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Steps to Bathe a Cat

Good grooming practices are essential for maintaining health and happiness for you and your cat. This is a forum to exchange tips and advice for proper care of your cat's hygiene needs.

  
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Harvey

Has been COTD!
 
 
Purred: Tue Dec 8, '09 8:30pm PST 
Smudge--An alternative is to put your cat in a cage (I think they're called kennels in the U.S.) and place the cage in a sunny, warm area, or direct a space heater toward it (not too close!). Towel dry the cat as well as you can, and put it in the cage or enclosure. The cat will lick itself to help speed the drying process. I do this with my kittens; they dry off very quickly. With Harvey, it used to take almost an hour to blow dry him, but good grooming is vital in the show ring.

This is OT, but I'm not doing much showing this season (last season about did me in) and I have literally hundreds of dollars worth of shampoos, rinses, etc. that are not being used at present. I have greasy hair that goes flat when I use Japanese shampoos, which are usually creamy and contain conditioner. Sooo...I thought, why not try the kitty shampoos? They have shampoos for greasy fur, and color-enhancing shampoos, etc. I've been using a color-enhancing shampoo to bring out the auburn highlights in my hair. It works very nicely. So now I'm a lady who washes her cats in the buff and shares their shampoo. MOL.
laugh out loud
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Smudge

I play, therefor- I am!
 
 
Purred: Wed Dec 9, '09 8:52am PST 
Hi and thank you Bumpurr and Harvey. I did go through 3 human towels tyring to dry him off. He licked himself a bit too, but his belly and armpits seemed to stay wet forever. I was wishing that I had a space heater, but we don't. However, he did dry off eventually and is now nice and fluffy soft. Oh, and he doesn't smell like the shelter anymore either and hopefully (why isn't there a "fingers crossed" emoticon?) I got rid of any of the possibley present ringworm spores!

Hey Harvey, I used to wash my hair with my horse's shampoo, so you're not alone using animal shampoos; they sometimes work great on us two-leggers!
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Harvey

Has been COTD!
 
 
Purred: Wed Dec 9, '09 2:42pm PST 
Yes, I've heard that there are many human fans of horse shampoo.

If Smudge has ringworm, you really should go to the vet. It's highly contagious, and it can be passed on to you, and from you to other people. I can't imagine that the vet visit and meds would cost too much. A while back someone wrote in to say that they had caught ringworm from their cat, and had over 80 lesions. Ringworm is a stubborn disease, and won't go away with a single bath.

Regarding drying a cat--when I was showing Harvey, I always found that his stomach and, oddly, his feet took the longest to dry. I always shampooed him early in the day of the show (the night before I would always come back from work and be too tired), and sometimes he was a little damp during Saturday morning judging rings. Longhairs take much more time to dry than shorthairs; I rarely bathe Spike (actually, only when he has a wee wee accident on the way to the vet), and he dried off very quickly with just a casual towel drying.
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Dog

AKA DogKitty
 
 
Purred: Thu Dec 10, '09 12:33pm PST 
Yeah, the last time I gave them baths, it ended in bloodshed and scarring, though the cats were fine. One of them was actually fine with it and just sat there petrified (poor thing). Unfortunately, two out of three had ringworm, so I had little choice. Since then, I have resorted to alternate methods like the one in the follow up article

http://www.petcentric.com/Stories/Articles/How-Some-Cleve r-People-Give-Their-Cats-a-Bath.aspx?articleid=761e37d7-dbd5-441a-9f f1-e247c0a7426a

Specifically, I have used either warm towel, or kitty wipes. It would be nice to find a way to actually bathe them without serious harm though when needed. I think if I have clipped their claws, it would have worked much better.
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Smudge

I play, therefor- I am!
 
 
Purred: Thu Dec 10, '09 1:19pm PST 
Hi again. Oh, Smudge isn't the one with "possible" ringworm. I've had Smudge for over a year, the "possible" one is an ~ 6 months old kitten from an SPCA. They said that they had been battling ringworm for months and that there weren't currently any cats with lesions but they couldn't tell whether there were spores around or not. They gave me an anti-fungal shampoo and told me to go straight from the front door to the bathroom. They also suggested that I not adopt the kitten just in case, so at least they were honest with me. We'll find out whether or not I was a fool eventually I guess.red face The place was not exactly a kitty heaven and I felt bad not taking him home. Of course I fell for my kids telling me that we had already promised the kitten the day before that we would take him. He's going to the vet for his well care exam so I'll see what they say about it all. I tried to get an appointment for Monday when I picked him up, but couldn't get one before this afternoon.

Thanks for all of the bathing info! I might be putting it to good use really soon.
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Bumpurr

RESPECT The- Star!
 
