Etiquette Hell

A Civil World. Off-topic discussions on a variety of topics. Guests, register for forum membership to see all the boards. => Time For a Coffee Break! => Topic started by: Nora on February 11, 2013, 04:15:00 PM

Title: How do you bathe a cat?
Post by: Nora on February 11, 2013, 04:15:00 PM
I could probably explain about the untrained she-devil we live with, and her severe aversion to bathing/bathrooms/water/us near water, but I really just want to know how you keep your cat clean. Ours is a Norwegian forest cat, and the temper and haughtieness do not seem to mix well with water. What do you do with yours? And how many bandaids does it take?
Title: Re: How do you bathe a cat?
Post by: stargazer on February 11, 2013, 04:17:29 PM
You don't.  :)
Title: Re: How do you bathe a cat?
Post by: Outdoor Girl on February 11, 2013, 04:20:07 PM
I think it is a job for the professionals.  Just make sure all your shots are up to date - they get a little antsy if the cat hasn't had a rabies shot.
Title: Re: How do you bathe a cat?
Post by: MorgnsGrl on February 11, 2013, 04:23:13 PM
It really shouldn't be necessary to bathe a cat. If she has a particular area that requires attention (usually under the tail, especially with long haired cats!) you can buy "cat wipes" that are like baby wipes, they're moist and can help you get rid of any lingering yuckiness.
Title: Re: How do you bathe a cat?
Post by: ITSJUSTME on February 11, 2013, 04:24:44 PM
We have bathed cats when absolutely necessary.  We had one cat that would grab onto the rim of the tub and hold on for dear life, all the while yowling "NOOoooooooooooooooooooooOOOOOOOOOOOOooooooooooooOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It can be done but should probably be done by your vet or groomer.


eta quite seriously, you can wet a towel in hot water and wring it out and use it to wipe her down.  She may still not like it but . . .   Or just take a wet wash cloth, wrung out, to wash her face & ears and other special bits.
Title: Re: How do you bathe a cat?
Post by: magicdomino on February 11, 2013, 04:25:14 PM
The current short-haired furballs have to use their tongues.  I'll just have to live with the fact that they are covered with cat spit.   ;)

When I had a medium-haired Maine Coon type, I found a groomer who did cats, and took Klyde there when his coat got matted.  Unfortunately, it can be tricky to find a groomer who keeps the cats and dogs separated.  The last time I took Klyde in, not only was he not finished until 4:00, despite a 9:30 appointment, when I came to pick him up, they were washing blood off of his carrier.   :o  It seems that they had put his carrier behind the counter.  A dog with a scab on his nose had come over and sniffed, lost the scab, and proceeded to rub his bloody nose all over the carrier.  The people were apologetic, and Klyde didn't seem too upset once I was there to fuss over him, but I never took him back there. 

A friend of mine had a white cat that she regularly washed.  She started when Lucy was a kitten, though.
Title: Re: How do you bathe a cat?
Post by: Arrynne on February 11, 2013, 04:28:53 PM
Put on a suit of armor, hold cat tightly, moisten cat, rub with cat shampoo (baby shampoo works in a pinch), rinse.  Inspect yourself for any deep scratches and prepare to be glared at.

In reality, I don't bathe my cats unless they roll in something stinky. Mr. Mumbles doesn't wash his bum well, so I attack him with a baby wipe every few days.  You can also get a dry shampoo that you massage in and then brush out.
Title: Re: How do you bathe a cat?
Post by: artk2002 on February 11, 2013, 04:35:33 PM
Quote
Get some soap designed to do the job, draw a tub of water brought carefully up to cat-body temperature, a towel or two, iodine, sutures, gauze (a bottle of brandy wouldn't be amiss), and a pair of chain-mail gauntlets. You might also notify your next of kin, if you are the type that really plans ahead.

First, you catch your cat and put him in the tub. Then you lather up the cat, if you are still able to, followed by a rinse, if the cat is still able to.

Now you dry the cat ever so carefully to avoid any blood from dripping on the clean fur. After this, you can let the cat go and you could have a tot of that brandy. The cat will immediately find a good place to roll where he can get himself dirty from stem to stern, after which he will lick himself clean. This gets a cat's tongue very tired, and many won't purr for months.

-- Eric Gurney How To Live With a Calculating Cat

Seriously, though, why do you feel the need to bathe your cat? Unless there is some unusual circumstance, it should never be necessary. Cats are very good at keeping themselves clean.
Title: Re: How do you bathe a cat?
Post by: SiotehCat on February 11, 2013, 04:44:44 PM
I am a cat groomer.

Maybe its just because I have been doing this for so long, but I don't think its really all that difficult. Make sure the water is warm, but running gently. I like to make sure its on before I bring the cat in the room. The sound of it turning on when they are in the tub can scare them.

I don't think cat wipes or even the waterless shampoo gets cats as clean as a real bath. Most cats shouldn't require a real bath, but if they need one for whatever reason, I real bath is the way to go.

Its been a while since I bathed my own cats at home, but just keep everything within arms reach. I always keep one hand on the cats nape. I'm not actually scruffing them, but just having my hand back there gives me control and makes the cat feel like I am in control.

Or you could just take them to the groomer.

Ive only been bitten(by a cat) a handful of times, but the very first time it was by a NFC.
Title: Re: How do you bathe a cat?
Post by: magicdomino on February 11, 2013, 04:48:58 PM


Seriously, though, why do you feel the need to bathe your cat? Unless there is some unusual circumstance, it should never be necessary. Cats are very good at keeping themselves clean.

