Thursday, June 24, 2010

Tanuki's First Bath

I was really apprehensive about bathing Tanuki for the first time. I was somewhat worried that she would be scared of the bath (like my foster rats in the past have been), so I approached the situation expecting the worst: that she may panic, scratch, or even bite.

I couldn't have been more wrong! Tanuki seems to actually enjoy the bath. When I put her in the tub she walked around (I already had the tub going at a low setting so there was a little water in the basin already). I used the handheld shower sprayer to wet her fur, and she seemed to enjoy the warmth of the water. She stood still while I lathered and rinsed her. So cute!

I set up a drying station ahead of time thinking I may need to quickly remove her from the bathroom to dry her off. I didn't realize that ferret fur dries very rapidly on its own, so I didn't even need to use the blow dryer. I layed some clean towels on the floor and tanuki dried herself by rolling around on them and dragging her, erm... "hindquarters" on the towels.

Right now she's cuddled in a dry towel in her cage. Here are a few pics of the aftermath. Next time I'll ask my husband to make a video of the bath itself to share.


  1. wow, who knew ferrets were kind of chill when it comes to hygiene? how convenient to have a self-drying pet.:P

    i'm pretty nervous about kitties' first baths. it's amazing how wiggly and strong 2 lbs of furry mayhem can be.

    (and i am having fun spoiling them. they got these little plastic squiggle thingies last night, to celebrate their first night of roaming freely around the house. they didn't hurt themselves or break anything, so they must have been a good distraction. :) )

  2. That's great that you confined them at first. At the humane society where I work we always advise using a "safe room" but a minority of people actually take our advice. Bravo! I bet your kitties were much more relaxed when you let them roam the rest of the house than they otherwise would have been.

    It really is nice that Tanuki makes bathing easy. I usually don't bathe my foster animals for fear of getting bitten. Cats normally don't need baths more than a few times in their lifetime. They are the truly self-cleaning pet. Some companies do make some really nifty pet wipes that work pretty well in the event that your kitties get into something nasty. But who knows, you may have one of the rare cats that actually like water!

  3. They *are* much more relaxed when left alone to roam the house now (thanks :D). Altho - I wonder how much sleep they get at night. :P I worry about them less too, since I pretty much already know what kind of trouble they will get into when we're not around.

    My mom has a cat that actually adores the water. She's a Norwegian Forest Cat, and one of their traits is a love of water. She's always turning the faucets on, and just playing around in it. I think like 60% of her fluid intake is from licking the tap. It's pretty gross, but impossible to break her of. They're a pretty crazy breed (TONS of personality), but so much fun.

    How long do you foster animals for? Is it hard to let them go, or do you find you don't get too, TOO attached? I think it's great what you do. All animals need some kind of socialization and personal attention, I think. :)

  4. I've never heard of that type of cat! Just looked them up. They look a lot like Maine Coons! I've heard stories of cats that love water so much they'll jump in the shower with their humans.

    I foster animals for as a few as a couple of days to three weeks to several months. It depends on the reason for needing foster care. I fostered a pregnant guinea pig, so I only had her until her babies were three weeks old and were able to be brought back to the shelter. I've also fostered animals that needed to be "mixed" meaning bonded into a pair. This can take anywhere from a few days of supervised visits to a couple of weeks. I only keep those animals as long as they need to be in my care. They get much better exposure to potential adopters when they're at the shelter.

    If an animal needs an intense amount of socialization (like the rats I currently have) I can have them indefinitely because they cannot go back to the shelter. This means that any potential adopter needs to make an appointment with me to come see them, and they are adopted out of my home. The female rates I had before my current foster rats (Mable and Muffin) had bitten a child at the shelter, so they were unable to go back. The male rats I am currently working with have bitten me several times now, so I'm not sure what will happen to them. They are very, very old, and I'm unsure if we can find them an adopter. :(

    It is very difficult to let some of them go. When Mable and Muffin got adopted I cried for days. I just have to keep focused on the fact that if I adopt any of my fosters I will have less room and time to help other animals. Sometimes I'm excited for the animals to go, though. I had a pair of male guinea pigs that I was bonding that wouldn't stop emitting strong scents because they were both trying to appear dominant. They really stunk! I couldn't wait for them to leave, haha. :)

  5. They are, I think, somehow related to Maine Coons. My mom's isn't nearly that large though. She's actually kind of prissy and dainty, when she's not being completely reckless and generally insane.

    It's such a wonderful thing that you do. It must take worlds of patience to adjust to all these different little temperaments. We had three (male) guinea pigs growing up. They always stunk, but their little squeaks were pretty adorable.

    Do your adopters ever send photos of how the animals are doing? I think I'm going to have to send some of Max and FiFi's pictures to the county shelter -- they're just too funny, and I want them to know they are having a good time.

    PS - I ended up having to give Fiona a bath on Saturday morning. She jumped into the toilet, as my hubbers didn't seem to think it was necessary to close the door while, ahem, well you know. He was in shock that she jumped in, and I was completely grossed out. So she got her first bath in the shallow bathroom sink. She did really well while being gently lathered, but didn't care too much for the rinsing. She mostly freaked when I toweled her off, which I didn't expect. But she survived! I hope she learned that toilet = unpleasant bath experience (and my hubbers learned, for love of all that is holy, close the door. NO ONE needs to see that!). :P

    I guess you could say it was an eventful weekend. ha ha.