Hairless cats are among the world’s most unique and rare cat breeds. While many people might not find these kitties an attractive companion due to their lack of fur, they are actually incredibly fun-loving, affectionate, and fiercely loyal to their human families.
Because they do not have a lot of hair to protect their sensitive skin, regular grooming is essential for these felines. And no – we are not talking about their meticulous habit of grooming themselves, but rather a regular, full bath. Hairless cats need a helping hand from their owners to keep their skin from becoming too oily, not to mention the additional skin care they need, such as sunblock, moisturizers, wipes, and specially formulated soap or shampoo.
Because hairless cats are bathed more often than their hairy counterparts, most of them have developed a tolerance for being in the water. Hence, they are often seen sitting calmly in bathtubs.
But do hairless cats like water?
If you are curious about these unique cats and their relationship with water, read on to find out all you need to know!
Bathing a hairless cat – the basics
When they hear the term “hairless cat”, many people imagine a breed of cats that are completely hairless and resemble little aliens. The inherited mutation in their hair follicles makes them appear bald, revealing both the smooth and wrinkled areas of their skin. There is more than one breed of hairless cat, so they come in a variety of sizes and colors, with the Sphynx being the most popular in this category.
Some people think that hairless cats do not need to be groomed, but this is not true. In fact, hairless cats need more regular grooming than any other breed. The lack of hair makes their skin more oily, and this attracts dirt and bacteria that lead to body odors, acne breakouts, and other skin problems.
For these reasons, a regular bath is extremely important for hairless cats. While a typical indoor cat covered in fur might need an occasional bath, a hairless cat will need bathing at least once a week. Veterinarians usually recommend a special type of cat shampoo to get rid of the excess oil while keeping their skin supple and moisturized. Their skin is super sensitive too, and you will need a range of feline skin care products to protect them from irritation, sunburn, and dryness.
Do hairless cats like water?
As mentioned above, most hairless cats are used to being in the water since most of them have been bathed since they were young.
Cats are universally recognized as being very clean animals, and they are quite particular about grooming themselves. However, most cats have a strong dislike of water and most breeds do not enjoy being bathed or having their fur wet. This makes bath times very challenging for most cat parents as their felines will do all they can to escape the tub!
However, this might not be the case for hairless cats, as baths are part of their normal routine. Thus, it is pretty normal to see these adorable baldies being calm in the water. Some of them might even enjoy their baths and all the attention they get while being cleaned!
Do hairless cats need baths?
If you are thinking of adopting a hairless cat or are already the owner of one, then you will need to factor regular bathing into your pet care routine.
Grooming is an essential part of caring for your hairless cat. Cats are meticulous groomers, and most of them spend a significant amount of time grooming themselves. They remove loose fur, dirt, and parasites from their coats and skin using their tongues. But grooming a hairless cat is very different – they will need special care.
First off, hairless cats have very sensitive skin. This makes them prone to a number of skin problems such as yeast infections, urticaria pigmentosa, acne, dermatitis, and others. That is why, on top of their regular baths, hairless cats need special skin care products to avoid skin issues. Plus, the little spikes on their tongues will not be enough to remove the excess oils, grime, and odors from their skin. Hence, your hairless friend will definitely need your helping hand for their upkeep!
Do Sphynx cats like baths?
Like most hairless cats, Sphynx cats generally do not mind baths. This is not because they were born with a love for water; rather, they have grown to enjoy or tolerate it since most of them have been regularly bathed since they were young.
Hairless cats can easily become oily, dirty, and smelly. If you do not bathe them frequently, their sweat and oil will be all over your pillows, couch cushions, and bedsheets. Hence, weekly baths are important to help control the oils and remove accumulated grime from their skin.
Tips for bathing your hairless cat
A bath is a dreaded event for most cats. And, even if your hairless cat is more accustomed than most to being in the tub, you can still make use of these simple techniques to ensure that bath time is relaxing:
- First off, make sure that your cat’s nails are trimmed before you start bathing them. You do not want to deal with their sharp claws during a bath, especially if it is their first time!
- Start by warming up the water before you start bathing your cat. You can do this by filling the bathtub with water and ensuring that the temperature is right before putting your cat in it. Alternatively, you can use a jug filled with warm water to pour over your cat.
- If your cat loves toys and treats, use these to make their bath more enjoyable.
- Try adding a few drops of lavender oil to the water. The scent of lavender is known to have a calming effect on cats (never put undiluted essential oil directly onto your cat’s skin or fur!). You can also try a pheromone diffuser like Feliway to make bath time more relaxing.
- Make a bubble bath by adding a few squirts of vet-approved cat shampoo into the water. Start shampooing your cat – work from the tail up to the head. You should avoid getting soap or water in your cat’s ears, eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Rinse your cat thoroughly. Finish off by patting them dry with a soft towel. Avoid using a rough towel, as this can cause skin irritation.
Most hairless cats grow up being bathed regularly, so it is no surprise that most of them seem to like (or at least tolerate) being in the water. But know that hairless cats are like any other domesticated cat – they might not love the water the first time! It is, therefore, highly recommended to start bathing them while young. Hopefully, you can use the tips mentioned in this article to help your feline friend get used to the water!
Image: istockphoto.com / Marina Borovskaya