Norwegian Forest cats are long-haired, so my guess is that his butt isn't getting as clean as everyone would like.  I had to have Klyde's butt shaved on a regular basis.  Also, older cats sometimes have trouble bending enough to clean themselves back there. 
Title: Re: How do you bathe a cat?
Post by: curly sue on February 11, 2013, 04:56:47 PM
We have a Norwegian. His name is Burt and he is a holy terror. But he does let us bathe him. Our trick is this. My husband puts on some swim trunks and runs a nice warm bath. Then I bring the kitty in and put him in the tub with the husband. We also put a towel down at the bottom of the tub so it is not so slippery. He doesn't like it all but he does tolerate it. I think it really has to do with water temperature. Cats have a normal temperature of 103 or 104 degrees Fahrenheit. I think if you use lukewarm/cool water, the water is just too cool.

Or just take the kitty to the groomer.
Title: Re: How do you bathe a cat?
Post by: Morticia on February 11, 2013, 05:42:20 PM
We bathed ours in the kitchen sink on the 2 occasions he required it. Both times he clearly requested it.
Title: Re: How do you bathe a cat?
Post by: kitkatswing on February 11, 2013, 06:03:10 PM
1) First …. dress for the occasion. A 4-ply rubber wet suit is suggested, along with a helmet, face mask and welders gloves.

2) A Bathtub with a glass enclosure is preferred to the one with a shower curtain. A frenzied cat can shred one of these in about 3.5 seconds.

3) Have the Kitty Bubbles and towel in the enclosed bathtub area beforehand. No… blow drying the cat after the bath is not suggested.

4) Draw the water, making it a little warmer than needed as you still need to find the cat. Position everything strategically in the shower, so you can reach it even if you are face down or prone in the tub.

5) Find your cat. Use the element of surprise. Pick the cat up, nonchalantly as if you were simply carrying him/her to the supper dish. No need to worry about the cat noticing your strange attire, the cat barely notices you anyway.

6) Once you and the cat are inside the bathroom speed is essential. In one single liquid motion shut the door to the bathroom, step into the shower, close the sliding doors, and drop the cat into the water. While the cat is still in a state of shock locate the Kitty Bubbles and squirt whatever part of him is above the water line. You have just begun the wildest 45 seconds of your life. Remember that cats have no handles and add the fact that he now has soapy fur. His state of shock has worn off and he’s madder than hell.

7) As best, you can, wearing welder’s gloves, try to field his body as he
catapults through the air toward the ceiling. If possible, give another
squirt of Kitty Bubbles with his body now fully exposed.

During the 5 seconds you are able to hold onto him, rub vigorously. No need to worry about rinsing. As he slides down the glass enclosure into the tub, he will fall back into the water, rinsing himself in the process.

9) Only attempt the lather and rinse process about 3 times. The cat will
realize the lack of traction on the glass by then and will use the next
attempt on the first available part of you.

10) Next, the cat must be dried. No, this is NOT the easiest part. By this stage, you are worn out and the cat has just become semi-permanently affixed to your right leg. We suggest here that you drain the tub and in full view of your cat, reach for the bottle of Kitty Bubbles.

11) If you have done step 10 correctly, the cat will be off your leg and
hanging precariously from your helmet. Although this view of the cat is most disgusting, he will be in a much better position for wrapping the towel around him.

12) Be sure cat is firmly wrapped in towel before opening tub enclosure.
Open bathroom door …. put towel-wrapped cat on floor and step back
quickly. Into tub, if possible, and do not open enclosure until all you can
see is the shredded towel.

13) In about 2 hours …. it will be safe to exit the bathroom. Your cat
will be sitting out there somewhere looking like a small hedgehog while
plotting revenge. But doesn’t he smell better?????
Title: Re: How do you bathe a cat?
Post by: Morticia on February 11, 2013, 06:21:59 PM
^ complete win.
Title: Re: How do you bathe a cat?
Post by: sevenday on February 11, 2013, 06:27:36 PM
If it's a "cleanliness" issue, my suggestion is to take the cat to the V E T  and ask for a "sanitary shave." Some time back I bought a battery-powered mustache trimmer solely for that purpose.  My long-haired cat doesn't really like it, but she'll tolerate a quick trim job, though I also use it along her back to get some of the spots most prone to matting.  This does mean she has a little bit of a reverse mohawk down her back, but I think it's a fair tradeoff - no mats to bother her this way. 

Other suggestions include using a plastic storage type bin - not too big, not too small.  Put a towel on the bottom for traction, and run warm water slowly into the bin (have it running before you bring her into the bathroom) place cat in the bin with your  hand on her scruff, like mama cats do for kittens.  Having an assistant on hand to quickly bathe the cat really helps for this.  Wear clothes, despite the logic of "bathtub, water, don't wear clothes" why? Because claws, enough said. 

You could also try various acclimation techniques.  Bring cat into the bathroom with similar setup when you are NOT planning to bathe her.  Let her sniff around, freak out, etc, let her out.  Work up to actually putting her in the water. 
Title: Re: How do you bathe a cat?
Post by: blue2000 on February 11, 2013, 06:54:15 PM
If it's a "cleanliness" issue, my suggestion is to take the cat to the V E T  and ask for a "sanitary shave." Some time back I bought a battery-powered mustache trimmer solely for that purpose.  My long-haired cat doesn't really like it, but she'll tolerate a quick trim job, though I also use it along her back to get some of the spots most prone to matting.  This does mean she has a little bit of a reverse mohawk down her back, but I think it's a fair tradeoff - no mats to bother her this way. 

Other suggestions include using a plastic storage type bin - not too big, not too small.  Put a towel on the bottom for traction, and run warm water slowly into the bin (have it running before you bring her into the bathroom) place cat in the bin with your  hand on her scruff, like mama cats do for kittens.  Having an assistant on hand to quickly bathe the cat really helps for this.  Wear clothes, despite the logic of "bathtub, water, don't wear clothes" why? Because claws, enough said.


You could also try various acclimation techniques.  Bring cat into the bathroom with similar setup when you are NOT planning to bathe her.  Let her sniff around, freak out, etc, let her out.  Work up to actually putting her in the water. 

^^This was a friend's method for bathing a particularly large, determined cat.

