Figuring out how to teach a cat to clean itself is challenging.
In general, cats are clean animals and will take pride in keeping themselves as well-kept as possible. However, it’s not always easy depending on the cat’s upbringing and/or its age.
A younger cat is still going to be developing and this isn’t always about physical development. Instead, it’s also important to understand the value of learning how to teach a cat to clean itself.
When a cat isn’t keeping itself clean properly, there are going to be noticeable signs that you can pay attention to.
The signs can include:
- Fecal Matter Around Anal Cavity
- Increased Stench
- Worsening Physical State
If your cat is displaying one or more of these signs, it’s clear the cat’s cleaning habits aren’t good enough.
This means you are going to have to learn how to teach a cat to clean itself. This isn’t going to be an easy process and there is going to be a natural learning curve to think about.
This guide will showcase how to teach a cat to clean itself, what to think about, and how to make sure the learning curve is as short as possible.
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Tips On How To Teach A Cat To Clean Itself
Tip #1: Set Up a Pet Fountain
Most cat owners are going to think of a pet fountain as a way for the cat to stay hydrated. While this is true, a pet fountain has a lot more to offer.
It can also become a clean source of water for the cat to clean itself at home.
The cat simply has to walk up to the flowing pet fountain, put its paw under the water, and begin to lick its fur. This is a common occurrence that would happen out in the wild near a river or natural water source.
The benefits include:
- Easy to Install
- Accessible Water Source for Your Cat
- Safe and Regulated Cleaning Option
As you learn how to teach a cat to clean itself, sometimes it is a simple solution such as this that is going to go a long way.
Your cat needs to know this is an available option that can be utilized to its advantage.
A lot of cats become frustrated because they don’t have this type of water source near them. This is why they start exhibiting bad behavior that’s unhygienic.
Tip #2: Clean the Cat Regularly
Setting good habits is a must as you learn how to teach a cat to clean itself.
Cats aren’t going to stay clean all the time, which means you have to bathe them. Unfortunately, a lot of cat owners go through the motions when it comes to setting up a bathing schedule.
Take the time to wash your cat regularly at home and notice the positive changes that come as a result. The cat is eventually going to get used to being in this clean state and will actively want to remain odor-free.
It becomes easier with time and the cat is not going to wait for you to bathe it. This is when you will start noticing the cat trying to lick its paws and keep itself clean.
Of course, this doesn’t mean you start changing the bathing schedule as soon as the transition happens.
Instead, you want to continue with the bathing schedule and make it a regular part of the cat’s routine. This is going to lead to a cleaner, healthier cat that has good habits.
Tip #3: Mimic Cleaning Yourself
You have to understand what a cat recognizes as a teaching method and what it doesn’t.
A lot of cats are going to observe you and will even start to mimic your behavior. This is common since you are a regular sight in their day-to-day life and are going to be a part of their family.
This means mimicking you is going to come naturally to them!
The goal is to try to mimic cleaning yourself the way a cat would (i.e. licking paws). This is going to make it easier for the cat to adapt.
If possible, you should also take the time to walk up to the pet fountain and use it to groom yourself from time to time.
This should always be done in front of the cat as you learn how to teach a cat to clean itself. Over time, the cat is going to start doing the same thing, especially if it is a kitten.
A lot of younger cats start to pick up on these things and will attempt to do it on their own. This is a great step in the right direction and will eventually lead the cat to clean itself at home.
You also want to try to take the cat up to a pet fountain and clean its ways with the water. It’s about building a mental connection between the pet fountain and staying clean.
Tip #4: Observe Your Cat
The ability to observe your cat is essential during this training process.
Your cat isn’t going to magically learn overnight and it’s going to happen in phases. As a result, you have to be vigilant as a cat owner and pay attention to whether or not your cat is learning.
This can be seen in the cat’s behavior, how it looks, or even how it smells.
If you take the time to keep record of the cat’s progress throughout the coming months, you are going to start enjoy a wide array of advantages while the cat learns how to clean itself correctly.
The benefits include:
- Find Out About the Cat’s Cleaning Habits
- Determine the Cat’s Progress
- Focus on What is Difficult for the Cat
As you learn how to teach a cat to clean itself, it’s essential to have some way to track down how the cat is doing while being trained.
Don’t assume the cat is going to learn on its own or will be able to pick up on your changes. It’s not always as easy as that!
Instead, you are going to have to determine how your cat learns, what works the best, and whether or not it is having an impact on the cat in the first place.
This is what it takes as you figure out how to teach a cat to clean itself.
The best place to start will be to set up a pet fountain for a cat to clean itself regularly. Having an accessible source of clean water is going to go a long way in grooming the cat and training it.
A cat that has to only lick itself to stay clean is less likely to adapt and learn. You want to provide a clean source of water that is going to ensure the cat does take the time to groom itself.
As you learn how to teach a cat to clean itself, take the time to set up a proper strategy moving forward. Whether this includes mimicking cleaning yourself or setting up a pet fountain, it’s best to have a plan in mind right away.
To learn more how to help your cat, here are a few articles to keep in mind – how to help a cat with separation anxiety at night, how to improve a kitten’s smell, how to control a cat’s hairballs, and setting up water fountains at home for your cat.