Author Topic: How do you bathe a cat?  (Read 3320 times)

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Nora

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How do you bathe a cat?
« on: February 11, 2013, 05:15:00 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?
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stargazer

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Re: How do you bathe a cat?
« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2013, 05:17:29 PM »
You don't.  :)

Outdoor Girl

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Re: How do you bathe a cat?
« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2013, 05:20:07 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.
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MorgnsGrl

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Re: How do you bathe a cat?
« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2013, 05:23:13 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.

ITSJUSTME

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Re: How do you bathe a cat?
« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2013, 05:24:44 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.
« Last Edit: February 11, 2013, 05:26:23 PM by ITSJUSTME »

magicdomino

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Re: How do you bathe a cat?
« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2013, 05:25:14 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.

Arrynne

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Re: How do you bathe a cat?
« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2013, 05:28:53 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.

artk2002

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Re: How do you bathe a cat?
« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2013, 05:35:33 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.
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bow lines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. -Mark Twain

SiotehCat

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Re: How do you bathe a cat?
« Reply #8 on: February 11, 2013, 05:44:44 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.

magicdomino

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Re: How do you bathe a cat?
« Reply #9 on: February 11, 2013, 05:48:58 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. 

curly sue

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Re: How do you bathe a cat?
« Reply #10 on: February 11, 2013, 05:56:47 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.

Morticia

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Re: How do you bathe a cat?
« Reply #11 on: February 11, 2013, 06:42:20 PM »
We bathed ours in the kitchen sink on the 2 occasions he required it. Both times he clearly requested it.
Now our mom says she's changed her mind about the devil's brood, they may be evil so she thinks, but at least they're never rude...
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kitkatswing

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Re: How do you bathe a cat?
« Reply #12 on: February 11, 2013, 07:03:10 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?????

Morticia

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Re: How do you bathe a cat?
« Reply #13 on: February 11, 2013, 07:21:59 PM »
^ complete win.
Now our mom says she's changed her mind about the devil's brood, they may be evil so she thinks, but at least they're never rude...
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sevenday

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Re: How do you bathe a cat?
« Reply #14 on: February 11, 2013, 07:27:36 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.