When a person decides to show their RagaMuffin cat, learning how to properly bathe that cat is essential. Hopefully, a kitten has had practice baths and blow dries at the breeder when young. I always make sure my iCandy kittens get at least a couple of baths prior to going to their forever homes. It’s good practice for Ragamuffin kittens to get used to gentle handling. The babies generally object to the dryer much more than the actual bath, so to make it easier, I towel dry well and lightly dry from a distance, especially the first time.
To get a RagaMuffin kitty ready to show, start well ahead of time. Regular combing with a quality comb such as a Chris Christensen Buttercomb to keep the coat in good condition is a must, along with regular nail clips. Fortunately, most RagaMuffins have easy care coats that rarely mat. There is Persian in the RagaMuffin background and occasionally, there will be a muffin that needs more intensive grooming to keep their coats in condition.
The day before a show is the time for a show bath. I bathe my cats in the kitchen sink. I start by gathering up my RagaMuffin kitty and giving a bit of yummy treat. I put him/her in the sink with no water in it. The first step is degreasing. Depending on the degreaser used, you may need to wet the cat down first or not. I do not have a favorite product. One cat may do well with one product, while another may do better with a different one. Cats’ coats change depending on the season, you may need to use different products if you find that the coat is not looking up to your expectations. I generally use one degreaser, rinse well, then use a second one. There are a number of products in my arsenal, which includes, but is not limited to, Groomer’s Goop, Davis degreaser, Jerob degreaser, Filthy Animal, Dawn Dishwashing detergent. After the second degreaser, I rinse my wet RagaMuffin well again.
The next step is using a coloring shampoo is desired. If I have a RagaMuffin cat with a lot of white, I like to use a whitening shampoo on the white areas to really brighten them up. Chris Christensen produces a number of coloring shampoos. Using the black shampoo on black cats seems to increase the depth of color. Following the directions on whatever shampoo used is important for best results. Again, rinse well.
The last shampoo I use is a clarifying shampoo to get rid of any residue. People have their favorites. Some use human products, others use products made for animals. The important step again is rinsing thoroughly.
The last step is the vinegar rinse. I use a clean empty detergent bottle and fill it about ¼ way up with vinegar and the rest of the way with warm water. I tell my RagaMuffin it is salad time and I pour the mixture all over the kitty’s body. Some people fill the sink with water and add vinegar to it and “float” the cat’s coat in it. I have found my cats are not happy with that process, so I don’t do it. After the vinegar rinse, yet another complete rinse finishes out the process.
A couple of places to be sure are not missed during the procedure are around the ears, as that tend to be a very greasy area and the tail, especially in unneutered males as stud tail can be a difficult problem.
After the final rinse, squeeze excess water out of the RagaMuffin’s coat while still in the sink. Then wrap the kitty in a fluffy dry towel to absorb excess moisture. The last step is the blow dry. Having a forced air dryer for animals is very helpful. Our personal hair dryers take a long time and get too hot. The first time I went to a show, it took me three hours to blow dry my RagaMuffin kitten. I then bought a forced air dryer. I have gone through a number of different brands. My latest one is the Flying Pig. I can dial the force of the air up or down while drying and it has a warm temperature setting that I can use or turn off. I also like my Chris Christensen dryer, but the model I have does not allow for warm air. It warms up as it is used, but starts out cold.
After drying, a nice comb out, adding a bit of an antistatic product if needed, and, voila, there is your beautiful show RagaMuffin.