Washing your cat is not going to be like washing your dog. The closest example that I have for what this experience maybe like is washing your kids, when they are really young, and just simply DO NOT want to take a bath. Even that doesn't really come all that close, since you are more likely to come away with possibly serious injuries when washing a cat, then when you are washing your children. For this reason alone, I would suggest letting the "professionals" take the damage (and, yes, the pay) for this chore. However, if you are unable to afford the cost of a cat bath, and Kitty absolutely needs a bath now, then you can do it. Just follow these simple steps.
- Wet suit or durable poncho (you ARE going to get wet)
- Old clothes that you don't mind getting ruined (scratches and tears are going to happen)
- Thick rubber gloves (those used by the Military for Bio-hazard protection are perfect, flexible but will protect you from serious damage)
- Kitty shampoo (flea or regular, your choice)
- Enclosed bathing area (helps reduce the risk of Kitty getting away)
- Brush or combs
- Hose and spray nozzle, or detachable hand shower
- Locate. The very first thing that you are going to need to do is locate Kitty. Cats are smart, and yours probably noticed your preparations when you were not looking. When you find your cat, go ahead and pick her up and take her into the bathroom. If you have a long haired cat then you are really need to brush out Kitty's hair prior to washing so that you can avoid snags and snarls.
- Wash. Hopefully you are already wearing gloves, or that you have a declawed cat, because this is the point where it is going to start getting painful. Wet down Kitty using either the hose and sprayer, or the hand held detachable shower. Remember, cats DO NOT like to get wet, so there is going to be a whole lot of squirming going on. Even if you have declawed Kitty, you are still in danger of getting hurt, since a vast majority of veterinarians leave the rear claws in place for "defense."
- Lather. As well as you are able, apply the Kitty shampoo to the squirming ball of death and destruction. I am only calling Kitty this, because at this point, that is exactly what is going through the cat's mind at this point. The cat is going to be harder to hold onto now due to the soap, so be careful to hold firmly but gently onto Kitty.
- Rinse. After working up a good lather, go ahead and rinse Kitty off. Again, cats DO NOT like water, so they are not going to like the rinse cycle any more than they did the wash. Make sure that you rinse off all of the soap, or this could lead to problems later on (like dirt sticking to the soap). Repeat steps 3 and 4 as needed.
- Dry. Now comes the drying cycle. If you thought that this was going to be the easiest part of the whole process, then think again. Chances are you have gotten pretty hurt and tired by this point and your cat—well, let's just say she's not happy. Do not use a hair dryer, since the cat basically won't hold still long enough. Use a towel. After drying off Kitty, brush out the hair again as needed to avoid snags and snarls.
- First Aid. Finally you are finished with washing Kitty. All that is left is to apply first aid as necessary to any and all injuries that you sustained during the process.