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How To Bathe A Cat (from your Brooklyn Dog Walkers and Cat Sitters)


Brooklyn Bark is dedicated to both dogs and cats.  Often we step back and realize that the majority of our blogging is aimed at dogs.  Let us not forget our beloved felines.  Here we reprint one of the most useful pieces of cat care information we have encountered.

Note: Jeffery LaCroix is a veterinarian with an office in Wilmington. He writes a column for the Morning Star called "From Paws to Tails." Here is his response to a letter regarding bathing a cat.


Bathing a Cat
Dear Dr. LaCroix: I've heard that cats never have to be bathed, and that they have some sort of special enzyme in their saliva that keeps them clean. This doesn't sound believable to me because there are definite "kitty" odors on my couch and dirty cat paw prints on our white hearth. Is this true about the saliva? If we do decide to give "Nice Kitty" a bath, how do we do that? - NSP, Wilmington

Dear NSP: Fortunately for you, several years ago a client gave me a written set of instructions about cat bathing which I am privileged to share with you:


Cat Bathing As A Martial Art 

  1. Know that although the cat has the advantage of quickness and lack of concern for human life, you have the advantage of strength. Capitalize on that advantage by selecting the battlefield. Don't try to bathe him in an open area where he can force you to chase him. Pick a very small bathroom. If your bathroom is more than four feet square, I recommend that you get in the tub with the cat and close the sliding-glass doors as if you were about to take a shower. (A simple shower curtain will not do. A berserk cat can shred a three-ply rubber shower curtain quicker than a politician can shift positions.)

  2. Know that a cat has claws and will not hesitate to remove all the skin from your body. Your advantage here is that you are smart and know how to dress to protect yourself.
    1. I recommend canvas overalls tucked into high-top construction boots, a pair of steel-mesh gloves, an army helmet, a hockey face-mask, and a long-sleeved flak jacket.

  3.  Use the element of surprise. Pick up your cat nonchalantly, as if to simply carry him to his supper dish. (Cats will not usually notice your strange attire. They have little or no interest in fashion as a rule.)

  4. Once you are inside the bathroom, speed is essential to survival. In a single liquid motion, shut the bathroom door, step into the tub enclosure, slide the glass door shut, dip the cat in the water and squirt him with shampoo. You have begun one of the wildest 45 seconds of your life.

  5. Cats have no handles. Add the fact that he now has soapy fur, and the problem is radically compounded. Do not expect to hold on to him for more than two or three seconds at a time. When you have him, however, you must remember to give him another squirt of shampoo and rub like crazy.

  6. He'll then spring free and fall back into the water, thereby rinsing himself off. (The national record for cats is three latherings, so don't expect too much.)

  7. Next, the cat must be dried. Novice cat bathers always assume this part will be the most difficult, for humans generally are worn out at this point and the cat is just getting really determined. In fact, the drying is simple compared with what you have just been through. That's because by now the cat is semi-permanently affixed to your right leg.

You simply pop the drain plug with your foot, reach for your towel and wait. (Occasionally, however, the cat will end up clinging to the top of your army helmet. If this happens, the best thing you can do is to shake him loose and to encourage him toward your leg.) After all the water is drained from the tub, it is a simple matter to just reach down and dry the cat.

In a few days the cat will relax enough to be removed from your leg. He will usually have nothing to say for about three weeks and will spend a lot of time sitting with his back to you. He might even become psychoceramic and develop the fixed stare of a plaster figurine. You will be tempted to assume he is angry. This isn't usually the case.

As a rule he is simply plotting ways to get through your defenses and injure you for life the next time you decide to give him a bath.

But at least now he smells a lot better.

If there is a topic you would like covered, or if you are interested in dog walking / pet sitting please contact


Love it, that's pretty much how it goes with my cat.
Posted @ Saturday, September 03, 2011 7:50 AM by Ashley
That is exactly why Brooklyn Bark loves to take care of cats. We don't bathe them ;-) 
Bark Master
Posted @ Saturday, September 03, 2011 9:11 AM by Bark Master
HahahhahahaaaHeheheeehehheheeh!!!...... Ohhhhh My Star's This Is Funny!!!.... Still ROFL But I Bathe All My Maine Coonie Baby's & DSH Kitties!!!!..... It's Not Really Recommend'd I Bathe My Kitties By My Vet.... However It's Very Easy.... U Simple Take Mask'n Tape & Cut Off 4 Or 5 Strips...Oh Say 4" - 5" Long...... Get Kitty Up On Kitchen Counter Top Clear Of Object's.... Then Loosely Wrap A Front Paw & Be Sure To Leave A Lip Tab On Tape..... So U Can Remove Tape Later When Wet.... Now U Wrap The Paw Tip's & High Enough Were It Wont Slip Off (Loosely).... I Find Not Close'n The End Where Claws Come Out To Firmly Is Best Furrr When U Want To Remove It ... Now While You Have The First One On The Cat Becomes Involved W/Try'n To Shake The Tape Off.... Continue Until All Paws Are Tape'd & At This Point They Are Paralyzed Cause They Have No Feet....So They Think!!!.... Now I Put Kittty In Kitchen Sink.....W/Out Counter Items!!!.... I Wear A Bath'n Suit.... Cause Thing's Are Gonna Get Wet!!!.... Then I Grab Them By The Nap Of There Neck & Start Baby Talk'n To The Howls,,,,While Pour'n Big Mug's Of Water On Them & I Have A Hose Facet Now.... & I Use It To Put Close On Them To Lather,Rinse & Repeat!!!.... Now At Times Ive Had A Foot Tape Come Off.... That's When There's A Need For Speed & Hold Them Dwn Close To Bottom Of Sink.....Now You Grab A Big Towel & Wrap/Swattle Em Up....After U Both Have Calmed Dwn A Bit....U Go Into Bath Room & Sit On Toilet & Put Hair Dry'r On Low Away Frm Your Kitty (As To Not Burn There Skin & Blow Dry Them Out.....Still Wrap'd Again With A New Dry Towel....U Look To Unravel The Tape Carefully/& Quickly Frm Ea Back Paws /Careful As To Not Pull All There Toe Tuff's Of Hair Out & Then Wrap/Swaddle Them Up W/Towel Nice & Tight Because They Are Now Arm'd.... More Baby Talk You Wait Furrrr Bit Of Calmness Again...If There Not Have'n It ...Then Remove Frnt Paw Tapes & Let Kitty Out Of Its Towel.... Now More Talk...& Frm A Distance U Blow Dry Them Out Some More.... Then Wrap Kitty Up/Swaddle W/Dry Towel & Hold Him Until All Dry While Watching TV....Or Leave Kitty In Warm Bathroom.... & He Will Dry The Rest Himself....Voila U Did It & It's Not To Hard!!!.... I Only Do It When I My Big Maine Coonies Get To Look'n Bad Even After A Good Coming!!!!...Not Often....Dont Wanna Make Em' Sick!!!..<3
Posted @ Sunday, October 06, 2013 12:14 AM by Verna Bobb
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