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Bathing a cat

post #1 of 58
Thread Starter 
So who does this for the sake of doing? I was just reading about Kai Bengals bathing his kitties for upcoming shows and how they all enjoyed it.

Stumpy LOVES water, so I reckon she might enjoy a bath possibly... I thought maybe I'd start with shallow water and put her in and see what she does.

What do you think? Is it silly to try when there's no specific reason to?
post #2 of 58
Well, it can't hurt for her to have a play in the water.

I wouldn't bother shampooing her or anything like that, but if she likes to play in the water then why not?

Just make sure to get pictures if you do
post #3 of 58
I don't try and bathe Baker, he just comes in the shower on his own

I've had to wash Mister & Spalding from time to time when dirty from walking outside and rolling around (harnessed) but I don't bother the others just for the sake of it.
post #4 of 58
You'll get opinions on both sides of the fence on this site. Some very opinionated, not that that's a bad thing. I say go for it. Anya gets a bath every couple of months, but she's never been the world's best groomer.

Just make sure that you have a good hold on her when ou go to try it and that if needed you can quickly scruff her to keep yourself from being mutilated by back claws in case she hates it.

Anya likes for me to warm the bathroom up with the wall heater first too. And its like bathing a baby, water not too hot or cold. Good luck!
post #5 of 58
I'll move this to Care and Grooming for you
post #6 of 58
I bathe my cats. One of them more regularly than normal since his coat gets greasy in places. They don't mind it too much and are pretty used to it. Just make sure you have a rubber mat down so they don't skid and use rinse water with a bit of white vinegar in it. A couple gallons of water to 2-3 Tablespoons of vinegar is fine.
post #7 of 58
IMO you should at least give them a bath as a kitten (if possible) or as an adult. It will not hurt to give an occasional bath - even if its only once or twice a year.

Show cats, of course, get washed all the time from kittens on and most are very easy to handle because of it. You never know when you might need to wash them and as they get older and can't do it very well themselves, the fact that they have been in a tub and washed before is very helpful.

Ling's gotten about 3 baths (one as a kitten, 2 as an adult) - she's not shown but she doesn't mind. Charlie loves playing in the tub and doesn't mind a bath too much

I think those that are against bathing are scared to even try it. I've never had a cat I could not give a bath (one way or another) as a kitten or adult
post #8 of 58
Sev needs a bath a lot but he comes in the shower with me and I use the sprayer on his coolie(Butt) mostly, this is about every 2 weeks or so. But I have given all my cats baths except Joey...don't even want to go there.
post #9 of 58
I never bathe my cats. It's too much hassle, and my cats are clean. I gave Ripley a bath when she was around a year old, and she scratched the daylights out of me, and it turned into a HORRIBLE wrestling match...she HOWLED, struggled, hissed...TERRIBLE!!!
post #10 of 58
i was thinking i might try stoli. neil's thread got me thinking. if people are ACTUALLY using human baby shampoo - I would think that Arbonne's all natural baby shampoo could work too.
post #11 of 58
Originally Posted by GoldenKitty45 View Post
I think those that are against bathing are scared to even try it. I've never had a cat I could not give a bath (one way or another) as a kitten or adult
I totally agree with you. I think many times, folks expect their cat to respond a certain way and the cat obliges. And Many people just need the right tools and learn how to do it. Everyone I've ever coached on bathing, that went ahead and did it, had a much more positive experience then they every thought they could have.
post #12 of 58
coach me coach me.
post #13 of 58
Well considering the last 15 mins was spent giving Charlie his show bath, I'll coach you

Shorthairs are a lot less work/time to bath then the longhairs. LH's have to be combed totally before getting wet, and after the bath you have to use a blow dryer and a comb till they dry.

So here's the basics for sh's. Two people works well if you are not used to bathing by yourself. One holds the cat, other soaps and rinses.

