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My cats always take a bath after I pet them

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
I'm just wondering why they do this all the time.


post #2 of 6
Maybe they are trying to remove some of your scent. I read somewhere that the reason cats clean themselves after eating was to remove any food odors from their fur. This way, other predators can't hunt them by the food smell.

My Ivo also washes after I pet her, especially if she just washed that area, or if I have hand lotion on. Does your cat clean itself more if you've just put lotion on?
post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
Yes, she does take a bath whether I have petted her with hand lotion on or not. If I pet her lightly and for just a short period of time, she tends not to feel the need for a bath as much.

Your comment about food odors is very interesting and makes a lot of sense and it is also interesting your cat seems to have the same preoccupation with keeping herself/himself clean. I find this bath topic to be quite a fascinating behavior of cats. Even if my hands are totally clean she still seems obsessed with the possibility I may have contaminated her lovely fur coat. It is really quite amusing. She will spend twenty minutes bathing and start all over again if I cuddle with her for just five minutes.

I wonder if this behavior has something to do with the fact I keep my cat's environment very clean. I am constantly cleaning the house, cleaning her litter box and brushing her fur. Maybe she is simply taking after my own meticulous habbits! LoL!!

Thanks for your reply!

post #4 of 6
Just from my own experience, some cats are much more meticulous about cleaning themselves than others. It seems like my Ophelia is always cleaning herself, Trent not so often. Sounds like you have a very clean kitty like my girl.
post #5 of 6
Cats For Dummies, P. 138/9, Chapter 9, "Good Grooming:"

"Why Cats Groom:

...Scent-Marking: Grooming helps to distribute a cat's scent across his whole body, a phenonmenon very reassuring to this scent-oriented animal. Scent is so important that a cat often licks himself right after being petted, both to re-establish his own scent and to drink in yours.
...Parasite Control...
...Sociality: In a multicat household, especially one with littermates, you often see cats grooming each other. This behavior - which is also performed on beloved humans - is a way of reinforcing a cat's connection to his family.

...Changes in the condition of your cat's coat or grooming behavior may be a sign of illness..."


Our kitties completely groom themselves after the weekly bath (I'm allergic to cats, so they get bathed weekly). It takes them hours. But boy are they soft and shiny after the process!!!
post #6 of 6
They actually *despise* even ONE hair being out of place hense most folks recommending we NOT brush or pet them the WRONG way. Mine love it when I pet them but often will put their hairs back where they "go" and I'm ok with it I suppose, lol. Then they come over and try to put my hairs back where THEY go...if only they knew it was a LOST cause!!! LOL!!!

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