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how to wash a cat? (serious question!)

(58 Posts)
bumpybecky Fri 14-Sep-12 20:52:30

not one of those jokes about how to give a cat a pill etc, but a serious question....

Grumpy cat is about 15-16, he's a black and white boy, not long hair but not short either, sort of in between. He's fairly fluffy but quite skinny underneath. He's mellowed in his old age and hasn't been in a fight for at least a year now smile

He thinks he's a dog as he was abandoned with dogs and really didn't know how to be a cat when we first got him. He's never really been one for much personal hygiene. We've got to the point now that he rarely washes. He's visibly grubby and he smells. His fur looks all sticky up along his back, like he's washed it and it's not gone down again, only it's like that all the time.

He is leaving dirt and flea mess everywhere he sits sad we've flea treated him (advantage on back of neck) but he's still got fleas sad

Tonight I've washed him with a damp flannel and given him a good flea comb. Managed this by allowing him to lick the remains of roast chicken off the plates on the table! over an hour later and now all his back is sticky up and the fur feels horrible sad

So is there a better way of washing a cat? I don't want to really bath him, but just water has not done the trick. I'm not sure if shampoo is a good idea? can you even get cat shampoo?!

any suggestions? thanks smile

CMOTDibbler Fri 14-Sep-12 21:06:22

He might suprise you and not object too much to a bath. You can get cat shampoo in pet shops - I'd dilute it in warm water and have it ready to pour over him and another jug (I use 4pt plastic milk bottles for washing the pony like this) of clean water for rinsing so its as fast as possible.

On the flea front, ime Frontline is better than anything else

HeadingHome Fri 14-Sep-12 21:06:32

Cat bathing is a two man job. Cat shampoo is readily available at Pets@Home (or any other pet shop).

Take things very calmly, one person hold the cat VERY firmly around front shoulders (from above) to prevent them jumping up and/or striking out.

Have the bath (or sink) filled with warm soapy water and a clean, dry towel at the ready. Bring in cat and close the door. An open door is just asking for trouble.

Once cat is saturated (by pushing the fur back and half submerging or very gentle back splashing,) lather with plenty of shampoo. You get one chance so work fast but thoroughly. Don't splash the face or in ears.

If you need to drain sink because it's too soapy to rinse properly, empty with tap on then rinse with fresh, clean, warm water.

Remove cat from sink or bath and rub gently but quickly with towel. Dry as much as you can and release cat into a warm room to lick itself dry.

Lots of reassuring talking helps, but always calm and firm holding.

Good luck.

HeadingHome Fri 14-Sep-12 21:08:55

I second Frontline (for fleas) in conjunction with Profender (for everything else).

HeadingHome Fri 14-Sep-12 21:09:24

But buy online, not from your vet.

lubeybooby Fri 14-Sep-12 21:10:05

After my first attempt and having half the skin clawed off my chest and arms, I wrapped mine sort of like swaddling in a towel, dunked in the bath, then let her free and rubbed a little shampoo on while she wandered the bathroom. Then wrapped her up again for another few dunks... by then she wouldn't let me dry her but it didn't take long.

Trazzletoes Fri 14-Sep-12 21:11:20

You can also buy wipes from Pets at Home that are just like baby wipe-type things instead of bathing cat. Though bathing is significantly cheaper.

2girls2dogs Fri 14-Sep-12 21:13:49

Don't bath him! take him to the vets - he might have some kidney trouble, a "starey" coat is often a sign of kidney or thyroid trouble and in a cat of that age it wouldnt be a big surprise. I'd wnat to rule this out first, that and teeth problems, he might not be grooming because he has a sore mouth.

If he still has fleas after doing with the advantage you need to treat the house, get some acclaim or indorex (or whatever the spray of choice is these days) and spray the house.

Catsmamma Fri 14-Sep-12 21:14:46

we shower the cat in this house and it's a 3 man job!

two pinning the cat down and one in charge of the shower and the rubber gloves.....reuben is not too hot on his trouser hygiene clarty little arse biscuit collector

he is getting used to it, we've had to do it about three times now, felt so awful the first time, he was completely panicked, but covered in shite so it had to be done, and he seems not to hold any grudges.

BrianCoxIsUpTheDuff Fri 14-Sep-12 21:15:09

my evil cat (I have an evil cat and a slightly moronic, yet lovable cat) shows us no affection whatsoever, unless you have her grooming brush in your hand. Only problem is she only tolerates her top bits getting brushed and it's the bit around her neck and her belly and rear end that get tatty.

Not brave enough to bath her, I groom as she eats and take her to the actual grooming salon twice a year as I can't get through all her hair, it matts terribly.

Were I to bathe her, I would surely lose an arm and she would divorce me.

Do you have a cat groomer local to you? It cost me £25 for Rosie last time, well worth it as it got to the bits I had no hope of getting to for fear of losing a limb grin

Professional grooming twice a year and all my limbs in tact - total cost £50, £1 a week = bloody good value to me wink

To add insult to injury, the groomer always tells me what a delightful cat she is, so affectionate apparently the bitch hates me grin

I still love her though.

bumpybecky Fri 14-Sep-12 21:17:28

it's the clawing skin off me I'm worried about lubey! grumpy cat is very grumpy!
I'll order some frontline online and try the cat shampoo. I think the chances of him tolerating it are slim, but we cannot carry on with him being this smelly, especially as it's getting cooler so he's starting to come into the house much more.

thanks for the tips, I'll let you know how we get on, assuming I've still got use of my fingers anyway....

dreckly Fri 14-Sep-12 21:18:20

Have to agree with 2girls2dogs here

speaking as a vet nurse, arthritis is likely, as is early stage kidney failure.

to deal with his flease you are going to need to treat your home too

good luck.

