If you've ever been in the shower, and reached for the cat shampoo instead of your own, you already know that there's a difference between cat shampoo, and shampoo for people. Cat shampoo is designed especially for cats. Your shampoo can irritate their skin, not to mention how their shampoo irritates you. But that's a topic for another article.
Shampooing your cat has many benefits. It keeps him looking and smelling clean, and it can help you spot parasites, such as ticks and fleas. An occasional bath also helps to reduce shedding. But how do you choose a cat shampoo? Features to Consider in a Cat Shampoo
There are many different kinds of cat shampoo, and the type you choose depends on why you are shampooing your cat in the first place. Cats are experts at keeping themselves clean. But occasionally, they may need a bath, and a shampoo recommended by your vet, or other pet professional, should be your first choice.
Cat shampoo can be formulated much like your shampoo. There's a cat shampoo to keep hair (or fur) soft and shiny. This would be a cleansing, or deodorizing cat shampoo. There's hypoallergenic cat shampoo, and even color enhancing cat shampoo. Dry cat shampoo is ideal for those cats who simply won't tolerate water, or simply for ‘spot cleaning.' This kind of cat shampoo may go on like a mousse, then be brushed vigorously (but safely) out of the cat's fur, taking the dirt with it.
Some cat shampoo is designed especially for flea and tick treatment. Again, consult your veterinarian or pet professional before choosing, and using, these products.
If you're looking for a more ‘natural' way to bathe your cat, try herbal, organic, or botanical cat shampoo. It may be harder to find, and will probably cost a little more than other cat shampoo. Safety Considerations
For obvious reasons, it's best not to bathe a cat alone. Get a friend (a very good friend) to help, so that one of you can hold the cat, while the other applies the cat shampoo. Also, don't wet your cat's head, or dunk it in water. Wet a towel instead, and use that to clean the head, ears, and around the eyes. It's also a good idea to put a little cotton in your cat's ears before bathing, to keep water out of the ear canal. The Ideal Choice in Cat Shampoo
The ideal cat shampoo is one that is recommended by your veterinarian or pet professional. It is designed for cats, so that it won't cause irritation to their skin, and it's designed to solve whatever problem the cat has gotten into—whether it's fleas and ticks, allergy symptoms, or just plain grime. The ideal cat shampoo is one your cat will tolerate (enjoy is asking way too much). It's relatively inexpensive, easy to use, and leaves your cat looking, and smelling, better than before.