or Connect
TheCatSite.com › Forums › Our Feline Companions › Cat Care & Grooming › Bath Question
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Bath Question

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quick question. I have two kitties that are a little over a year old. Is it true that you have to start bathing them when they are very young kittens? Or can I start bathing them now? I noticed good suggestions in the other thread about bathing a kitty (the idea of the soapy Dawn water in the bucket), and would try that. But I don't even want to attempt if I'm going to make them hide for hours, or anything.

Sunny is really sensitive to things, so it's more her that I'm worried about. Hobbes will literally forget within an hour afterward.
post #2 of 10
Well.. it's just kind of like this....

Comparing a 12 week old kittens claws to a one year old kittens claws (and indeed the teeth) there is a major difference. Also with cat surface area.

If you take Claws + Teeth+ Surface area and times it by one square inch every five seconds... you get TCBT or Total cat bathing Time.

The ratio of 12 week old kitten TCBT to 1 year old cat TCBT is astronomically different.... like... 1 to 100.

Which really I just typed to be mildly comical and waste space (because heck, this is my post, its late at night, and I am going to give my reasonable advice anyways)

Ok so that junk aside. People just obviously say to start bathing a cat when it is younger because it is easier to do. It is so much easier to bathe a little kitten then a strong, one year old cat. But just because you didnt do it when they were kittens doesnt mean you cant do it at all. On the contrary... just do it the way you would have if they were kittens. They'll get used to it just as if they had been bathed their whole lives. THe only difference is the amount of bleeding, hissing, scratching, biting, bathroom damage (torn wallpaper, scratches on tubs, stuff knocked off wall from cat jumping to get away)

OF course. That might not happen at all. Your cats might be just fine and sit there (violated looking, of course) but take it. My advice to you is either follow HIssy's bucket thing or do this: Just fill the tub or sink with about 3 inches of water. Keep cats attention (because they have never been in a bath, they wont suspect anything) grab the cat by the back of the neck and lower yourself down (dont go forward so cat is going backwards, just bend your knees down) and then lift the cat off of you and place it in the water (having a good hold on the neck and the base of the tail) Your cat may freak out and thrash about. Just hold the cat until it stays still (standing up of course, not under the water!!!!) and continue to hold the scruff of the neck while you pour water on the cat. Mine usually try to stand on their hind legs and put their front paws on the edge of the tub or on the wall. YOu should probably get someone to help you though.. someone to hold the cat so you can soap it up, or you hold the cat while they soap it up (and rinse it off) if you think you can manage with one hand, go ahead. Even if a cat does seem pretty calm though it could at any moment try to leap from the tub. The trick si just to hold the cat steady and in one place with your hand. Talking calmly to your cat helps too.

Thats basically what I did anyways when I gave my kitties their first baths. ELliot was about 7 months, and aerowyn was 8 weeks.
post #3 of 10
Oliver gets a monthly bath - bathing in itself is a personal preference for all owners... I didn't get Ollie til he was almost 3, but he was a stray, so no doubt he'd encountered water and rain... I originally started bathing him because he was staying with my parents for awhile and my mom is allergic so I need to keep the hair and dander down. I've also had much experience bathing ALL types of cats while working in the shelter and vet's office... When I bathe Oliver, I harness him and attach his leash to the little bar over the soap dish in the tub (just as a percaution, he's quite good about once he's wet, staying in the tub)... he likes to put his front paws on the side of the tub, which actually makes it easier for me to get his belly and "boy area"... I just use the shower head (it's the detachable kind with the hose, so it can get down into the tub) and spray him down... now, last time I bathed him, I got A LOT of hair off him and it ended up filling the drain trap and the tub started filling - Oliver didn't like that at all (it wasn't even that full, maybe a couple inches of water).... finding it difficult to keep him calm and rinse him in soapy water, I was soon (not to be graphic) strippin down and holding my kitty like a baby under the shower stream - now, Oliver is a very well behaved kitty and doesnt mind his baths, so I was able to do the holding him under the shower thing....

If you want to bath your kitties on any kind of regular basis (monthly, yearly, whatever) I'd suggest starting it young - they're not as strong and smaller, so they're easier to control and keep hold of... just go slow and stay calm - if you're nervous, they will be too.... they may end up liking the bathtub... Ollie plays in mine several times a day - he likes my rubber duckies!
post #4 of 10
I think the only way to find out how your kitty will react is to try it. You just have to make sure you give him a full bath and don't let his frightened state deter you because sometimes they start off scared but then end up like, "hey, this isn't so bad." That's what my cat used to do.

I give my cat a bath once a week and he got to the point where he'll jump in the tub, but even then he'll try to get out when he starts getting wet, but he doesn't hate it. Afterwards he's so sweet and cute.

Good luck. Even if your cat is scared afterwards and hides, it's only a one-time thing because then you'd know not to do it again. She'd probably come out if you offered her treats!
post #5 of 10
I haven't tried bathing Tolly yet - this could be quite an experience as he's much stronger than Lily.

But with Lily, I mix up the kitten shampoo in warm water first and rub it into her fur. She's usually sitting on daughter's knee for this. The bath already has a couple of inches of warm water in it.

