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Might have to give the cat a bath... tips?

cheesecake
December 2nd, 2010, 12:40 AM
Recently my mom (also my landlady) came to visit me and she complained about my cat stinking up the apartment.

According to her, only the living room and my room smelled, and the smell is quite strong (I dont smell anything but i may be used to it.) The living room has the balcony door slightly (very very narrow) open at all times... so it definitely has air circulation.

HOWEVERRRR! When i took her to smell the bathroom where the cat's dishes AND litter box are, she said she doesn't smell anything.


I use feline fresh plus a baking soda additive, i scoop once~twice a day and flush it right away, and the bathroom had ventilation on but only for a few hours at a time.

So because my mom said the bathroom didn't smell, i held my cat up to her and she confirmed that its my cat that smells. The thing is, it's already had enough bathing her with the waterless shampoo stuff (spray thingy), I cant imagine what actually bathing her will be like!

So here's my questions regarding the "mystery smell":

1. Could the smell in the living room be from urine at all? i have hardwood floors, could cat urine dry in the few hours between when im at work till i get home? I moped the floor with swiffer wetjet right after my mom left, and next day when she came she said the living room still smelled. What cleaners do you guys use for your homes? I currently use Nature's Miracle Litterbox oder destroyer

2. Is bathing a cat (for the first time) doable with just lil ol me? Should i get a friend to help? Would that scare the cat more because there'd be a stranger holding her in the bathtub?

3. Anything in particular I should look out for besides the generic stuff every web tutorial says? (not get shampoo in face etc)



I hope she doesn't stay mad at me for too long for bathing her >_>
I had to introduce her to brushing her teeth and had to hold her down to clean both her ears recently, so now she's a bit miffed at me and sometimes runs away when I approach her. So sadd! </3

btw, anyone ever used this? http://www.petsmart.com/product/index.jsp?productId=4031247&lmdn=Cat+Grooming
does it work as good as an actual bath in eliminating odor?

sugarcatmom
December 2nd, 2010, 08:18 AM
Healthy cats shouldn't "smell". Rather than giving your cat a bath, I'd be taking it to the vet for a check-up.

As well, what does your cat eat? How old is she? And how often are you applying these waterless shampoos (what brand is it?)?

14+kitties
December 2nd, 2010, 09:53 AM
Does your mother like cats? That would be my question. I find a lot of people who don't like cats complain about "imaginary" smells because they don't want the cat around.
Other than that don't do the dry shampoo stuff and, as SCM suggested, take kitty in for a thorough vet exam. The dry stuff could be stripping all the natural oils from the kitty if used too frequently.

Koteburo
December 2nd, 2010, 09:58 AM
Another question is she the only one who smells the cat? Have you personally noticed any smell? Have you asked a friend if there is a smell?
BTW yes it could be urine, I had a cat (now with my parents) that would just keep spraying all over the place to a point everything was smelly, even the furniture and I could tell the smell as well when I came back to my place from going out or work. He's fine now, however if the place is smelly it might not come directly from your cat's body as in the kitty being the source of the smell in the sense of emanating from the cat.

If you give the kitty a bath it all depends on the temperament of the cat, sometimes you need help, with some cats you don't, water has to be warm, not too hot and not cold, keep the door closed in case the cat tries to escape from the bath. You need a big fluffy towel or more because drying takes a while, you dont want the poor kitty dripping wet being cold, make sure the environment is warm because after the bath you want to cause the less possible distress and cold.

But before giving the bath I would make sure if the smell actually comes from the cat or is it because the kitty peed somewhere or has been spraying the rooms marking it.
Is your cat spayed/neutered?
You'll probably find out that it really doesn't come directly from your cat but if it really does then as Sugarcatmom said a visit to the vet wouldn't hurt.

Marty11
December 2nd, 2010, 03:06 PM
I would never bathe a cat unless absolutely necessary. They don't really like that. I would suspect spraying in the room on the furniture maybe? Is your cat spayed/neutered? Check in the ears for odor, my cat once had mites and it got infected and it stinks. (This requires a vet for meds.) Cats are very clean usually. Cheap litter can linger too.

cheesecake
December 2nd, 2010, 05:41 PM
Healthy cats shouldn't "smell". Rather than giving your cat a bath, I'd be taking it to the vet for a check-up.

As well, what does your cat eat? How old is she? And how often are you applying these waterless shampoos (what brand is it?)?

I did a vet checkup just a month ago. (i got her from the spca in late oct, and did a vet checkup the following week) And everything is completely fine with her back then at least. Could something develop in a month?

She seems perfectly healthy as far as eating, drinking, and pooping goes. The only concerns i do have for her is dental health and her nails (refuse to let me cut her front paws, and i dont want to resort to the towel trick <_< )

My cat is eating the chicken and beef cans of EVO. I have three treats for her, Greenie's Dental Treats, Zuke's Chicken thingy, and another dried salmon stuff that she doesnt really like and i dont really give it to her.
I don't give her more than 4 pieces of the treats a day altogether.

