Bathing your kitty - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-05-2006, 05:01 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2005
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Bathing your kitty

I did a search on "bathing" but didn't really turn up anything specific as to what I was looking for.

Buster has been on the prowel here lately.

He got something all over him. I'm not sure what. It doesn't smell like another male cat urinated on him or even a skunk. Just stinks really bad. His fur is all matted up as well. I had to give him a second bath because I couldn't get all the stench off of him.

So I gave him a bath today in my bath tub using some of mom's puppy shampoo. He didn't like it but I know getting him wet is not going to hurt him. Just freaked him out a little bit. I held him by the back of his neck so he couldn't get away. He put up a fight initially but eventually gave up. I tried drying him off as best as possible because he didn't like the blow dryer.

If I do this in the future are there any cat bathing tips another could recommend? Any special shampoo I should use?

I think I'm going to get him fixed. It's not for lack of money but rather I wouldn't want someone casturating me. But then again animals tend to mate for procreation and not recreation like humans so since he would only be trying to mate twice a year, he probably wouldn't get depressed if I had him fixed.

He's aggrevating my two female cats even thought I had them fixed years ago. I suppose they still give off a scent.
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-05-2006, 08:18 PM
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For baths, I fill up the tub a couple inches and drop them in. I used a cat shampoo from Petsmart -- Miracle Coat or something. I just hold them in there putting my hand on their upper back, giving them breaks during the wash, and then I towel dry them as best as I can. I think the way you did it sounds okay -- I've also read that putting a towel on the floor of the tub is good so they have something to hold onto, but I always forget until AFTER the bath.
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-06-2006, 12:35 PM
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I would def get him fixed!

The towell thing works but it gets messy (soapy and all wet) so what I have heard works even better (tho I have yet to use it! ) is a piece of mesh screen. The water drains right thru and they still have something to hold onto.

And of course for humor if you haven't seen these...

1. Know that although the kitty cat has the advantage of quickness and lack of concern for human life, you have the advantage of strength. Capitalize on that advantage by selecting the battlefield. Don't try to bathe him in an open area where he can force you to chase him. Pick a very small bathroom. If your bathroom is more than four feet square, we recommend that you get in the tub with the cat and close the sliding-glass doors as if you were about to take a shower. (A simple shower curtain will not do. A berserk cat can shred a three-ply rubber shower curtain quicker than a politician can shift positions.)
2. Know that a cat has claws and will not hesitate to remove all the skin from your body. Your advantage here is that you are smart and know how to dress to protect yourself. We recommend canvas overalls tucked into high-top construction boots, a pair of steel-mesh gloves, an army helmet, a hockey face-mask, and a long-sleeved flak jacket.
3. Use the element of surprise. Pick up your cat nonchalantly, as if to simply carry him to his supper dish. (Cats will not usually notice your strange attire. They have little or no interest in fashion as a rule.)
4. Once you are inside the bathroom, speed is essential to survival. In a single liquid motion, shut the bathroom door, step into the tub enclosure, slide the glass door shut, dip the cat in the water and squirt him with shampoo. You have now begun one of the wildest 45 seconds of your life.
5. Cats have no handles. Add the fact that he now has soapy fur, and the problem is radically compounded. Do not expect to hold on to him for more than two or three seconds at a time. When you have him, however, you must remember to give him another squirt of shampoo and rub like crazy. He'll then spring free and fall back into the water, thereby rinsing himself off. (The national record for cats is three latherings, so don't expect too much.)
6. Next, the cat must be dried. Novice cat bathers always assume this part will be the most difficult, for humans generally are worn out at this point and the cat is just getting really determined. In fact, the drying is simple compared with what you have just been through. That's because by now the cat is semi-permanently affixed to your right leg.
7. You simply pop the drain plug with your foot, reach for your towel and wait. (Occasionally, however, the cat will end up clinging to the top of your army helmet. If this happens, the best thing you can do is to shake him loose and to encourage him toward your leg.) After all the water is drained from the tub, it is a simple matter to just reach down and dry the cat.
In a few days the cat will relax enough to be removed from your leg. He will usually have nothing to say for about three weeks and will spend a lot of time sitting with his back to you. He might even become psychoceramic and develop the fixed stare of a plaster figurine.
You will be tempted to assume he is angry. This isn't usually the case. As a rule he is simply plotting ways to get through your defenses and injure you for life the next time you decide to give him a bath. But at least now he smells a lot better.
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.
5. Flush the toilet three or four times. This provides a 'power wash 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.