HansieMom Fri 14-Sep-12 21:19:32

Mine sounds much like above, but here goes. We have a deep laundry sink, with a sprayer. Fill with about four inches of warm water. Have your towel ready at the side. Have shampoo ready, I just use human shampoo.

You have to be confident and sure of yourself. Put cat in water, hold with one hand and swish water gently over. I squirt shampoo on body and suds all over. Swish over water to rinse and let it out of sink. Spray with gentle spray close to body. I swish her face with water now, just a little. Remove to towel and towel dry. I have a towel for cushion and second to dry. Blow with hair dryer. Bath only takes about two minutes.

Two hints. You might want to have him shaved and bathed by a pro.
The long hair may be too much for him to groom as he is elderly. My Maine Coon just quit grooming. It was too much for her. Her hair was greasy. I think she was depressed. We had her shaved down in a lion cut. After that, even when it grew out, she always kept up with her grooming. She neded a reprieve, a break.

bumpybecky Fri 14-Sep-12 21:21:34

lots of cross posts!

We also have stupid cat, she's about the same age and is slowing losing the plot. She's put up with everything the kids have done to her in the last 14 years though - being dressed up, tail sucked, pulled poked the lot. She just purrs at them! She can wash herself fine smile she won't get that close to grumpy cat though

If the sticking up coat is a sign of health issues, we'd better take him to the vet before we attempt bathing him.

thanks again smile

MisForMumNotMaid Fri 14-Sep-12 21:23:11

My cats are no longer with us but my silver Persian needed bathing from time to time, she wasn't keen. I used to line the bath with an old towel run a couple of inches of warm water, fill as many jugs and bottles with warm water as I could get hold of have a dry towel to hand, then find her, lower her into the bath, her claws would sink into the pre saturated towel then hold her down with one hand, gently soak (not her face) with the first bottle of water, shampoo, tip other bottles of water to rinse, lift out and wrap in towel.

RandomMess Fri 14-Sep-12 21:25:11

I have to say we fill the baby bath up in the shower tray (the noise of the shower scares them). I put some shampoo in the water, scruff cat, dunk in water.

Yours def sounds like it needs a visit to the vets first though sad

HansieMom Fri 14-Sep-12 21:28:23

We had a stray cat who showed up with long hair that was matted. Hungry, cold, half grown and mean! We kept him, neutered, shots and all. But the mats had to be faced, not by us and not by groomer. We took him to vets, had him anesthesized, bathed, ticks removed, and shaved down as well as they could, because, as they told me several times, they were not groomers. I think he enjoyed his short hair. He is a beautiful cat and not as grumpy as he was. Still not trustworthy though.

noteventhebestdrummer Fri 14-Sep-12 21:32:06

We have a comb thing called a Furminator from Amazon which keeps our 17 year old cat unmatted and so less smelly! It was about £20 but worth it. He won't groom himself at all now but looks great because the Furminator seems to get the loose undercoat out before it matts together.

bumpybecky Fri 14-Sep-12 22:18:33

he's not matted, it's not that long unlike his equally grumpy long haired cat friend who lives next door, he's in a real sorry state sad

our grumpy cat just doesn't feel right, sort of greasy but stiff fur

I've just checked our online pet supplier and the last stuff we ordered was a different version of frontline (fibrospot) but having read some older threads on here it's seems the online stuff is a lower concentration of frontline than the vet strength stuff and is less effective.

I can't remember the last time we took the cats to the vet, so think I'll take them both next week. Looks like we'll need a prescription for better flea control or the vet strength stuff.

RandomMess Sat 15-Sep-12 12:07:48

Our girl cat likes rolling around under the cars in the car park, just to ensure she is as stinky and oily and scruffy looking as possible angry

She is pedigree FGS does she have no shame grin

LunaticFringe Sat 15-Sep-12 12:23:18

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

2girls2dogs Sat 15-Sep-12 14:39:50

Hope it goes well at the vets - just another thing, if you are going to bath the cat, don't do it 48 hours before or after applying the frontline otherwise you'll just wash it out.

LineRunner Sat 15-Sep-12 15:07:54

Does the pillow case really work?

Our big girl cat (neutered) cannot be held down. My DD (strong 16 year old) and I (also a strong bugger) just cannot hold her down to apply flea treatment to the back of her neck, even wrapping her in towels. Her strength is unbelievable.

We have got to get her treated!

Neither could we get her in a box to take her to the vet.

ravenAK Sat 15-Sep-12 15:19:40

Cut the sleeve off an old anorak or acquire a toddler's polo neck from a charity shop, depending on size of cat. Pull over cat so head sticks through cuff & cat is gently wrapped up in sleeve/jumper.
This does enrage some cats more than just being bathed mind you! But works well on others.
Still take to vet to check out, poor condition coat can be an early symptom of illness.

LunaticFringe Sat 15-Sep-12 15:37:12

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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