Monday, March 12, 2012

Bathing A Cat

When I went downstairs this morning to greet Josy and give her her morning hug, I discovered that her fur was covered with some kind of oil.  I smelled of motor oil.

Josy is restricted to the kitchen and family room area of the house at night, with access to the garage and the out of doors through her cat door.  We've often thought it would be interesting to have a cat-cam to see what cats on the prowl do at night.  Who knows what she got into.

I had not intended to ever subject Josy to a bath, but now it was needed.  I went on line to see if human shampoo could safely be used.  I found a very good answer from a pet groomer with good tips on bathing a cat.  I Googled "human shampoo for a cat" and came up with all kinds of information.  I do love technology.  And the answer was yes, mild human shampoo can be used.

There are no photos of the actual bath. because it took both of us to keep her in the sink.  I survived unharmed.  Tom got one scratch.  Josy was NOT happy.

 She tried her hiding her head trick that she uses at the vet.

 After drying her off a bit, we let her go to 'lick herself dry'.  I know, it doesn't seem to make sense, but that's what the "expert" said to do.

Shortly after that Josy sought refuge in her hide-away in the closet, and has not moved since.  I hope she doesn't hold a grudge for long.
Now if we can only figure out what to do about her "fur mowing".  On line I learned enough to know that's what a cat licking it's hair off is called.  I also know there are many possible answers, from fleas (no) to parasites (ugh) to food allergies (she is so finicky now!) to mental illness.

The easiest path is to see if she responds to steroidal treatment and perhaps do a food allergy test.  She's already had one steroid shot, but we didn't really monitor closely for results.  I guess I'll be making another trip to the vet soon, and that is not how I like to spend my money.

Josy is a complicated cat.


  1. Wow, Linda, I could hardly look at Josy for looking at you. You look wonderful.

    Josy's had stress in her life lately. It's stressful for cats to move. Now you've given her more stress by bathing her. There's a lot more activity around your house than when she just had Jake to worry about. No doubt she'll settle down in time, but it's always what to do in the meantime.

    When I've had itchy cats my vet has had me cut up Benadryl and give them about a 1/4 pill.

    Good luck to you and Josy. She just doesn't know how lucky she is.

  2. Oh, dear, poor kitty. If her fur mowing is a mental illness, I don't know how much bathing might have set her back. Still, I agree, she is a lucky cat to have found a home with you. I hope she comes to appreciate it.

  3. I did it once...hope never having to do it again! Bathing cats. Not for the faint of heart. Glad you both survived the ordeal and you both look lovely!

  4. Poor kitty! It would be fun to have a cat-cam to see where she goes goes at night. It is amazing what they can get into.

  5. I hope she will be okay. I have grown quite fond of her. Poor kitty!

  6. can't imagine why you didn't show Josy being! Maybe she's addicted to motor oil and allergic? You never know.

  7. It could also be the flea treatment if she gets it..some kind of allergy usually not to food in cats as often as it is in dogs..can you tell I have been through this...? Even some other disease is a process of elimination. Steroids are ok short-term, but long term they cause problems..yup been there.. my cat gets allergy injections..yup..

  8. Giving a cat a bath is not easy. I think I only had to do that once. My sister tossed some clothes in my dryer and turned it on, not realizing our cat was napping in it. She survived and the vet said to give her a cold bath to bring down her body temperature. She was one very unhappy cat but lived to be nineteen, using a few more of her nine lives in the process.

  9. I agree with Linda. I loved looking at you even more than unhappy Josy. She is sure lucky to have you both care for her.


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