I’m Right, You’re Wrong: Clean Cat

by Marinka on September 12, 2011

Yippee! I had another disagreement with someone and it’s time for a fresh I’m Right, You’re Wrong!

This weekend I was having a loving email discussion with Kristine, when suddenly things took a turn for the horrendous.

Because we broached the subject of cat bathing. And didn’t exactly see eye to eye.

It’s my fault really, I’ve been told time and again not to discuss politics, sex, cat hygiene and money in mixed company, and yet, I threw caution to the wind and forged ahead.

So, once again, page view givers, er.. I mean, dear readers, I turn to you.

Disagreement: Do house cats need to be washed?

Disagreers: Marinka and Kristine

Position One: No, cats wash themselves. They are self-cleaning like self-cleaning ovens and vaginas.

Position Two: Cats need to be bathed– it helps for furballs and odor.

Where are you on this issue?

(And if you’re for washing cats, what cycle do you prefer?)

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{ 51 comments… read them below or add one }

Stasha
Twitter:
September 12, 2011 at 12:31 am

I say, whatever you do, do not tumble dry your cats.

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Kati
Twitter:
September 12, 2011 at 8:35 pm

I agree. Did that once. While she wound up okay, it made for a lot of tears and a huge vet bill!

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Robin September 12, 2011 at 7:05 am

Cats need to be washed ever so often to catch the parts that they miss.

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Rosstwinmom September 12, 2011 at 7:17 am

Um, no. I draw the line at giving the cat an IV. Which I had to do because my husband is a pansy. And yes, I did poke myself with the needle and probably have feline AIDS. So, actually, I should have drawn the line before the IV?

So, no bathing of cats. Their main selling point is the low-maintenance aspect.

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Tinne from T and T September 12, 2011 at 7:28 am

My cat is called Atilla, do you honestly think I could wash him and live to tell the tale?

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Cheryl
Twitter:
September 12, 2011 at 8:00 am

Holy crap! Which one of you is the masochist? Self-cleaning, but like vaginal areas might need assistance making their hair presentable.

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awesome dude September 12, 2011 at 8:00 am

It depends on the breed of the cat you have privilege to have and your olfactory discretion.

If the cat needs a bath you will know it before he or she does.

And, if he/she needs it once you may be sure that he/she will need it periodically in the foreseeable future.

The same principle applies to the dates.

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Becky
Twitter:
September 12, 2011 at 8:08 am

I don’t have a cat, so I don’t have a dog in this fight. But the dog I do have definitely requires a bath. And breath mints.

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eevie September 12, 2011 at 8:35 am

It depends on the cat. For example, if your (my) cat has to take pills for anxiety and is terrified of the outdoors and any living or moving thing and loves sleeping in clean laundry, then it’s safe to say that the cat doesn’t need any baths, because he smells like anxiety and clean laundry. Other cats, maybe.

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Dawn September 12, 2011 at 8:46 am

Only crazy people wash cats.

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rebeccaNYC September 12, 2011 at 8:57 am

If a cat is not cleaning itself and needs a human to wash it, there is a problem, and you need to get to the vet.

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Allispin September 12, 2011 at 9:18 am

I only bathe my cats if they get into something especially stinky – most of the time I let them take care of themselves

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Jodi September 12, 2011 at 9:26 am

Um, are there showers for tigers in the jungle?

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Peajaye
Twitter:
September 12, 2011 at 9:36 am

Does “cats wash themselves” refer to the act of their licking themselves? Does that apply to children? Please clarify since I have neither.

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Becky September 12, 2011 at 1:37 pm

Children mostly lick other children. I’m not sure if that still makes them self-cleaning (as long as you get them around other kids) or not. Of course cats sometimes lick other cats too, so….
I am now considering stopping bathing my toddler. He’s self cleaning! Like an oven! ;-)

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Mama Kat September 12, 2011 at 10:04 am

Cats are self cleaning.

But then again so are most people and well…some leave something to be desired.

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Brittany (BrittanyandTahn) September 12, 2011 at 10:08 am

I’ve never had a cat, so I don’t know…

But I always thought they were self-cleaning…

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empress bee (of the high sea) September 12, 2011 at 10:09 am

i don’t have a cat but i wanted to comment that i DO wash my vagina.

smiles, bee
xoxo

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Megan September 12, 2011 at 10:27 am

I’m allergic to cats.

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b a seagull
Twitter:
September 12, 2011 at 10:35 am

I reread Awesome Dude’s comment several times. I am a fan of his logic and often agree with him. But whose or what date?

Also, gentle spin cycle if she has been good.

