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Bath catastrophe.

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Ya know, my seven and 1/2 month old kitten has come a long way from being the constantly-biting, vicious lil snot he used to be when he was a few months younger, but there are still some things I just hate doing with/to him, simply because he's such a handful.

I gave him a bath once, when he was about...hm, three months old? Maybe a bit younger. He was pretty good about it, only screamed a little, and certainly NO biting.

Today, I gave him a bath, to try out this new shampoo, to see how it'll affect his coat for the Feb. show. It didn't go well. Not only did he howl the whole time, but he sunk his teeth into my arm (which I cleaned immediately after the bath and have recently bandaged up) and climbed my draperies around the tub, which I have never seen a cat do before. He finally calmed down after that (I guess he spent all his energy...and I turned the water flow down a bit) and I could bathe him properly (somewhat), but I'll never forget the crazy look in his eyes when he latched onto my arm with those sharp little teeth...

A bit of good news, though, for those of you who read about my nail-clipping catastrope; Stratus did much better with me clipping his nails today. He only pulled away twice, and that was only at the very end of all his toe nails; I'm very pleased. =D

It's weird, because he sits on the lip of the tub whenever I take a shower, and has even considered (it seems) to jump in with me...yet he has such a fit when I actually put him in the water.

What do you think? Should I just wipe him down with those cat wipes before the show, rather than risk another bite wound? Any tips to getting a cat to accept a bath better? Anyone else with a show cat who behaves this way in water?
post #2 of 14
For kitties who are especially rambunctious (former groomer here), I would take a firm grip on the scruff of the neck so they couldn't reach me with teeth or claws; then I would gently turn the water down, and start at the tail and wetted them; usually with the scruff hold they will settle down a bit quicker because they know they can't get away; that in itself, I think can terrify a cat...here you are 'holding' him in the sink, or tub, and he can still flip around and 'get away'...then you try to grab him again...Holding the scruff, or even tying them if you can, can help minimize injuries. Perhaps you could try one of those suction cup 'ties' for the sink, or tub...that may help keep him from flailing about so much, and you can wet him without having to encounter the claws...I recommend a hose attachment for your sink or tub as well, as I have never had a cat who 'enjoyed' being shoved under a faucet...I think it makes them feel further clausterphobic of the process!

Now that I am not grooming, my own cats have to be bathed in our tub; I will take a lead and clip it to their harness, and tie the lead to the faucet of the tub. Then I will simply hold the top of the harness...or, as with Ms. Martha Mae, the scruff. Then just go to work. I always start from the back end; and make sure to, of course, not get water in their ears or eyes, or up the nose!

Oh...and also, doing it more than every three months will be a HUGE help!!! My Brazil used to be a biter, and clawer in the tub, but with baths every week, or every other week since I have owned her, she doesn't even complain anymore...I won't say she 'enjoys' the process, but she no longer fusses about it.
post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 
Oh, I'm sorry! I meant to mention that I did have his scruff the whole time. I don't know if this is possible, but he seems much less vulnerable to the scruff-gripping than most any other cat I've had. I had his scruff (apparently not firmly enough) when he whipped around and latched onto my arm, and when he climbed the drapes. =/

I like the idea of a tie, but wouldn't that make him even more upset, at least in the beginning, because he couldn't get away? Not that that matters, I suppose, because either way, he's getting his bath once I start it, right? ;D I'll definately have to try tying him, AND using the hand-held hose...I simply didn't think of the hose this time, and when I finally did, it was out of reach, unless I wanted to haul the screaming cat up there to grab it. =/

Thanks for the great ideas!
post #4 of 14
How did you bathe him? If you had water in the bath try without or vice versa.

I don't put any water in the tub I just use a shower hose attachment, I find that easier than filling the tub and the cats don't mind. The only one who has anything to say is Farley - and that's when I'm bathing Ana He stands next to the bath and cries for her.
post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 
I didn't intentionally fill the tub (by "fill", I mean two inches of standing water", but the drain is slightly clogged (Mental Note: fix drain...).

