Cleaning and Bathing
It is very important to keep the kittens and their environment as clean as possible. When kittens are very young you will have to clean them by using a damp cloth and stroking any soiled areas.
Occasionally a kitten will need to be bathed, especially before he/she learns to use the litter box, to remove the waste buildup that occurs. Baths should also be given to remove any fleas that may exist.
Make sure the room or area that the kitten is going to be bathed and dried in is warm with no drafts.
It is not the bath itself that terrifies kittens it is the sound of running water from the tap.
Fill a container with warm water and a pitcher. Dip the kitten in the container. Then lather them with a mild shampoo or Dawn Original scent dish soap making sure you clean the areas underneath their legs and as much of their face as you can making sure not to get soap in eyes, ears, or nose. Then dip them in the container again to remove most of the soap and use the pitcher to remove any remaining soap.
A damp cloth can be used to do any additional cleaning that needs to be done in the area around eyes and mouth.
Wrap the kitten in a dry towel and rub to dry.
At this point it is easiest to clip their nails while still wrapped in the towel.
If the kittens are not yet weaned a bottle can be offered at this point to keep them still until they have time to dry off, if they are weaned a small amount of food can be offered at this time.
A carrier can be set up with a warming disk, heating pad, or hot water bottle with plenty of towels and the kittens placed in it until they are completely dry.
Very rarely you may have a kitten that becomes so stressed by getting a bath that he/she goes into shock. It is always a good idea to have some Karo syrup available in case this happens. Dip your finger in the syrup and rub it on their gums, then hold them until they calm down.