How to Bath Your Kitten or Adult Cat Without Stress?


Almost any cat lover can confidently tell you that these creatures do not like water so bathing your kitten my not sound like a good idea when you hear it for the first time.

However, this little four-legged creatures can become quite messy, and they would need your help to clean them up from time to time. Even though cats are naturally self-grooming do not expect that a kittens self-grooming skills would be as developed as that of an adult cat.

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Litter box messes are a lot common with kittens, and when they are hungry, they tend to have their food all over their face. So how can we get our little felines clean without making them feel anxious?

As you read for that, I would be teaching you basic techniques that will help you give your kitten a bath that will leave them feeling squeaky clean.

Getting ready to give your kitten a bath

Unless you’re lucky to have one of those cat breeds that are naturally known to enjoy playing with water like the Bengal cat for example, then you might need to put in some effort in getting your kitten comfortable with having its body wet before bath time.

It is easiest to do this with a very young kitten; however, it can also be done with a cat of any age. But you should even know that it would take a shorter time to get an 8-week old cat to get used to playing with water than an older feline.

The following steps are designed to help you get your cat used to water:

  • Begin by getting a wet washcloth and wiping your kitchen with it gently. If your kitten does not respond positively to this immediately consider offering it some tasty treats or even wet food while you clean it with the washcloth. Make sure that while you are wiping it you do not only wipe it back, but you include its feet and head.
  • If your kitten responds positively to the washcloth, then you can proceed to fill a cookie sheet with some water creating a shallow pan where your kitten can stand in. Get your kitten to slowly walk into the container containing water by offering it some of its favourite treats, or just by carefully placing it inside the pan while giving it a treat.
  • The next thing you want to do now is to try combining both methods. Well, your kitchen stands in the pan containing the water wipe it with a wet washcloth. Continue offering your pet treats while you engage in the process, and if necessary, you can employ the help of a friend. If you notice that your kitten is stressed or it seems scared completely stop the process and try again some other time. Kittens that are especially stressed or anxious may need to get some behavioural supplements such as pheromones that are designed to help anxious cats.
  • Once your kitten appears to be comfortable in the shallow pen containing the water, you can try drizzling water from your hand over its head and back. Slowly work your way up by using a small cup of water and gently pouring the content of the cup until your kitchen’s body while betting it an offering it treats if necessary. After doing this a couple of times and you find out your kitten is comfortable with it then you can confidently say that your kitten is ready to have a bath every day of its life or as often as possible.

What do you need?

Now that you have helped your kitten to get used to water and it is ready to have a bath, ensure that you have all the supplies that you need.

  • A bathing container: a bathtub sink or any other container like a storage bin should be kept specially for part-time with your little fellow
  • Cup: a small cup is very important because it will be needed to help you gently pour water over your kitten’s body to get it wet and also rinse off the shampoo or soap from its fur.
  • Kitten sage shampoo: ideally every responsible cat owner would consider using a sample that is specially designed for kittens. The shampoo must be tearless and specially formulated for felines. If you’re unable to get kitten shampoo, you can go ahead and use baby shampoo or just opt for a block of gentle dish soap.
  • Treats: as a cat lover you already know that treats are essential so if you want to give your kitten a bath, make sure that you have enough treats or can’t getting food that would be there to distract the pet if it begins to get anxious.
  • Towel: well I don’t think I need to emphasise the importance of towel because you should already know. Get a dry and soft towel that you will dry up your kitten’s body with after bath time.

Bathing your kitten

Bathing your kitten

Once you have followed the steps above to get your kitchen used to water and you have gathered together all the baking supplies, then you are ready to give your kitchen a well-deserved bath.

Get some warm water (make sure the water is not hot) then fill the bathing container with a couple of inches of it. Ensure that the water is not too deep for your pet; it should only get up to the animal’s knees.

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Gently place your kitten in the pail of water and begin to pour water gently over it with a cup. Begin from your cat’s hind end and gradually work your way up to its head.

Take a nickel sized dollop of dish soap or shampoo and massage it gently all over your animal’s body, then rinse the feline using a few cups of water. Once you have successfully rinsed off all the shampoo get a towel and quickly pick up your pet and dry it off.

The towel is all you need to dry off your cat’s body but if you want to use a hair dryer make sure that it is one that has a warm or cold setting. Do not make use of a hair dryer if it only has a hot setting as that will overheat your cat and affects it in an unhealthy manner.

How to prevent bath time problems with your kitten?

Do not make the mistake of submerging your cat in water or even putting it under running water during bath time as the animal may get scared. If you notice that your pet is acting scared, remove it from the tub and gently wrap it in a towel or offer it treats.

Let the entire bathing process be as fast as possible so that your kitten doesn’t get cold or stressed.

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