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post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Gracie is a 3 yr old applehead. I adopted her 5 months ago from the animal rescue. She is declawed (not by me!). She was a bit bitey at first, but after hiding live electrical wires (her favorite thing to bite) and working with her not to bite me....we are pretty much past that. She'll give one bite, when I go out of town, otherwise she's pretty good now.

I have terrible allergies, so would like to be able to bathe her. Obviously, this would be easier to accomplish if she were a kitten, but is there any way to get her amenable to a bath every month or 2?
If so, how?

I'm a new cat owner.
post #2 of 10
Hi Gold,

Welcome to thecatsite. The best way to bathe a cat, is in a little bit of water, in a bucket either in the bathtub, or in the sink. Have towels cycling in the dryer while you are bathing, and have someone that can fetch these warm towels for you once you finish. You do not want to get her head or ears wet, and you work quickly, have treats at the ready to distract her. Make it a deep bucket, so she can stand up and cling to the sides, and if you do this in a bathtub, then put a towel down, so if she does jump out, she won't scare herself and slip on the surface.

Also talk to your vet or a groomer about the right shampoo to use for her, so you don't overdry her skin. Best of luck!
post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thank you Hissy. I guess my concern is that Gracie HATES water. I know that is normal for cats, but I am concerned about stressing her out too much.

So do you think it is still okay to bathe her?
post #4 of 10
I believe there are wipes you can buy specifically for sponge type baths, though I do not know what they are called, nor have I used them. Most cats hate water, it's instinctive, unless you own a breed that loves water like a Turkish Van.
post #5 of 10
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i can only share with my own experience:

This is my cleaning "equipment" -- these are stored in their kitty box:

- q-tips
- clipper
- grooming scissor
- very soft, kitty towels (i buy the hello kitty ones from sanrio's)
- brushes
- comb
- mini toothbrushes (kitty type)
- toothpaste (kitty type)

i feel it is convenient to put everything together. i carry this whenever i want to groom them. They get their teeth brushed about 2-3 times a week to avoid bad breath and other gum/teeth problems.

Also, they have a mini basin.

i clean their eye and nose discharges when i get up, and throughout the day whenever they are dirty, with a damp (warm water) soft small towel and damp (also warm water) q-tips.

At the end of the day, they give a wipe with the damp towel (moistened with warm water works for my kitties) around the mouth, neck and face areas. This way, they won't get zits around the underchin areas. Also, i think using porcelain/ceramic bowls instead of plastic bowls will deter zits from forming.

Once a week they get their baths.

In the beginning, Daisy was a tyrant! She was not used to baths at all when i first adopted her. It took time and patience to curb that.

What i do:

1. Brush her body to get rid of loose hair.
2. Clean the inside of her ears with moistened q-tips. Roll some cotton wool with your palm into a small ball that fits in her ear. (this way, she will not get water in her ear.)
3. Get ready her thick towel outside the bath tub/bath area.
4. Get ready a hair dryer and a brush for hair blowing (in another room?)
5. Bring her in the bath tub (please close the curtains/sliding door.) with you. (Be prepared to get wet sometimes)
6.Fill her basin with warm water, then use her towel to totally wet her entire body.
7.For outside kitties, the flea shampoo is available, i use the earthbath's natural pet shampoo -- the eucalyptus and peppermint shampoo smells really nice. Use a little shampoo at a time, with warm water, and lather gently.
8. Rinse VERY well with clean water, with the help of towel.
9. Squeeze gently all excess water from tail, body, etc.
10. Wrap with a hug and love with thick towel.
11. Bring them out of the bathroom to blow dry hair. By now, they should LOVE it!! Both my kitties stay very still, enjoying this session. i always pay attention to the heat level and move the hair dryer ALOT so that the heat concentration is not only at one area.
12. Remove cotton wool in ears.
13. Give a big treat! Sometimes, i play with them with interactive toys like a feather or slithering snake (their favorite)

i hope this is helpful.

post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thank you, Pohchoowon.

How old was Daisy when you started bathing her?
Although on this forum, I am listed as having a kitten, Gracie is an adult: she is 3. I just got her a few months ago from an animal rescue.

