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Cat Bath Queries

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
I am going to attempt to give George his first bath tonight with my boyfriend, and I was just looking for some seasoned veterans to give me some insight.

-What temperature should the water be?
-Places we should/shouldn't be washing?
-How often should we really be doing this for him?
-Anything else you guys can add???

Thanks so much!
post #2 of 15
I usually stick my Skye in about and inch and a half of water decently warm. Watch to keep water out of the ears. For the face and rear area I use a washcloth. I do the bath thing about once a month mostly cuz she likes to play in her poo. Also remember to talk to him in a soothing voice it'll keep him calm.
post #3 of 15
Hmm...Some tips (then I'll get to your questions):
1. Clip his nails pretty short before you bathe (to save your arms)
2. One of you should hold him- I've held front legs together and scruffed- while the other bathes.
3. Have everything at hand and clear off the immediate area so that he won't knock anything over and you won't have to reach really far to get anything.
4. If bathing in a room that is enclosed, close the door to prevent escapes.
5. Wash early in the day so he can dry out.
6. Only use a little shampoo and make sure you rinse all of it off...some folks use a vinager rinse to get rid of the excess after washing.

Now your Qs:

-I'd say pretty warm...their body temp is a little higher than ours so at least avoid anything that feels "cool" to you.
-If you're talking about locations to wash the cat in, then I wash in either the kitchen sink or bathtub...if you're talking about ON the cat, then I don't do the head.
-About once a month or once every other month...I do mine only when needed (when they start getting stinky).

Art
post #4 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your help everyone! George is a very tolerant cat, so he only tried to get out of the tub a few times. Eventually he gave up and sat down in the water! Only near the end did he start crying in his "let me out" voice.

In the end, he's all clean and fluffy again! I took some pictures of the poor little guy so I'll post them sometime.
post #5 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by artgecko View Post
Hmm...Some tips (then I'll get to your questions):
1. Clip his nails pretty short before you bathe (to save your arms)
2. One of you should hold him- I've held front legs together and scruffed- while the other bathes.
3. Have everything at hand and clear off the immediate area so that he won't knock anything over and you won't have to reach really far to get anything.
4. If bathing in a room that is enclosed, close the door to prevent escapes.
5. Wash early in the day so he can dry out.
6. Only use a little shampoo and make sure you rinse all of it off...some folks use a vinager rinse to get rid of the excess after washing.

Now your Qs:

-I'd say pretty warm...their body temp is a little higher than ours so at least avoid anything that feels "cool" to you.
-If you're talking about locations to wash the cat in, then I wash in either the kitchen sink or bathtub...if you're talking about ON the cat, then I don't do the head.
-About once a month or once every other month...I do mine only when needed (when they start getting stinky).

Art
exactly what I would say...the only other thing we do is we put a towel in the dryer just before the bath is over so we can wrap them up in something warm immediately. It's important not to let them get chilled. I only wash mine when they smell or get into something nasty.
post #6 of 15
I'm probably too late but I'll add my suggestions anyway, for future reference.

Use a rubber mat in the bottom of the sink or tub you're bathing in. Cats hate to skid and slip and feel out of control.

Do a final rinse with 2-3 tablespoons of white vinegar to 2-3 gallons of warm water. It not only helps to rinse out all the soap but also helps to restore pH.

The water should be fairly warm. It shouldn't scald your arm when you put it under the faucet. Your arm is a better indicator because our hands are pretty tough and used to hotter temps!

How often you bathe is totally up to you. If you are bathing because of allergies, you may want to do it more often. Such as once a week. If you're bathing because the cat doesn't groom themselves and they get stinky and dirty, you can bathe them whenever they need it. If your cat is long haired and you want to control shedding and matts then I'd suggest about every month. If you're bathing just because you think it's the right thing to do, then you probably don't need to bathe your cat. Hope that's not too confusing!

