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about bathing your cats

post #1 of 50
Thread Starter 
do any of you bathe your cats in the tub yourself, or do you take your cats to a grooming salon for cats ?

i find that after a month or so after they have been bathed, the smell gets to the point of them needing another bath. although cats do clean themselves, sometimes a real bath is needed, does anyone else bathe their cats ?

even though i keep the litter clean, sometimes, they just get so darn smelly anyway !

also, how do you bathe them, and what do you use ?

~ katie
post #2 of 50
Cats generally do not smell, I dont remember if yours are indoor/outdoor. Most people would say you really shouldnt bathe any animal. However, I do bathe mine because of an oil build up. The ones who go to shows get bathed more frequently. They usually get a bath every month or so. The others I give one every 6 months. I find the kitchen sink easier so I dont have to bend, but my hubby prefers the tub. It is always easier when it is a 2 person job. As for shampoo's, the best to use is a very gentle baby shampoo, or use the tear free kitten shampoo. If you bathe often, you should give them an omega 3 fatty acid suppliment to keep their skin from drying too badly..
post #3 of 50
Thread Starter 
well, they dont " generally " smell, no, but after a month or two, they can get smelly, remember, those little paws are stepping in and out of litter boxes ! or maybe i have a sensitive nose ?! all of mine are indoors, and they arent incredibly smelly, i just like to bathe them once in awhile to get them fresh smelling & soft. why do you think most people think you shouldnt bathe animals ? i cant see why it would be harmful, especially if you are using gentle shampoos and are only bathing once every few months.

~ katie
post #4 of 50

I bathe my Sphynx on a regular basis. Since he is considered "hairless" although he has a fine coat of down you can't really see, the oils stay on his skin and have nowhere to go. So he has to be bathed at least 2x month. The way I do it is, when I'm getting ready to show him, he and I get in the tub together, him facing away from me on a facecloth. It gives me more control over him. It goes by alot faster and he isn't clawing me.

Another trick I heard was to put the cat in a "lingerie" bag, the kind you wash pantyhose and delicates in. Zip it up with only his head out and wash him that way. It prevents the cat from clawing you and is easier to handle him. I've never tried it. But I heard it works.

Good luck.

PS I may try it soon as my Turkish Angora Wannabe is due for a bath soon (she is a little smelly from being sick).
post #5 of 50
Well out of the 11, only the persian seems to schlep through the litter box, but he needs a bath every 2 weeks anyhow. Most vets say bathing any animal too often causes really dry skin, which leads to itching, scratching and dandruf. Like I said, I just suppliment thier diet to avoid that. I love it when they are all sqeaky clean..
post #6 of 50
Wow... I am wondering if I am missing something? My little baby never smells bad, actually I think she smells pretty good. Like my apartment. I have never bathed her and hope to heck I will never have to. I could imagine she would tear me up!! She's a stubborn little rascle.
Just out of curiosity how do you pull off bathing a cat? Is it pretty simple for you?
post #7 of 50
Hi SWalker,

Try not to laugh, but I actually strip and get in the water with the cat. Having him with his back to me does give me more leverage and keeps me from getting scratched up (till I pick him up and wrap the towel around him, that is).
post #8 of 50
Well, like I said, I bathe the cats because they will feel oily to me after about 6 months.
How to bathe a cat...VERY carefuly...hehe. No, if you start them as kittens they usually tolerate it and are just pretty vocal about it. Sometimes 4 hands help
post #9 of 50
I bathe my cats every once in a while when they start to get a little smell. It's not actually a bad smell just different. Anyway, I bathe them in the kitchen sink. With Lianna and Wylie my husband has to hold them while I give the bath, but Cruella sits there calmy until I finish. I guess she figure the more cooperative she is the quicker it will be over. You shouldn't bathe to often because it can dry out their skin and hair. I use a shampoo/conditioner that my vet gave me. It was created by a vet and is designed to keep their skin and hair from getting dry and at the same time kills fleas immidiatly. Also, it's kitten safe. She gave it to me because when I found Wylie he was very sick and had fleas really bad. I would tell you the name of it but the last time the bottle fell in the sink and the label peeled off. Your vets might know the name.
post #10 of 50
There's an article about bathing your cat in this site. It is not based on my experience I don't bathe my cat cause they get too stressed over it.
post #11 of 50
I usually give my cat Sassy a bath once every few months. She is mostly a housecat but she does step out now and then when I hang out clothes. I have found the easiest way for me to give her a bath is to don a pair of shorts and t-shirt and just get in the tub with her. I have a few inches of bath water run beforehand with rinse water in the sink. Tiger doesn't like the sound of running water so I get everything ready before getting in with her. This seems to calm her considerably. I have tried it without getting in with her and had my arms clawed. We use a cup to pour water from the sink onto her shampooed body. My husband helps with this. I use a mild tearless shampoo as well. I haven't tried giving my new cat a bath yet. His previous owner hadn't bathed him either. Guess it will be an experience. Good luck.
post #12 of 50

