Rags was a good model for this segment of how to bathe a cat. Bathing a cat can be an easy thing, if you get the cat used to having baths when they are a kitten. Rags was raised in a young family and therefore somewhat child-tortured. So he was exposed to water and baths before he wanted to be!
There are several different methods on how to bathe a cat. There is the Martha Stewart method of having two buckets of clean water. You dunk the cat (not their head, never get their head wet) in the first bucket and then soap them up and then dunk this in the second bucket to get the suds off. Of course, then you are supposed to let them air dry.
I am not sure of the effectiveness of this method, nor do I think it is the best way to do it. In the videos below, you will see my preferred method.
I prefer to bathe a cat in the sink or in the shower. The videos show Rags being bathed in a sink and is one example of how to bathe a cat. Since Rags is an old guy, I put a towel in the bottom of the sink (so that his back legs wouldn't keep slipping--he doesn't have the grip that he used to). But I think no matter the age of your feline, a towel in the bottom of the sink helps them get a grip and feels better than the cold hard sink--it's just one suggestion of how to bathe a cat.
If your faucet has a sprayer on it, all the better. The sink I used had a sprayer and that's the best way to get to every part of your cat's body with bothering them too much (Rags doesn't like being moved a lot when he gets a bath). Once you have wet them down with the sprayer, then grab your shampoo.
I recommend HyLyt Shampoo for bathing them. When Rags' coat started getting oily from his lack of grooming, I used this shampoo and had tremendous success with the appearance of his coat. You can just buy a bottle of it or buy a whole gallon to save some money.
You need to use a pet shampoo or some people use a baby shampoo (since cats groom themselves with their tongues, you have to use something that isn't going to hurt them in the long run by swallowing it, because inevitably there will be remnants of the shampoo on their coat when you're all done). You then suds them up and focus on areas that they have dirty (like their bottom or paws). Since Rags is older, he doesn't groom as often as a younger cat. So, he has a lot of parts to focus on. I just give those an extra scrub.
Once he has been soaped up, then it is time spray your cat off again. Make sure you get as much of the soap off as possible. Again, you don't want them to have a belly ache from grooming themselves and swallowing a lot of shampoo.
Once all the suds are off, I then wipe off as much water as possible. And have a towel waiting to put him on (out of the sink) and another towel to dry him off with. You try to get as much access water as possible. However, if you have a long hair cat like Rags, his hair will be matted down and look horrible.
So, I choose to blow dry him (because he tolerates it fine). Other people would leave his coat in the matted state and wait for him to clean it (maybe put a light fan on him). I don't care for that approach because Rags would just sit there until he was dry, and would not clean himself.
Once he is blown dry, then I brush him to get out any lose hair. I also clean his ears with a solution called Epi-Otic Ear Cleanser.
Once he is semi-dry, clean and ears done, I let him go about his daily business (i.e., sleeping!).
If you have any questions or suggestions? Please contact Floppycats.com with your suggestions on how to bathe a cat
In the video above, my mom is shampooing Rags with HyLyt Shampoo with Essential Fatty Acids. I recommend buying a bottle to try and then getting a gallon if you like it--a great shampoo is one of the first steps in learning how to bathe a cat.
In the video above you can see the ear cleaner (Epi-Otic Ear Cleanser) that I use on Rags.