how to bathe a kitten

pikeruApril 30, 2008

how do i bathe a kitten with fleas that is only 6 weeks old? what kind of stuff an the house can i use that won't hurt it??

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catnip works well, and doesn't effect kittens under six months. If you have other cats, this can make the kitten very popular!

Also adding the following essential oils to the bath works:
Eucalyptus, Citronella, and Sage oils. You can also try dipping a collar in these and putting it on the kitten.

Putting garlic in the cat's food also tends to repell fleas.

Once the cat is 14 weeks old, though, get one of the vet recommended flea controls. Trust me, it's worth it. If you live in a flea heavy area, you can get rid of most of the fleas but not all. My cats got tapeworms from the remaining fleas and I felt like the worst Human on earth. There is nothing more shameful than going to the vet and finding out that both of your cats have tapeworms.

Advantage and Frontline are safer than the cheaper versions, and they work VERY well. I thought the vet was just trying to make me spend money I didn't have. I was wrong. They are a LOT more effective, and safe.

Good luck with the little guy. What'd you name the kitten? Post a picture!

    Bookmark   May 2, 2008 at 8:44AM
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Oh please, please take him to the vet! And never use doggy flea stuff on him as it can be fatal. Don't use some weird concoction of stuff on a kitten... do let the vet deal with it. BTW GardenK- what is shameful about your cat having worms? You can't always control nature!

    Bookmark   May 3, 2008 at 5:21AM
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A kitten of 6 weeks cannot handle most of the vet recommended flea controls. Take the little guy to the vet anyway, and be prepared for when you CAN use the vet stuff. Their little systems can't handle it when they are just 6 weeks old, though. They have to get 14 weeks old before it's safe for them.

Until then, the herbal stuff makes a good stop-gap measure especially as it's perfectly safe for a kitten.

Lucy, it was shameful because I tried to handle it naturally and the cats suffered for it.

It's okay if you do your best and fail anyway. Having someone else suffer because you were arrogant--that's shameful.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2008 at 9:19AM
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We have a lot of feral cats around us & end up having one of them adopt us every year or so. For the first round (before we get them to the vet), we let the cat stick itself to the grout (no kidding), then bathe it with a cedar, peppermint & lavender HERB infusion (cats DON'T like essential oils & I don't like pennyroyal) then comb comb comb. BTW, dogs don't mind EOs & they can be added to regular shampoos for flea & tick control. Also, kid lice responds well to the same cedar, peppermint & lavender mix.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2009 at 10:22PM
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I read in a book on cats that because of some difference in their systems, many essential oils can be VERY harmful to them.

At the very least, pretest by allowing the cat or kitten to get a small whiff of whatever you are thinking of using.

If the cat reacts against the scent, don't use it.

Some time ago, I put a tiny bit of an antiseptic oil (I think it might have been tea tree) on a sore one of my cats had, and he practically turned inside out trying to get rid of it. Luckily, I was able to wipe most of it off before he became ill from it.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2009 at 11:44PM
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While I am very much in favor of using aromatherapy, it must be used knowledgeably. I would never use it on a young kitten, or any young animal. The oils mentioned (eucalyptus, citronella, and sage) are not the safest oils and should never be used on young animals or perhaps on any animals.

I have heard that Murphy's Oil Soap (natural soap used to clean wood furniture) can be safely used for kittens. I'd dilute it a bit as it's quite thick and might be difficult to rinse thoroughly otherwise. It's not necessary to wash the kitten's face but do soap thoroughly around the neck. Once the kitten is dry you can catch any fleas still alive and snap them between your thumbnails. Comb gently with a fine toothed comb to remove any flea eggs. You may have to repeat this bath routine more than once.

I have always given our pets nutritional flake yeast (buy at the health food store) which helps keep fleas away and is a good supplement. For the cats I just put some on their dry food. This is NOT baking yeast.

Another nutritional product I've always given baby animals is acidophillis. I open a capsule and put a bit on their tongue. We had a very low incidence of scours (diarrhea) in our lambs and calves when I did that. I also have given it to the dogs and cats. Not a flea treatment but good for their digestive system.

A kitten that age really needs to be seen by a vet if it has a severe infestation of fleas because any animal that has fleas will have tapeworm which could be fatal in a kitten.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2009 at 1:04AM
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A suggestion re: using essential oils on animals. They should never be used undiluted. I've found animals are very sensitive to oils and have only used them well diluted in a carrier oil or on occasion in water altho they don't mix well with water. For deep wounds never use lavender as it causes rapid healing at the level of the skin while the infection may remain in deeper tissues. I've used tea tree diluted with water and poured it over wounds which healed well without infecting. Make sure it never gets in the animal's eyes.

