Giving Uncooperative Kittens a Bath

Cats are clean animals, but they are not fans of water, preferring to use their own saliva to clean up. Giving kittens a bath can be a challenging task and uncooperative behavior is common, being triggered by the kitten's fear. The first baths are essential in determining the future bath behavior of kittens.

Prepare the Kitten Bath

Prepare the bathing place: choose a room that is quiet and warm. You will also need:

  • a baby shampoo; regular cat shampoo won't do-kittens have sensitive skin and may get easily irritated
  • a few towels
  • a small mat
  • a cup
  • a hair dryer

Move the Kitten into the Bath

Kittens are afraid of new situations and a slippery sink or the running water will make them hostile.

Put a towel or a mat in the sink or bathtub and move your kitten on it. You will notice that the kitten will try to get a grip on any object just to avoid entering the sink, so try to relax your kitten; rub his neck or tummy.

Take one paw at a time and gently move the cat into the sink. Alternatively, try grabbing the kitten by the scruff, which is how the mother would move the kitten, and this should loosen up your pet.

Don't fill the sink or bathtub with water.

Shampooing Your Kitten

Pour a bit of lukewarm water along with a bit of shampoo on a towel. The shampoo may be diluted, so that the rinsing process is easier. Wrap the towel around your kitten, leaving out his head. Rub the kitten and make sure your kitten is comfortable, use reassuring words in a calm tone.

Rinsing with Lukewarm Water

Turn on the water, but ensure it's not a stress factor for your kitten. The water should be lukewarm and moderate in pressure. If you notice that the kitten is disturbed by the running water, prepare a wet towel in advance.

Gently rub the kitten with the wet towel: start with the face and move towards the neck and body, ending with the tummy area. Avoid the ears and the eyes.

Try to remove every trace of shampoo by pouring small cups of lukewarm water on the kitten's back. The kitten will be struggling to get out, so while pouring, control the kitten by holding down his lower part. Meanwhile reassure the kitten with calm words.

Massage Your Kitten While Drying Him

Get a dry towel and massage your kitten with slow moves. The massage should be a pleasurable experience for the kitten and you might squeeze in some cuddles and treats to add extra comfort. Associating the bath with pleasant things will help the cat be more at ease with taking baths.

To dry the kitten you can use a blow dryer, but if the noise makes the kitten nervous, you might opt to put the kitten in a warm place and let him dry that way.

The first bath is the hardest. Remember to keep your calm during the process, even if you are not an expert in giving kittens a bath. Be playful. If you lose your temper, the cat will sense that and will get uneasy.

Keep in mind that a kitten is allowed a maximum number of two baths per week.