Do You Wash Your Cat?

mister obama

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do you ever wash your cats? when the water cooled to about body temp. I would give my harrycat a flea bath, he tolerated it pretty well then a nice dry off with a towel - the hair dryer was a no deal as he thought of it as another vaccuum cleaner which he would hiss at....
 

Maurey

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Mine get routinely bathed, but they’re Maine Coon (so they benefit from the maintenance), with my boy being a show boy and retired/former stud, currently a show neuter. Both him and his daughter got used to bathing at a young age (around 4 months for Chip, though Jum started later at 8 or 9), and take it extremely well, though neither is overly fond of blowdrying, but we’re getting there with desensitisation and training.

Chips gets bathed twice a year when shedding to make it easier on both of us (he gets itchy and miserable, even with twice daily brushing, when he blows his coat), and before a show. He maintains his coat very well, so if he’s not being shown, he does perfectly well with bathing 2-3 times a year, with some light maintenance with shampoo wipes.

Jum, on the other hand, gets bathed every 2 1/2 to 3 months right now. She’s prone to dry skin in winter (because of central heating), but also gets oily fairly quickly, as she still has her kitten coat length and density, but produces the same amount of oils as a fully grown cat. That should hopefully normalise in the next year to year and a half, when she should get her adult coat in, but until then she needs the extra care.

As neither of them are unduly stressed by the bathing process, and their condition noticeably improves after bathing, it’s something I keep in their routine. Having them accustomed to bathing is also useful for the rare times they have tummy upset, and its bad enough that I need to wash their tails and back legs/pants, rather than using a cat wipe :>

I learned to bathe my cats from a cat-specialised groomer, and she still visits at least once or twice a year, as I sometimes need the assistance from someone with more experience. I bathe them in the bath, using a shower head with really warm, but not uncomfortably hot, water (important to remember that cats have a higher body temp than humans, so using cool water isn’t great),with a lose harness attached to a sucker on the side of the bath — they don‘t really need it, as they’re typically very happy to sit in the bath till I’m done, but it’s one of those things that’s routine for both of us I don’t see the need to change.

I use Iv San Bernard cosmetics in a mask-shampoo-mask system, specifically the Orange mask for fur restoration and stengthening, and their Maracuja (Passion Fruit) shampoo for long-haired animals. First step is to brush them out thoroughly, to avoid getting any tangles or mats wet. Then, I brush on a 1:3 to 1:5 dilution of the mask using a colour brush (one of the ones used for applying bleach or colouring agent to human hair) into dry fur. I leave it to absorb into the skin and coat the fur for around 10 minutes, then wash it off. I then shampoo twice, to make sure I’ve gotten all the excess mask off, then use a 1:10 to 1:15 dilution of the original mask as conditioner. I’ll leave it on for a couple minutes, thoroughly wash off, then wrap in a towel to cuddle and pre-dry. While I’m doing that, I’ll have the hairdryer on at low power so they can get a bit used to the noise. I’ll put on their happy hoodie, which is a loop piece of fabric that covers their ear and helps muffle the noise, dry as much of their body as they have patience for, then on the lowest setting, dry as much of the fur around the head as I can :>

Bathing is one of those things that should be introduced when a cat is still young, and by a professional that specialises in cats, rather than a dog groomer who ‘also does cats’.
 

sivyaleah

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I've done it a few times if the cat got seriously dirty. Once when we got our domestic longhair because she got stuck behind a radiator that was very dusty and, urinated on herself out of fear (she had only been with us a short time). She did really well with it, surprisingly. Same with a domestic shorthair who also. Had no problem with either of them and even managed to do a blow out on the lowest setting.