My own large cat gets the 'too bad you don't have thumbs' treatment. I lock us both in the very tiny bathroom and start cleaning. He escapes my grip, stops by the door, and howls. I grab and scrub. He runs again. Repeat until one of us is too tired to move. Door opens, cat bolts, spends five minutes under the couch until he realises that Mama has snacks (his memory for torture is frequently thwarted by his tummy :P ).

I'd like to climb into the tub with him, but then I'd have a wet, shrieking kitty on my head, trying to avoid the water. I'm not too fond of that idea. :-\
Title: Re: How do you bathe a cat?
Post by: Bluenomi on February 11, 2013, 07:03:28 PM
I remember trying to give my flatmates cat a bath once (can't remember why now) and it was a nightmare. Somehow she got all her paws spread around the edge of the laundry tub and refused to go in. We did get her clean in the end but we both got scratched.

Current cat has never had a bath. She's an indoor cat so hopefully will never need one
Title: Re: How do you bathe a cat?
Post by: katycoo on February 11, 2013, 07:19:57 PM
i've had to give on of my very fluffy kitties a butt-bath when he wasn't well.  Its a 2 person job.  One to sit on edge of bath with kitty butt-out on back across knees and held down, one to wash and rinse butt.  Wrap kitty in towel when done, run away and allow kitty to free itself well out of arms reach.
Title: Re: How do you bathe a cat?
Post by: Outdoor Girl on February 11, 2013, 07:22:15 PM
kitkatswing, that was fantastic.  And oh, so true.

We had a cat that was a real hunter.  Mom had to bath him once when he ate something that didn't agree with him and he had scours.  He felt so rotten that he really didn't struggle much.  She washed him in the laundry sink - somewhat contained, high sides and she could stand instead of crouching over the tub.  She wrapped him up in a big beach towel, brought him upstairs and put him on the fireplace hearth (with the fire going).  He stayed there, basking in the warmth and licking his fur back into position.  Another time, he had a little encounter with a skunk.  I think that time he was pretty calm because the smell was grossing him out.

Me?  I'm taking my two to a professional, if they ever need it.  I have trouble even trimming their back claws.
Title: Re: How do you bathe a cat?
Post by: MinAvi on February 11, 2013, 07:50:18 PM
The firs thing I thought when reading the title was, very carefully!

The easy option:

1) Thoroughly clean the toilet.

2) Add the required amount of shampoo to the toilet water, and have both lids lifted.

3) Obtain the cat and soothe him while you carry him towards the bathroom.

4) In one smooth movement, put the cat in the toilet and close both lids (you may need to stand on the lid so that he cannot escape). CAUTION: Do not get any part of your body too close to the edge, as his paws will be reaching out for any purchase they can find. The cat will self-agitate and make ample suds. Never mind the noises that come from your toilet, the cat is actually enjoying this.

5) Flush the toilet three or four times. This provides a "powerwash" and "rinse" which I have found to be quite effective.

6) Have someone open the door to the outside and ensure that there are no people between the toilet and the outside door.

7)Stand behind the toilet as far as you can, and quickly lift both lids.

8) The now-clean cat will rocket out of the toilet, and run outside where he will dry himself.


I am just kidding of course!
Title: Re: How do you bathe a cat?
Post by: amandaelizabeth on February 11, 2013, 08:20:33 PM
There is absolutely no way I could persuade my DH aka the cat's father, to sit in the bath with only bathers on, and then give him the cat. 

I want to see a photo of this.
Title: Re: How do you bathe a cat?
Post by: megswsu on February 11, 2013, 08:53:46 PM
I've thoroughly enjoyed some of these responses!  ;D

To answer another poster's question, I've bathed my cats when they've started to smell a bit. And I don't think it was a "cleanliness" issues since it was all over, but whatever. However they're indoor only cats, so they rarely get bathed. I think it's been about 3 years since I last bathed them. I don't deal well with smelly/dirty cats; partly why I keep them indoors only. Ha

And to answer the OP's question, I get everything ready, get my cat, then get into the bathtub w/them (fully clothed), and then bathe them under the running water. Haven't had a problem, although they certainly do try to escape a time or two but I keep a firm grip. However my cats aren't psycho in there, so I'm able to bathe them myself. If either of them were like a couple of the cats we had growing up who *freaked* when we attempted to bathe them, I'd probably have a pro do it.  :)
Title: Re: How do you bathe a cat?
Post by: Amara on February 11, 2013, 09:14:45 PM
I'd require a full-body blood transfusion before any one of my cats ever got cleaned. :-X
Title: Re: How do you bathe a cat?
Post by: JoW on February 11, 2013, 09:30:34 PM
My first 2 cats arrived with fleas.  I had to give them several baths.  Lucky for me they were only 6 weeks old when they were kidnapped from their feral mother so they weren't big enough to do serious damage to me. 

I put a mat in the sink to provide traction.  Filled several clean empty milk jugs with warm water for rinsing, and filled the sink with warm water up to the kitten's belly.  Then added the kitten, poured water and flea shampoo over him, lathered, and had to hold him still for several minutes while the flea shampoo worked.  Finally I rinsed him with water from the milk jug.  Dry with a couple of old towels.  And repeated the whole thing with his brother.

One kitten did freak-out and bite my nuckle HARD.  Pierced the skin with his fangs.  But there was no long-term damage to me. 

After we finally got rid of the fleas they went years without getting another bath. 
Title: Re: How do you bathe a cat?
Post by: random numbers on February 11, 2013, 10:38:59 PM
I have a Maine Coon (23 lb) cat and first I say find a good groomer.  I can take him in and two hours later I have shaved, bathed, and trimmed again cat that only hates me til I get home.

Before I found them....

Comb cat. Mats only get worse when wet.

Put on old clothes. Bring cat into bathroom. Shut door. Using warm water, and gentle shampoo, bathe cat. A muzzle might be good idea.

Rinse cat. Avoid fangs.

Dry cat. Avoid fangs.

