground for germs since the oil on the cats fur creates an insulation layer on the surface of the cats skin and when the cat sweats, this moisture is retained. Providing an ideal environment for germs to breath.
Access oil in the cats skin caused by the lack of bathing can also cause matting, especially in indoor long-haired cats that shed throughout the year due to the presence of artificial light. Long-haired cats like the Himalayan cats need to be bathed since bathing can reduce shedding quite significantly by removing most of the lose hair on the cats body, therefore brushing dont have to be done everyday instead every second day, making your job much easier.
Bathing on the other hand can be frightening for the cat and daunting for you the owner, especially for cats that are not trained and used to this practice. For this reason it’s good to acclimate bathing to cats while they are still young so that they can become more comfortable with this cleaning routine which will help them behave much more better and handle the stress with ease.
If you feel that you unable to bath the cat by yourself, take it to a groomer who are more experienced to handle the cat.
How to Bathe an Himalayan Cat ?
Bathing of cats can be an hassle, a disaster waiting to happen, more so with cats that are not fond of bathing and hate water. These cats will become very aggressive with excessive vocalization. Therefore you need to be prepared and implement safety measures before you begin. Below are a set of guidelines to help you bathe an Himalayan cat effectively while being safe.
1. Trim your cats claws to prevent any scratches in case they act impulsively. Have your cats paws pressed in your hand, this should reveal the claws. Using a claw clipper trim in small increments to avoid injuring the cat. For a safer and hassle-free approach get the PettingPal Nail Grinder conveniently from Amazon.
2. Catch kitty at the right time where he or she is in a good mood. You can also use a calming spray or chews to help them relax if it’s their first time bathing.
3. Brush the cat before you bathe them, since Himalayan cats are long-haired, brushing before the bath will remove any tangles and knots.
4. Prepare the sink rather than the bathtub since its higher giving you more control. If you are using a bucket make sure it’s fixed on a steady surface so it wont slip with each movement. It’s also good to place a towel or rubber mat inside the tub or bucket to prevent the cat from slipping inside.
5. Fill up with warm water and have all the products and a towel ready. You want to use feline-friendly shampoos and conditioner. It’s always good to use products that are gentle and won’t dry the cat’s skin. Make sure the water isn’t too deep to cover the cats head.
6. Put the cat inside the water and pour water from the cats neck going down. Once the cat is fully immersed squeeze a good amount of shampoo and massage, getting into hard to reach areas. Himalayan cats have long hair so take your time as you want to penetrate through their double coat.
7. Sometimes the cat will act abruptly and may try to escape. You want to get control of the cat without being violent, use positive reinforcement techniques and talk to the cat calming them down.
8. Once you are all done rinse thoroughly with clean warm water. If you leave shampoo on the cat, it could dry their skin and cause inflammation. Always Pour water from the neck towards the cats body, repeatedly to make sure all shampoo is removed. Never immerse the cats head in water.
9. With clean water and clean towel wipe the cats eyes and ears. Himalayan cats are flat faced therefore their eyes are watery and need to be cleaned. If not, over time the fur around the eyes become discolored.
10. Condition well and leave on to be absorbed. For long-haired cats like the Himalayan it’s very important to use a conditioner to make sure the cats hair is smooth and silky. Long hair can dry out easily and conditioner retains the moisture and shine.
11. Towel dry properly using a soft absorbent towel. Go for a micro fiber towel rather than a cotton one. Make sure the towel is clean and wont leave any traces on the cats fur especially cats with white fur.
12. Use an hair dryer on low heat to fully dry the cat. Do this precisely as you want to remove any moisture from hidden areas such as around the neck, inner front and back legs. Note that some cats might not tolerate the sound of an hair dryer and in this case you can air dry the cat.
13. Brush the cat using a wide tooth comb making your way to a fine tooth comb to remove any knots and tangles. If the cat had any mats prior to bathing, the use of conditioner and a comb will help get rid of the mats, in extreme cases you would want to cut of the mats.
How Often Should I Bath My Himalayan Cat ?
Generally long haired cats require bathing more often since their coat can become dirty much quicker and they are prone to mats and tangles.
Himalayan cats require bathing every 2-3 months depending on their lifestyle and the condition of their coat. Bathing long haired cats really helps to avoid the hair from getting matted. The National cat groomers of America reccomends that a cat should have a bath every 4-6 weeks as it will ensure an healthy, hassle free coat and will help them get used to the stress of bathing.
While this time frame is good, Himalayan cats that are put on show need to bath more frequently in order to maintain their coat, shine and overall appearance. Depending on how many competitions they take part in, bathing can be done every week or once a month.
Overall I’ve noticed that Certain colors of the breed tend to get greasier then others. And some mat easier then others. Orange/ brownish coloured Himalayans tend to be kind of greasy and they will in fact require bathing more often, whenever it is required. On the other hand some cats mat very easily and produce much less sebum, so bathing is required less frequently, maybe every 6 months.
So to conclude, if you feel your cat needs a bath for whatever the reason than you should feel free to do so, just make sure you are prepared and ready for the challenges of starting.
Alternative Methods Rather Than Bathing.
While bathing is the best option it can be really stressful to cats who are not used to it, therefore there are other less daunting ways to help kitty remain clean and to maintain their coat.
Cat Hygiene Wipes.
Hygiene wipes are a great way to help cats keep clean incase they get into any messy situations. These wipes are completely cat friendly as it deodorize the cats coat while removing any debris, sand or poop. Cat wipes may only be used for external use but is safe to use on the cats body, face and paws.
If your cat is sensitive to scents and allergens you can go for the odorless wipes which works just as well. Always seek medical advice from your local veterinarian for the best products for your cats skin. Below are a few steps to help you get kitty clean with the use of wipes
1. Get the right product and have it ready.
2. Depending on how dirty the cat is you want to start from one side with the wipes in your hand and gently press down. Repeat this process until the dirt is removed. If the cat is very dirty with bad odor you can use waterless shampoo with the wipes.
3. Once done, with a clean towel pat kitty dry. You can use an hair-dryer on low heat to add volume to the cats fur and to remove any moisture.
Waterless shampoo is another fantastic way to keep kitty clean without the use of water. This product was specifically made for pets that hate water and can be conveniently used. There are many products to chose from but if the cat have sensitive or dry skin seek expert advice before you purchase any products. Below are a few steps to help clean the cat with waterless shampoo.
1. Get the right shampoo according to your cats skin. There are fragrant and non-fragrant ones to choose from.
2. Apply a generous amount of shampoo, according to the instruction manual.
3. Apply an even amount throughout the cats body and gently work the shampoo into the fur. You can use a brush or your hand.
Leave the Cat to do its Job.
Cats are very hygienic pets and they love grooming themselves. Their tongue alone with saliva does a pretty good job keeping their coat clean. But since Himalayan cats have long hair it might be abit difficult for the cat to maintain itself. In this case you can use a spray bottle with clean water and a microfiber cloth to help kitty keep clean. Dont use any chemicals or cleaning agents even if its cat friendly since it will remain on the cats fur and can be ingested by the cat. Normal water should be fine.
1. How to Groom an Himalayan persian Cat ? Grooming an Himalayan cat can be done in several ways such as bathing, daily brushing, claw trimming and ear and eye cleaning. You can also choose to cut your cats hair with several styles to choose from with the lion-cut being the most popular choice.
2. How to take care of an Himalayan cat ? Himalayan cats are long haired, high maintenance cats and require daily brushing and grooming. Simple care tips involve good quality food, annual medical checkups and a few toys to keep them entertained.