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kimberly September 12, 2011 at 10:56 am

All kidding aside, I hope people are not washing their cats. There is really only one breed of cat that actually requires bathing. Other than that, cats have natural oils in their fur that protects their coat and their skin. If you are washing your cat, then it’s for yourself and not the cat’s benefit. In fact, you are making the cat quite miserable.

Cats are not small dogs.

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Homschlr4ever
Twitter:
September 12, 2011 at 11:39 am

Good luck to those that bath their cats. We have five, all bottle fed and rescues, and though they tend to act like dogs – Our only girl will let you squirt in the face and doesn’t move – They are definitely not dogs!! They all weigh in at over 20 pounds and in a fight to get them in water, we’d all lose. They love us but I have no doubt that were we to die without anyone finding us, they’d eat us.
But Kimberly is right, they have oils that need to be kept on their skins. We’ve noticed two things, one that a cat that stops cleaning himself is usually sick and getting ready to die and when one is “stinky” our other cats will take to cleaning the one that smells.
Now if they could just clean their own kitty litter, I’d be in 7th heaven.

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Jodi F. September 12, 2011 at 11:41 am

Wash. A cat. You are kidding, right?

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annie September 12, 2011 at 11:44 am

I’d say yes and then use a garden hose. Cats love that sort of thing!

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Catherine
Twitter:
September 12, 2011 at 11:49 am

Of course cats don’t need to be washed. That’s ridiculous.

Right?

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Kristen
Twitter:
September 12, 2011 at 11:52 am

My cats won’t even let me clip their nails, so giving them baths is out of the question. Sometimes I spray them with Febreze, though. Does that count?

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Tracy
Twitter:
September 12, 2011 at 12:07 pm

We tried to give our cat a bath when she was about eight months old. Her screams sounded like those of a small child and attracted the attention of our neighbours. My brother tried to bathe his cat and it scaled his arms, face, and the curtain to get away.

The moral of the story: don’t bathe cats. Nobody benefits.

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magpie September 12, 2011 at 12:20 pm

I have puncture wounds in my thigh from trying to get the cat to the sink the other day, because she had stepped in her own shit and was leaving charming little footprints. Washing cats is very occasionally necessary, but to be avoided whenever possible.

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Mackenzie September 12, 2011 at 4:35 pm

Yeah, I agree with magpie here.

I have two cats. They clean themselves, and at first I was concerned I’d missed some big thing about cat care where you may have to wash your cat sometimes. But I talked to my vet and did some research, and nope, you don’t often have to wash your cat. They mostly take care of themselves.

However there are some moments. Like if they don’t bathe themselves (some cats do that, I guess). OR, if, in the case of my cat, if you take a crap in your new covered litter box, attempt to leap out of it like you’d leap out of your UNCOVERED litter box, hit your head, and land heavily on some barely covered poop and get it all over your side. Then they need a bath.

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Wendi
Twitter:
September 12, 2011 at 12:41 pm

Miss Dickens loves Summer’s Eve.

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Snarky Amber September 12, 2011 at 12:45 pm

There’s no way in hell I’m bathing my cat. Based on how she reacts when I have to give her eye medication, I’m pretty sure this would only end in a visit to the hospital.

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Corinne September 12, 2011 at 12:47 pm

I have two housecats, and we don’t do any cat bathing. Cats bathe themselves, and my husband and I prefer our skin not shredded to ribbons. One of our cats does, however, occasionally get a little baby wipe action. That’s as far as I’m willing to go.

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pam September 12, 2011 at 12:49 pm

I say they are self cleaning. But if one must aid said cat I don’t care which wash cycle is used. I would, however, prefer tumble dry.

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Noelle September 12, 2011 at 1:13 pm

Well, according to position one, then, vaginas need not ever be groomed? I disagree.

Wash your kitty!!!

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Brittany September 12, 2011 at 2:04 pm

Rinse cycle

My persian gets a bath at least once a month. Even though she never go outside, she is the most filthy furball I have ever seen! You may say that cats are self cleaning… perhaps, but by the time they clean their butts and then their faces, it pretty much makes them dirty all over again…

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Sarah Mac September 12, 2011 at 2:59 pm

Only if it’s a white cat and you empty leftover pasta sauce on it when it’s in the bin or if someone draws a big B on it’s head or the dye from it’s collar bleeds in the rain ………………… or, you know, the usual kind of stuff …………

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Beth September 12, 2011 at 3:43 pm

Cats are self-cleaning machines! Even if their ideal bathing areas are in the middle of the bed while you try to sleep, in the middle of the kitchen counter, or while laying on your lap.