1. Depending on the size of your cat, use the kitchen sink or the bathroom tub. Put a rubber mat or towel in the bottom so it won't be slippery. Fill sink/tub with a few inches of water - 2-3 for most cats. Warm water a little on the warmer side so its not too cold but you don't want it too hot - more of a warm comfortable on your skin.

2. Clip ALL nails before putting the cat in the water Clean ears, eyes with a warm washcloth (no soap). You only want to wash the cat with soap from the neck down.

3. Gently put kitty in the water - most will try to get out when the feet touch the water, but only let them stand with 2 feet in the water - not totally out. I use a washcloth to get the cat water soaked - its easier and safer then using a cup. You need to get to the skin, so flip the fur backwards to get the water under the coat.

4. Use a little shampoo (remember you have to rinse all of it out) and put some down the back, sides, neck, legs and tail. Most times you might need a little more to get all the parts. Then rub the soap in as quick as you can.

5. After rinsing all the soap out you can use a little conditioner to go over the back and sides. Then rinse, rinse, and rinse again till there is no soap or conditioner in the coat. Squeeky clean.

Take the cat out of the water and squeeze most of the water out of the coat, legs, tail.

I warm 2 towels and have them on the side of the sink. Cats like the warmth of a towel when they are soaking wet. First towel will get pretty soaked while you are drying him off. Re-wrap in the 2nd towel and continue to dry as much as you can (or the cat will let you).

Then put kitty in a room with no drafts till he is totally dry. Most cats can be combed while drying - some have really short/tight coats and just hand smoothing every so often is enough.
post #14 of 58
oooo thanks i think i'll try it sometime when the outdoor temp isn't 5 degrees. it always seems colder in my house on those days. Anybody know anything on the arbonne stuff?
post #15 of 58
I've found this thread very interesting, and I've enjoyed reading all the replies.
I've never washed my cat, mainly because I've not really wanted all the hassle of doing so, but I think I should at least try it.
My question is: I don't clip my cat's claws, the vet does it is it is ever needed done. Is it ok not doing so, or is it necessary? Also, should I try to clip her nails, or should I leave it to the vet?
post #16 of 58
Here are the ingredients for the arbonne shampoo

Decyl glucoside, aloe and oat
post #17 of 58
YOU should learn how to clip nails as they really need to be checked and clipped about once a week. Its better to do it on a regular basis and it also will prevent the quick (the part that is red) from growing too long.

Its not that hard to do. Next time let the vet show you how to do it and maybe try it yourself in the office. IMO its a waste of money to have the vet do nails.

I've always done my cat's nails from 3 weeks old. I don't do our lab's nails as she is too hard to do. It sucks having to take her in only to cut nails.
post #18 of 58

What a topic...... At one time or another I have bathed most of my cats. Some are easy and some are hard.

I won't offer any more suggestions because it's all been said. Having your tools handy is the most important thing. Starting young is also a good thing.

One thing I might mention is this. You know how AFTER you bathe a dog how good they feel. Cats are the same way.. Mine enjoy laying in the sun afterwards grooming themselves for hrs and hrs.... Besides looking beautiful aftwards, they feel beautiful....... and it shows...

I don't recommend it all the time but it's nice if your animals learn about this from an early age...
post #19 of 58
I used to have to bathe Lucky's bottom(Ben takes care of that now) & I would fill the tub before the kitty knows what is going to happen. I bundle myself up so I don't get scratched.

I only used the blow dryer once. Poor Princess was pushed down the return vent by her brother and came out black. It took a lot of washing and dodging of the nails. We used the blow dryer on low since it was freezing out(Christmas day).

Good Luck!
post #20 of 58
Originally Posted by Renovia View Post
coach me coach me.
Okey dokey! I'll give you the tips I find most helpful but it appears many of them have already been said. I guess my response was not fast enough!

