How to properly wash a Maine coon

How to properly wash a Maine Coon and whether it is necessary. All cats are very clean. They are constantly licking their lips, trying to get rid of foreign odors. The rough tongue with the bristles bent back helps cats to wash their fur and get rid of dense dirt particles. Such attention to personal hygiene in nature has made the cat almost invisible to its prey. However, such hygiene is not enough for domestic cats. Therefore, washing a cat is the responsibility of any owner.

How to properly wash a Maine coon

The American Groomers Association recommends bathing cats every 4-6 weeks, guided mainly by aesthetic needs. Dermatologists, on the contrary, rarely recommend frequent washing of healthy Maine coons, because regular flushing of natural microflora and sebum (sebum) can lead to deterioration of the protective properties of the skin. The fact is that the natural (commensal) microflora of the skin creates an invisible protective film – a biological barrier on the skin that prevents the introduction of pathogenic microorganisms. Sebum protects the skin from the physical effects of environmental factors on the skin. Such factors include chemicals, ultraviolet light, allergens. Constant flushing of these most important protective layers leads to an increase in the likelihood of infectious and allergic dermatitis, as well as other skin diseases.

The truth, as always, is somewhere in the middle: the Maine Coon should be washed as needed. So owners can decide how often to wash cats on their own. It is only important to take into account the type of wool.

Situations in which washing the Maine Coon will be justified:

  • The cat is dirty and cannot carry out independent grooming, as the contamination is difficult to remove or the amount of contamination is too large;
  • The inability to carry out independent grooming due to illness or old age;
  • Contamination of the skin and coat with caustic, possibly poisonous substances. The physiology of the Maine Coon does not allow it to spit out harmful chemicals that have fallen into its mouth. Any substances licked off the wool, one way or another, later end up in the gastrointestinal tract and can cause poisoning of the animal.;
  • Professional grooming before visiting exhibitions. Exhibition Maine coons do not have to choose: their wool must be at a height so that they can get a good rating;
  • On the recommendation of the attending physician in the presence of pathologies. For example, for the treatment of lichen (dermatophytia), veterinary specialists often prescribe regular bathing in specialized solutions to maine coons.

In some situations, washing the cat once again will be an unjustified decision. So, the presence of wounds on the skin is usually a contraindication for washing the animal. Detergents can negatively affect their condition. Hygienic procedures in this case should be carried out only on the recommendation of a veterinary specialist. You should not bathe the Maine Coon in severe diseases. For example, at a high temperature resulting from an infection. The cat’s body is already weakened at this time. Excess stress can negatively affect the immunity of the animal. Also, it is not necessary to stress the animal to prepare it, for example, for the arrival of guests. Such stress not only negatively affects the psyche of the animal, but can also cause exacerbation of chronic pathologies.

To bathe the cat without unpleasant consequences for the owner and the animal, it is recommended to prepare:

  1. Purchase detergent. It is recommended to take care of the availability of specialized means for washing Maine Coon in advance. Do not use soap or regular shampoo. Hygiene products intended for people can lead to dry skin, allergic dermatitis, not to mention the problems that may arise if such a product gets into the eyes or mouth.
  2. Provide physical activity to the pet. You should plan bathing for a time when the Maine Coon is tired and relaxed. For example, after a long game with a laser pointer or any other toy – so he will have less strength to resist. Also, the owner should relax himself: his nervousness and irritability will be transmitted to the cat.
  3. Trim Maine Coon’s claws. The claws of a cat serve for protection. A cat in a state of stress can scratch anyone who gets under her paw while bathing. Scratches can be very painful and take a long time to heal. Additionally, the owner can wear tight clothing to reduce the risk of scratches.
  4. Comb out the wool. In a state of stress, Maine Coons can additionally shed some of their fur. Such an abundance of wool in the bathroom will complicate washing and will definitely not benefit plumbing. Before bathing, it is better to comb the cat and remove the tangles with a fluffer.
  5. Ensure adhesion to the surface. The cat can slide in the bathroom or basin, which will further provoke stress. Therefore, you should put a towel on the bottom or put a rubber mat. This way it will be possible to minimize the stress of the pet.
  6. Prepare the water. Usually the Maine Coon is afraid of water, so he does not like to stay in it for a long time. To reduce stress, it is important to make sure that the water is at the right temperature. It is recommended to pour warm water into a basin or other container in advance.

Also, to simplify the procedure, you can use sedative medications. However, in order to choose the right drug and the exact dosage, it is recommended to consult with a veterinary specialist.

First you need to let the cat get used to the water or at least get used to the fact that it is being washed. You can try the «pouring» method. To do this, pour water into a jug or watering can and water the cat a little without resorting to the help of a shower. Strong water pressure usually irritates Maine Coons. A weak pressure from the watering can will cause less negative emotions in the animal.

You can also use this method to gradually accustom the cat to water: it is enough to pour it a little from a jug or watering can from time to time, so that by the day of water procedures it gets a little used to contact with water. First, just water the paws, then increase the area of pouring and the duration of contact with water.

It is recommended to stroke the Maine Coon during the pouring process, evenly distributing water over the coat. The water should be a little warm, but not hot. You can talk to the animal in the process in a calm, friendly voice. This will help him relax a little.

You should start applying shampoo from the neck, gently massage the hair and skin, moving towards the tail of the pet. It is important not to get shampoo in the eyes, ears, mouth. This can cause irritation of the mucous membranes and provoke additional stress. If the soapy water still got to the mucous membranes, you should gently rinse them with warm water. It is important to wash the soaped wool well with water. Otherwise, the remnants of detergent on the wool will be eaten by the cat in the process of licking, and this threatens inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract. At the end of bathing with ordinary water without shampoo, you can gently rinse the muzzle.

If necessary, you can wash the cat’s eyes and ears. To do this, lightly moisten the cotton pads with water and gently wipe the eyes and ears of the pet with them. You can also use special lotions for this purpose. You can buy them at a pet store.

After bathing, the cat’s fur and skin must be dried. First, you should use a regular towel: wrap the cat in it and wipe it thoroughly. If necessary, change the towel and repeat the wiping. If the cat does not worry too much, you can use a hair dryer at the lowest temperature. Hot air can cause burns in the cat or worsen the quality of the coat.

So that the animal is not too afraid, during the drying of the wool, you can use heaters with hot air.

Owners need to remember that water procedures are not the most usual activity for a Maine Coon, often associated with severe stress. Therefore, it is recommended to show patience and care, keep calm and then everything will work out.

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