Once again, thanks for the great idea! =D

Aww, what a sweet boy Farley is....<3
post #6 of 14
I don't show cats, but I have heard that sometimes it's the sound of the running water that scares them, so put the inch or 2 of water in the tub, and use a cup or scoop??? Good luck in the show! Sorry I don't know...what breed?
post #7 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by faith's_mom View Post
For kitties who are especially rambunctious (former groomer here), I would take a firm grip on the scruff of the neck so they couldn't reach me with teeth or claws; then I would gently turn the water down, and start at the tail and wetted them; usually with the scruff hold they will settle down a bit quicker because they know they can't get away; that in itself, I think can terrify a cat...here you are 'holding' him in the sink, or tub, and he can still flip around and 'get away'...then you try to grab him again...Holding the scruff, or even tying them if you can, can help minimize injuries. Perhaps you could try one of those suction cup 'ties' for the sink, or tub...that may help keep him from flailing about so much, and you can wet him without having to encounter the claws...I recommend a hose attachment for your sink or tub as well, as I have never had a cat who 'enjoyed' being shoved under a faucet...I think it makes them feel further clausterphobic of the process!

Now that I am not grooming, my own cats have to be bathed in our tub; I will take a lead and clip it to their harness, and tie the lead to the faucet of the tub. Then I will simply hold the top of the harness...or, as with Ms. Martha Mae, the scruff. Then just go to work. I always start from the back end; and make sure to, of course, not get water in their ears or eyes, or up the nose!

Oh...and also, doing it more than every three months will be a HUGE help!!! My Brazil used to be a biter, and clawer in the tub, but with baths every week, or every other week since I have owned her, she doesn't even complain anymore...I won't say she 'enjoys' the process, but she no longer fusses about it.
I agree with pretty much most of this. The thing I would stress the most is that (from what I have learned) if you are showing your cat, he should be bathed about once a week. Especially several months up to the show. Make sure you're using a rubber mat in the bottom of the tub or sink, so he doesn't slip and slide.

I'm showing Maxx in April and he gets bathed once a week. Luckily, he's a good boy in the tub. He just pretty much sits there while I shampoo and condition him. Jake was the same way. But they are (were in Jake's case) bathed a lot more frequently. Maxx gives me more of a problem when I have to blow dry him. Luckily, that is even manageable the more I do it! Good luck showing your kitty! And most of all, have fun!
post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 
I always was told that bathing more than once a month would dry out the skin? I live in CO, so it's pretty dry in my area, anyway, but wouldn't frequent baths like that make it worse? =o

I actually got Startus to let me partially blow dry him...I think if he hadn't fought so much in the tub, though, I wouldn't have been able to do so.
post #9 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by mzjazz2u View Post
The thing I would stress the most is that (from what I have learned) if you are showing your cat, he should be bathed about once a week. Especially several months up to the show.

True for LH cats (esp. Persians and Exotics) on the weekly baths. SH cats don't really need to be bathed all that often UNLESS the coat is seriously out of condition.
post #10 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katzyn View Post
I always was told that bathing more than once a month would dry out the skin? I live in CO, so it's pretty dry in my area, anyway, but wouldn't frequent baths like that make it worse? =o

I actually got Startus to let me partially blow dry him...I think if he hadn't fought so much in the tub, though, I wouldn't have been able to do so.
Depends on what your intention is. If you are grooming for show then it's a whole nother ball game!
post #11 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katzyn View Post
It's weird, because he sits on the lip of the tub whenever I take a shower, and has even considered (it seems) to jump in with me...yet he has such a fit when I actually put him in the water.
Trout is the same way and I can bet on it that she would bite and scratch if I ever tried giving her a bath I do not envy you.
post #12 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katzyn View Post
I always was told that bathing more than once a month would dry out the skin? I live in CO, so it's pretty dry in my area, anyway, but wouldn't frequent baths like that make it worse? =o

I actually got Startus to let me partially blow dry him...I think if he hadn't fought so much in the tub, though, I wouldn't have been able to do so.
It's pretty dry in Utah too. In fact it's REALLY dry! The thing about bathing is also conditioning at the same time. And also using a vinegar rinse to get out all the shampoo. Plus it helps with ph of fur/skin.

Even though a short haired show cat may need less bathing then a LH I'd say if you want to bathe, you'd have to do it more often then every few months. Abbymummy and GoldenKitty, how often do you bathe your short haired show cats?
post #13 of 14
I bathe by shorthairs once a month, when there's 2 shows in the month I just wash before the first one.
post #14 of 14
Show cats get bathed every month and at least 4 days before every show! But truth be told, if there was need for color enhancing then the cat would be bathed very carefully at least every 10 days of so.
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