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You CAN wash your cat. I had to do it twice for de-worming purposes. However, you shouldn't do it unless you absolutely have to and there's no other option. If the cat simply smells, or has litter on it, there are wash wipes you can buy for a dollar at Walmart that will "wash" your cat without totally flipping them out. That's what I would suggest you doing.
I was told to use either shampoo made for cats, or Johnson's baby shampoo. You're not supposed to use anything else. At least I wouldn't. They're too sensitive.
This is what I did with mine: I filled the sink up with warm water (sink is higher up so it's easier). Then I placed my cat in the water. I talked to her the whole time calmly and told her how well she was behaving. I had my mom use a cup to get her wet and wash her and rinse her while I held and comforted her in the water. If you have a second person, use them. It's way too hard on your own. Also, don't run the water. Cats don't usually like that sound. Make it a calm and soothing bath. Like I said, I had to do it twice with my cat. She gave my little problems. She just wanted out so go quickly. Mine even has her claws and I wasn't scratched, bitten, or hissed at. She just simply didn't like it.
Also! Make sure you keep the cat warm afterwards. Wrap them in a towel and snuggle for a while so s/he feels comforted and safe. =) Good luck.
One more thing! Be very careful with the ears. Either put cotton balls in them (a website suggested this) Or simply do not wash the face/head.