 
Purred: Thu Dec 10, '09 3:42pm PST 
Yup, mol, tummys take a long time, but between the back legs, is the longest one. big grin

The kittens are not too bad, I just hold them up, and blow dry their tummys and between their back legs, but their smaller, and not as heavy. Been teaching them to stand up, and put their front paws on the cubbards, so tummy and back legs drying is easier, but they only stay like that for so long, have to do another part, then back to that. big grin

Wish I had taught that to Bumpurr when he was a kitten, he won't do it, and he is heavy to hold up like that, mol. I tried it a few times, no go, he sits back down, and looks at me, like ma, this is what you taught me to do, just sit there. big grin

Another thing I do, is when we are done, I squiggy them off with my hand, get as much water off them as I can, especially the paws and tail, then I set them on a clean, thick folded towel, as I towel dry them. It helps suck out the excess water from their tummys. big grin

I also clip their nails, before I wash them, just in case. big grin

Harvey, had to laugh about the paws, mol. big laughbig laughbig laughbig laughbig laughbig laughbig laugh

Was at a show a few months ago, gave Cowboy too much baby food, he had real bad diarea the next day, and he has 4 white feet, which were now covered in diarea and cat litter, as was his back end and tail. And, was just getting ready to load them in the hotel, on Sun morn.

OK, so now what??

Looked at the sink, which was pretty deep, filled it with warm water, picked him up, and dunked his whole back end in there, and scrubed his white feet with a wash cloth. They came clean. No blow dryer with me, so towel dryed him, and put him in the carrier. By the time we got to the show hall, they were almost dry, and had the first ring of the day, he still made the final, I think the judge knew, sometimes, stuff happens. big grinbig grinbig grinbig grinbig grinbig grinbig grinbig grinbig grinbig grinbig grinbig grinbig grinbig grinbig grin
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Miss Tiny- Burr Burr

Love and adore.
 
 
Purred: Mon Dec 14, '09 10:31am PST 
hmmmm after giving cats baths usually mine slink off under a table and give me "the look" for the rest of the day. there not a big fan of being towled dry, they prefer to do it themselfs.

but with small kittens i wrap them up in a blanket and switch once its wet for a nice warm dry one.
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Sootball

I am so cute,- scratch my belly- mol
 
 
Purred: Sat Dec 19, '09 9:26pm PST 
When I worked at my Vets office ,I started out on the kennels.Then I was moved to bathing. This was during the the Holiday season and every animal that was boarded MUST get a departing bath. Well this meant I had to wash some 32 cats... Yikes! eek I used a grooming noose in a raised tub. Now that I have gone to Grooming School and learned the proper way to bathe cats.. I still use a noose and some stores carry them or they can be ordered on line. You can also use a leash as a slip type of collar , but this can strangle a cat if not used properly. You can also scruff them and hold them into a corner of the bath tub and use one of those hand held shower sprayers. Like Bumpurr said... Rinse and rinse more! Esp arm pits , tummies and behind ears. To prevent burning the eyes, use plain mineral oil , just one drop in the eye will work. As for the towels, roll a large one up and use some duct tape on the ends. Like the plastic on hard candy. This way it will not ball up on you. It gives the kitty a great place to sink there TRIMMED nails into.
If you are washing for ring worm, you need to let the shampoo sit on for about 5 or 10 min., this is where a cat/dog cage/kennel comes in handy. Good Luck because ring worm can be very tough to get rid of and like what was said already, you can catch it also. Now I just work For Nutro part time Mol,
Dawn peace
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Chaucer

Purr Bug
 
 
Purred: Sun Dec 20, '09 5:54am PST 
Hi, I'm Smudge's new little brother that got the bath with anti-fungal shampoo. Thank you all for the great bathing information, my new mom appreciates it! Just to update, there so far appears to be no sign of any ringworm - phew! I'm hoping that mom doesn't decide to bathe me again!
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Harvey

Has been COTD!
 
 
Purred: Sun Jan 3, '10 3:16pm PST 
Sorry for the late response. If your cat absolutely refuses to be blow dried, you can put him in a cage or carrier and direct a space heater (preferably one that blows hot air, but one that simply projects heat will work as well) in his direction. If your cat is short haired, the cat will be licking himself dry throughout the process. If your cat is long haired and being given a show bath, using a blow dryer gives the fur more volume (I faked my way through an entire show season with Harvey with this tactic), and also, obviously, hastens the drying process. My cats don't like the blow dryer any more than they like baths, but I use all my limbs to clamp them down while I'm doing it. There are also hair dryer clamps that you attach to a table so that you can use both hands while drying the cat. If it's not a show bath, the space heater tactic will work fine. As for the face, it's recommended that you wash it with a wash cloth, and avoid getting water in the ears.
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