To wash or not to wash?

Sveta SSveta S New yorkMember Posts: 31
edited 22 August, 2008 in Grooming
Hi all, I'm considering giving Nikki a bath, probably for the first time in his life. His coat is not as good looking as Leo's is. He's got dander too, and keeps scratching himself. My hubby thinks washing is not good because cats wash themselves anyway. So would it be good or bad?

Comments

  • Chrysee HinshawChrysee Hinshaw Member Posts: 474
    edited 5 August, 2008
    The only "bad" things I've ever heard about bathing a cat is that too many baths can lead to dry skin. If you do decide to give a bath, brush him out completely first. Baths remove -a lot- of dead/loose hair, but afterwards a cat will lick himself like crazy. So it's important to remove all of the loose hair so he doesn't swallow more than usual when grooming himself afterwards. This is also why it's important to make sure you rinse the fur really well. Coat appearance is generally more related to overall health/diet, but a bath may help a little. I bathe every so often and it is not terribly difficult.
  • Sveta SSveta S New yorkMember Posts: 31
    edited 5 August, 2008
    Thank you sweet Atrus! What about shampoo? Do I have to buy an expensive pet brand, or can I use baby shampoo? And should the water be body-temperature or warmer?
  • Chrysee HinshawChrysee Hinshaw Member Posts: 474
    edited 5 August, 2008
    I bought a bottle of cat and kitten shampoo from Petsmart, but you could probably find it at a grocery store too. Some people use baby shampoo, some people use a mild dish soap like Dawn. If you wash often, you may need to condition, since the sulfates in soap/shampoo may leave the fur dry. Some people also use a (very) diluted vinegar rinse afterwards. So far I've just shampooed and rinsed my cat, but I've only ever had to bathe him like, twice. The rule of thumb is generally to get the water to a temperature where if you dab some on your wrist, it doesn't feel hot or cold (think bathing a baby), although I generally use water a tiny bit warmer as cats have a high body temperature than people.
  • Valerie DurhamValerie Durham Member Posts: 8,724
    edited 5 August, 2008
    All of Atrus\' advice is very good, and I don\'t have too much to add. I shampoo my Maine Coons regularly (especially Harvey) because they are show cats, and must be shampooed before each show. I use a bunch of products designed for cat show exhibitors, but depending on my mood, a mild dish detergent is one of the things I use--it\'s especially effective for getting out the grease for cats with oily fur. I wouldn\'t worry too much about what kind of shampoo you use; you just want to get Nikki clean, not prepare him for a beauty contest. Just make sure that you rinse very thoroughly--if possible, with a hand-held shower head. Also, many people say that shampooing too often can lead to dry skin, but my own experience tells me that this isn\'t true--during the peak of the show season, my cats can get a very thorough shampoo and blow dry every week, and none of them have ever had dry skin, nor have I heard of this as being a problem for other exhibitors and breeders. Of course, it could be a problem for some individual cats, but I think it\'s more likely that the FUR would become rather dry and lusterless rather than the skin. As for whether cats need baths--it all depends on the cat. My childhood cat, who was an indoor/outdoor cat, never had a bath in her life. Nor did the cats I had before the ones I have now. But none of the cats in question ever appeared dirty (they were shorthaired, by the way), except for the one who died at 18--in the last year of his life, he became unable to groom himself very well, and his fur was dry and lifeless-looking, but I didn\'t want to shampoo him because of his advanced age. Long-haired cats, however, usually DO need the occasional shampoo; think of all the Persians you\'ve seen who were once white fluff balls and are now grey and matted. Now, as for Nikki\'s dander (dandruff?) and scratching. A good shampoo will definitely help, but I suspect that there may be a health problem that should be looked into. It could be something as simple as feeding him better food; or it could be a food allergy. Fat cats like my Spot often can\'t groom themselves very well. Also, I think I\'ve heard that dandruff can be a sign of diabetes. Is there any possibility that he has some kind of infestation problem that could be causing the itching? In any event, when Spot developed oily fur and dandruff, I took him to the vet for a thorough physical and blood workup. There were no particular health irregularities, so we decided that his problem was related to his obesity (he\'s on a diet now) and the fact that, since there had been three kittens in the house, one after another, he\'d been dipping into the kitten food (which has more calories and fats than regular food), and that was a contributory cause to the problem. So, my advice would be that you see a vet to rule out any allergies, infestations, or other health problems. In any event, many cats do benefit from a regular bath. Even though most of them don\'t like it, after the bath, they seem to enjoy feeling cleaner. And the fact that a bath is great for removing loose and dead fur makes it cooler for the cat in the summer, and is a great way to prevent hairballs. Good luck!
  • Karin PruessnerKarin Pruessner DurbanMember Posts: 2,110
    edited 6 August, 2008
    A BATH????? HISSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!
  • Debra PietrowskiDebra Pietrowski Sussex CountyMember Posts: 1,833
    edited 7 August, 2008
    Me and my brofur are showcats also, and I agree with HARVEY 100% ! Yippee.. during our baths for the show we each get bathed twice- one time to degrease -and one time to whiten our fur. Special shampoos (F1R2) for each one. And then we get the white vinegar rinse rinse rinse (diluted with water), and then conditioner to soften us up.. After all is done - We feel like SILK! And we LOVE our baths, as a matter of fact, we sit in the water as meowmy bathes us. Its fun, she uses the kitchen sink with a small litter pan as a bathtub, and rinses us with the sink hose... Enjoy!