Wow!! This has been very educational. I cannot believe how many people bathe their kitties. I still hope that I never have to, I can be a little scared of Lily. She sure can be a terror when she is not getting her way... hehe
post #13 of 50
Last night, I tried to bathe Fergus for ths first time. He had accidentally rolled in some non-toxic craft paint, but I did not want him to lick it off. I tried to place him in the bathtub with me, but I couldn't go through with it. I have never heard such anguished noises come out of this cat, even when he was near death from pneumonia, or when the vet took his temperature.

I ended uo giving him a sponge bath, and he was extremely cooperative for that. I don't think I'll ever try to place him in water again! I truly feared for my eyes!!!

post #14 of 50
A friend of mine who is allergic to cats and wanted two very much consulted his vet. The vet said bathing would not be harmful to the cats and since it is the dander that people are allergic to, the dander eventually stops due to regular bathing. Not sure if this is true or not, does anyone know?
The upside is I have two cats that have been bathed since birth and it is pretty hysterical giving them baths. The elder, Elwood, we cannot keep out of the bathtub. Everytime he hears the water, in he goes and you just better make sure there is room for him.
post #15 of 50
Bathing cat on a regular basis will not cure them of having dander. We as people have dander and bathing every day does not stop it. Bathing cats will reduce the amount of dander in the air and on the cat but will not cure them of shedding dead skin. Most people I have spoken to on this matter that will not give up the pleasure of owning a cat, go on allergy medication.
post #16 of 50
I just read this thread with extreme interest, but like swalker, I don't think I'd ever want to tackle the project. Joey might be ok, but I think Squirt would suffer permanent psychological damage. He doesn't even like getting his claws trimmed.

I also find that my cats smell sweet most of the time, and I often them so.
post #17 of 50
Can anyone give me some good advice on my Oreo - he's a really big cat, solid black and with a dandruff problem. What would be good to use to wash him with? I can get quite a bit off of him with grooming, but I don't have two hours everyday to comb him (he wouldn't mind, but I don't have it). Also, my female Mony seems not to mind water. She was sitting on my bathroom sink one day and I was rubbing her with wet hands. She got soaked and didn't bite, scratch or hiss. I did dry her off with a towel and she seemed to like it. That's the first time since I've had them that we did that. I should say in here that Oreo doesn't mind me "washing" his face in the morning (when your hands are wet after changing their water dishes).I just rub both hands up the sides of his face and he always stays near, so I guess he doesn't mind.

Thanks for the advice.
post #18 of 50
Well, if you and he dont mind the baths, it is okay to bathe with a kitten shampoo or an oatmeal base. The dandruff can be a combo of 2 things..the food and the dry skin. For the dandruff you can try a different food, or just suppliment the diet and add an omega 3 fatty acid, it should help the dandruff situation.
post #19 of 50
Thanks for the advice. I don't think it's their food - it's the same brand they were on when we took them in. I hate to sound stupid here, but what is an omega 3 fatty acid, where do I get it etc.? Another factor I thought about, might be the "dry heat" in my house that could be causing him to have dry flakes. I've tried to put water on the radiators to give us a little moisture in the air, but they try to drink it.

post #20 of 50
Well, with animals skin it is really hard to moist. We as people can put lotion on and such. With cats and dogs you have to go from the inside out. The reason I mentioned the food is because some have higher amounts of the fatty acids. If you dont like to switch diets on them, the best way to do it is to add the suppliment. You can find some of the products at a large pet store. They make several different kinds. You are looking for either cod liver oil or I would go with one that sais its an Omega 3 fatty acid. The brands I know that work are derm caps or 3v caps. 3v makes a liquid pump, but I am still looking to see if I can find an online provider. I get it through my vet. You can go to http://www.kvvet.com and they have the 3v caps,derm caps and the cod liver oil. If you use the 3v caps, they look just like a vitamin E capsule and you would just pop it and squirt it on the food. I would really give it a shot!! If you use it regularly for a few weeks, you will notice a wonderful difference.
post #21 of 50
Sandie, I'll start looking for the Omega 3. One more question: will it bother Mony? They have one of the side by side dishes and both eat from either side. Mony is a beautiful (to me) long haired (not sure what breed?) cat who does not like to be groomed (we do get the job done) but she has no dander that is showing.