I shampoo her once every 2 weeks before my mom complained about the smell. This recent week i shampooed her twice. The shampoo is FURminator, the deshedding one. I did notice her shed a lot less than when i first got her though, and her fur is so soft after i use that stuff. O_O

I don't want to bath her if i dont have to, so right now im pretty much trying to figure out if it's her or she's been a sneaky lil thing and sprayed somewhere when i was at work and i just cant smell it...

My other really farfetched theory is that the smell is the spca smell -___-


Does your mother like cats? That would be my question. I find a lot of people who don't like cats complain about "imaginary" smells because they don't want the cat around.
Other than that don't do the dry shampoo stuff and, as SCM suggested, take kitty in for a thorough vet exam. The dry stuff could be stripping all the natural oils from the kitty if used too frequently.

My mom never liked animals of any kind haha. However, I don't think she's complaining about something imaginary as i took her to the bathroom where the litterbox was pretty much in plain sight and she said it didn't smell.


Which is why im suspecting either my cat has really bad breath and the scent transferring to her coat when she's grooming herself. (im slowly introducing her to the toothbrush so i can start brushing her teeth, so far she hates it coming anywhere near her mouth... i had to bribe her by doing it right before meal time....)

Or... that she sprayed somewhere and i just cant find it because im used to the "cat smell"

My roommate said there's no smell in the living room though... so my mom could be insane, but the apartment is under her name so i do have to make sure its not just jedi mind tricks.

I'll have a friend over to aid me in the quest to hunt down the mystery smell.

Another question is she the only one who smells the cat? Have you personally noticed any smell? Have you asked a friend if there is a smell?
BTW yes it could be urine, I had a cat (now with my parents) that would just keep spraying all over the place to a point everything was smelly, even the furniture and I could tell the smell as well when I came back to my place from going out or work. He's fine now, however if the place is smelly it might not come directly from your cat's body as in the kitty being the source of the smell in the sense of emanating from the cat.

If you give the kitty a bath it all depends on the temperament of the cat, sometimes you need help, with some cats you don't, water has to be warm, not too hot and not cold, keep the door closed in case the cat tries to escape from the bath. You need a big fluffy towel or more because drying takes a while, you dont want the poor kitty dripping wet being cold, make sure the environment is warm because after the bath you want to cause the less possible distress and cold.

But before giving the bath I would make sure if the smell actually comes from the cat or is it because the kitty peed somewhere or has been spraying the rooms marking it.
Is your cat spayed/neutered?
You'll probably find out that it really doesn't come directly from your cat but if it really does then as Sugarcatmom said a visit to the vet wouldn't hurt.

Is there any tricks to finding where they sprayed besides following the nose? since My mom cant pinpoint the location and i dont smell anything at all....

She's the only one so far who says anything about the smell. My roommate said the living room doesnt smell, but we both live in the apartment and could be used to it.

I am getting a friend over too to help me investigate but if he fails me also I'm pretty much DDD:

My cat is one of those difficult ones, it's such a battle just to clean her ears and using the dry shampoo (maybe she wouldnt hate the powder stuff as much as mine is a spray).


I would never bathe a cat unless absolutely necessary. They don't really like that. I would suspect spraying in the room on the furniture maybe? Is your cat spayed/neutered? Check in the ears for odor, my cat once had mites and it got infected and it stinks. (This requires a vet for meds.) Cats are very clean usually. Cheap litter can linger too.

Yah my cat is spayed. In my post i did state that i recently cleaned her ear and she hates me for it. I think it was just wax (it was black but it wasnt too bad, the people at the petstore said its only mites if there's a LOT of wax).

If i had to describe the wax in detail it's more at the very base of her ear instead of like, oozing out to the upper part like a lot of pictures of ear mites describe, i cleaned her with a ear mite cleaner anyways just to be sure and im checking her ear every other day now for signs of it coming back or w/e, but so far so good. I think it was just regular ear wax.

I use feline fresh, and i researched litters for a long time (small apartment) and that one seems to be one of the highest rated ones, and my mom already said the bathroom where her litterbox is didn't smell.

Yah i said earlier that i really dont want to bathe her, right yesterday i was on my hands and knees and wiped the entire floor with a Just for Cats oder destroyer thingy, today im going to do the same for the living room then get my mom to come. If my mom says it still smells then the bath is my last ditch effort before i take her to the vet.

Love4himies
December 2nd, 2010, 05:47 PM
I have never had a cat who smelled except for an unneutered, stray male that stayed in my house until I could get him to the HS.

I would say, if you can't smell it, then it doesn't exist. ;)

sugarcatmom
December 2nd, 2010, 07:46 PM
Is there any tricks to finding where they sprayed besides following the nose?

