Short Answer: Nope, you should not give your kittens a bath. Unless it’s for important reasons like flea infestation and they are too small for spot on treatments, bathing kittens is not a good idea.
Kittens are small and fragile creatures. Their small size makes them vulnerable to hypothermia and other things when given a bath. Little kittens have more skin than mass and this makes them sensitive to changes in their environment and living. Depending on the age of the kittens, some of their systems may not fully developed yet, including system that controls the temperature of their body, and their immune system.
Risks When Bathing Kittens
Bathing can pose danger to the kittens’ health and here are some conditions they might experience after or during bath:
- Hypothermia – Since kittens cannot regulate the temperature of their body yet, they are at risk of experiencing hypothermia after bath. A cold kitten can die in just minutes if not treated immediately and properly. In case you have a cold kitten, call your veterinarian immediately.
- Burns and Overheating – Bathing kittens with warm water is better but make sure it isn’t too hot for the kittens as their skins are still very sensitive and are prone to burns. Bathing kittens in hot water may also overheat their little bodies.
How To Bath a Kitten
Sometimes you have to weigh the situation and decide whether bathing the kittens is the best option you have like in cases of flea-infestations or if the kittens are covered in toxic substance that needs to be removed. Here are some tips you can take note of before bathing kittens:
- Warm the bathroom and the room where the kittens will stay after their bath. Make sure the windows are closed and there is no breeze coming in from windows or vents.
- Put the kittens in a box or small crate, where they can be kept safe while they are waiting for their turn to be bathed.
- Use the sink or a basin but make sure you have enough space to work in.
- Prepare dry towels and wrap them around the kittens first.
- Put a towel on half of the sink so the kitten you’re bathing will have a warm area to step on.
- Check the bath water’s temperature and make sure it’s about 101 to 103 degrees. You can even use a baby bath water thermometer and leave it floating so you can monitor the water temp and know when it’s cooling.
- Gently pour water of the kitten’s body and lather him with a gentle kitten shampoo. Never use medicated shampoo for young kittens unless recommended by the vet.
- Do not wash the kitten’s head. Instead wipe any dirt on his eyes, ears or nose with a damp washcloth.
- Dry the kitten with a towel thoroughly before bathing the next kitten.
- If a kitten feels cold to the touch after his bath, keep him warm and wrap a dry towel around him and call your veterinarian immediately.
- Do not take your kittens outside or anywhere where they may interact other unknown cats as they are at risk of contracting viruses when they are feeling cold and weak.
While bathing kittens isn’t usually recommended and may pose risk on their health, doing it the right way and for the right reasons may just save their lives. Just make sure to take necessary precautions, be aware of the risks and know how to avoid them.