Have all your bathing supplies ready ahead of time. To include: towels, shampoo, washcloth, rubber mat for bottom of sink or tub, nail clippers and prepared rinse water (more detail about this below a bit further.) Turn the heat up before starting. I turn mine up to 80 degrees while I'm bathing one of my cats. I'm going to highlight the parts I think are most important by making the words red.

Prepare rinse water by running a couple gallons of warm water in a rubbermaid type tub (the size you put in a sink) and adding a couple tablespoons of white vinegar. Lay towels out on the counter or next to the tub. I use a sink because my back is bad so when I refer to the sink it could also mean bath tub if that is what you prefer. I really believe the smaller the "bath tub" the more secure the cat feels. Place the rubber mat in the bottom of the sink. This helps the cat remain secure and not skid around on the bottom. If your cat doesn't like running water then fill the sink with warm water to maybe about 4" or so. And then place the cat in the already ran water. Some cats just don't like the sound of running water and that's what scares them. Otherwise, you can use a sprayer or the faucet. When placing the cat in the sink, place your arm around the back of the cat while wrapping your hand around his chest. This also makes them feel more secure. Be firm but gentle. Don't let on to the cat that you're uptight (or try not to), speak gently and softly to him while looking in his eyes. Tell him it's ok and you have him. Take a measuring cup or pitcher and slowly pour water, wetting the cats coat thoroughly. Lather his fur up with shampoo and work in. Keep calm and keep talking to him. Use a washcloth that has been wetted with warm water only, or with the vinegar rinsing water (that's what I use) and gently wipe the cats face, neck and on top of the head. Be careful not to have the washcloth to soaking and keep water out of the ears. Let the water out of the sink, or turn the faucet off and rinse your cat using the pitcher (or measuring cup) to dip in the water/vinegar rinse and pour on the cat. AGain, be careful to keep water out of ears. Make slow, purposeful motions and keep the cup close to the fur/skin. You want to avoid just dumping it over the cat quickly. Take your kitty out of the sink and put him on the towels. I wrap Jake up tightly like a swaddling baby and he loves it. I swear it's one of his favorite things! I sit with him like this for awhile, holding him tight in my arms. Then I pull out his paws one at a time and clip his nails. Some people like to clip before bathing but it works well for Jake to do it after. Usually he'll let me know when he's ready to get down just by wiggling.

That is a basic bath. There are more details on my website. Purrfect Grooming!(I think I'm still allowed to say that. At least I asked a long time ago and was told I could)! If you can't find it, shoot me off a PM and I'll help you. There are other things to be said depending on your cats coat. Such as, if it is greasy or if it is long and you need to blow dry etc.
post #21 of 58
it sounds like such a bonding experience! I hope stoli will like it. . . .
post #22 of 58
After tonight's bit of fun, I have to say. It doesn't hurt to be able to bathe your cat
Sho has had many baths, unfortunately none where ever planned. From various poop accidents, sneaking out and rolling in the mud, to everyone's favorite... ringworm. I use a tearless puppy and kitten shampoo that leaves his fur very soft.

If you're using a bathtub I suggest you get someone to help, even if the cat doesn't struggle (much) leaning over the tub really kills the back. Two people washing and lifting the cat to help rinse the belly is alot quicker.
Also if the kitty likes being scratched you might be able to work the shampoo in quicker that way, at least on the back and shoulders.
post #23 of 58
Mine all get a bath every few months, and always before my family visits as they are allergic to cats and it generally helps cut down on the fur flying around also.

Mine are weird, Boomer will jump in the tub with you and play, but hates being bathed if you are not in the tub with him, so Matt has to kneel in the tub with him and wash him.

Bumps and Scully don't always enjoy it, but they just let you bathe them, Bumps even lifts up his paws and lets you wash properly under his pits etc.

Magnum is a terror in the bath, for all the wrong reasons. You HAVE to let him play with the bubbles like a little kid before he will allow you to rinse him, if you try rinsing / taking him out too soon he will growl and bite. When he is ready to be rinsed he will stop playing and sit patiently. So its a matter of sitting there waiting (he always gets done last for this reason).