When she's all shampooed up, I sit her in bath. Daughter pours jugs of warm water over her while I massage the shampoo until her fur's clear of it. I wouldn't say she loves it, but she's not all teeth and claws either.

Afterwards she's delivered straight into a pre-warmed towel and wrapped up. There she gets massaged until she's dry and placed near the fire. She seems to really enoy that bit!!!
post #6 of 10
You can work up to it slowly, starting with washcloths soaked in warm water. Then I graduated to a pan of soapy water and a pan of warm rinse water in the tub, and a dipping cup. Now I just spray 'em with the hand-held shower nozzle!!

Either way, you just want to be sure you don't get water in their ears. I tried the trick of putting cotton balls in there, but that didn't work because one quick shake of the head and they went flying off in two different directions. So now I just bend the pinnae forward and hold them there and shielded with one hand whenever I'm working close to the head.
post #7 of 10
I bathe my cats in the kitchen sink. It's easier on my back and the smaller area of the sink makes them feel more secure. It is best to start when they are kitten's but it's never too late. I have rescued a few Persian's that were adults and not used to bathing and been sucessful bathing them. I have a whole page on my website dedicated to bathing cats and tips. One of the best tips is to use a rubber maid mat on the bottom of the sink. One of the things the cats are most frightened by, is skidding (losing footing) in a slippery sink or tub. I don't recommend using only Dawn dishwashing liquid. It's pretty harsh to use alone. I use dawn and follow with a regular cat shampoo. Then a rinse with a couple tablespoons vinegar to a couple gallons of warm water will restore the ph balance of the skin. Sounds like a lot but really it goes quickly.
post #8 of 10
Originally Posted by mzjazz2u
Then a rinse with a couple tablespoons vinegar to a couple gallons of warm water will restore the ph balance of the skin.
That's a great suggestions....thanks!! I'm going to try it next time. It reminds me of a very long time ago....a girl I dated in college had such wonderful-smelling hair. I asked her about it and she said she rinsed her hair with vinegar!! Can't wait to try it on my cats.....
post #9 of 10
we have two kitties, too, one of them a year old and one of them only two months old. we started sid (the older one) one baths when he was almost six months old- honestly, cuz i just forgot that i was supposed to bathe him ^_^- and when i started, he must have thought i was punishing him. bathing him was a HUGE struggle and not a pleasant experience for either of us. we gave zoe her first bath today, and of course that meant we had to wash sid, too. but we tried a different approach today- we took the kitties, one at a time, of course, into the shower with us. zoe went first and it was extrememly easy. i let her walk around the tub for a minute to explore and get wet on her own, then scooped her up, curled her again me like i normally do when i hold her,and lathered, scrubbed, and rinsed her with my free hand. she mewled a bit, but not too much. she was very good for her first time.

sid was another story.

i had to have jim (my husband) hold sid against his chest while i wet, washed, and rinsed sid. sid struggled a lot more, cuz he's been wet before and absolutely hates it. but even with all his 'oh dear god, they're killing me! someone help me!' screaming, it was infinitely easier than any other time i've ever washed him. he took of like a shot when we let him out of the shower, but didn't fight when we came to find him and wrap him up in his towel. indeed, when we finished our own shower, both kitties were happy to be wrapped up, held, and loved on. (we also gave them both a ham cube once they stopped shivering.) and while sid still looked at us a few times tonight like 'ohhhhhhhhh i hate you people', he's still snuggled with us as he usually does. (zoe, for the record, didn't run and hide at all. she curled right up on my lap and fell asleep once she was dry.) we dedcided immediately this afternoon that sid would never see a soapy sink ever again. we didn't even get scratched up. and we have two clean, shiny, sweet-smelling kitties to show for it.
post #10 of 10
I'm too chicken to bathe my own cats. I take them to a professional groomer. Purdy gets nervous and regularly poops in the tub when she does it. Sheba doesn't like it, but survives, though she often gets car sick on the way there or on the way home. (It is about a ten mile drive.)

But then there is the experience with Red Cat. He is about nine years old and has been bathed three times. (He was an outdoor cat with his first two owners, and I'm sure he was never bathed in his first three years.) The first two times the vet had an assistant who would bathe cats. They had to tranquilize him both times. The last time I took him to a professional groomer, who said she'd give it a try. I thought she was probably more experienced than the young assistant at the vet's office. Well, experience didn't matter with a fifteen-pound cat that turned tiger! He went totally ballistic, scratched the groomer, and she told me never to bring him back. (She told me he was too fat for her to get a decent hold of his neck.)

I'm somewhat allergic to cats, and though Sheba and Purdy seem to produce more allergens than RC, I'd really prefer to get him bathed once a year anyway. I may take him to the groomer I am using for the other two now, though. They (a husband and wife team) said they have only had one cat that they have been unable to handle. They wear old leather coats as protection when bathing an unruly cat and use a harness set-up with double leash for more control. But with the necessity of doing all that, I can definitely see why we hear the recommendation to start bathing a cat while it is young!
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Cat Care & Grooming
TheCatSite.com › Forums › Our Feline Companions › Cat Care & Grooming › Bath Question