Oh and if your cat is long haired, then I suggest blow drying. Otherwise always keep your house very warm until the cat is totally dry. I would keep mine at around 80 degrees.
post #7 of 15
Temp - not too hot, but a little hotter then warm - water cools fast.

I wash Charlie in the bathtub - its a lot easier as they can stand in the shallow part instead of the deeper.

Here's my basics:

1. Fill tub about 2-3 inches in depth.
2. Clip cats nails (all) and clean out ears.
3. Take a washcloth and wipe around the face and head (no soap).
4. Have shampoo and conditioner ready.
5. Warm 2 towels in the dryer.
6. Place cat in water. Have one person hold the cat still and then start using a washcloth to wet the cat down to the skin from neck down. Flip the fur backwards so you get him all wet.

7. Use a little shampoo (either good quality cat shampoo or something like Pantane, Nexxus human shampoo) and start soaping the cat and rubbing it in. If you use peopel shampoo you will have to use a conditioner after washing out the shampoo.

8. I use a hand held shower head for rinsing - its works well. Drain the tub while rinsing the cat. After the shampoo is rinsed out, put a little conditioner on the coat (top, sides mainly). Then let it sit a minute or two and rinse that out.

Be sure to rinse ALL shampoo/conditioner out of the coat - then rinse once more. I use a vinegar rinse on Charlie that really gets out the shampoo - its 2-3 tablespoons of vinegar to on gallon of warm water.

Wring the cat out by squeezing as much water as you can from the coat (that's why you need 2 towels). Quickly wrap the cat in a warm towel and start rubbing dry. When the first towel is too wet, switch to the 2nd one.

If shorthair, you can smooth down the coat and put the cat in a room with no drafts to finish drying. If longhair you will need to comb and blow dry so the coat doesn't tangle. Also if longhair you need to comb all tangles/knots out of the coat before you put the cat in the water.


As far as how often, that depends. You can safely wash the cat every other month or a few times a year if you don't show. Charlie gets a bath before every show. Usually once a month, sometimes twice depending on when the shows are
post #8 of 15
Thread Starter 
Here's evidence of what happened when we gave George his bath. He did surprisingly well!


"What did I do to deserve this?"


"Oh well, I might as well play around while I'm here."


"Ah, this is the deep end! I'm getting outta here."


"Ooh, I see a way to escape!"


"Finally, it's all over! Let me out!"
post #9 of 15
What great photos! He looks like a pretty tolerant kitty.

My cat (Sphynx) gets a bath weekly due to her skin. The water is pretty warm, I have special cat shampoo, and afterwards she gets a heated towel to dry off while I clip nails and clean ears.
post #10 of 15
I bought some floaty toys (rubber duckies, etc.) and put them in when Riley gets his bath. It helps to distract him from the washing and he even swats them around some. You might try that for George
post #11 of 15
How in the heck are you washing him without him like being combing before and after?????
post #12 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenKitty45 View Post
How in the heck are you washing him without him like being combing before and after?????
He gets blow dryed and somewhat combed after, but it takes both of us, and we both end up with awful scratches and Riley stays mad for a long time. The problem with combing is actually why he doesn't get a full bath as often as he probably needs one.
post #13 of 15
Looks like you did a good job!

As a side note to anyone new to bathing... please don't use human shampoos unless checking with your vet first. Many ingredients that are fine for humans are toxic to cats.
post #14 of 15
Wow, this is some good info here. I've only ever bathed a cat once, and that did not turn out well. Now I find I'm going to have to do it again in a couple of days. I'm glad I searched the forums first! There isn't anyway to condense all this down into something nice and neat, and sticky it, is there?
post #15 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeamy View Post
Wow, this is some good info here. I've only ever bathed a cat once, and that did not turn out well. Now I find I'm going to have to do it again in a couple of days. I'm glad I searched the forums first! There isn't anyway to condense all this down into something nice and neat, and sticky it, is there?
I had a sticky at the top of the forum once upon a time but it got taken down and I have no idea why. I would love to do it again if the powers that be would like me to.
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