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How to Bathe a Kitten

One of questions I routinely get is, how often do I need to bathe the kitten. How do I bathe a kitten? So here are some basics.

THE most important factor is confidence. If you're confident, exude that you're the boss, and don't flinch or freak, your cat won't sense your hesitation. If you hesitate, they'll use it against you. Here are the simple pointers, with reasoning a little further down in this blog.

  • Have the bath water (or sink water) poured before you bring the kitten in the room.

  • Have the temperature lukewarm. You don't want it too warm or too cold.

  • Use a natural pet shampoo, pet shampoo, or baby shampoo.

  • Use a shower glove, in a gentle manner. Our goodie bag will include one for you.

  • Have the room relatively quiet, and if you speak, do so in soft, low tones.

  • If they tense up, talk to the kitten, reassuring them throughout the process.

Positioning - My left hand is the kitten control. My hand is under the chest. For an older or larger cat, I hold them like a football. Their body is along my forearm, with their front and back legs are draped on either side of my arm. My right hand is the washing hand. Some cats fall in love with the water and they'll join you in the shower or tub. On many occasions I'll have a cat sneak into the shower and play, stand between my feet, or hop into the bathtub for a nice soak.

Because Sphynx, and other naked cats, do not have fur to absorb the natural oils from their skin they will require periodic bathing. The build up of oils in their coat will collect dirt and dust from their surroundings making them dirty. Depending on the amount of oils secreted from the cat, and the cleanliness of its surroundings, will determine the frequency of bathing. Some Sphynx need bathed more often than others. It's important not to over-bathe your cat, as it can strip them of their natural moisturizers causing an increase in oil production. I bathe my cats every month or two.

Bath time should be fun for cat and owner alike. Because bathing is a routine part of having a hairless cat, it should be introduced to kittens young and made as stress free as possible. Most nakeds tolerate bathing well, but if your cat is stressed by the experience, make bath time as quick as possible and wash their face and ears after you take them out of the water. Avoid getting soap into your cat’s eyes, ears or mouth.

Here's a simple video of a kitten's first bath. You'll see that I don't spend much time on the ears or face. I'll wait until they're in the towel to wipe down those areas.

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