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How to clean my filthy cat?

(34 Posts)
MrsMeeseeks Mon 02-Jan-17 22:08:06

I've recently taken in a local stray. He's apparently been living in our neighborhood for around a year but although several kind people have been feeding him, he doesn't belong to anyone. I'd guess his age at about 2yrs. He is shy and nervous and appears to have been mistreated sad but so far seems very happy to be living with us and his confidence is growing every day smile

He has a vet appointment soon to get a once-over and to check he's old enough to be neutered. Until then, I'm wondering if I should try and clean him: he doesn't seem to wash himself much and is covered in grime and patches of what appears to be car grease. He whiffs a bit, too.

I'd never realised how spotless my other cat kept himself until this grubby little customer turned up! I guess washing is not a priority when you're living on the streets.

I'm not going to give him a bath as it will terrify him when he's just learning to trust us.

Has anyone successfully managed to clean a grubby cat or shall I just leave him dirty for now?

Thanks in advance!

Potentialmadcatlady Mon 02-Jan-17 22:36:49

Would the cat wipes you get help? They look like baby wipes but are for cats...I used them when my cats were little kittens ( ex feral fosters so pretty wild and untrusting then) and didn't do a great job of keeping themselves clean

MrsMeeseeks Mon 02-Jan-17 22:46:08

Cat wipes! I have never heard of cat wipes, what an excellent idea. I'll see if he will let me give him a gentle rub-down. Thank you

Weedsnseeds1 Mon 02-Jan-17 22:48:09

When they turn up filthy like that, there seems to be a limit on how much cleaning they can do themselves. You have to wait for the coat to replace itself naturally. The wipes might help ( as mentioned by PP) but I wouldn't try and bath him.
Neutering should help with the wiffiness too!

TheMortificadosDragon Mon 02-Jan-17 22:58:47

Probably a good thing he's not trying to wash if its car oil, poor scrap. There are various dry shampoos available for pets, maybe worth looking at those if you need more than the wipes on the oily bits.

hardheadedwoman Mon 02-Jan-17 23:01:22

Coke is good for dissolving car grease on cats but it sounds like it's a big area. I've only tried small spots

YesItsMeIDontCare Mon 02-Jan-17 23:04:26

Regular brushing would help too as it will shift manky hair that he would otherwise swallow. Remember to wash the brush after each groom though! blush

TrustySnail Mon 02-Jan-17 23:21:31

It sounds as though his luck has changed for the better now you have given him a home!

I should think, as his confidence grows, he will start grooming himself more - if he has been on the streets and mistreated, he's probably wary of being 'off guard' - when it sinks in that he is in a safe place, he will be able to relax and luxuriate in grooming sessions. I second PPs' advice to help him out with cat wipes in the meantime.

He's fortunate to have found you!

YesItsMeIDontCare Mon 02-Jan-17 23:26:47

(ps - I think we need a photo. It's kinda compulsory in "The Litter Tray")

yes I did make that rule up myself but y'know, cats are lovely and should be appreciated

wtffgs Mon 02-Jan-17 23:28:00

Photo! Photo! Photo!

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen Mon 02-Jan-17 23:30:34

Our cat was manky too when he first adopted us,I used a damp flannel and groomed him as much as I could with a cat brush. His coat soon looked gorgeous.

GardenGeek Mon 02-Jan-17 23:33:54

Phhhoottto of the grubby one grin

You will be glad you did because then you can post when hes all cleaned up next year with his new coat.

Seen a few threads like that, they are beautiful.

RubbishMantra Mon 02-Jan-17 23:42:39

Warm, damp flannel, imitating mother cat licking him.

I also use these on Little M's greasy ears.

RubbishMantra Mon 02-Jan-17 23:50:28

Oh, and when you take him to the vet, ask for them to have a good look at his teeth/mouth/palate. Lack of grooming is very often caused by a sore mouth/toothache.

Nice one for adopting him OP. smile

MrsMeeseeks Tue 03-Jan-17 08:21:45

I don't have a photo that shows the true extent of his grubbiness, but here's the wee fellow getting cosy on my bed yesterday.

Thank you all for your helpful replies. I will give them a try. I agree that he'll settle down after being neutered - I think he has the makings of a properly soppy old lap-cat.

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen Tue 03-Jan-17 08:40:30

Awwww, he's lovelysmile

LucyLocketLostHerPocket Tue 03-Jan-17 08:50:55

One of ours got covered in tarmac once and we took her to the vets to be bathed. It took a long time and that particular kit was a tad vicious and would have ripped us to shreds. It took every vet and nurse available to hold her down and be washed.

Cat wipes sound like an awesome idea as long as there are no underlying skin conditions. I babywipe our current incumbent if he's a bit grubby as grooming isn't a priority for him unfortunately.

notagiraffe Tue 03-Jan-17 08:57:06

Our first cat was rescued from someone who was going to drown him at four weeks old, so we had to take him right then, before his mum had taught him how to wash. We painted his fur with tiny amounts of melted butter which taught him pretty quickly how to wash grin but you'd need to check he doesn't have car oil on first. Maybe get the vet to bathe him then try the butter trick?

MycatsaPirate Tue 03-Jan-17 09:02:27

Awww! Shows how safe he feels because he's showing his belly. Lovely cat. I'm so pleased he's settled in with you. He must feel so safe and content and pleased to have a warm home and food on tap.

Agree with others that regular brushing is good, this helps remove loose hair and also makes them feel good! And cat wipes? I never knew such a thing existed!

Hopefully once he's feeling more settled he'll start washing properly. We took in a stray a few years ago and she was in a right state. It took her a few weeks to settle in and once she realised she wasn't getting thrown out and food was always available she started to properly clean herself up.

YesItsMeIDontCare Tue 03-Jan-17 10:24:36

Oh he's lovely OP! He really does know his life's looking up now doesn't he. Even if he's not a "lapper" I reckon at the very least he'll be a "wedged-up-right-next-to-you".

Awwww... I feel all warm and fuzzy now, love a nice rescue story. You're a star OP star. Happy New Year to you all, and Happy New Life to you your new chap.

mortificado Tue 03-Jan-17 10:27:10

Do you think he'd let you bath him?! One of mine loves water!!!
There she is fresh out the bath!

Potentialmadcatlady Tue 03-Jan-17 10:27:40

Oh he's just lovely..may you have many happy happy happy years together

MrsMeeseeks Tue 03-Jan-17 10:39:56

Wow, what lovely messages! Thank you all so much. smile

I'll get a brush and some cat wipes today. Good point about the possibility of a mouth problem. His teeth seem great, but there seems to be a bit of discolouration on his palate (I had a good look when he yawned!).

Weedsnseeds1 Tue 03-Jan-17 11:12:31

Black and white cats often have pink and black palates and gums so probably nothing to worry about.

MrsMeeseeks Tue 03-Jan-17 12:53:38

Ah, great, yes, that makes perfect sense. He has a mixture of pink and black toe-beans so of course his skin would be variegated.

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