A young Asian girl nuzzles noses with a tabby kittenA young Asian girl nuzzles noses with a tabby kittenA young Asian girl nuzzles noses with a tabby kitten
Barks & Mewsings

The Trupanion blog

How to Bathe a Kitten: A Kitten Owner’s Guide

By: Kelli Rascoe

Your new kitten may not be excited for bath time. Naturally, most cats dislike being around water. Although your furry friend may not want a bath, grooming is important for their health. While you may not have to groom your kitten as often as other pets it’s essential for your kitten’s care. Fortunately, we sat down with Trupanion veterinarian Dr. Sarah Nold to learn more about how to bathe a kitten and some tips to help keep your best friend clean.

A man gently rubs a wet tiny kitten with a towel

Steps to bathe a kitten

While your kitten may not want a bath, they may need one to stay clean. Nold breaks down some tips to consider when bathing your kitten below.

  • Use a spray hose to gently rinse your cat
  • If possible, have a family member assist and help hold your kitten
  • Use lukewarm water
  • Consider a soap-free pet shampoo
  • Rinse thoroughly and towel dry

Your kitten’s first bath

This is a new experience for you and your kitten. Take your time and if you need to stop that is okay. It may take time for your kitten to become familiar with bath time. Also, if you need a quick fix for grooming, a wipe may help your furry friend. For example, “I find it easiest to clean with fragrance and alcohol-free wipes. You can find cat-specific wipes at pet stores,” says Nold. Further, a kitten’s first bath may be frustrating, but with love, patience, and kindness you can get through it together.

A cat peeks over the edge of the inside of a bathtub

The importance of grooming your kitten

Although your kitten may self-groom as they get older, they need to become comfortable or at least experience a bath. You may find that you may have to bathe them when least expected. In fact, “a kitten who is sick or has diarrhea may need to be cleaned,” states Nold. Also, you may need to groom your kitten because of parasites like fleas and ticks. Naturally, grooming is essential for your cat, but it may not be an easy task. Consider talking to your veterinarian more about grooming tips for your cat and recommendations for a local pet groomer in your area. Overall, proper coat and claw maintenance are essential for your kitten’s health.

Tips for kitten grooming

Your kitten’s nails and coat need to be maintained daily. You don’t want the stress of your kitten having matted cat hair. For this reason, you may need to lean on your veterinarian on best practices for trimming your kitten’s nails. For example, “kitten’s nails should be trimmed frequently when they’re young, as often as every 2-3 weeks. It may be helpful for your kitten to become accustomed to the process, as well as it may make them less destructive when they play,” states Nold. Further, ear cleaning may become essential depending on any medical conditions that your cat has, like allergies.

For more tips about ear care for your kitten, watch this video from the American Veterinary Medical Association.

Your kitten’s grooming may help their overall wellness

Bathing a kitten may take time for everyone involved. But by reaching out to your veterinarian and having patience with your furry friend, over time your kitten’s coat will gradually become clean, shiny, and new!

To learn more about kitten energy, read When Do Kitten’s Calm Down? Kitten Owner Questions Answered.

A dog and cat snuggle

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Welcome to the Trupanion blog. A place to celebrate pets, pet health and medical insurance for cats and dogs.

This blog is designed to be a community where pet owners can learn and share. The views expressed in each post are the opinion of the author and not necessarily endorsed by Trupanion. Always consult your veterinarian for professional advice.

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