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Cat question for Helena (the forum's cat expert!) - Carers UK Forum

Cat question for Helena (the forum's cat expert!)

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Helena hi

Can I pick your cat expertise brains please?

My cat needs a bath ('NO I DO NOT!' I can hear him objecting already!)

He got 'pounced on' by another neighbourhood cat, so I presume, as I could hear them hissing at each other (but couldn't get to them), and then shortly afterwards mine came in looking somewhat agitated and dishevelled, and I realised he must have been 'doing his business' as there was, alas and alack, some excrement around his rear end, and also smeared on his coat where I suspect he must have rolled on to it as he was being 'pounced on' (or whatever had happened!).

Obviously I wiped and washed like crazy, and I think it was all gone, BUT, I really do feel he could do with a proper bath now.

I know cats can't have ordinary shampoo, so I've bought some specialist cat shampoo (not the no-rinse), and am planning to run some luke warm water into the bathtub, quite shallow, but enough to lather him, and then have a lot (eg, a bucket with a mug in it) of luke warm water on hand to rinse him thoroughly.

There is only me to do all this, so I will have to 'hold and lather' simultaneously.

He's a very placid chap all round (large neutered male, and very 'peaceable' in general), but do you think he will go beserk at me presuming to shampoo and bath him?

I know it will be very important for me to rinse off the lather property, and not get it in his eyes etc etc - it's just his body firt that really needs a good wash (also this hot dusty summer has not helped either)

So, any tips or guidance please would be gratefully received! I know he won't like it (and will probably go and roll all over the paving stones on my patioto get nice and dusty again!). But I want to minimise the trauma (or rage!) as much as possible.

Many thanks for your expert guidance on this!

Hi Jenny,

there are quite a few videos on yutube on the best way to bathe cats - this is one https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S0DlV8mZTd8. but there are lots of others to check out.

Lots of members on the Pet Forum I subscribe to use special cat wet wipes for 'accidents' such as you describe and report good results. There are also a lot of members there with long haired cats (like Persians) that need regular bathing. No cat actually likes being bathed - the main points seem to be

1) its best to use the bath (especially if a larger cat)
2) have a towel in the bottom of the bath
3) about 3-4 inches of warm water
5) rinse, rinse and rinse again
6) have a warm bath towel handy for wrapping the cat in when finished

also be prepared for more water to end up on the floor and you than you expect !

It also helps to have treats on hand !

and, finally Good Luck ! The only time I had to bathe one of mine was when he fell into the hole being dug for next door's new (very large) pond which was filled with yellow clay - he looked as though he had rolled in poop !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'll admit the bathing didn't go down too well, but he did forgive me ......................eventually. :roll:
Good luck if you decide to go ahead, Jenny!

I have never had to bath my cats but did have to bath a bunny who got blow fly ( horrible) and a couple of elderly Guinea pigs who weren't able to keep up with the personal hygiene in their later years.

Even flea treating Poppy with spot on treatment is a major operation. She isn't easily bribed and placated with food, and detests spot on. For awhile wrapping her on a towel worked, now she is getting wise to this strategy... She loves to lie on or by you and being stroked but isn't keen on being lifted up or being held. She lives to play most of all.

In the dog world I've heard tomatoe ketchup works wonders at removing the fragrance of fox poo.
Talking of cats ,mine are suffering from the runs ,it is mainly Callie i think .
Feeding them on Felix pouch food and iam's dry food .I am thinking of cutting back on the wet food ,just a third of a pouch and the rest dry food .
They tend to leave a lot and i hear them go back a number of time s to have a feed .
I am wary of just giving them dry food ,because it is not good for male cats ,Callie is ok she is a female .
I think i give them too many treats ,that is why they leave their food.
Can't really add much frankly to the advice given. Maybe clip his claws beforehand? But yes rinse rinse rinse. maybe wear gloves? I use baby wipes on my older ones and baby powder but it sounds as if it has gone beyond this? You may find he just accepts it but you ar3e right to be cautious. Let us know how you get on.
Gosh, lots of experience and advice thank you! Looks like we've got multiple cat-experts here on the forum!!! :) :)

Helena, do the claws grow back? I mean, that's not the same as de-clawing, is it? (Americans seem to do that a lot, which I hate - like docking tails).

I don't mind if he scratches me - he deserves to 'fight back' for the indignity of what he's undergoing!

I like the recommendation to put a towel in the bath - hopefully that will deflect the scratching!

Poor chap, he's such a peaceable lad, and seldom gives me a hard time over anything. But it's for his own good (sigh).
Yes Jenny claws grow back after being clipped (just like your finger nails do when you cut them) but if you've never done it before best get an expert like a veterinary nurse to show you how. If you mistakenly cut the 'quick' then they will bleed (a lot) and will be very sore for the cat.

Most cats do not like their paws being touched so claw clipping can be a hazardous event ! I usually get the vet to do my cats claws when we go for their annual check up and booster shots.

p.s. the towel in the bottom of the bath gives the cat something to hold onto and stops them slipping.
This afternoon I decided to bathe my cat, thank you all for your good advice.
This is an old topic, I am locking it.