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Bathing 4 week old kittens?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
I've read here on TCS how dangerous it can be to bath young kittens. I wouldn't consider bathing my four furbabies (who turned a month old today!) except for the fact that their fur is getting kinda messy. Since their mother has essentially stopped feeding and cleaning them (http://www.thecatsite.com/forums/sho...threadid=26101), I've been taking over. They're very quickly learning how to lap KMR and meat baby food but it's a very messy process. I've noticed them preening themselves on occassion but they've still got food dried into their fur (all part of the learning process I guess). Is there any safe way for me to bathe them? Does anyone know of a safe "soap" or should I just use warm water and elbow grease to clean them up? I've still got their heating pad which I intend on using to help keep them warm after they've been bathed and dried. Is there anything else I should know???

post #2 of 5
Aha! They have the KMR bodies do they! LOL

You will need to be the mom cat each time they eat. Do this in a warm room that is free of any drafts. Get a bowl of warm water and a washcloth. Sit on the floor and drape a bath towel over your lap. After feeding them, put them on them on the towel. Wring as much liquid as you can from the washcloth and GENTLY bathe them from their face to their rump. I wrap the washcloth around my hand with my index finger in a corner of it and rub with my finger. You do not want to get them wet, only damp. If it is chilly at all, wrap them in a towel and place them on a heating pad. If the washcloth chills, warm it up in the water. Washing them this way not only cleans them, but often causes them to burp, and gives them the same type of licking comfort that they got from their mom. If they are not fully eliminating on their own yet, or are doing so and messing themselves, you want to make sure that you clean their rumps thoroughly. Doing so will stimulate to go (warning - keep some dry towels or toilet paper nearby), and cleaning them keeps them from getting urinary tract infections.

At 4 weeks old they will be very squirmy when you do this. All I can say is that persistance pays off! Don't expect to get them perfectly clean each time. You need to do this after each feeding otherwise they become KMR (or poopy) messes!

Good luck! I found this actually fun in a twisted, hey-I'm-bonding-with-them sort of way.
post #3 of 5
Please do not use a human heating pad, as it it unsafe for baby kittens. Use a pet heating pad if you have one, and also take some dry towels and cycle them in the dryer. Use the warmed towels to wrap the kitten up in while it is chilled.

I would just use cornstarch and a fine tooth comb if it were me. Wait till the KMR dries and apply a little bit of cornstarch and comb them out.
post #4 of 5

Is there mom acting okay? She should still be taking care of them. But it is okay to bath them with dawn dish detergent and warm water. But i cannot stress enough that you make sure they don't get chilled and make sure they are dry before you leave them. You can also watch them for a minute and make sure they aren't shivering. The heating pad will help also and they can snuggle together for warmth. You can put down a little dish of water for them to try and start sprinkling a little bit of hard food over the soft for them to try at will also. I know it seems like rushing a bit but it is just for them to try before you start replacing the milk with food in a week or so. Hope this helps!!king.gif


Resources: I have raised 3 litters

post #5 of 5
Psst. . .the kittens mentioned in this thread are 9 years old now wink.gif. But welcome to the forums! I'm sure you can be of a lot of assistance in more recent threads.
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