How do I give my cat a bath? - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-16-2005, 09:40 AM Thread Starter
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How do I give my cat a bath?

Hi everyone! I haven't been here in quite a while - it's nice to be back.

I need to wash my cat Pfeffa's back end (long story involving the litter box), and am hoping to get some tips - what's the least stressful way to wash a cat? It was a breeze when she was tiny, but now, she's bigger and has the strongest front legs I've ever seen on a cat.

I have some thoughts, but would love to hear how more experienced cat-bathers handle the cat and get it all done quickly and pain-free. And, can I use a mild [human] soap or is cat soap necessary?

Please - any tips would be really appreciated - thank you!
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-16-2005, 02:16 PM
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It'd be better for her skin to use a shampoo made for cats. As for how to bathe her...

I bathe Scotty and Oscar in my tub...I let a couple if inches of warm water fill up and then I have a large bowl to pour water on them with. It's really your preference. As for keeping her calm, then only suggestion I have is to have at least ONE hand on her at all times (even if it's just on her back) and speak calmly to her.

One tip that works: Wear a long sleeved shirt, don't woryr about it getting wet, it will. But, it's a small price to keep your arms from being scratched badly. If it's a bit loose fitting on your arms, you'll be better off.

Good luck!!!
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-16-2005, 02:45 PM
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Today is actually bath day here.

My cats get baths in the tub too. The sound of running water makes them freak out, so I always fill the tub before bringing them into the bathroom. I use baby shampoo and it seems to work fine. It is much less harsh that regular people shampoo, which can dry out their skin.

I use pretty much the same method as Emrldsky. I have a large cup that I use to pour the water over them, then I lather with shampoo and rinse well. I can't agree more that you should always keep one hand on the cat at all times. I usually keep my hand on their chest. Its hard for them to grab hold of my arm or jump out that way.
I always have a towel to kneel on and a few others handy for drying.

Clip nails before the bath too, for your safety
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-16-2005, 03:21 PM
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Well I have two cats and I started their baths when they were kittens. First I would just fill about 2 inches of warm water and not bath them and just let them play. Eventually I moved the water volume up and now they take there baths with only some vocal complaints.

I do as Nell says and fill the water in the tub without them in the room. I usually fill it so it just comes up to their belly. That way they can't move around as fast. I use a cat shampoo and clean their entire body...very carefully around the head to avoid water in the ears.

The key with cat bathing is to start young, don't let them see you filling the tub and if they haven't been bathed before you should clip their claws for sure.

I just adopted a stray so bathing him is going to be a real chore and might be almost impossible if he really freaks.

Here is my girl getting her bath:

Good luck...


Nerina is offline  
post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-16-2005, 05:44 PM
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I agree with the others, that's the method I use. We have cat shampoo but baby shampoo is a fine substitute, we've used it many times in the past.

When washing them by myself I've used their harness as helps me control them more. If you do, make sure you don't choke them by accident. Have to hang it up to dry afterwards.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-16-2005, 06:25 PM
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I feel like my cat will freak out when I put her in the tub because she will feel like there is no way out. Maybe I need to gradually show her it's ok to be in the tub.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-16-2005, 07:07 PM
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Maybe I sound like a bit of a weirdo, but if I have to wash Denzel I take him into the shower. I've found that for him its less stressful than putting him into a tub of water. I hold him firmly close to my chest so he feels as safe comforted as possible. And I've come out of this with no scratches.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-16-2005, 07:57 PM
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Didn't have any suggestions for ya, but wanted to drop in for a

Oh wait, just remembered and found an old post of mine where I had to bathe Pixie. You can read all about the fun here: Bathing Socks
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-16-2005, 08:09 PM
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OMG.. [email protected]' story!!!
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-16-2005, 09:31 PM
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i only give 2 of my cats a bath, salem and minnie,

if i gave toulouse a bath....sadly....i wouldnt be here right now......

BUT anyways, i found the best way with me is to actually take on some kind of mother cat instincts, (belive me it works....u may think im crazy but it works...TRUST ME)

I hold them by the scruff on the back of their neck with my hand, dont squeeze to hard, and be soothing try talking to them, reassure them that u love them and its for their OWN GOOD!!!!( salem got into the trash once...holy cow thats a different story) But if u have ever seen a mother kat carry her kittens, the carry then with their mouth by the scruff of their neck and the DONT MOVE!!!!! thats the best part the only time they move is if u get to close to their face with the water, or to the edge of the tub (they try to climb out). the only thing they really do is howl, its depressing i know ,but they howl about it.

I hope i helped, and i hope i dont sound like and abuser!!! im not i just found its the best method for me and decided to share it.

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