You could get a black-light and shine it around the room when it's totally dark. Urine glows under UV light: http://www.wikihow.com/Find-Cat-Urine-With-a-UV-Light

cheesecake
December 2nd, 2010, 08:42 PM
You could get a black-light and shine it around the room when it's totally dark. Urine glows under UV light: http://www.wikihow.com/Find-Cat-Urine-With-a-UV-Light

oh just any UV light will do?
I always thought the stuff pet stores sell are special (and the reviews are not always positive)

thats good to know! thanks i'll grab one from canadian tire this weekend!

cheesecake
December 4th, 2010, 12:40 AM
btw, will 15watt black light do?
or should i look for a higher watt?

catlover2
December 5th, 2010, 11:20 AM
Cat saliva actually has deodorizing properties in it. I first discovered that when I was into breeding longhaired cats. My stud would get some urine drops in his longhaired breeches and he would really stink, then he would lick his fur on his backside and the odor was gone instantly. I do know that if a cat has very bad gingivitis or infection in the mouth resulting in foul breath that it can get licked on the fur and really make the cat stink. I suggest if that's the case, the cat needs a proper dental cleaning.

tklow
December 6th, 2010, 03:13 PM
I would never bathe a cat unless absolutely necessary. They don't really like that.

However, if you do get a cat used to an occasional bath when they are young, they can be pretty good about it. I did that with my first two cats. They didn't really like it, but learned to remain in the tub even when I walked away to get the towel. Sure, they would glare, but a firm "no" would remind them to stay put and wait until I was done. They would hold still nicely for a little wash (though you'd be amazed at how much hate/disgust a cat can show in its face when you do something it really does not like :) ).

Normally, a healthy cat does not need baths but I would suggest getting a young cat used to it because it will make it a lot easier if you have to wash the cat; I recall a few years ago my big long-tailed Manx flipped his tail into a cup of fabric softener. I had to get that stuff off of him or he'd have been poisoned! Fortunately, he was one I got used to bathing. I got lazy with my more recent kitties and I regret this as one of them recently had an unfortunate litter box event (nuff said) that required an emergency wash. He went a little crazy when I tried to get him in the sink.

Once your cat has had a couple of baths and knows you are firm about doing this, one a year or less should be enough to keep him used to it. I make them quick, no soap unless needed. I have a friend whose cat loves to get in the tub though. He joins her in the bath!

I agree with those who say the cat might be sick. Bad breath can be a sign of kidney disease or tooth problems, and I've smelled some nasty infected ears in the past. A sick cat may not groom much and get stinky too. My manx got mangy after years of having a perfect coat and we ultimately found out he had rodent ulcer in his mouth -- his tongue was so raw and inflamed he could not wash. Smelliness is almost always a sign of a problem.

tklow
December 6th, 2010, 03:17 PM
oh just any UV light will do?
I always thought the stuff pet stores sell are special (and the reviews are not always positive)

thats good to know! thanks i'll grab one from canadian tire this weekend!

Just make sure it's a UV light. There are all kinds of black light bulbs you can buy that are just regular bulbs with a black coating. They won't work.

The UV ones work great. As a side benefit, if you are or your kids have any glow-in-the-dark toys/pictures, try shining the UV light on them for just a split second. It instantly "charges" anything with glow-in-the-dark properties!

I used a UV light to hunt down a pee stain and then used enzyme cleaner to get rid of it. Well worth it.

Koteburo
December 6th, 2010, 08:12 PM
Yup, like members said black/UV light is the only way to identify where the kitty has been spraying if he did. Because they actually spray it when they mark the place it's not like they do a little wet spot we could easily identify. It's kind of common with males that haven't been neutered.
Maybe your kitty doesn't stink at all :p

lindapalm
December 6th, 2010, 11:13 PM
I agreee with Catlover, I would have your cats teeth checked.

Floppy Dog
December 8th, 2010, 02:11 PM
Is your cat a long hair? I think maybe yes? I have noticed that my long hair gets a bit smelly in the winter with his thick coat if he's not brushed regularly. He was a rescue and I had to teach him how to groom himself, he must have been taken from his mom too young to have been taught by her. Perhaps regular brushing would help? I know it does wonders for dogs ( I have one of those too, a Cocker Spaniel). A dog that is brushed daily needs far fewer baths to stay clean smelling.

Koteburo
December 9th, 2010, 01:49 AM
Is your cat a long hair? I think maybe yes? I have noticed that my long hair gets a bit smelly in the winter with his thick coat if he's not brushed regularly. He was a rescue and I had to teach him how to groom himself, he must have been taken from his mom too young to have been taught by her. Perhaps regular brushing would help? I know it does wonders for dogs ( I have one of those too, a Cocker Spaniel). A dog that is brushed daily needs far fewer baths to stay clean smelling.

That's true!!!