Ok ok I’m sure you thinking you must be crazy right? No cats do need cleaning! They touch their dirty kitty litter with urine and fecal matter (and collect half of it in their tail and paw hair) then lick themselves clean spreading dander and oils around. This dander, undercoat and oils collect together in the stomach either causing hairballs or worse not being excreted (later to have to surgically remove! Believe me I and a few clients have been there!) Washing your cat helps remove this dander (which is the allergen you are usually allergic to) and removing excess oils and undercoat that cause matting and hairballs.
This is the way I introduce bathing to new clients that have not been bathed before. I bath a lot of cats that have never been bathed before or have had bad experiences with washing (5+ a week!)
Have everything prepared BEFORE you grab your cat! You will need 2 towels, a bucket of luke warm water or 2, a pump water bottle of shampoo mixed with luke warm water (use cat friendly shampoo only, make sure it says it on the bottle!) I like to use chubbs bars after the first wash. Shampoo bottle, Nail clippers, and an extra person if you can help it. Washing in the laundry sink or bath is best
1. Put a towel on your washing machine or bench, Cut your cats nails before attempting if possible to decrease scratching!
2. Put cat in sink/bath facing away from you, put pressure on the shoulders of the cat reassuring the cat. Use the water bottle wet the tail first slowly and make your way up to the head scrubbing as you go. dont wet the face or head only with your hands or kitty will get grumpy. scrub as much as you can with one hand on shoulders. Apply as much pressure as needed, scruff only as last resort.
3. Rinse using bucket of water and cup, as much as possible.
4. Re-shampoo using your hands and shampoo. Scrub as much as you can.
5. Rinse again thoroughly. Do not use conditioner.
6. Towel over cat and put cat on other towel and dry as much as possible. If you are keen to blow-dry (if cats not scared of vacuum or your hairdryer they may be fine), wrap cat up in towel and put other towel over head (so they can breathe but not hear) and put pressure on whole cat drying from tail up and combing at times. Otherwise comb your cat as it air-dries.
I recommend bathing every 4-6 weeks for optimal cat health. If you cant do it we can!
I hope this helps!
Lexie the Groomer,
Certified Master Cat Groomer (The Cat Grooming School, London)