Fragile that is almost frightening to touch it, yet you have to wash it: everything you need to know about the kitten’s first bath.
It seems so helpless, always cold and above all small: yet it will have to be washed sooner or later. Yes but when? Everything you need to know and how to get ready for the kitten’s first bath : the right tools, tips and moves for what should be a pleasant and relaxing moment. Obviously the risk that it could turn into a nightmare is around the corner, so be careful!
Kitten: when is it ‘time’ to wash it?
A lot of emotion and a little anxiety usually accompany the first ‘important’ moments in a kitten’s life, and bath time is definitely one of them.
But not all ages are the right one, especially if it’s a new born kitten. In reality, the first period of life will be fundamental in the life of a cat because it is the one in which it will be able to become ‘familiar’ with water and not be terrified of it as an adult.
But washing him as soon as he is born is absolutely not advisable: you have to wait about six months, just the time to give him all the vaccinations and make sure that his little body develops the right amount of antibodies.
What are the risks of washing it too soon
If we had to bathe a kitten before it is six months old, the complications could be different: first of all it could cool down if not dried well or suffer temperature changes.
Secondly, no less important factor, the mother cat may no longer recognize her baby because the smell of his skin would be compromised by the products we use to wash him and their fragrances.
First bath to the kitten: what to use
It is therefore better to clarify that the first bath is what should be done after the first 6 months of life; but first then the kittens will remain ‘dirty’? Actually no!
But it will not be necessary to use water and shampoo, but to clean his coat with a damp cloth, dry shampoo, a brush or products for cats with special needs.
Instead, what you will need to wash a kitten a little older in age will be:
- two towels (one to wet and another, dry, to dry it),
- specific shampoo,
- brush or comb,
- a tray,
- running water.
First bath to the kitten: the right moves
The first thing to do is to choose a quiet place to place the tray; if, on the other hand, you prefer the sink in the bathroom, make sure that there is silence and tranquillity in the house so as not to agitate it and avoid stress to the cat.
The water temperature should be neither too cold nor too hot; with one hand we will hold the kitten but let’s create a mat with the towel placed on the bottom of the sink.
With the other hand or with the help of a cup, we begin to wet the baby’s back with small amounts of water. Then sprinkle it with 2-3 drops of shampoo (it will not be necessary to use too much, since there will be ‘little’ to wash).
As we wet it, we proceed to rinse with the same tools (hand or cup). Make sure that the water has also reached the edges and the most hidden and difficult to wash spaces, such as the ears.
For drying, we pass a dry cloth on his hair and never use the hair dryer, because he could easily burn and get scared (it can happen that the cat is afraid of the hair dryer ).
Once dry, pass the brush or glove to brush the cat gently along the entire length of the hair, to avoid the formation of knots and promote growth.
First bath to the kitten: last tips
The kitten may (rightfully) be scared of the water, even the noise it makes when it comes out of the tap, and it will be completely normal.
What we can do to help him is not to lose patience, but rather reassure him with lots of pampering and with a calm and reassuring tone of voice. We wash every part of the body well and try to understand if the water temperature is the right one for him.
We can ‘reward’ his post-bath courage with some snacks he likes so much, so he’ll have a good memory for the next time.