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Felinexpress.com Home > Kitten Care > How to Bathe a Kitten

Kitty’s First Bath

In the first few days of their lives, abandoned kittens often need to be bathed. Once they grow a bit older, instinct will kick in. They will become excellent groomers and bathers on their own. But sometimes, situations crop up where a first bath is a necessity. Before you bathe a kitten here are a few supplies you need on hand:

  • DAWN liquid dishwashing soap (only original formula)
  • NEVER USE OVER-THE -COUNTER FLEA OR TICK SHAMPOOS OR DIPS.
  • A small plastic container (to scoop water over the kitten).
  • Flea Comb
  • Cat nail clippers (for small kittens, fingernail clippers work well).
  • Warm towels (cycle a few dry towels in your dryer during the bath)
  • Soft washcloths
  • Sharp tweezers
  • 1 jar with hot water and a tablespoon of bleach mixed in (to dunk the fleas in and kill them).

Before starting the bath, carefully clip the kitty’s claws. Be careful, you do not want to cut the quick (the pink part of the claw) Have a stypic pencil on hand just in case.

Bathe the kitten in a small warm room- bathrooms are best. Don’t bathe the kitten in the bathtub unless you have a smaller container to serve as a bathtub and never shower with a kitten. Sinks are the best bathtubs for kitty’s first bath.

Put the towels on low to cycle in the dryer.

Fill the sink with warm water- you don’t need a lot of water because kittens tend to panic and can drown so use caution. NEVER leave a kitten (no matter what age) unattended in a sink of water or by a sink of water. Submerge one washcloth into the sink to serve as a traction mat.

Drop in a few drops of DAWN dishwashing lotion, swish the water to disperse the soap.

Pour out a small amount of DAWN in the container to have ready for the bath.

Carefully lift the kitten and place him rump down into the water, if he squirms (and he will) gently scruff him. Wet his fur down with warm water being careful not to get water on his face or in his ears. If he has fleas they will be scurrying toward his head (this is what the washcloths are for). Lather the kitty up, gently work the soap in. Keep soap and water away from the head and ears. Scoop water over his fur; remove all traces of soap residue. You may see a lot of fleas in the water, but just keep scooping. Take a damp washcloth and run it quickly over the head and face don’t put soap on the face, the warm water will stun the fleas.

Lift kitty up on a soft towel. Wrap his body so he won’t get cold. Quickly drain the sink and refill it with warm water. Be prepared that running the water will scare the kitten so keep a firm but gentle hand on him. Make sure the water isn’t to hot. Place kitty rump side down into the water and start scooping water over him to do the final rinse. You will now see fleas on his coat and skin. The fleas are NOT dead, they are only stunned.

Once all the soap has been removed, place kitty on the towel again and quickly towel dry. Take the tweezers pick off the fleas dropping them into the jar of hot water, bleach mixture. (This will kill them quickly.)
Once the fleas have been removed, towel the kitty dry with the warming towels. Keep him close and cuddled until he stops shivering. Brush him out with the flea comb. Discard any leftover fleas found into the jar of hot water. Flush contents of jar into toilet.

Hair dryers will scare or burn a small kitten. Use the warming towels to get him dry. If you have a small space heater, put the kitty into a cat carrier with lots of towels for bedding and place the heater nearby.

Cats are fastidious creatures, so as a rule, regular baths are not necessary. Once the kitten is old enough, he will take the job on himself and bathe himself with his tongue.

  1. Korat
  2. Balinese
  3. Javanese
  4. Japanese Bobtail
  5. Somali
  6. Abyssinian
  7. Turkish Van
  8. Siamese
  9. Egyptian Mau
  10. Oriental Shorthair
  11. Tonkinese
  12. Bengal
  13. Norwegian Forest Cat
  14. Cornish Rex
  15. Siberian

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