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Washable cats?

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
Argh - hotmail ate my last message - so this will be a short and straight to the problem mail

Can I give my cats a shower?

Will they loathe me for it, and if yes, how long?



If I give them a shower, should I dry 'em with a towel afterwards, or will they take care of it themselves?
post #2 of 18
I dont see any reason to give a cat a bath, unless they're really dirty or have a flea problem or something.

They normally do a great job of grooming themselves!
post #3 of 18
Thread Starter 
One of the cats barfed on herself and needs cleaning ;-) And they both shed a lot of hair, and I was hoping a bath would help get rid of all the hair.

But still, can I wash them, and more importantly, will they fear me forever afterwards?

post #4 of 18
If your cat barfed on herself I think you may have a problem and should take her to the vet.

You can go ahead and bathe them but ya they might be mad at you

I believe there is a bathing thread in this forum with instructions.
post #5 of 18
post #6 of 18
Thread Starter 
We are taking the barfing cat to the wet come monday, but it was only (slightly large) furballs. Well, here goes a lot of crying (and swearing) a lil' shower never hurt anybody...right? ;-)
post #7 of 18
We bathe our cats when they need it. They shouldn't hate you afterwards if you are normally kind to them and they trust you.

The best advice I can give you is to go to your local PetSmart or PetCo and get the towelettes that are a bath alternative. They work really well.

Otherwise, prepare your bath tub:
*Lay a full-sized towel on the bath tub floor/surface

*Start the water so you have an inch or two of luke warm water

*Have a large plastic cup ready to use to get the cat wet

*Go get the cat

*Get in the tub with the cat and use cup to get cat wet from the neck back (never get their heads wet).

*Rub the shampoo in and quickly wash off with cups of bathtub water. (Don't turn the water on, or it'll REALLY scare the cat)

*Have a large towel ready to wrap your cat it

*Hold the cat, speaking calmly and sweetly until it calms down

*Follow cat with smaller towel after you let it down and try to sop up any excess water

*Turn heater on, it needs to be warm until cat is dry

Hope that helps
post #8 of 18
I hope you mean bathe and not shower! A shower will terrify them. If you haven't bathed a cat before, here is how I do it, and it really is the safest way:

Bathing a cat-
1.Trim claws, take off only the tip don't cut the quick

2. Throw some dry towels in the dryer to cycle on low and stay warm

3.Get a deep bucket, put warm water in it, just enough to cover the cat's rear end.

4. Place kitty inside the bucket (cat will grip the top of the bucket with front claws, let him) Scruff his neck (gently) and using your other hand, get him wet (not his head though)

5. Once he is wet, add shampoo and gently scrub.

6. Place him in the sink or the tub on a towel, dump the water and rinse him off.

7. Dry him with warm towels

I bathe all my cats this way (when I bathe them) and the bucket helps them to stay calm as well as retain the warmth of the water.

You want to put a towel down in the sink or bathtub because nothing scares a kitty more than losing his balance on a slippery surface.
post #9 of 18
I never knew about the towel under the water. My cat would always slip when I bathed her. She wouldn't really sit. She would basically give up and just lie there. If I gave her a chance she would run, but I never did. If I bathe her again, I'll put a towel down first.
post #10 of 18
I have bathed my cat three times in the past two months. Once he fell in the toilet the second time was after he came home from the Vet, and the third was after he got out. Why are you not supposed to get their heads wet?? I got my cats head wet all three times, I made sure I had Cotton in his ears so the water did not go in the ear canal. Is there another reason not to get them wet??
post #11 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the good advice :-) Since we dont have a tub I will use the bucket idea next time.
This time I managed to get them wet, which they hated, but they loved the towel afterwards, and both cats still slept in bed with me last night :-)

post #12 of 18
I've only had to give Tibby a bath once, but now I keep those cat wipes handy. Tibby has a habit of getting into things that she shouldn't, so when she sticks her paw or tail into something I just wipe it off. I also usually wipe both Tibby and Corkscrews whole body once a week to help remove some of the dander since I have really bad allergies.
post #13 of 18
I hope you mean bathe and not shower! A shower will terrify them.

we shower our cats.... *sigh... but we have a removable shower head and believe it or not they quite like it...
we've tried the alternative of putting them IN a sink... with warm water... I nearly had my eyes scratched out...

They're a pretty fun loving bunch though and after a while they're trying to play with the water coming out of the nozzle.... My cats are about as strange as me
post #14 of 18
I've bathed Donny 3 times now and he's 7 months old. The first time was right after we found him. He really reeked. The second time was when he was playing and misjudged the distance to the litter box when he was jumping over it. And the third time was to just keep the practice in. I used the sink all three times, but then he's a small kitten. He grabbed the faucet and played with the water and (I enlisted an assistant) we did the deed very quickly. Warm water and one soaping. I didn't even get near his head. Having a plastic glass nearby for dousing is a great idea. We got more water on Donny and were able to finish the process quicker when we used a cup.
He loved the rub down with the towel. Then he spent the next few hours rewashing himself.
He loves the shower and will join me when I am taking mine. He plays a game of chicken with the shower stream and generally loses. It's so funny to watch.

On my older cat I use the towelettes. She hates water. And when the vet bathes her he sedates her and cleans her teeth at the same time. She never adjusted to water. Bathing her is truly a martial art.
post #15 of 18
Bathing her is truly a martial art.

post #16 of 18
One of my students (I'm a college instructor) sent me an email titled "Cat Bathing as a Martial Art". I've kept the email for years. Every time I read it I laugh so hard I cry.

You can type in Cat Bathing as a Martial Art and find the essay by Bud Herron.
Or here is a link to it:
Anyone remotely thinking of bathing a cat should read this essay.
post #17 of 18
post #18 of 18
In place of a towel in the bottom of the water, try a rubber bath mat with suction cups. Sometimes the towel will rise to the surface and the cat can claw at it and get entangled. I find a rubber mat works great.

Some cats really like baths. For Rocky, I would fill the bathtub about 3 inches and put him in. He would lay down and roll in the water. Of course Rocky was one of the truely rare male cats that didn't groom himself, and a bath was the only way to clean him. We did this weekly.
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