Leave cat in bathroom for minimum two hours. Let upset cat out. Mine only hated me for an hour or so after.

Comb cat next day.

I like the groomer better.
Title: Re: How do you bathe a cat?
Post by: delabela on February 11, 2013, 11:07:41 PM
These are cracking me up.  I have a very large cat who really could use a bath.  I think I'm going to find a groomer!
Title: Re: How do you bathe a cat?
Post by: redsfan on February 11, 2013, 11:23:39 PM
For Fatcat (the gentle, not quite bright one) I will put on old clothes and sit with him in the bathtub.  While he doesn't like it, he only gets jumpy when he hears the water being poured from the cup hitting the bath water.  Otherwise, he's such a lump it seems like he's happy to just be held, bathtub or not. 

For Littledude, well, I don't know.  I've tried every method I know.  I've also had some really deep scratches.  I have bathed him before, but I think that my brain has blocked that particular memory due to trauma. 
Title: Re: How do you bathe a cat?
Post by: lilfox on February 12, 2013, 12:23:30 AM
I've only bathed shorthairs, so it was relatively ... easy?  It's best as a two-person job, but can be done with just one if that one has confidence.   :)  Mine are reasonably tolerant of the process and don't keep grudges, luckily, and they only get baths when needed (extreme dustiness or slack hygiene).

My method - first trim the cat's claws.  Also, wear clothes of heavy fabric, jeans and the like.
Pre-fill two big pitchers with body-warm water and have a cup handy.  Get the shampoo bottle out too.  Put these at the end of the tub or floor next to the tub, somewhere within reach and easy to maneuver with only one hand.
Line the bathroom floor with towels and have one or two more to spare.
Get the cat and be sure to carry in such a way that when the cat figures out what's about to happen, she is not able to get traction off of you during the escape attempt.
As others mentioned, the smooth transition of cat into bathroom, door closed behind, and deposited into tub in one motion is key.
Side-saddle the tub edge if you can (or sit astride for better balance, but you're risking your calf and foot this way), keeping one hand on the cat's shoulder area, use the other hand to dip the cup and pour the water over the cat.

Note: At no point do I allow my cats any additional traction!  If they stay still, they won't slip.  If they start freaking out, without traction I can keep them contained while they skitter.  Same reason I use the regular tub instead of a smaller one, they can't hook a paw over the edge.

Anyway, a little less than one pitcher should suffice for wetting the cat down.  Now dribble shampoo and massage into cat (this part is usually okay, particularly if your cat likes attention!).  Use the remaining water to try to get as much lather off as possible.  Since you're probably racing the clock here, dispense with the cup and just try not to dump all the water on the cat at once.

Let the cat jump out (freedom!) but since the door is shut, she can't go anywhere and has to put up with at least some toweling off, just enough to stop her dripping everywhere.
Title: Re: How do you bathe a cat?
Post by: Amava on February 12, 2013, 12:37:41 AM
Maybe forbid the cat to get into the bath.
Knowing how contrary cats can be, that might work.  ;D
Title: Re: How do you bathe a cat?
Post by: StarFaerie on February 12, 2013, 01:08:10 AM
BF had a Maine Coon Cross who regularly peed on himself and needed a bath.

His bathing went....

Run bath.
Get into bath.
Cat also gets into bath as he wants to know everything you are doing.
Watch as cat slowly floats past. Occasionally nudge him in various directions.

It was hilarious. He had so much coat (double coat) that he just floated.
Imagine an enormous, orange, long haired cat floating lazily in a spa tub (without the bubbles on) not even bothering to swim even though he couldn't touch the bottom. It made me laugh every time.
Title: Re: How do you bathe a cat?
Post by: shadowfox79 on February 12, 2013, 05:21:17 AM
Only twice did I attempt to bath my dear departed Tigger.

The first time was after I drove him home from the emergency clinic - he threw up in the carrier, creating a little lake, and splashed around in it all the way home. The second time was after a drive back from the cattery post-holiday, when he covered himself in every bodily fluid he could unleash.

Both times DH held him over the bath and I washed him down with the shower head and some soap before wrapping him tightly in a towel to keep claws covered. He then didn't speak to us for two hours.

I've never tried it with Dash and Spot and don't plan to if I can help it.
Title: Re: How do you bathe a cat?
Post by: Nikko-chan on February 12, 2013, 05:37:35 AM
We always gave my Ginger girl an annual bath, even though she was an indoor cat. It a was a two person job. Mom would hold onto Ginger and I would lather her up while she stood in the tub. Literally, she stood up. And her front paws were on the back of the tub... and she would yowl, like we were killing her. She was declawed in front so we didn't have to worry about being clawed up, though i got bit once. I would talk to her calmly as we bathed her, and then wrap her in her towel, dry her off, and let her out. I hardly ever gave her yum yums because she bolted.

Once we got Mika, the arrangement was a little diffrent. We bathed the cats once a year on the same day. Ginger still yowled. This time it had a purpose. She was saying "BATH! NOOOOO! RUN MIKA RUN!" It... failed. Miserably. When wet Ginger went out of the bathroom, Mika still didn't get the hint, and after draining and replacing the water it was time for round two. This time I would hold kitty while mom watered and lathered. The reason I held kitty was because I knew how to properly pin her down without hurting her. We never got scratched this way. Though mom did freak out while I pinned  her down. "Don't! You'll drown her!" "Mom... she can't drown if her head is above water... now hurry up I can't hold her forever!"

Unlike her sister, Mika did get yum yums for her troubles. And she thoroughly enjoyed them, while looking at me with betrayed eyes. "Mama! How could you do this to meeeeeee!?"
Title: Re: How do you bathe a cat?
Post by: scotcat60 on February 12, 2013, 06:57:30 AM
Put cat in a pilow case so that oly the head is showing, put it in the bath. Soap and rinse it.

