Although cats are often known for being self-groomers, there may be times when grooming your kitten is needed—getting your cat comfortable with being groomed starts when they are a kitten. Bathing is not something that needs to be done often, and too frequent bathing can irritate your kitten’s skin and coat. It is recommended you only bathe your kitten once a year or if otherwise needed.
With a new kitten, it is important to start introducing them to grooming tools and routines early. This will help both you and your kitten gain confidence and become comfortable with all their grooming needs. Cats who do not experience any grooming when they are young can sometimes become nervous with the grooming process and have discomfort throughout their whole life when being groomed.
Take It Slow
Some people may think that grooming is something both the kitten and the owner would want to rush through, but this is not the case. When introducing your cat to a grooming routine, it is important to take it slow. Help your kitten become comfortable one step at a time. Begin by getting them used to someone handling their paws and their face before beginning to groom. Try to spend a little more time grooming each grooming session until they are comfortable.
Rewards and Affection
Make sure to have your kitty’s favorite treats or pet food on hand to feed them and reinforce bathing and brushing as a positive experience. Throughout the grooming process, make sure to keep your kitten calm with lots of affection and positive reinforcements.
It is important to be very gentle while washing and rinsing your kitty; they are still very sensitive and should be bathed similarly to a young baby. Do not rub or scrub your cat as they are not yet used to the feeling and can be hard on their skin. You should gently lather the soap onto their fur while avoiding going against the direction your cat’s fur grows.
It is important to find tools that work best for your cat’s coat length so that you do not cause discomfort or pain when grooming your kitten. Cats with short to medium length hair will need a wide soft-bristle brush, and cats with long hair will need a wide-tooth comb to help remove knots and tangles.