Owning a cat can be a great and joyful experience but when it comes to spraying them with a flea spray or anti-itch spray it can be quite a hassle. As a cat owner, I have had to spray my cats with numerous products over the years including ones that help stop skin irritations and fleas. If you own a cat and have to use a product such as anti-itch spray or flea spray, here are three tips for a successful application without getting clawed to pieces.
1. The first thing you want to do before you spray your cat with anything is to get all your supplies ready beforehand. This includes the spray you will be using, a comb or brush if needed and a towel if you prefer to put one down for your cat to stand on. What I always do is figure out which spray I need to use at that time and grab it up and place it in the waistband of my pants. This is kind of like a trick because I do not want my cats to see me with the spray bottle before I grab them up and administer the spray. The way my cats are, they will run and hide under the bed if they see a bottle in my hand or de-worming medication, so I have to be sneaky to prevent them from running away. I also prefer to have a small brush handy because some sprays require the product to be worked into the skin so that the cat cannot lick the product away.
2. After you have assembled all of your supplies including the spray, you should figure out where you are administering the spray and then grab your cat. I usually find that the kitchen or bathroom works best for administering spray products, simply because if it gets on the floor it can be easily mopped up instead of on carpet where it will likely stain. If I choose the bathroom then I have to grab both of my cats at the same time and carry them into the bathroom with me and then close the door behind me. It can be hard with two cats because if you only carry one cat then the other cat will know something is up and likely run away, which is exactly what my cats do all the time. You really should also be in a room with a door just in case your grip slips so that your cat cannot run under a bed which results in frustration and a lot more time being consumed trying to spray your cat.
3. I have figured out that I can usually spray my cats with anti-itch products or flea products without the help of another person, although this has not always been the case. When I first began using sprays on my cats I had to have my boyfriend helping me because I could not hold the cat and administer the products effectively at the same time. Over time however, I began finding a way that worked for me and my cats which has allowed me to hold the cat and spray without too much hassle. If this is your first time using a spray product I would recommend you do use another person that way one can hold the scruff of the neck and the other can spray the product and work it into the skin or fur if needed. People with wrist pain or other medical issues that result in a lack of grip might also want another person to help because it can be painful to your hands if your cat is heavy and tries to free himself from your grip.
4. Once you have grabbed your cat then you should hold them by the scruff of the neck and apply the product as directed. Some spray products require it to be between the shoulder blades, on the scruff of the neck or in certain spots so be sure to read the directions before you begin. With flea sprays, it will often tell you that the neck area and between the shoulder blades is the place where you should spray so you might have to adjust where you hold your cat while you apply the product. When I recently purchased an anti-itch hydrocortisone spray, it said to apply in the hot spots or areas of skin irritation, so I could hold my cat how I would normally by the scruff of the neck and then apply the spray so you really need to figure that out before you spray anything. Sprays also might have a certain distance you should be holding the bottle before you apply the product, such as six-inches away from the skin or fur. Make sure you follow all of these important directions pertaining to your specific spray because your cat could become injured or develop burns on the skin if application is not correct.
5. After applying the product you should either let it sit for a minute before you let your cat go or you should rub it in as directed. Some cat sprays will require you to lather it into the skin and other sprays will require it to absorb into the skin by itself. My experience with this has been that flea sprays and products similar to that will want the product to absorb naturally into the skin, which means you should hold onto your cat for a minute to allow this to happen. If you let go of your cat as soon as you apply the spray then they could just wiggle or run away and the spray might wind up on the floor or on your furniture instead. With anti-itch sprays the best solution is to manually rub the spray into the skin so that you can get it on the needed areas and not have to worry about it dripping off or absorbing into the fur at the wrong location.
6. Once you are sure that the spray product has been allowed to set long enough or has absorbed into the skin by manual rubbing, you can let your cat go and they will likely run away. I have found that if you have a couple of cat treats waiting for your cat by their food bowl or by the door you just shut, they will likely forget all about what you just did to them. Make sure to praise your cat during the spray and rub their face so they know you are satisfied. If you follow these tips you will become successful at spraying your cat and it will become less of a hassle.
Myself, Personal Experience