The Dog
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-06-2006, 04:53 PM
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-06-2006, 10:26 PM
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Put a cat-sized nylon harness on him while you are bathing him.

There is nothing more slippery than a wet soapy cat trying to escape. The harness gives you a handle to control him without worrying about hurting him because you have to grip him so tight.

Makes bath time much less stressful for felines and humans.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-07-2006, 12:19 AM
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My cat does better in the shower than the bath tub. The bath tub seems to freak him out more for some reason. But he's weird anyway, he always jumps in the shower in the morning to drink the water when I'm getting ready to get in there. So I just trick him and when he gets in there, I close the door and then bathe him. And I always towel dry only. He's deathly afraid of the hair dryer... don't need to stress him out any more than he already is!
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-07-2006, 12:34 AM
Join Date: Jan 2005
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I just use a cat shampoo from a pet shop. Denzel's a shower boy not a bath boy. I know it sounds "odd" but I take him into the shower and hold onto him and he doesn't get scared at all and never scratches. I think being held close to me, he feels safer.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-07-2006, 12:15 PM Thread Starter
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At first Buster didn't know what to make of getting soaked. I held onto the back of his neck while bathing him so he wouldn't run away. At first he tried to jump out of the tub but eventually he just gave up. He never scratched me or anything.

Even after two baths and two times washing this area with a soapy rag I still can't seem to get that smell off of him. It starts at his chin and goes down his stomach. His fur was a matted up with whatever he came in contact with.

So I decided to shave some of his fur off with some electric clippers. But not down to the skin. Sounds like I'm putting him through allot but like most cats, they like to get up in your face when your laying down and I can't stand the smell.

I have no idea what he got into. It's not from a skunk or male cat urine. Smells like rotten meat, the best way I can describe it.

Any tips as to what I could use to get this smell off of him?
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-07-2006, 01:56 PM
Join Date: Mar 2006
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I say try some tomato sauce. Isn't that what they used on Elaine's hair in that one episode of Seinfeld when she couldn't get the stink from Jerry's car off of her?!
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-08-2006, 10:00 PM
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I bathe all of my cats. My girls I both got when they were kittens so I trained them into it. They handle it better than any dog I have ever bathed. It helps to introduce them to small amounts of water in the tub as kittens and NOT bath them straight away, but play with them in and around the water. Once they aren't bothered by it you can move onto putting them in it for a few minutes and finally to bathing.

As for my new boy cat, well, I figured he had never seen a bath so I took some very good advice. Put a cat halter on your cat BEFORE you bathe him/her. Clip his/her claws and fill the tub before you bring them in. The halter keeps you from pinching or possibly hurting them if they struggle, just hold onto the back of the halter where the leash usually clips on. It works so great and you avoid the risk of hurting your cat.

I usually fill it up the tub so it goes halfway up their legs, just below the belly. I use cat shampoo I get at a pet store. I have a big cup to pour the water over them. The halter will make a big difference on a cat that isn't used to this or you know will freak out. My new kitty took it VERY well. He didn't cry, or growl, or claw at me. He struggled some till he realized the halter wasn't about to let him go and then he just braced his legs and stood there. If you are afraid they still might get away from you, shorten a leash and attach it to the halter then tie it somewhere in the tub (soap holder, etc) so you can have your hands free if need be.

Don't worry about blow drying cause that may cause more trauma. Towel dry as best you can and let them do the rest. I wash them all over with shampoo except their faces. I use a little water on my hand to rub over their face and cover their ears to avoid getting any water in while rinsing their necks.

A cat dried after a bath is the most wonderful thing I think I have ever smelled!! It can make a huge difference, especially if they got themselves in a mess in their litter box, yuck! I don't bathe them more than once a month, usually every other month.

One of my girls:


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