I have not tried doing our Maine Coon yet and she's nearly 2 years old. Like Maurey Maurey mentioned the breed does benefit from bathing periodically. We don't have very many cat groomers in our area and I'm not sure she'd be as cooperative as the other two were though, she's a ball of energy and so big could be difficult to wrangle her. My local Petco does grooming and I found out there's one person who is experienced with cats so I'm debating about bringing her there and letting them take the chance with her lol. Of course getting her there will get her anxious so that's a consideration in attempting it myself. I'm capable, but with her could be taking my life in my hands LOL
 

gilmargl

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No way! But, I presume if you start bathing a cat early enough, and repeat the process regularly, both you and the cat will get used to the ordeal. Personally, I don't think a healthy, well-kept cat should need a bath and, since all my cats were strays, I don't deliberately expose them to something new which they so obviously dislike, unless it is absolutely necessary, such as the pet-carrier, vet visit, eye-drops, and being forced to take medicine. I know that at least one of my cats would ignore me for months if I tried to bath her. 🛀 :angrycat:
 

Maurey

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I've done it a few times if the cat got seriously dirty. Once when we got our domestic longhair because she got stuck behind a radiator that was very dusty and, urinated on herself out of fear (she had only been with us a short time). She did really well with it, surprisingly. Same with a domestic shorthair who also. Had no problem with either of them and even managed to do a blow out on the lowest setting.

I have not tried doing our Maine Coon yet and she's nearly 2 years old. Like Maurey Maurey mentioned the breed does benefit from bathing periodically. We don't have very many cat groomers in our area and I'm not sure she'd be as cooperative as the other two were though, she's a ball of energy and so big could be difficult to wrangle her. My local Petco does grooming and I found out there's one person who is experienced with cats so I'm debating about bringing her there and letting them take the chance with her lol. Of course getting her there will get her anxious so that's a consideration in attempting it myself. I'm capable, but with her could be taking my life in my hands LOL
FWIW, bathing Jum has been untraumatic for me, though she has tried to climb me like a tree while I was blow drying her ahah. That said, 2 years is a bit late to start with grooming (though doable), and Jum is an extremely mild-mannered cat toward people. Many people who are experienced with cat grooming will do home visits precisely to reduce stress (so may be worth getting in contact to ask), plus you’ll be able to observe to make sure they’re gentle with your animal (some groomers are really rough with cats, instead of working *with* them — some horrible examples of dog groomers dealing w cats on YouTube), and for the learning experience. If you do decide to use a groomer, be sure to warn them that your cat is spicy, so they know to expect nips or claws (though generally claws will be clipped before starting). IME good cat groomers don’t use restraints other than a harness to fix the cat inside the bath, which is harmless done right, and a muzzle only for cases where there’s no other choice (e.g. painful matting that has to be cut out, regardless of how stressed the cat is).
 

sivyaleah

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FWIW, bathing Jum has been untraumatic for me, though she has tried to climb me like a tree while I was blow drying her ahah. That said, 2 years is a bit late to start with grooming (though doable), and Jum is an extremely mild-mannered cat toward people. Many people who are experienced with cat grooming will do home visits precisely to reduce stress (so may be worth getting in contact to ask), plus you’ll be able to observe to make sure they’re gentle with your animal (some groomers are really rough with cats, instead of working *with* them — some horrible examples of dog groomers dealing w cats on YouTube), and for the learning experience. If you do decide to use a groomer, be sure to warn them that your cat is spicy, so they know to expect nips or claws (though generally claws will be clipped before starting). IME good cat groomers don’t use restraints other than a harness to fix the cat inside the bath, which is harmless done right, and a muzzle only for cases where there’s no other choice (e.g. painful matting that has to be cut out, regardless of how stressed the cat is).
Yea, spicy is a good term for her :)

I already spoke directly to the groomer. We first "met" on a Facebook professional feline grooming group and then met in person to talk about Luna. Unfortunately no house calls but she does do cat grooming before the store officially opens so by the time dogs are showing up our cat should already be finished. She also said for the first time she'd just do a comb out and judge her behavior to see if she thinks she can handle her for bathing. We went through her protocol and I feel comfortable with the way she'll handle her. Or, admit defeat if needed. I'd be able to watch also since the way the grooming section is set up in the store, it's glass enclosed but an open floor plan so very easy to view from outside the grooming area.

