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Bathing: How often?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Simple question: How often should cats be bathed?

I heard it's not good to bath them in dry winter months because it could make their skin itchy. Is it just an old wives' tale? My girls never go outside.
post #2 of 14
Unless you are showing the cat, or have a problem like lice, fleas or other parasites, cats really shouldn't be bathed. Flea baths are not necessary anymore, thanks to products such as Top Line and Advantage. Most cats will bathe themselves, though there are some breeds that need help in that area. If you groom your cat daily with a flea comb and slicker brush, a bath is really not necessary. Especially for inside kitties.
post #3 of 14
I have allergies, so they both get bathed once a week, give or take. THe itchy skin in winter is because the air is dry, so their skin is dry. I've heard this can be counteracted by putting a little cod liver oil in their food.
There is no physical reason not to bathe cats. If you want to do it and your cats don't mind (or if you don't treasure the flesh on your hands), go ahead. Use kitty shampoo, and warm water, and have a draft-free place for Kitty to dry off after. And special treats!
post #4 of 14
Kitty shampoo is a must! Never ever use human products. Their skin is much more sensitive than ours, as it is protected by fur, plus it is a different pH.

I bathe Poppy once a week with a special shampoo because she has bad itchy dandruff.

Spidey, the kitten, I bathe every 3 weeks or so, for no real reason other than my boyfriend has mild allergies to cats.

Even though Poppy never got her first bathe until she was well into adulthood, she has had no problem getting bathed. I think it's because it makes her skin feel better, but she purs like crazy.

I've been bathing the kitten since I got him, and he doesn't mind. I put bath toys in with him to entertain him, since he gets bored easily.
post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 

We have a dirt floor basement, so even though they don't get outside, sometimes they get really dirty. (Especially if we get a lot of rain and get water in the cellar. Then it's a mud floor.) But I mostly wanted to make sure I wasn't neglecting them by not giving them baths often.
post #6 of 14
I bath my cats about once a month is water only, no soaps.
post #7 of 14
ever see that pet guy on martha stewart?? he says do not bathe you cat unless he gets really dirty. cats are very clean animals. come on! they spend half there life taking a bath. the other half sleeping! why put your cat through something he does all by himself.
post #8 of 14
I just got my first kitten about a week ago. I have had several dogs in the past and spent alot of time and money keeping them well groomed (I had 2 cocker spaniels with full skirts!). I have read pros and cons of bathing cats. I don't want to start something that not only may not be necessary, but from what I have read the cat truly does not enjoy.

My first impression is that if the cat smells, then I would give it a bath. I brush him daily since he came home with me and I've clipped his nails once already. The only "cleaning" I've had to do is once he accidentally stepped in something in the litter box so I cleaned off his paw. Other than that, he seems to do a great job on his own.

Any recommendations???
post #9 of 14
The only baths Fred has ever had have been when he accidentally fell into the bathtub with me twice. He is 13 years and the only skin problems he has ever had were cleared up immediately when treated with Advantage. I have never bathed any of my cats unless they had something they couldn't get off by themselves. Then I just took damp towels and got most of it. They always finished the job just fine on their own.
post #10 of 14
Originally posted by 7cozycats
ever see that pet guy on martha stewart?? he says do not bathe you cat unless he gets really dirty. cats are very clean animals. come on! they spend half there life taking a bath. the other half sleeping! why put your cat through something he does all by himself.
Well, some of us actually have reasons.

1 of my cats have severe skin problems. I bathe her in a special shampoo that makes her feel very good. She purrs throughout the bath and after. She cannot do that for herself.

And I bathe the other because we live with an allergic to cats human that I would like to keep.

My cats both enjoy their baths, they purr, they do not scratch, and they play with the bath toys. I don't think it's necessary for 'normal' situations, but it can be helpful for those with allergies, those that get especially dirty, cats with skin problems, and its the best non-toxic way to get rid of fleas (they drown).
post #11 of 14
From what I understand, if you start bathing your cat when it's little it won't have such an extreme reaction if you ever have to bathe it when it's older. Kittens adapt much better to changes than older cats, so it's better to get them accustomed to grooming things like baths, brushing and claw trims when they are little. Also, I would think if they are used to being handled like that (not just baths) it would be much easier if you ever have to give them medicine.

I don't know how old they should be before you give them a bath, though.
post #12 of 14
My little bengal girl gets bathed once a week or so. I give her a bath every week or so, or when its convenient. Shes 14 weeks or so now, and has been getting a weekly bath since about 10 weeks. The first bath scared her a little, but after a minute or two she relaxed quite a bit. Each successive bath has been better. She has never scratched or bitten me during a bath, and typically just wades around in the water and meows. After each bath she gets wrapped in a hot towel and given a small portion of tuna fish. She seems pretty happy with the entire series of events, especially the hot towel and tuna fish treats.
post #13 of 14
I bath my cats every 2 or 3 months.

It REALLY helps with everyones allergies here.

I have some other precautions that I used to help with those allergies too.
post #14 of 14
My older cat didn't start getting baths until she was around 3, but is no problem. I think she appreciates the way it helped her skin problems that were very itchy and painful.

My baby has gotten baths his whole life, and the only issue with him is he has a very short attention span, so I put toys like a rubber duck and things that float in the water and it helps a lot.
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