|Purred: Wed Feb 4, '09 1:24am PST |
|I had a sister/brother duo who lived to be 15 and 18, and neither got a bath, ever. My childhood cat lived to be 17 and also never got bathed. All were domestic short hairs.
Now I have Maine Coons that I put in cat shows, and the difference between good grooming (I've been praised by judges!) and indifferent grooming can mean the difference between getting a ribbon or not.
It all depends on your cat and your needs. If your cats look clean and don't hawk up too many hairballs, then I wouldn't worry about bathing them. However, baths do wonders for hairballs, so if you have a problem with hairballs, try the occasional bath.
I do agree that getting your cat used to being bathed is important. Now that I look back on it, my Boku, who died at 18, had had his sister groom him until she died three years before he did. He looked pretty scroungy when he died. On the other hand, he was old and frail, and I didn't want to surprise him with a sudden bath.
In any event, I can't emphasize enough how important baths are for preventing hairballs, especially if you have a cat with longish fur. My three Maine Coons never hawk up fur because they get the occasional show bath.
By the way, you don't have to worry about shampoo. Personally, I avoid shampoos with conditioners as the conditioners themselves tend to attract extra dirt. It's a little-known secret of the breeder/shower, but dish detergent gets the job done quickly and efficiently. Just make sure to rinse thoroughly. Every cat is different, but all the Maine Coon showers I know shampoo their cat before each weekend show, and no one complains of dry skin/fur. And for a long haired cat, the groomer's choice is a metal comb, rather than a brush.
Having said all that, it doesn't really sound like your cats need baths. But you might want to try it just to get them used to the idea.
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