Do I need to bathe my kitten?

As a general rule, cats do not need to be bathed. Cats are self groomers and will clean themselves. With so many topical and oral flea and tick preventives available, we no longer need to bathe cats for parasite control. However, if a kitten is too young for flea prevention, the kitten can be bathed in a mild shampoo to help remove fleas. Occasionally, the doctor may suggest medicated shampoos if a cat develop skin conditions. Unless problems exist, medicated shampoos are rarely used and are not recommended.

How often should I brush my kitten’s fur?

Longer haired breeds should be brushed frequently. Frequency depends on the length of the hair as well as the tendency of the hair to develop mats. Shedding is a reality in most breeds. What appears to be excessive shedding to an owner may be perfectly normal for a cat. Shedding, even large quantities of hair, is not typically abnormal unless it is associated with bald spots or skin changes.

Should I trim my kitten’s nails?

Many cats dislike having their nails trimmed. Therefore, teaching your kitten to allow handling of the feet is a very important first step in getting your kitten to tolerate nail trims. Often, only the very tips of kitten toenails will need trimming, so in the beginning spend more time just handling the feet. If you have never trimmed a cat’s nails before, have our staff walk you through the steps. It’s always best to take too little off so that you avoid ‘quicking’ the nail. This makes the toenail bleed and is uncomfortable for the pet. It can also contribute to making cats dislike nail trims. Using distraction and rewarding with treats is always a helpful tool during a nail trim.

What can I do to keep my kitten’s teeth healthy?

Dental care is very important! Add tooth brushing into your kitten’s daily routine now so they become familiar with the process. There are also many other home dental care options – review our ‘Paws to Protect: Dental Health’ section for more information.

~Author: Dr. C. Noureddine, DVM, MS, MS