I saw this recommended in a book about cat care. It did not tell you how to get the cat into the pillow case, without sustaining critical injury to ones hands.
Title: Re: How do you bathe a cat?
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on February 12, 2013, 07:51:53 AM
^ complete win.

POD!!!  That is hilarious!!

We have a cat who will jump into the tub after you've gotten out, but if the water's turned on, she bolts.

I did have to bathe a cat once because in college we had a stray follow us and she was filthy as well as being a Maine Coon (or at least a mix of that breed and another) so she was rather fluffy.  One friend called her "Koosh Kitty" because she did resemble a koosh ball as fluffy as she was.

She took to it surprisingly well but given her state when we brought her in, she probably welcomed it.
Title: Re: How do you bathe a cat?
Post by: DaisyG on February 12, 2013, 08:11:31 AM
My mum's indoor cat got fleas a few times so we had to bathe her (no I don't know how she got fleas). She was a fat black short-haired cat who weighed around 6kg. She wasn't a cuddly kitty and at times could be quite vicious.

We would lure her into the bathroom, and lock her in with my brother, my mum and me. Brother would hold her down in the tub, mum would run the shower on her gently and I would massage the shampoo in and try to help it get out again. Then we would wrap her tightly in 2 towels and hold her there for a bit, massaging some of the water out. As soon as we let go of her and opened the door, she would bolt to her favourite place where she would sit and lick herself for the next couple of hours, giving anyone who approached her an evil stare.
Title: Re: How do you bathe a cat?
Post by: squeakers on February 12, 2013, 12:17:16 PM
We bathe the cats at least once a year, usually in the spring.  One cat gets dandruff, one cat sheds a ton and it just makes them all smell better.  We don't do anything special.  Warm to almost hot water with shampoo already in it.  Use a scruff hold so they can't bite you (none have ever tried but better safe than sorry.) Use the movable shower head to wet them thoroughly. Shampoo, rinse and bundle up in two or three towels (first gets sopping wet, second gets damp and the third actually dries them). We end up with a scratch or 2 usually caused by the cat trying to get out of the tub when the bath is over but before a towel was ready.

Bathing them also helps keep my DH from complaining near as much about being "allergic" to cats.  If he was allergic he'd be dead by now (4 cats.)
Title: Re: How do you bathe a cat?
Post by: lietya on February 12, 2013, 02:49:33 PM
I hit on this somewhat by accident, but I actually use the shower. I get in, wearing heavy jeans and flannel shirt (despite how icky all this feels when sodden), and hold the cat about chest height. The cat, confronted with falling water and no clear path to the floor or good idea of how far away that floor is, clings on to me instead of fleeing. :) I quickly put some shampoo on, rub what I can, and hold the cat up to the water to rinse. I leave the tub stopper in, too, so that there's some clean-ish water down there if she needs further rinsing; usually the change of attack method and venue will buy me at least one more good swishing at that point.

Granted, this works best with our large, mellow, complacent cat, who mostly just holds on and wonders when it'd be over, with occasional breaks for sneezing when water got in her eyes. The giant angry cat got a single rinse, as I recall, and then had to be chased around done "the hard way," by forcible restraint from two people in the tub.
Title: Re: How do you bathe a cat?
Post by: Snooks on February 12, 2013, 02:56:43 PM
The only time I've had to bathe a cat (he came in with oil on him and I was worried his sister would clean him up) I didn't dry him off properly and came home to a gigantic furball which told me exactly how he felt about that bath.
Title: Re: How do you bathe a cat?
Post by: Nora on February 12, 2013, 03:32:54 PM
Kitty is longhaired and cursed with a deeply suspicious and retaliatory mind. We fear and respect her. Most of the time she's spotless, but lately she has been traipsing through some truly aweful swamp grass (or whatever you call it) near our new house and now she's not so much fear- as gag-inducing. Some of you have advised to get a groomer to do it, but I'm in Norway and the only cat groomer I've ever seen has been on american sit coms.  :-\

It needs to be dealt with. This mexican standoff we're having in our house shall come to an end somehow. I'd just like the final battle scene to be the exact opposite of what you'd get from Tarantino, and that cat is the type to channel Lucy Liu; "You didn't think it was gonna be that easy, did you?" *scratches my face off*

I like my face. I didn't always, but I'm used to it now!
Title: Re: How do you bathe a cat?
Post by: blueyzca01 on February 12, 2013, 03:59:18 PM
Wow, I never realized how lucky we are with Ridley.

DH bathes her every month or so.  He just takes her in with him when he showers.  The first couple times, I heard the most pathetic wailing, but now, maybe one "meoooooow" then nothing.  He was only scratched up a little the very first time.

Eventually, DH yells, "Okay, Mom, you're up!"  I grab the big towel, wrap up the drowned rat wet cat, then towel rub mostly dry, followed by the hair dryer.  And she runs away from the hair dryer until she realizes that the light heat actually feels better than the cold air. 

Title: Re: How do you bathe a cat?
Post by: Slartibartfast on February 12, 2013, 05:02:00 PM
The firs thing I thought when reading the title was, very carefully!

The easy option:

1) Thoroughly clean the toilet.

2) Add the required amount of shampoo to the toilet water, and have both lids lifted.

3) Obtain the cat and soothe him while you carry him towards the bathroom.

4) In one smooth movement, put the cat in the toilet and close both lids (you may need to stand on the lid so that he cannot escape). CAUTION: Do not get any part of your body too close to the edge, as his paws will be reaching out for any purchase they can find. The cat will self-agitate and make ample suds. Never mind the noises that come from your toilet, the cat is actually enjoying this.

5) Flush the toilet three or four times. This provides a "powerwash" and "rinse" which I have found to be quite effective.

6) Have someone open the door to the outside and ensure that there are no people between the toilet and the outside door.

7)Stand behind the toilet as far as you can, and quickly lift both lids.

8) The now-clean cat will rocket out of the toilet, and run outside where he will dry himself.


I am just kidding of course!