Luna can be a handful but usually is a good girl at the vet, for instance with routine things like nail trims, ear cleanings, administering medications etc. We're able to do these things at home for her also with not too much fuss.

Grooming has always been dicey even as a wee kitten she hated it and I've written more than one post here asking for advice. Now that she's older, however, she's more tolerant of it and I'm able to ward off any knots and mats before they become a problem but knowing the breed I bet she'll feel and look a lot more maintained if she's bathed - especially since she's been having allergy issues (she just started sublingual drops for it)
 

corvidae

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I never even considered bathing my cats until we moved into a house and they started getting daily walks. Mindy and Merle both go outside and then roll in the dirt as much as possible :rolleyes:. I always wipe them down with a damp cloth before their harness comes off, and if they still have a dirty residue after a day or so, I use Burt’s Bees waterless shampoo and give them a good brush which seems to do the trick.
The only water involved bath I’ve done is when Mindy gets sap on her paws (it’s happened twice so far; there’s a pine tree on our walk route she really loves to sniff), and then I work it out from between her toes with canola oil and use soap and water to get the rest off, using a little Tupperware container and just dipping the affected paw in. She doesn’t love it, but it’s better than her being uncomfortable or ingesting tree sap.
 

minish

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Since my cat doesn't like water I would not do it unless absolutely necessary. Even then I would first try dry shampoo etc. Luckily minish is shorthair and never needed one. She is white. When she's at the summer house she daily rolls in dirt, becomes tan colored. In the evening, she works extra on her beauty. Next morning she's totally white again, rolls in dirt,...
 

Kokomo

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Both Calypso and Shadow get baths every 2 to 3 months. I learned Shadow doesn't mind bath after he sat in wet paint. No option but a bath then and he didn't mind at all. Calypso enjoys hopping in the tub when I leave some water for her to play in, so she is good with baths. I find it helps keep both of them clean and cuts down on hairballs. And there there is Bug. I tried to give him a bath once...his paws touched water and I became his launching pad for a rapid escape. He now joins in during bath time to watch from a safe distance.
 

JulietteTruong

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I like getting those packs of baby wipes that are fragrance-free/unscented/paraben-free/dye-free etc, the mildest and gentlest kind possible. Cats do a decent job of grooming themselves, but my Juli once in a while looks a bit greasy.

another tip I’ve learned is that you can use cornstarch as like a dry shampoo. Lightly dust on the fur, work it into the coat, and then gently brush. Cornstarch is harmless, don’t use baby powder.
 

posiepurrs

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I never bathed my short haired cats but when I started breeding and showing Persians that was another matter. Long haired cats (Persians in particular) benefit from regular baths. It reduces mats and makes grooming much easier. Most of mine are shaved down now due to less time to groom (hubby is ill). When they were in full coat the pets got bathed about once a month while the show cats were bathed a minimum of once a week. A show bath for a Persian is a involved process- that coat is not easy to keep in condition.
Jack relaxing at home Dec 2014.jpg
Jack not in show condition.
Jack and judge Pam BAsset at Dixielands Best of the Best 2013 (2).JPG
Jack in show condition.
 

Purr-fect

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I wish I could bathe greg. His fur can feel greasy and like his brother, he spends a lot of time outside laying on the ground.

Greg barely lets me brush him before he comes in the house. An occasional bath would be out of the question; damp cloth is about as good as it gets. Its clear who is the boss.

20181023_095319-1-1.jpg
 

Maurey

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I wish I could bathe greg. His fur can feel greasy and like his brother, he spends a lot of time outside laying on the ground.

Greg barely lets me brush him before he comes in the house. An occasional bath would be out of the question; damp cloth is about as good as it gets. Its clear who is the boss.

View attachment 381207
Have you tried shampoo wipes? I find them more effective than wet cloths on my guys when they’re back in from the garden.
 
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