Can a cat be bathed? - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 29 (permalink) Old 03-04-2011, 10:42 PM Thread Starter
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Can a cat be bathed?

Prince is white and his fur is not as beautiful as it could be after a nice shampoo... Especially since he's an outdoor cat, long-haired and so huge that the poor thing couldn't possibly go over his whole body every day, though he washes a lot.

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post #2 of 29 (permalink) Old 03-04-2011, 10:53 PM
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Of course! I recommend clipping his nails first. And if you don't know how he'll act maybe have someone help. Also try to keep him inside until he is totally dry to avoid him picking up excess dirt etc right away.
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post #3 of 29 (permalink) Old 03-04-2011, 11:11 PM
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Cats can be bathed, but you have to use a soap made specifically for cats or a small amount of dawn dish soap. You have to be very careful to rinse all the soap out because the cat can get sick if they lick it out of their fur, and then you need to keep the cat warm while it dries. If I have to give my cats a bath, I like to put a few towels in the dryer to dry my cats afterwards. Never wash the cats head because you might get water in their ears; instead, you can wipe their face with a damp washcloth or papertowel. Most cats dislike being bathed, so you shouldn't do it often (maybe a couple times a year). Another alternative would be to buy pet wipes that will soak up any excess dander/oils they have in their fur; cats tend to find those much more agreeable
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post #4 of 29 (permalink) Old 03-04-2011, 11:23 PM
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I think a better question is are you patient and courageous enough to bathe a cat
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post #5 of 29 (permalink) Old 03-04-2011, 11:27 PM
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About the only time you should bathe a cat, is if it got into something icky like lots of mud, oil, or some other grime that they can't get out themselves.
With a long haired kitty like Prince, it might be best to get a CAT shampoo with a bit of conditioner in it, just so it's easier to brush out tangles.

With a long haired kitty, it's best to brush them a lot... once a day would be preferable (some cats LOVE it) or at least once a week (if he's like Paizly and hates it), just to make sure it doesn't get all matted up. If it gets too matted, you'd have to end up shaving him! Mats aren't just annoying...depending on how bad they get, they can actually end up hurting (for the outter hairs pulling in with the inner mess), leaving chunks of skin exposed, and other various issues.

I agree with the Dawn. Since they use it on wildlife in oil spills, it should be safe for kitty... in small amounts (probably only a few drops), and rinsed out completely!
And the warm towels fresh from the dryer, too! While I doubt he'd actually get hypothermia from a bath (especially if you use very warm water), it still isn't pleasant to get chilly from being wet too long.
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post #6 of 29 (permalink) Old 03-05-2011, 07:59 AM
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I agree with the prior posters, but I particularly second Nicole's suggestion about having someone to help. Prince is not used to baths and, if you try it yourself, he could wriggle away once he's wet and you'll be chasing a soaking wet cat all over the place. I'd also close the door to whatever room you're bathing him in (assuming there is a door), just in case he does wriggle free and tries to get away.
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post #7 of 29 (permalink) Old 03-05-2011, 03:04 PM
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I really don't think cats should be bathed in the winter unless it's absolutely necessary if you live in a cold climate, especially if they go outdoors. The natural oils in the coat give the cat protection from wetness and cold.

The most important thing to remember with bathing cats is that they have a higher body temp than we do (normal being 100.5F to 102.5F and may be higher if cat is excited). Bathing should be done in a room where it is warm (75F+), and bath water should be at least the same temp as cat's body temp or slightly hotter is better. Most cats dislike bathing because the water feels too cold for them. Kittens especially cannot regulate their temp well and can get chilled very quickly.

After bathing and towel drying, the cat should be dried as quickly as possible in the warm room, combing out the coat from time to time as you're blowdrying. Even shorthair cats with a thick coat, it takes longer to dry thoroughly to the skin than you would expect. Backcombing to the lie of the coat helps it to dry faster.

Some cats will tolerate a "low speed" on a blowdyer, but there will be some that won't have anything to do with it. So for those blowdryer haters I suggest you confine the cat to a dog crate, or carrier, and have a portable heater near it to help with drying. Also, you could use an electric heating pad under a towel for the cat to sit on, as the undersides are the last to dry well. The important thing is you don't want your cat to be cold and shivering.
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post #8 of 29 (permalink) Old 03-05-2011, 03:17 PM
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Our vet had recommended a waterless shampoo, that you just spray on and wipe off. But I hate using it and Cherry hates it too.

But you never know if Prince will like water, until you've tried!

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post #9 of 29 (permalink) Old 03-05-2011, 04:25 PM
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I bathe my himmie around once a month (helps with our allergies). I do a good combing before then bathe (with dawn and conditioner) then towel, then blow dry while combing out. The breeder had gotten her use to it so she's easy to bathe, as well as nail clipping (which I do when she's wet as her toe fringe makes it more difficult to see otherwise). Now if she'd only be as good for brushing....
Anyway I agree with having help, it'll be quicker and perhaps less stressful
Good Luck!
If it was me I would have bathed him before I let him have free reign of my place (bed especially)as ya never know what he's carrying in his paws and fur from the great outdoors, but I'm a closet germaphobe LOL
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post #10 of 29 (permalink) Old 03-05-2011, 04:41 PM
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I don't think a cat should have a bath unless they need one (fleas and such), or unless you need them to have one (allergies). It's just unnecessary and stressful for them, and stressful for you too! The cat certainly won't thank you for your efforts.

If your cat doesn't have as nice a coat as you'd like, brush it daily and feed a quality diet. Or give him a raw egg yolk once in a while.

Blacky has longer hair and all I do for her is cut away the occassional matt on her tummy. She doesn't even shead much and I have never seen her have a hairball, which I attribute to her outdoor adventures.


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Last edited by Carmel; 03-05-2011 at 04:44 PM.
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