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Should You Give Your Kitten a Bath?

Do cats keep themselves clean, or should you bathe your cats?

Anyone who has owned a cat knows that they spend a lot of time grooming themselves, each other, their humans, and sometimes the family dog, too. Since they work so hard to stay clean, and most breeds dislike water, why should we give cats a bath? 

If you are planning to show your cat or kitten at a CFA, TICA, or ACFA show, he or she should probably have a "real" human-led bath. They will smell fresher, appear a bit brighter, and you will be removing any household contaminants to which your pet may be immune, but to which cats at the show may have a sensitivity.

If you aren't showing your kitten at a cat show, you should still consider introducing your purrfect baby to water and bathing at a young age because there may be times in the future where a bath is a necessity. Luckily, our Egyptian Maus have a bit of an affinity for water, so they acclimate quickly if introduced appropriately to water and bathing, but even your local rescue kitten can be taught to at least tolerate bathing. You may be thinking that there is no situation that would cause you douse your kitty in suds; however, cats live for a long time and can be VERY curious. One of our cats managed to get into a cabinet where we store cleaning supplies (mine can figure out how to open most anything). Luckily, we caught the culprit before anything could be spilled on him, but if cleaner was on his fur, we wouldn't want him to lick the cleaner. Another time, a 5 month old kitten managed to slip into the bathroom and FALL INTO THE TOILET when my son forgot to close the door behind him. Our kitten thought the toilet dip was fun, but no matter how many times we hear that toilet water is as clean as tap water, most of us would want the kitten to have a quick bath before cuddling back up with our furry friend.

How do you give a kitten a bath?

When introducing kittens to bathing, the goal is to reduce fear (although Egyptian Maus aren't as terrified of water as some other breeds). Find a time when your kitten is relaxed. Begin with short sessions where only a bit of water is involved. Once your kitten can tolerate being wet, start adding a bit of shampoo. Be sure to keep the room warm and quickly wrap your cat in a towel as soon as possible. Also, while we want to introduce our kittens to the idea of baths and occasionally freshen them up, be sure to check with your vet to ensure you aren't over-bathing. Too much shampooing could lead to dry skin issues.

Here is a great link I found on how to give your cat or kitten a bath!

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