We have four cats and a house containing four people who are very allergic to, but crazy about cats.
In addition to using antihistamines (tablets, nasal sprays and lotions) every day, regular cleaning of bedding and sleeping areas and a good vacuum cleaner, one of the things we also do is bath our cats once a month. Because as anyone will tell you, it's not the cat hair, but the saliva on the cat hair that causes the allergies.
Our cats are expert groomers of themselves and each other. Their sleek coats contain enough siliva after a few weeks to make it very difficult to touch them without coming out in a rash and since they sleep with us that's a real problem. But bathing a cat is a risky business. Bathing four cats is a labour of love and should come with danger pay imho.
As the only person who grew up with cats in our family, bathing falls to me. The others claim to be unsure about how to get the cats to water, which I understand as all of our cats are rescues and have thus not been accustomed to bathing since they were young. It's a harrowing experience for both me and the cats as I honestly don't know how to get an adult cat to learn how to like water, and ours definitely don't. They are interested in the water, drink from the faucet and shower and love to play in there, but the moment bath time arrives they cannot abide it!
For the smaller kitties I run the tap in the basin and wet them down, then close the tap, lather them up, and then rise again, but for the bigger cats we start out in the basin but inevitably end up in the shower for the final rinse as I struggle too much to get the soap out of their coats otherwise and they loathe the bathtub even more than the shower. I grab them firmly by the scuff of the neck and support their bodies as I rinse them since any other pose poses a severe risk to me of getting clawed to death.
As it is I never escape getting clawed anyway and the cats, in spite of sardine treats afterwards, won't talk to me for the rest of the day.
Any tips or hints as to how to make this a less traumatic experience for all involved? Not bathing is honestly not an option as that would mean we will have to get rid of our beloved fur-babies and that is not going to happen.