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What to Know When Bathing Your CH Cat

April 9, 2012

Photo courtesy Logan Sakai

As a CH cat mom, I thought I had a good grasp on the spectrum of how to bathe a cat. I’ve lived through all sorts of cat-bathing experiences — from CG needing an occasional wipe-down with a wet rag, to Ellie needing a full-on bath after she woke me up one night when she had caked her whole side in poop and litter!

All of that’s to say that all of our experiences vary greatly from cat to cat. Consequently, a while back I asked the CH Kitty Club Yahoo Group if they had any bathing tips and suggestions — and they had a number of things I hadn’t considered.

So here’s a look at what you *may* need to know, since odds are, you’ll likely have to learn as you go!

In my experience, the amount of bathing that needs to be done is proportional to the mess made.

When CG was a kitten, he’d often step into his poop or mushy litter before climbing out of the litter box. Nine times out of ten, I could hold him in my lap with a wet rag and wipe everything off without a problem.

However, that’s not the case with Ellie. She’s needed many more waist-down (if not higher!) baths. For these, we wash her in the bathroom sink, since she’s rather little. I first run the water until it’s slightly warm, then place her in the sink, with her font paws resting on the counter. I hold her up with one hand, and do the washing with the other. If it’s a big mess, or if she begins to wiggle, I ask my husband for backup. Have the shampoo/soap and towels nearby so you don’t need to run around the house with a wet cat!

If bathing your cat in the kitchen sink, Melissa B. suggests trying a few things: First makes sure the water is a comfortable temperature. Then use the hose attachment on your faucet or a plastic cup to pour water on your cat. Another option, which works if the cat doesn’t need a complete bath, is to use nonscented baby wipes.

Photo courtesy richlouis

Richard suggests draping a towel into a deep sink, so the cat can hold on to it and dig his nails into it. After a few minutes, he says his CH cat calms down and actually enjoys it.

There are great cat shampoos available, which are better for your cat than soap or people shampoo. One Sherrie suggests is a gentle oatmeal and aloe combo. She also recommends having two people around when bathing a cat or cutting her nails, as one can hold her down, and the other can do the dirty work.

Christina uses damp paper towels, if the mess isn’t too large. She says a comb can also come in handy — which I agree with!

Jill says starting young is key. Her CH cat has had baths since he was two weeks old, and 1-2 weeks ever since. Sometimes he just gets a “butt-bath,” other times it’s a full bath. Afterward, she swaddles him in a towel and loves him until he’s dry. Also, don’t forget about how helpful treats can be!

Have you bathed your CH cat? Do you have any suggestions? Please share in the comments!

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. Catherine Paciotti permalink
    April 9, 2012 9:13 am

    I’ve only had to give Dotty a butt-bath once, it was last week, and she crawled onto my back while I was doing it. I hope it doesn’t happen too often–she’s not used to it, and neither am I.

    I wouldn’t mind at all if I had been doing it since she was a kitten, though. I just had a hard time avoiding her claws.

  2. April 10, 2012 8:58 pm

    I dread the day Ziggy needs a bath, so far I’ve been able to do the wet cloth wipe down, if he ever needs a full bath, I don’t think it would be possible. As far as Tardy goes, he can’t tolerate baths anymore, not with his hip and his arthritis. What I do with him is let it dry and use the clippers. He loves the clippers : ))

  3. April 11, 2012 9:43 am

    I hate bating Chairman, he cries like a baby and i feel so horrible >_<

  4. Beth permalink
    April 28, 2012 1:27 am

    I tried to bathe Tipsy once and it didn’t go over too well. He freaked out so badly that he actually hurt himself. He is one that needs daily cleanups as more often then not he either falls in his poop or falls over before he reaches the litter box and lays there and goes. What I do is lay about 3 towels on the floor, get a bucket of warm soapy water and drench a cloth in it, not wringing it out at all and wash him laying on the towels. This is the best we can do but at least he tolerates it and it actually works pretty well 🙂

  5. April 29, 2013 2:53 pm

    My Dimity has no idea what a litter box is for, so I diaper her, and of course, that means butt baths. I’ve discovered that my idea of warm water is too warm for her, so now that I’ve switched to cool, but not cold water, she does a lot better. I cuddle her in one arm, and do my work with the other, and make sure it doesn’t last too long. The only time she fusses is when she has a sore butt due to my not catching her in time. But I have a powder, called Neo Predef (from the vet) which definitely soothes her. And I put her in a cage at night so her butt has a chance to dry out and stay healthy.

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