I think "the cat will self-agitate" is probably the best part of this one - love it!

I've only bathed a cat once - a friend's cat escaped her apartment and got into the (unfinished) basement of the apartment building.  When my friend finally dragged his poor kitty out, it was covered in dirt and dust and spiderwebs and grime.  Luckily that cat was both small and timid - we just had to stick it under the spigot in the tub and it muttered at us until my friend got the cat wiped down as well as possible.
Title: Re: How do you bathe a cat?
Post by: beakiebean on February 12, 2013, 05:26:08 PM
We had to go through a series of baths with our cats a couple years ago because they got the dreaded fleas. I got pretty darn good at it-my general MO-get the cat in the bathroom, run the water (mine learned to hide when they heard the water-hence getting the cat first). Put something on the bottom of the tub so they have some traction. Hold the cats front paws firmly in one hand-firmly enough that they can't get them free. Lower them into the tub using the other hand to steer them in. Maintain the grip on the front paws at all times-never ever let hose front paws go-they'll eat you alive! Use the other hand to wet, soap, rinse, ect. Mine would buck and wiggle but as long as I kept their front paws under control we could get it done in short order without me getting scratched up.
Title: Re: How do you bathe a cat?
Post by: Julian on February 12, 2013, 05:51:05 PM
I've been lucky - the cats have accepted their baths, admittedly with very bad grace, without doing any dire injuries to any participants.  This is usually followed by a 'poor drowned kitty' performance, complete with tentative wet-ground steps, piteous howling and serious stink-eye.

I've always done them in the laundry tub - partly filled with warm water, a couple of full jugs on hand, shampoo ready to go.  They don't like it, but they generally stand still and only vocally complain while the bathing is underway.  I try to make it as quick and painless as possible (for all of us!) and only do it in warm weather if possible.  Wet cat, lather cat, rinse cat, wrap cat.  Then they can go and moan about me for the rest of the day.  Once they've finished drying themselves off and grooming, they get a serious brushing, which they seem to accept as a grovelling apology for putting Their Highnesses through such an appalling experience.

It generally works best if Kitty has been bathed from kittenhood, although dear lil Milly had an uncertain past, and never brought out the claws for me when bathed.  And your mileage may well vary if the cat is long-haired - mine are all short hairs (or predominantly short-hair mixes).
Title: Re: How do you bathe a cat?
Post by: curly sue on February 12, 2013, 05:53:38 PM
There is absolutely no way I could persuade my DH aka the cat's father, to sit in the bath with only bathers on, and then give him the cat. 

I want to see a photo of this.

Haha! After I posted I thought there is no way anyone will believe me. I guess we will have to give Burt a bath this weekend. poor kitty!
Title: Re: How do you bathe a cat?
Post by: Nikko-chan on February 12, 2013, 06:04:36 PM
I forgot to mention... Ginger was a long haired cat. My grandmother also had a longhaired cat named Gizmo.... he and she looked much the same after a bath....like drowned rats! They were no longer floofy. And Gizmo had this look on his face like "Nuuuuuu! My handsomeness! It is alll gone! What have you done?! I can't face the alleycats like this!"
Title: Re: How do you bathe a cat?
Post by: curly sue on February 12, 2013, 06:04:50 PM
BF had a Maine Coon Cross who regularly peed on himself and needed a bath.

His bathing went....

Run bath.
Get into bath.
Cat also gets into bath as he wants to know everything you are doing.
Watch as cat slowly floats past. Occasionally nudge him in various directions.

It was hilarious. He had so much coat (double coat) that he just floated.
Imagine an enormous, orange, long haired cat floating lazily in a spa tub (without the bubbles on) not even bothering to swim even though he couldn't touch the bottom. It made me laugh every time.
Ok, this is one of the funniest things I have ever read! Thanks for the laugh!
Title: Re: How do you bathe a cat?
Post by: Starchasm on February 12, 2013, 06:21:32 PM
I have two hairless cats (Sphynx) so I have to bathe them fairly regularly.  And they HATE IT.  I've started using kitten wipes every few days with one bath a month.  I fill the tub with about an inch or two of water then I close them one at a time in the bathroom.   I get two washcloths at the ready; one I soap and one I leave wet.  I figured out long ago that trying to keep the cat in the bathtub was a recipe for disaster. 

I take the soapy cloth first and scrub the cat down while they try to run away.  Sometimes I get stymied when they wedge themselves behind the toilet, but that usually doesn't last long.  Once they have been sufficiently soaped I put them in the tub and rinse them with the non-soapy washcloth as best as I can.  I rub them with the towel then let them flee.

The above should work with a hairy cat if you add the step of moistening them prior to using the soapy washcloth, I would imagine.
Title: Re: How do you bathe a cat?
Post by: Garden Goblin on February 12, 2013, 09:09:02 PM
Cat 1:

Fill tub about halfway

Throw cat's favorite toy into tub.

Wait for cat to get tired of playing.

Dry cat.

Cat 2:

Don't.

Dog:

Go outside

Turn on sprinkler

Wait until dog is clean

Turn off sprinkler

Try to ignore sad puppy eyes that make you feel like you are some sort of horrible monster for turning off the sprinkler

Try to dry dog before dog jumps on furniture

Do laundry.
Title: Re: How do you bathe a cat?
Post by: Bijou on February 12, 2013, 11:08:14 PM
You don't.  :)
Thanks for saying that.  I was mortified because it never occurred to me to bathe our cats and was feeling a little uncouth.  They always seem to keep themselves clean.  Now that I think about the cat saliva, though...... :o
Title: Re: How do you bathe a cat?
Post by: snowfire on February 13, 2013, 12:01:48 AM
Bathing them also helps keep my DH from complaining near as much about being "allergic" to cats.  If he was allergic he'd be dead by now (4 cats.)

Snerk!  My DH claims to be mildly allergic.  When we got married the rule was no cats in the bedroom ever.  Right now there is one cat at my feet, one on the headboard and one curled up between us.  The fourth cat just got in a snit and took off.