  • Debra PietrowskiDebra Pietrowski Sussex CountyMember Posts: 1,833
    edited 7 August, 2008
    Hi! Thats my sisfur above me and I love my baths. She forgot one thing, dont shampoo anywhere above the high neckline, face, etc... we use babywipes for inside the ears, around the nose, and eyes, and mouth. Gently does it. Tell your meowmy to check for boogers in your nose and eyes ! hehehehehehehh Cause I always get black dried boogers in my little pink nosey.
  • Valerie DurhamValerie Durham Member Posts: 8,724
    edited 7 August, 2008
    This is OT, but there was actually a thread recently somewhere on boogers and what to do about them. The cat in question was very relieved to hear that it\'s permissable for their Human to pick the cat\'s nose! :D
  • Debra PietrowskiDebra Pietrowski Sussex CountyMember Posts: 1,833
    edited 7 August, 2008
    Hi Harv... I wont lie, Meowmy does pick dried black boogers out of my nose.. but we prefer wipes.. it hurts when they are so suck to my little pink nosey.. OUCH:(( Only I am the one to seem to get the boogers... Kyande Kisu always has a perfect pink nose
  • Abby CAbby C Member Posts: 32
    edited 8 August, 2008
    Mom gives my sister and I baths, and afterwards our coats are nice and shiny, so she thinks baths are good for us. Mom thinks the only bad things about baths is all the lose fur, and how much we hate them. (We scratch and hiss, and put our angry faces on!) :^:
  • Lissa NicholsonLissa Nicholson SydneyMember Posts: 1,562
    edited 8 August, 2008
    Fui and Suey get baths, because they are little grubs who like to roll in the dirt and all sorts of muck. It's the price they pay to sleep in bed with us. We put them in the bath, unplugged, and have a handheld showerhead attachment for the faucet. On the end of the handheld thing, we have a little brush that the water runs through. It makes it easier to get the thick fur wet, and then to rinse the shampoo off. We use a pet shampoo from Herb Doctor, which was about $9. It doesn't have any chemicals or sulfates in it, and smells SO good! Allegedly, the citrusy smells in it will help to deter ticks and fleas. I agree with Atrus, you have to make sure they get a jolly good brushing first. Fui's hairball problems have improved out of sight since we started washing him. We also bathe our fosters. A lot of them come to us looking pretty grubby. They seem to feel better once they are clean, dry, and dirt and flea dirt free. KuJu Ku is spot on about being careful with water on the face. A handheld attachment (you can get them for about $5 at the supermarket) makes it a lot easier. The ears are particularly important to avoid, as it can help ear infections to develop.
  • Nicole ZiembaNicole Ziemba Member Posts: 295
    edited 19 August, 2008
    Chloe loves baths, but she got them on a regualr basis, well still does. Callie on the other hand hates them but I only tried once and didn't think about it the right way. if your cat has never had a bath (like Callie) Do not just put her in the tub or water, she could freak out (like Callie) I am thinking about playing with her in a dry tub so she gets use to the area. I feel so bad for putting her in there...heck she has never even seen that room before. I would recommend a cat shampoo, they have tons that are not expensive. People shampoo, baby shampoos, and I think someone said Dawn liquid soap - ahhhh, all those could dry out their skin since they are formulated for people and dishes. The amount of baths you give would depend on the breed. Callie seems to be clean and soft but Chloe gets oily and has different dander. My dad is acutally allergic to her and not Callie or my sisters cats.? Chloe gets them about once a month...Callie got a half a bath once....:))
  • Cris GutierrezCris Gutierrez San FranciscoMember Posts: 808
    edited 21 August, 2008
    I\'m not sure if it would achieve the same thing, but if your cat is a short hair like me, you can do a sponge bath. I\'ve only had one immersion bath in my life and that was with bird soap (Dawn, the stuff that takes the oil off the sea birds in oil slicks). I had a bird bath because I got into something toxic and it was all over my legs and tummy. Other than that time, I\'ve had regular sponge baths, since I like to roll around in the garden and get kinda dirty. Plus Daddy likes me to lose the dander once in a while. I\'ve known cats who got their first sponge bath when they were old and sick, and they liked it. That\'s because it\'s just like the tongue bath our cat mom used to give us. First you comb or brush to get the loose hair and bring dirt and dead skin to the surface. Then you wet a wash cloth (I like a hot, wrung-out cloth) or get a commercial cat wipe and rub all over. You can go in all directions, and going against the hair lets you clean deeper. When I\'m really dirty, Mama rinses out the cloth a few times. It\'s ok for us to get damp, we don\'t just like to get soaked when we\'re not used to it. It\'s nice to dry with a towel afterward, though it\'s not necessary since we\'re not soaking wet. I\'m sure you can get a cat really clean with a real bath, but there\'s resistance. A sponge bath feels like love. I purr my way through it, and I still get soft and fluffy.
  • TRACY YOUNGTRACY YOUNG New YorkMember Posts: 6,538
    edited 22 August, 2008
    That's making me want a bath, M!:)) But I l0ve the water......
Sign In or Register to comment.

Welcome to the new Catster Community!

Introduce the community to your pet with our Pet Profiles and discover how to use the new community with our Getting Started pages!


Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!