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How to Give a Kitten a Bath

26 10:42:05

Cats are generally considered to be very clean animals. The amount of time they spend grooming themselves seems to attest to this, but what is not commonly known is that many of the allergens that trigger reactions in people that are allergic to cats are contained in the saliva. Those allergens build up in the kitten's fur over time and periodically need to be cleaned out. Unfortunately, giving a kitten a bath can be a difficult and painful process, and will frequently result in trauma for the kitten and many painful scratches for the person. This does not need to be the case, and there are several things that you can do to make the experience a more pleasant one for everyone involved.

The first thing to keep in mind is to not bathe the kitten until it has been weaned from its mother. The bathing process can change the kitten's scent and cause its mother to reject it. Otherwise, the procedure is very straightforward.

Place a rubber bath mat in the sink. This is done not only to keep the kitten from slipping, but also to help you hold the kitten in place if it gets upset.

Clip the kitten's claws ahead of time. This will help prevent future injury to you should the bath take a wrong turn.

Add two to three inches of barely warm water to the sink. Do not add any shampoo.

Slowly lower the kitten into the water. Hold it by the scruff of the neck so it doesn't slip and can't run away. This is the same way a mother cat would hold it when she wants it to stay put.

Gently moisten the kitten's body by scooping up water in a small cup and pouring it onto them. Be sure to not get any on the kitten's head, especially in its eyes or ears.

Massage a small amount of baby shampoo or flea shampoo into the kitten's fur. It won't take more than about half a teaspoon or so. If you aren't sure what kind of shampoo is best, talk to your veterinarian.

Scoop up some water and pour it over the kitten's body to gently rinse away the shampoo. As before, be careful to not pour any on the kitten's head, making sure to not get any in the kitten's eyes or ears.

Be sure to dry the kitten very thoroughly with a soft towel. Kittens can chill very easily, and immune systems are not up to fighting off illness. Either keep them in a warm environment until they are dry, or, if their temperament will allow it, dry them off using a blow dryer.