I also used tea tree in a bucket of water as a hand/arm wash during obstetrical examination of cows and ewes and they never infected.

I've never seen the value of using other essential oils on my animals and they don't usually like the scent of any oils. The one exception was one little dog who would come running whenever I used rose essential oil and wanted to lick it off my hands!

    Bookmark   February 6, 2009 at 1:18AM
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Just an FYI for those that are not aware. Fleas carry tapeworm eggs. When an animal licks to clean itself some of those eggs may be taken into the body. This is why if you have fleas you should be wary of tapeworms.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2009 at 1:18AM
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I always used diatomaceous earth on my cats to prevent fleas. We also fed our animals brewer's yeast/nutritional yeast.

Off topic, but I love yeast on my popcorn!

    Bookmark   February 6, 2009 at 2:16PM
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"Off topic, but I love yeast on my popcorn!"

Me too! Garlic butter is good also for a high calorie treat! That is, real garlic and real butter.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2009 at 1:26PM
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What other kind of garlic and butter is there?

    Bookmark   February 8, 2009 at 6:25PM
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"What other kind of garlic and butter is there?"

The kind one gets in many restaurants! I think it's made with margarine and garlic powder. Ugh! LOL Many times I've had to restrain myself from going in the kitchen to speak with the chef! Don't order it anymore.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2009 at 10:40PM
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brendan_of_bonsai(4b AK)

Garlic powder can be just fine, it just needs to be good garlic powder (not salt) to begin with and be given time to bloom in water. The only acceptable butter substitute is rendered chicken or duck fat.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2009 at 1:10AM
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"Garlic powder can be just fine" - what does this mean "fine"? IMO it never tastes like real garlic and I doubt has the same properties for health. As to using rendered chicken or duck fat, all I can say is YUCK! :-) There is nothing that tastes like real butter.

My apologies to the original poster for taking this so far off topic. Wonder whatever happened to that little kitten.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2009 at 1:13PM
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Thank you Luckygal! I was being facetious when I asked: What other kind of garlic and butter is there?

I don't believe there is an adequate substitute for garlic and butter. Such things would be called "powder or margarine" (as you wrote) and in no way, shape, or form are to be considered butter and garlic!!

    Bookmark   February 9, 2009 at 1:55PM
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I am 50 years old; i have just broken my femur and been told to stay off my leg for 6 - 8 weeks. To aid in my recuperation and to try and keep me occupied, my husband and son brought home a wee kitten that needed a good home. I am thrilled as i have always wanted a kitten of my own!

I found this site when i googled "how to bathe a kitten" as she has fleas. We have 4 dogs and not a flea in sight, so dont want to introduce fleas to them either. The first half of this blog has been VERY informative - now can anyone tell me if there is a natural way of getting rid of the tapeworm which it sounds like my kitten will definitely have too - she is very skinny and eats voraciously!

Many thanks for the advice.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2011 at 3:04AM
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fatamorgana2121(Zone 5/6)

Since you have dogs, I'm guessing you already have a veterinarian that you visit. Please take your kitten to your vet. They can give it a check-up, give it (or schedule if too young) vaccinations, can give it a dewormer, and if you want, get flea meds. That way your kitten has the best chance to start off a healthy and happy life with you.

If you want to get rid of fleas without the commercial flea products, please know that it is more than just "natural remedies." You will need to vacuum/clean pretty much daily to really keep the flea eggs from hatching and making the problem worse. Diligence is key. And if you do consider commercial flea products, don't buy them in a store. I've known too many that have and the products are a waste of money or the pets react to them badly. Get the meds from a vet.

I've also used J&J Baby shampoo on ferrets, kittens, cats, and dogs. I don't buy special pet shampoos - even in the case of a skunk spraying since that is what I had and it was late at night. Of course shampooing over & over & over again in the case of the skunk spray got old real fast....especially since it was after midnight! Just keep the suds out of your pet's eyes.

While it may seem like some headaches and work now, you will not be sorry. I got a kitten from the local shelter late last spring. He had pinkeye, a respiratory infection, and was being treated for fleas when I got him. Wow. Lots of meds at first but he quickly recovered. He is the biggest love and dotes upon me. The stuff I needed to do to help him in the beginning was minor, as it will be for you. She will give you so much more back.


    Bookmark   January 17, 2011 at 8:34AM
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we have always used Dawn soap without any issues, and you can make an herbal bath for the kitten by boiling the herbs in water and then pour it into you sink, tub, or wherever you are washing the animal (let it cool, or course). I would avoid using oils, and once the cat is old enough, coupling these methods with vet aproved flea killers is wise. :)

    Bookmark   January 24, 2011 at 8:56PM
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