Things mine will not tolerate is the sound of running water/shower if they are in the tub so we get a rubbermaid tub of rinse water ready before taking them into the bathroom.

They will not allow me to blow dry them, so I use lots of warm towels and snuggle them up like a baby in them.

Oh and I always talk to them while they are in the bath
post #24 of 58
I pray that I will never have to bathe Trout. It would NOT be a pretty picture.
post #25 of 58
I bath my kitties with a shampoo I get from the vets office.

I used to have to bathe my RB kitty once a week because he couldn't groom himself very well because of arthritis and he actually seemed to be okay with it.

As for the other three - Kuce gets a bath every two-four weeks because her coat gets oily real quickly. Luvbug gets one about the same amount of time because he loves to roll in the dirt. And Lil' Jag - Same as Kuce though she is a little monster. We're thinking of giving LJ a lion's cut for summer.
post #26 of 58
Near the end of last summer, Spook suddenly got fleas. So every week was bath time. My buddy at the pet store gave me special shampoo.

It was so much fun bathing her. She didn't enjoy it so much. She will hiss at the bath tub as you put her in it. She struggles a little bit, but just by keeping one hand on her back she sits in the water.

And she does not shut up! I wish I could record the noise she makes, because that alone is what made bathing her worthwhile.

Bathing your cat is and entertaining friday evening.
post #27 of 58
I would rather wrestle an alligator with my bare hands than try to give Dusty a bath! I just hope I never have to. She is a good groomer and smells sweet to me.
post #28 of 58
i give my cats a bath every month, every 6 weeks. My husband is allergic to fleas (anaphylaxis) and I just have to make sure we dont get any. Even though they are not outside cats, I won't risk it, we live downstairs.

Now all 4 of mine HATE bath time. I stack about 8 towels, 2 for each cat. I put one on the floor. Run the water. Get as many cats as I can in the bathroom because the minute they spot a wet cat, they all scramble and hide because they know they're next.
I use a cup. When Sephie was little, I used to bathe him in the sink and i probably still would IF i had a deep sink. I put some warm water, wet them really well, shampoo thoroughly and rinse a LOT because they will be grooming after. Then I lift him up put him on the towel i had on the floor and wrap another on on him and towel dry as much as I can. I either put them near the fire place or they go there to dry off (in winter).

You just have to make sure you are holding them well because they will try to get out and you could get a nasty scratch..not that they are trying to scratch you, just trying to get out but having only 2 feet in the water does help as far as control.

I always wind up with a wet shirt.....lol

my 2 cents.
post #29 of 58
Originally Posted by GoldenKitty45 View Post
I think those that are against bathing are scared to even try it.
Not scared, just see no need! I've never needed to bathe them as they keep themselves clean so am not going to do it for the sake of it.

I'm not against bathing per se if it's needed (for a show, to help with allergies, fleas, cat got dirty and not cleaning himself etc) but I don't see the point of doing it just for the sake of it, esp as most cats dont seem to be keen on the idea! I also dont particularly want my cats to smell of shampoo with all their natural scent washed away - I like them to smell of (clean) cat! A poster on another forum I use had a problem with her 2 cats when she bathed one of them and the other one hissed and growled at it - presumably it didn't recognise the scent of the newly washed kit.
post #30 of 58
I have been wanting to give my cat a bath. ive only had her for about 4 months. she was abandoned when my friends neighbor moved they didnt bring there cat with them soo i took it in. I was very lucky too even keep it cause my parents are really strict at first they said keep it in the garage only soo thats what i did and slowly they started too grow on it and slowly they started letting her in soo now its a indoor outdoor cat. the only thing i hate is when she goes outside she likes to roll in the dirt. when shes done she will come inside and be all dusty and shake all that dust off inside the house. So i was thinking of making her a permanent indoor cat but i want to give her a bath b4 that. any tips on how i should approach this??
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