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Do baths help allergies?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
I have allergies to cats, but I lurves em. Paige is already curious about water, and sticks her paws in.. I was wondering if I should start bathing her because 1- I suspect she might like it and 2- because I have allergies.. any suggestions/comments?
post #2 of 12
I know they make shampoos for allergy sufferers like yourself, but I think when I was at petco last night I only saw them in the doggie section. I don't know if the type of shampoo actually makes much of a difference either. I would have to imagine that bathing your cat would remove some amount of the dander that you are likely allergic to. I've been thinking about using one of those pet hair release powders on my carpet too which might help. Also, after doing a brief search on yahoo, the most commonly listed product is a HEPA Filter which you might already have.
post #3 of 12
Really unless you have a breed of cat that either needs baths, like Persians and Himmies, or breeds that love water- like Turkish Vans, baths are better left up to the cat. They are pretty adept at cleaning themselves. If you think she might like water, then put a few inches of water in your bathtub, get some ping pong balls and throw those in, and let her leap in and out playing with the ping pong balls (but then you have to clean up the mess). Investigate in taking meds over the counter for your allergies, but let her bathe herself using the means nature gave her, her tongue.
post #4 of 12
Baths really do help with allergies. And I'm a believer that just about any cat will get used to bathing if it is done right. I have a page on my personal website about bathing cats with tips. There are other products available that you might try first. At Petsmart or Petco there is a product for Allergies that you rub on the cat like once a week or something. It really worked for me when I first got my cats. Now I don't seem to have much problem with allergies and my cats anymore. Maybe because I bathe them or maybe my immune system has adjusted! Good luck!

A couple of my tips for bathing:

1. Place a rubber mat in the bottom of the sink so the kitty doesn't slide around. This scares them and is probably the biggest struggle with a bath!

2. Turn the water on before bringing kitty over to the sink.

3. Always finish the bath by rinsing kitty in a mixture of a couple of Tablespoons of Vinegar in 1-2 gallons of water. This restores the PH balance in their skin to prevent skin irritation.
post #5 of 12
My allergist gave me a pamphlet about minimizing allergies. In the pamphlet it says that bathing can help reduce dander, but you don't have to use shampoo - just a thorough wetting with warm water should do the trick. If you really want to use shampoo, use a very gentle one labeled for cats & kittens (dog shampoos often contain ingredients that are harmful to cats).

Or try one of the rub-ons that Mjazz suggested - they might help, and be easier than bathing.
post #6 of 12
how young would you start bathing a kitten? my kittens are a little over 3 months old and are half purebred himalayan 1/2 ??? and the shelter where i got them from said i could start with just running a damp cloth over their bodies daily or weekly - do you think that helps at all??
post #7 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by hissy
Really unless you have a breed of cat that either needs baths, like Persians and Himmies, or breeds that love water- like Turkish Vans, baths are better left up to the cat.
So what defines a breed of cat the "really needs baths?"
post #8 of 12
dz4, I think a damp cloth does help a little. At 3 months the kittens are old enough to bathe if you use just plain water or a shampoo made for kittens - you can ask the vet to recommend a safe one. Be sure to keep the kittens nice & warm until they're completely dry.

Mjazz has lots of experience bathing her persians, and I believe her website has even more instructions on how to bathe a cat - just follow the link in her signature & go to the grooming section.

If the cats are shorthaired and you're not allergic, they really don't need to be bathed at all - cats are very good at keeping themselves clean naturally. They can go their entire lives without ever needing a bath, unless they get into something that they need help cleaning off. The only problem for people with allergies to cats is that the same compound in their saliva that is such a great natural cleanser and deodorizer creates the dander that aggravates the allergic human. If I didn't have allergies, I would never bathe my cats (they're all shorthairs).
post #9 of 12
Well, I start my Scuffy giving a bath whe he was 2 months old (he will be 3 months old on Tuesday). I always give him a bath, every week, cause he is a turkish van, and he likes water. I use two bath towels, when he gets out of the bathroom and I change another dry towel when he get in his bed room, and I use hair dryer to dry him off.
post #10 of 12
Rather than a full bath, you could try Petkin Unscented Allergy-Relief KittyWipes. My mom uses them on her cat once a week all year round; I use them about once a week during the spring, when all of my allergies are bad. JC actually enjoys being wiped down with them, and I've found they help.
post #11 of 12
There is also a remedy called Petal Cleanse that you can spray on the cat if you are allergic to him.
http://www.bio-life.co.uk/
Also I would recommend to use the shower, not the bath tub when you bathe your cat. Some cats (most cats) do not like to stand in water with all four legs. A firm grip with one hand on the cat neck and the shower faucet in the other hand. First time just wet his back quickly, then give him lots of treats and attention.
Be aware that cats may love to play with water, but that does not necessarily mean that they wish to be soaked by you!
The water should be warm, as the cat's body temperature is higher that ours.
And you might consider trimming his claws before you bathe him!
post #12 of 12
Hi! My son and I are also allergic to cats. I just bought some stuff called Allerpet/C and it seems to be helping. It is safe for cats, kittens and small animals like mice,rabbits,ect. You just put some on a wash cloth and wipe them down with it once a week. Our kittens love the attention and don't mind it at all. Good luck!

Becki
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