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Brattus Rattus September 12, 2011 at 4:15 pm

When I had a ketteh I used to bathe her once and a while. When she’d get really crazy I would give her a bath to “get her dander down” (I have no idea what that expression means but it’s what I always called it). It would calm her, too.

For all the years I had pet rats I would bathe them too. For the same “dander” reason above. It always calmed them down after the terror in their screams subsided. Plus they smelled like baby shampoo.

< :3 )~~~~~~~

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dusty earth mother September 12, 2011 at 6:33 pm

I do not have cats. If I had cats, I would not wash those cats. I barely wash my dogs and they have an unfortunate odor that has notes of dead fish, Cheetos, and each others’ butts.

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Kristen September 12, 2011 at 6:42 pm

I bathe my cat, she’s pretty much okay with it (no clawing, no biting, no meowing). But it only happens after she does dumb stuff like fall in the toilet while trying to play with “floating items.”

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Bridget September 12, 2011 at 6:46 pm

If someone (like your husband) is allergic, the cat can be rinsed to get the dander off it. The best way to do this is to throw the cat in the shower with the husband. Then take a photo, just in case he wants a divorce someday-you can claim his into beastiality.

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MegglesP September 12, 2011 at 6:48 pm

I USUALLY would agree that cats do not need to be bathed by us..HOWEVER, I had a cat with a weird skin condition that required a medicated shampoo..OF COURSE SHE DID..So what did I do? I got a good fishing net..and trapped her on the bottom of the bathtub with a couple of inches of water and washed her through the fishing net..I’m sure it wasn’t traumatizing for her AT ALL..She wasn’t suffocated or anything, so she was really fine..You just would think I was trying to murder her if you passed within a block of my house..But hey, she survived and so did I. Yay

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Anna Nonamus
Twitter:
September 12, 2011 at 6:52 pm

I’m against bathing the little critters, BUT, if I have to, I suppose I would use the Baked Potato setting if I use the microwave, OR the delicate cycle on the washing machine.

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Sheila
Twitter:
September 12, 2011 at 8:19 pm

NO BATHING OF THE CATS…unless you want to be screamed at, clawed and generally made miserable.

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Kati
Twitter:
September 12, 2011 at 8:37 pm

Bathing a cat is one of the earliest signs of insanity.

No, really, it’s on the entrance forms at most major psychiatric hospitals.

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the mama bird diaries
Twitter:
September 12, 2011 at 10:46 pm

I just fed-exed over a Summer’s Eve douche 4 pack for Nikki. You’re welcome.

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becky September 13, 2011 at 9:34 am

I always thought of cats as self-sufficient. they clean themselves, they use a litter box, they decide if they like you, not the other way around. I have had several cats, not all at the same time, and I have never bathed any of them. I do however brush their hair on occasion if they are long-haired. But then again, I think they do that when they bathe themselves.

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mwebi September 13, 2011 at 6:01 pm

I do not wash my short-haired cats, but I do have a 15 year long-haired white one, that yes, gets baths. He hates it, but he doesn’t take care of himself very well. He used to be an outside cat and of course, loved to sleep in dirt piles and oil puddles and anything filthy, so he has always been bathed every other month or so. Now he’s indoors and still manages to find dust and is always matted and weird. He starts yowling as soon as you pick him up and carry him towards a sink. Good thing he only has a few teeth left.

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Pamela Asher September 14, 2011 at 8:11 pm

Had cats all my life, never bathe them thats their job! personally love but have enough todo looking after myself!!!!

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GrandeMocha
Twitter:
September 14, 2011 at 10:12 pm

I’ve had cats since I was a kid & never had to give one a bath before these cats. I have cats with really soft fur. And delicate tummies. And if they get a hold of yogurt, look out!!! It comes out runny & sticks to the fur & we have to shower their butts. It is a two man job & it sounds like we are drowning them to the neighbors. But after we towel them off, they don’t run from us so I guess they feel better?

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oneheelsgirl September 24, 2011 at 2:02 pm

Ok, so I offer two very logical solutions. First, I have two cats. I have never bathed them. I have a giant mastiff who loves to lick them (which the cats do not really love but hey, we are talking free slobber covering massive area here) all they have to do it spread it around. The other solution I have is more for my boy kitty who is well, kind of roundy…ok he is fat! They sell in most pet supply shops a nice kitty wipe that is called Kitty Wipes Instant Pet Bath. They are cleansing wipes without water or rinsing needed. You can be sitting quietly with your friend and petting and wiping said kitty and ba-da–bing instant fresh kitty. Problems solved. No blood, no screams, no injuries.
Your Welcome =)

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