On the rare occasions when we do baths, it is a 2 person job.  I prefer to use the sink in the computer room, but at the moment it is full of stuff so it is the bathtub.  DH usually gets the cat holding job while I suds and rinse with the handheld shower.  Only one of the current crop has been bathed as an adult.  My Mom helped me with that one.  We had to suds her up with Dawn in the kitchen sink, she had gotten into some grease.  Mom is 85 and can't kneel at the tub, I can't now either.

I did have one Himalayan that I could give half baths to.  He would get the runs whenever he was given antibiotics so I would just hold him with his hind end over the tub edge and hose him down with the shower.  He didn't like licking all the wet fur, but it was better than the alternative.

StarFaerie, I would have loved to see giant floating kitty!
Title: Re: How do you bathe a cat?
Post by: Katana_Geldar on February 13, 2013, 12:58:24 AM
Poor Polly (died last year) once had to be bathed as she had this flea stuff on her back that we had to get off as she was eating it. I held her on top of the washing machine while my Mum cleaned her with a dap cloth. Then we towelled her as dry as we could then eft her to sort out her own grooming,
Title: Re: How do you bathe a cat?
Post by: HappilyInsane on February 13, 2013, 01:43:47 AM
We don't bathe ours unless something happens that they really need it, but I've found it's just easier to get in the shower and hold them across my chest as I step under the shower. I hand them off to hubby who is waiting with a big fluffy towel when I'm done.I've only ever had a couple of small scratches doing it that way, whereas trying to put them in a tub by themselves, I come out looking like I was attacked by a mountain lion.

We had one male cat that would "ask" for baths. He would sit on the toilet as I showered. After a week, he would move to the edge of the tub. If I still hadn't invited him in after a few more days, he would just climb in with me.

My cats are all shorthairs except the himalayan. He is currently in need of a good grooming and I'm checking in to a pro for this one. He is so matted on his belly and he does not allow you to touch him there. If he even thinks you are going to try to get a mat out, he turns into a tasmanian devil.
Title: Re: How do you bathe a cat?
Post by: Nikko-chan on February 13, 2013, 02:28:31 AM
Poor Polly (died last year) once had to be bathed as she had this flea stuff on her back that we had to get off as she was eating it. I held her on top of the washing machine while my Mum cleaned her with a dap cloth. Then we towelled her as dry as we could then eft her to sort out her own grooming,

This happened to my Mika once. We sprayed her with some flea spray that had tea tree oil in it. She was drooling and everything. I hauled her into the bathroom and scrubbed for all i was worth until I was sure it was gone!
Title: Re: How do you bathe a cat?
Post by: C0mputerGeek on February 14, 2013, 07:27:38 PM
My cousin has had to bath her cat. I have forgotten why, but it was not on a whim. The first time she was fully clothed and bathed the cat in the bathtub. She came out of the ordeal rather scratched and bloody. The cat was clean. The second time she stripped down and took the cat into the shower with her. The cat emerged clean and she was without any wounds. She attributes the difference to the lack of clothes. I say it's the shower and the fact that she got in there with the cat.

Both times the cat took revenge by shredding several items in her house. Personally, I would use a professional groomer.

Put cat in a pillow case so that only the head is showing, put it in the bath. Soap and rinse it.

I saw this recommended in a book about cat care. It did not tell you how to get the cat into the pillow case, without sustaining critical injury to ones hands.
Placing kitty treats inside the pillowcase, perhaps?
Title: Re: How do you bathe a cat?
Post by: squeakers on February 14, 2013, 09:48:54 PM
My cousin has had to bath her cat. I have forgotten why, but it was not on a whim. The first time she was fully clothed and bathed the cat in the bathtub. She came out of the ordeal rather scratched and bloody. The cat was clean. The second time she stripped down and took the cat into the shower with her. The cat emerged clean and she was without any wounds. She attributes the difference to the lack of clothes. I say it's the shower and the fact that she got in there with the cat.

Both times the cat took revenge by shredding several items in her house. Personally, I would use a professional groomer.

Put cat in a pillow case so that only the head is showing, put it in the bath. Soap and rinse it.

I saw this recommended in a book about cat care. It did not tell you how to get the cat into the pillow case, without sustaining critical injury to ones hands.
Placing kitty treats inside the pillowcase, perhaps?

Naw, same way you get them into a cat carrier: scruff hold with one hand and holding rear legs with other hand, lower into upended cat carrier.  Grab cat as it almost makes it into the next room. Re-scruff and re-grab and lower again into cat carrier.  Bandage fingers.  Retrieve cat from under the couch. Try head first.  Get more band-aids. Try again either way. Have someone else to slam lid shut. Spend trip to and from vet visit wondering how cat will get its revenge. (Never had any trouble getting them back in it at the vet's.. they _want_ to go home.) (Only 2 of them hate the carrier.. the other 2 will curl up and sleep in it like the dogs do in their kennel.)
Title: Re: How do you bathe a cat?
Post by: MurPl1 on February 14, 2013, 09:54:48 PM
We've washed all four of ours and each required something a little different.  One preferred a towel on the bottom of the sink, one hated that.  But we washed all of them periodically since they were kittens so that probably helps a ton.

