What are the concerns of not thoroughly rinsing a cat’s coat?

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Many professional groomers insist that there is no reason to use shampoo of any kind when grooming a cat unless the animal is severely soiled. Even in cases of flea infestations, body temperature water will do the trick. Shampoos that purport to kill fleas don’t do anything about the eggs the parasites have left behind in bedding and upholstery, so using the shampoo could be exposing the animal to dangerous chemicals for no good reason. If shampoo of any kind is used, however, thorough rinsing is imperative.

Cats live in a world completely controlled by scent. They want to smell like who they are, because that is their self-image. The first thing a cat will do in the wake of a bath is start grooming himself. If shampoo residue is left in the coat, the cat will ingest it, running the risk of gastrointestinal distress or worse. If the shampoo is scented, the cat will be almost obsessive in its efforts to get rid of the alien smell. This is why it is not wise to use human shampoo on a cat. While the shampoo may not be toxic, it likely will be scented.

Additionally, any substance left in a cat’s fur will increase the chances of the hair tangling and becoming matted. This is especially true after a bath, since wet hair mats more easily. Never scrub at a cat’s coat to dry the animal. Use a blotting motion and, if the cat will allow it, gently comb out the hair to prevent tangling. By that stage of the game, however, most cats have had enough and it’s best to let them get dry on their own in a warm, quiet setting.

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