How To Be Successful at Kittens First Bath

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Things You Will Need 
3 Towels 
1 Washcloth 
Shampoo 
Small Bristle Brush 
Hand Held Hair Dryer 
Calm Attitude 
 
Start your kitten as soon as possible to insure a long lasting positive experience. The best place to start is in a bathroom that is quiet and has a door you can close. 
 
Step 1 
Start by clipping your kittens nails, you do not need to go to short just clip enough to take the sharp edge off. This will keep accidental snags down to a minimum. Once you are done start to rub your kitten under the jaw and around the face. This will get him in a relaxed mood and will start to look forward to the next step. 
 
Step 2 
Take your first towel dampen it slightly and pop it in the microwave for 30 seconds or enough just to warm it up. You do not want it to get too hot just give it that “Just out of the dryer” warmth. Spread a small amount of shampoo on the warm towel. I like to use shampoo that is diluted 1-4 with water. This makes for easier rinsing on a wiggly kitten. 
 
Step 3 
Wrap the kitten in the towel, making sure to place the shampoo part on the kittens back. It is important to wrap all but the head of the kitten to keep a good control. Now do not wrap too tightly, just enough to keep the legs from popping out. Speak quietly to your kitten and rub the body and face in a soothing fashion. This will not only calm kitty but you as well. Keeping calm is the most important part. Turn the water on at only enough pressure to gently wet the towel. Many cats and kittens are scared by the high pitch of the running water. You will be able to tell if the noise is too much by your kittens attitude. If your kitten starts to tense up slow the pressure. Once the water is at a consistent lukewarm temperature you can start the bath. 
 
Step 4 
Slowly place the towel under the running water and start massaging the kitten. Speak gently and keep rubbing until the kitten is enjoying the warmth of the water surrounding its body. Once the kitten is relaxed (and you relaxed as well) you can bring over the washcloth and wet that. Start massaging and rubbing the wash cloth over the kittens face. If the kitten is still relaxed start moving the wash cloth down the neck and body. Let the wet towel move off to the side or floor. Use the wash cloth to remove all the shampoo the towel applied to your kitten. By now you and your kitten should be so relaxed and enjoying the massage you both will be humming. 
 
Step 5 
Once all the shampoo is removed turn off the water and bring over a dry towel. Wrap up the kitten and keep massaging and rubbing. I use the drying towel to rub the inside of the ears to get them clean. I only apply ear cleaner if there is a problem as cats usually only need the dirt rubbed off and can be very sensitive to anything in their ears. The next thing you know your kitten will only be damp and ready, yes ready, to be dried. 
 
Step 6 
Place your kitten on the final dry towel and cover their head and ears with the drying towel you just used. This will muffle the sound of the dryer and should keep your kitten calm when you turn on the dryer. Turn your dryer on low and only warm heat, high heat can irritate your kittens skin. Start near the tail and use the small bristle brush in a circular manner to dry the fur. You can also rub with the towel if that keeps everyone in the mood. While the head is covered you can try to rotate the kitten on their back to get the tummy and back legs dry. Only do as much as your kitten will take as you want this to be a positive experience. Once the shoulders and neck are dry slowly remove the towel and dry the head and face. If your kitten starts to stress stop and dry the head with the towel. If the kitten is not completely dry keep them in a warm place until they are. 
 
You now have a happy and clean kitten who should look forward to their next bath time! 
 
Tips 
 
STAY CALM If you are calm your kitten will be calm 
 
Frequent bathing reduces hairball’s, allergens in the house and keeps pests in check. 
 
Start with as much as the kitten will take. You may have to practice wrapping and rubbing the kitten and then move to the actual bath in time. Once they enjoy this as a kitten they will look forward to it as an adult. 
 
Only use shampoo and products recommended by your groomer, they are the experts who see actual results. 
 
Turn the bathroom fan on before you enter the bathroom. This will keep the shock of the sounds, of running water and the dryer turning on, to a minimum. 
 
Turn the heat lamp on in case your kitten is too afraid of the dryer. 
 
Warning 
 
Use only approved products for cats and kittens. The incorrect product can cause nerve damage or death. 
 
Just because something says it is natural do not expect it is safe for your kitten. Some natural products in the incorrect proportions can be harmful to your kitten. Only use products recommended by your groomer or breeder. 

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