We've also taken three of them to the groomers (the fourth turns into a lunatic outside the house).  And they all took that pretty well too.  Although it's become near impossible around here to find a groomer with the certificate to do cats. :(

DH and I have had the two long hair ones shaved - way hot here in the Dallas heat and they seem to enjoy having the extra hair gone for summer.  We've had them shaved at the groomers and DH is quite good at getting them shaved nicely.  I am not.  I tried to do the one cat while DH was gone for a week last summer.  I saw Squeeky for the three passes with the trimmer I managed before he bolted.  Finally saw him again 5 days later when DH came home.  He was NOT happy with me.  But boy did he look silly avoiding me with a reverse mohawk!  Ha!
Title: Re: How do you bathe a cat?
Post by: Sophia on February 14, 2013, 10:27:11 PM
For about the last year of OLK's life (Old Lady Kitty - she'd had another name before but well her name changed).  Anyway, I would literally trim her fur with nail scissors while petting her because her grooming wasn't up to her thick half-Persian fur.  She looked silly.  But, it was better than bathing her.  (for both of us)
Title: Re: How do you bathe a cat?
Post by: snowfire on February 14, 2013, 10:35:48 PM
(http://www.twolumps.net/comics/20080521.jpg)


There is a reason I just ordered a set of kitty muzzles.....
Title: Re: How do you bathe a cat?
Post by: blue2000 on February 15, 2013, 01:57:58 AM
My cousin has had to bath her cat. I have forgotten why, but it was not on a whim. The first time she was fully clothed and bathed the cat in the bathtub. She came out of the ordeal rather scratched and bloody. The cat was clean. The second time she stripped down and took the cat into the shower with her. The cat emerged clean and she was without any wounds. She attributes the difference to the lack of clothes. I say it's the shower and the fact that she got in there with the cat.

Both times the cat took revenge by shredding several items in her house. Personally, I would use a professional groomer.

Put cat in a pillow case so that only the head is showing, put it in the bath. Soap and rinse it.

I saw this recommended in a book about cat care. It did not tell you how to get the cat into the pillow case, without sustaining critical injury to ones hands.
Placing kitty treats inside the pillowcase, perhaps?

Naw, same way you get them into a cat carrier: scruff hold with one hand and holding rear legs with other hand, lower into upended cat carrier.  Grab cat as it almost makes it into the next room. Re-scruff and re-grab and lower again into cat carrier.  Bandage fingers.  Retrieve cat from under the couch. Try head first.  Get more band-aids. Try again either way. Have someone else to slam lid shut. Spend trip to and from vet visit wondering how cat will get its revenge. (Never had any trouble getting them back in it at the vet's.. they _want_ to go home.) (Only 2 of them hate the carrier.. the other 2 will curl up and sleep in it like the dogs do in their kennel.)

With my youngest cat it is - get carrier. Put door side up. Grab cat, shove in carrier butt-first. Slam door, lock securely. Watch cat scream, shake carrier violently and do a really awesome Tazmanian Devil impression.

Reverse is easy - unlock door. See cat for five seconds as he runs for the underside of the couch. Go get treats. Cat reverses direction and becomes your best friend.
Title: Re: How do you bathe a cat?
Post by: Nora on February 15, 2013, 04:57:01 AM
I took the plunge! Combined all the advice, and got in the glass-doored shower fully clothed with the cat. She was sceptical, but ok. I put her in the corned while the water warmed up, and then sprayed, shampooed and rinsed that little sucker off. No protests from kitty until the final rinsing when the just lost it and howled pathetically. I turned the water off, and got the first of 3 towels. She let me dry her properly, seemed just as fond of me as before (just barely), and huffed of to sit in front of the aquarium and lick herself.

She did not seem to mind all that much until the end, and though I usually despise reading too much into animal behavior I did get the feeling she understood I was helping her, not trying to torture her. Not a scratch on me, this went swell!

Title: Re: How do you bathe a cat?
Post by: RebeccainGA on February 15, 2013, 08:43:27 AM
So glad it went well, Nora!

My dear departed Mary Alice needed a few baths her last years - she was a very large, very long haired, very lazy and fairly lump like cat, and my DP, bless her heart, told me it would be easy. DP got into the shower, NAKED, and I just deposited the angry and confused cat in the tub and closed the shower doors. Horrible howls came out from behind the fogged doors, but no screams from the human, nor was there any (visible) blood on the doors. A few minutes later, DP told me I could get the cat - now appearing 1/3 her size, despondent, and still making pitiful yowls at steady 4 second intervals, she bolted from the tub when I opened the door, into my waiting towel, and then took what appeared to be a four hour bath once she was dry enough to let out of the towel.

DP was unscathed. They repeated this performance a half dozen times before kitty got too old and fragile to bathe and we had to go to warm washcloths only. DP never got so much as a scratch. I still think she's got some magic talent, and nerves of steel, to face that without even underpants. LOL
Title: Re: How do you bathe a cat?
Post by: MonteCristo on February 15, 2013, 09:42:44 AM
My kitties love to get in the shower with me, but I'm still terrified to try bathing them.  The only time one of them scratched me was when I pretended to drop him in the tub because he kept getting in the way when I was bathing my little brother...and I still have a scar.  They seem pretty clean, but I feel like they ought to get a proper bath now and again (they are two at this point, lol).  I'm going to look into having a professional groomer do them up proper.
Title: Re: How do you bathe a cat?
Post by: mechtilde on February 15, 2013, 11:54:44 AM
A hint for anyone bathing a Norwegian Forest cat- remember they are waterproof so just running water over them won't work if they actually need a wash. You will need some sort of shampoo, and to work it into the fur very well before rinsing thoroughly.

Dry shampoo is another option- rub 1 teaspoon of cornstarch rubbed into the shoulder area and combed through the coat will dry clean them quite efficiently, if you have a non-co-operative feline and don't want to lose an arm. If your cat is very dark they might look slightly grey, but it does work.
Title: Re: How do you bathe a cat?
Post by: finecabernet on February 15, 2013, 08:46:08 PM
No suggestions here, just recalling the time I tried to bathe my dear departed Maine Coon mix (of similar hairiness to the NFC). Her posterior was quite stinky (she wasn't well and had stopped bathing herself), and so I tried bathing her in my bathroom sink. I got some of the stinky off of her undercarriage, but it was with her trying her best to bite me every second. When we were finally done, she took her revenge on one of my shirts, and proceeded to hide under the bed for hours. I needed a huge drink of brandy afterward.

So yeah, I'd go to a groomer!