Max and Missy

Anyone who has a cat -- or knows even the slightest thing about kitty behavior -- knows that the idea of washing a cat is a bad, bad, baaaaaaad idea.

Unless you have death wish.

Luckily, cats are kind of self-cleaning anyway.

But when a bottle of Vet's Best Natural Formula No-Rinse Foam Waterless Cat Bath came into the office, I knew we had to test it. If there was a way to get a cat cleaner without trying to actually bathe him, I thought folks would be interested.

The cat bath, widely available, sells for $6 to $8 for a four-ounce bottle.

So I sent the product to Dahlink, a longtime Unleashed reader with two adorable kitties, Max and Missy.

Here's her take:

We have two rescue cats, Max and Missy, who are now three years old. My sister also has two rescue cats, Calvin and Hobbes. They are orange long-hairs, and they regularly groom each other. ("Hold on," it seems they will tell one another. "This ear isn't quite clean yet.") Max and Missy do not do this, so I agreed to test the cat bath product.

Max recently came inside rather muddy and grubby after slipping outside on a rainy day. At last an opportunity to test Vet's Best Natural Formula No-Rinse Foam Waterless Cat Bath on him!

I ran this product by our vet, who didn't think it contained anything harmful, and who tested it on herself and gave it the thumbs up. It's main ingredients are aloe vera, neem oil and Vitamin E.

First you apply the foam -- it's very light and non-oily. After the foam dries, you brush the fur until it is sleek and shiny. Max loved this part of the treatment best. "Brush the kitty" is one phrase he knows well. (He also responds to "breakfast," "lunch," "snack," and "dinner.")

In general, I feel the very best cat bath is the cat's own tongue, but this has a pleasant scent and Max didn't seem to mind it.  

THE VERDICT: For a normal cat who hates getting wet, three stars. For Max, the rare Aqua Cat that doesn't mind a real bath, I give it two stars. I don't dare try this on Missy until we can get her claws trimmed.