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A guide to bathing kittens.

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
You can bathe kittens as young as a few days old. I try not to bathe really young babies but sometimes it's unavoidable if they are covered in dirt or poop. Here's how I bathe:

Put a clean, dry towel in the dryer and turn the dryer on. If you don't have a dryer, fold the towel, put it in the microwave, set 1/2 cup water on top of the towel and microwave for 30-60 seconds.

Get a stream of warm water going at the sink. (I know it wastes a bit of water but it's not like you bathe kittens every day and it's only for a couple of minutes.) While you're waiting for the hot water to come through, drop a few drops of Dawn dishwashing soap or baby shampoo within reach but not in the water. Wet the kitten all over including his underside, except his head. Use the hand that isn't holding the kitten to 'wipe up' the couple of drops of soap that you prepared earlier. Use this hand to rub the kitten's underside - this is where most of the muck will be. Don't forget to rub all four legs including the paws, the tail and the throat. Rub the rest of the kitten.

Rinse that hand, so there's no soap on it. Alternately wet the hand and rub each part of the kitten's face. What you're doing is, instead of completely soaking the face and ears, you're making them damp as well as rubbing off any 'muck' that may be there. Gently wipe over the forehead, eyes, whisker pads, nose and chin. You can use a make-up pad or cotton ball if you like.

Rinse the rest of the kitten's body well by holding each part under the running water. When you need to turn the kitten over to rinse the underside, do a mummy hold (gently scruff the neck) and the kitten won't struggle. Remember to rinse the throat, neck and tail.

Turn off the tap. Wipe your hand firmly but gently down the kitten's back and underside to get as much water off as possible. Gently squeeze each leg and the tail. Wrap the kitten in the now warm towel, including draping it over his head. Sit down with the towel/kitten bundle on your lap. Start with the head and 'scritch' the towel on the face, top of the head, ears etc. and working down the body. You want to get the kitten as dry as you can at this stage. Don't forget the 'underarms', legs, throat and tail.

Take a hairdryer set on low (previously plugged in and set up right where you're sitting) and gently blow the kitten dry. 'Foof' the fur as you go - this makes drying easier. I use a soft kitten brush to foof. You could even use a baby brush or soft child's brush. Don't forget to dry the underarms, throat, bottom and tail.

Tada! You now have a clean, dry ball of fluff. Put this fluffball on a heatpad or hot water bottle to get warm.
post #2 of 11
Thread Starter 
Q: Why don't you just fill a bowl with warm water and dip the kitten in?

A: A few reasons. The water in the bowl can go cold quickly. Also, if the kitten is particularly dirty or decides to wee/poop while you're bathing, you're not floating the kitten in dirty water. Lastly, I use the opportunity of having the kitten under the tap to stimulate them. This means that you won't get an accidental wee or poo while drying the kitten.
post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
A quick BUMP.
post #4 of 11
Thank you for that.....That was really informative
post #5 of 11
That's the way that I've been bathing my kitten. It works really well. I have to watch him though, as he tries to "sniff" the running water. He's come close to getting a snootfull of water a couple times.

Plus, I've noticed that by exposing him to the hair dryer that way, he seems much less afraid of other loud noises. My husband turned on a table saw in our garage while I was holding him, and the baby didn't even flinch.
post #6 of 11
I usually don't wash babies till they are a few months old - 1 1/2 - 2 months. I suppose if they really NEED to be washed sooner you can. But I wash them the same as an adult cat

The hair dryer is a good idea at this age - they can't regulate body temp till older and you don't want them chilled. Be VERY careful how close the dryer is to the kitten - keep your hand as a shield to test the heat - if its too hot on the back of your hand, it will burn the kitten. Should take about 5 mins to blow dry a kitten.
post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 
post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 
BUMP for booboo_kitty.
post #9 of 11
Kumbulu, do you think you could amend this thread to also aid us in clipping kitten toenails? My concern is that my babies have sharp little claws already and they fight, really fight over nipples. It's not rare to see one kitten pulling the other one off with it's paws. I just don't want one to get hurt!
post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 
It's completely normal for them to fight hard over the nipples. Don't be too concerned, kittens very rarely hurt each other.
post #11 of 11
thanks soo much for this thread i was wondering if i was bathing him right ive had to bath him i think 4 times since he was 8 days old. i was doing it in the sink he seems to like it he purrs the whole time and swats at the water =) its really cute =)
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