How do you rinse your cat? Doesn't the bathtub water spout running, freak the cat?

Gracie bites! So I am wondering how to handle that? I figure that bathing her will be a fight anyway, and how to avoid those teeth?

With my allergies, it would be helpful to rinse her twice a month. I struggle with how to live with her/bathe her without traumatizing her.
She is sweet, trusting, affectionate.

I sure do appreciate people's opinions, as Gracie is my first pet, so I am not cat savvy.
post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thank you everyone. Actually, a friend, who is a very experienced cat owner, offered to bathe Gracie.

I'm doing everything under the sun for my allergies: shots, pills,inhalers, air cleaner, and allergy wipes for her that are used once a week.

Can adult cats ever lose their fear of water?
post #8 of 10
You are most welcomed!

To answer your questions:

Qn: How old was Daisy when you started bathing her?

Ans.Daisy was born on 19th of June 2001. i adopted her last November, 2002. i started bathing her just afew weeks after. Daisy is considered a young adult (cat years X 7)

Qn: How do you rinse your cat? Doesn't the bathtub water spout running, freak the cat?

Ans. i use her mini basin for ALL cleaning work. Both kitties recognize the basin, n everyday they see it. In the evening, i will fill the basin with some warm water, and wipe their eye, nose, underchin, face a little.

So, i fill the mini basin with warm water. This can be bought from any store. i live in San Francisco, and there are a lot of small chinese stores selling cute basins. i think you can buy one of these from Target or something.

i don't let her "experience " the spouting water. She is at the other end of the tub. i will fill the basin with water, then, bring the basin to her. The soft cloth (i use hello kitty's) is already in the basin. i use the soft cloth, soaked in water, to rinse and wash her.

Yes, at first, she really got scared as she seldom takes baths. Later, she got used to it, and realizes that it is okay. Just be gentle and loving <3.. it helps.. she can feel it, and she knows mommy will do nothing to hurt her baby.. smiles!

Qn: Gracie bites! So I am wondering how to handle that? I figure that bathing her will be a fight anyway, and how to avoid those teeth?

Ans: You know something? Daisy also bit me in the beginning, but not the really bite bite type, just to show a little aggression. i ignored all that, and went on. After a while, she would stop. i would STRONGLY STRONGLY recommend NOT and NEVER hitting your kitty. Animals are so sensitive, they don't like to be hurt, and they like to trust you. Trust me, i have my share of getting bites and scratches, but i just ignore all that and let time overcome the hurdles. It might sound ridiculous, but kitties over time, should not hurt you if they love you.

Also, to get out their aggressions, it is good to play with them! i use the slithering snake to play with her. Also, i buy a lot of toys of different types for her to play. She likes the ones with bells and catnips as well. Also, i got a very tall penthouse/tree for her to jump up and down, and to let her have an avenue to hide away, if she so desires.

i let her be, and guess what, she comes to me alot!! BIG SMILES!!!

Yeah, i can imagine being nervous and anxious having a first pet. Prior to Daisy, i already fed and took care of the outside cats. Also, i grew up with animals, so, i got some experience from there.

Cats need a lot of loving, i feel. Just like any other pets, they need to know they can TRUST you. One way is just by BEING with them, stroking them, kissing them. i kiss my kitties on the eyes and face ALOT.. hehe!! (make sure your lips are not oily .. hehe!)

You know, i read that it is very therapeutic to stroke animals. In fact, at San Francisco SPCA, they even have volunteers with animals who go to hospitals to let the patients stroke them, for comfort sake.

This website is excellent and we can learn ALOT of stuff here!!

Cheers! Hugs and kisses for Gracie!!
post #9 of 10
If I do not have allergies and I use advantage on my cat, who does go outdoors, does she ever really need a bath? Is their self cleaning sufficient? Linda
post #10 of 10
i can only speak for myself...

There are areas that your kitties might need a helping hand - say eye and nose discharges, inside the ears, undercoat, etc.

Personally, i have two white indoor kitties.. so, i don't mind grooming and bathing/cleaning them.

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