Thanks for the other advice.

Happy Easter everyone in case I don't get back here before then!!
post #22 of 50
Oh no, matter of fact, you can give it to both of them. It is good for them anyway. The fatty acids also help with digestion of hairballs. I give it to all 11 of my cats at this point. Not only because it is dry all winter, but because I have 3 longhairs and 2 real shedders who tend to get hairballs. The 2 black cats have coats of silk now. They have been on it for 6 months. The one black one sometimes goes to cat shows and the judges always comment on how silky she is and that she has no white flakes. I just like the 3v brand beccause it also has additional vitamins.
Yes, I am sure we will have a wonderful Easter. We have a 6 year old, so the excitement is in the air. I hope you have a wonderful Easter as well.
post #23 of 50
I bathe Jake two times a week. He is an indoor cat but he like playing with the litter box. He makes such a big fuss when I bathe him. I don't think cats like water very much.
I talk to him softly, trying to calm him down. He is only two months old. I like to keep him nice and clean. I used to use a baby shampoo, but then I got a kitten shampoo from the Humane Society and his fur is nice smelling. I first bathe him in the bathroom sink. Then in the kitchen sink. He cries and protests loudly. After bathing him, I wrap him in a towel. After getting all the excess water out, I would use the hair dryer on low to dry him. Then I would groom him. One question; How do you go about clipping his nails? Especially with a kitten. Everytime I try to clip his nails, he would cry and struggle with me. My vet says to do a couple of nails at a time. But I have to do them all to avoid painful scratches. I used to use a regular nail clipper for people. But then I manage to purchase a cat clipper. Any help?
post #24 of 50
Well, as for bathing twice a week, you may want to cut back. I agree with bathing them but you are going to really dry the skin out. You are not giving the oils a chance to build up. They will get dandruf and possibly very itchy. If you HAVE to bath them you should really only do it once a month or less. Clipping of the nails is usually best if done by 2 people if possible. One can hold and the other clip. It takes a matter of seconds this way. You can use the regular people clippers while they are babies, they actually work better. Then when their nails are pretty large I would go to a pet nail trimmer.
post #25 of 50
Thread Starter 
my, this thread has grown! i'm so happy it has helped a lot
of you with your own questions, and thanks to everyone who
post #26 of 50
I bathed Satey a few times as a kiten, but I've never really had to bathe him. Sometimes just after stepping out of the litter box he smells a bit dusty, but he never smells bad. My sister batched him last year with some Melaluca animal shampoo to see if it would help with Dandruff (Satey has always had bad dandruff or flaky skin and it really shows in his black fur) but it didn't. Too bad they don't carry Head and Shoulders Feline....
post #27 of 50
For dandfuff and dry flakey skin in cats the only thing to take care of it is to suppliment their diets with some Derm caps or 3v caps. I have 3 black cats
post #28 of 50
Originally posted by Sandie
For dandfuff and dry flakey skin in cats the only thing to take care of it is to suppliment their diets with some Derm caps or 3v caps. I have 3 black cats
Sandie, did your blackies have dandruff/flakey skin too?
Satey has always had it. It's never bothered me. I did get worried once when I read flaking skin could be a fungal infection or signal other problems. But Satey's flaking isn't accompanied by itching or anything.

Speaking of, does anyone have anymore info on fungal skin infections in cats?
post #29 of 50
I never had a problem with the dandruff. I have always used the omega 3's. My one black cat has done very well in cat shows because she is so jet black and no white flecks. I would really try to suppliment the diet for about 6 weeks and see if it helps. If not, It may be a food allergy as well. I know quite a bit about fungal stuff. What are your specific questions?
post #30 of 50
My kitten seems to like baths. If I'm taking a bath (not a shower) she will meow and frantically claw at the door, then when I let her in she darts and hops into the bathtub. Then she's as happy as could be. She even tries to chase the water when it goes down the drain. I have a silly kitten
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