How to clean a kitten's face
- Cleaning your kitten's eyes - Some cats, those with flat faces for example, secrete tears that may leave marks under the eye. You can clean the fur with a pharmaceutical compress soaked in eye lotion, wiping from the inside of the eyelid toward the outside.
- Cleaning your kitten's nose - A healthy kitten's nose should always be damp and clean. Some cats have nasal secretions in the corners of their nostrils. You can easily remove such secretions with a compress or with tissues and warm water.
- Cleaning your kitten's ears - Your kitten's ears should be examined regularly. If they are dirty, simply drizzle a little ear solution inside and massage the outer ear.
Consult your vet for a diagnosis if you notice any secretions or discharge, as they will be able to recommend an appropriate treatment.
Looking after your kitten's oral hygiene
Your kitten's milk teeth will begin to appear when they are between two and six weeks old. It's important that you maintain your kitten's oral hygiene as poor hygiene can lead to tooth loss, inflamed gums and bad breath.
- Brushing your kitten's teeth - Using a special cat toothbrush and veterinary toothpaste is recommended. To get your kitten familiar with having their teeth brushed, start from a young age and with practice and perseverance they will quickly get used to it.
- Avoiding tartar build-up - Choose anti-tartar dry food, as it has a particular texture and contains substances that trap the calcium in the saliva, slowing the formation of tartar.
If you have any concerns about the condition of your kitten's teeth, speak to your vet who will advise you and may de-scale their teeth using an ultrasound machine.
How to bathe a kitten
Very few cats are attracted to water, but bathing remains an important part of the grooming and hygiene routine for mid-length and long haired cats, so it's a good idea to familiarize your kitten with bathing from an early age.
It's important to use a cat shampoo, where the acidity is suited to the cat's skin and fur (you should never use human shampoo as it may be toxic for the kitten).
1. Get your cat acquainted with water, remembering to be gentle but firm
2. Wet them with a sponge to start with. If your kitten reacts with hostility, stop and try again a few days later until they accept the water
3. Wash the fur gently, focusing on any dirty areas
4. Fill the bottom of your bath with water of 96.8-98.6 °F and place your kitten gently inside
5. Offer reassurance with gentle words and stroking
6. Rinse off shampoo by gently pouring water over your cat's back, taking care to avoid eyes and ears
7. Wrap your kitten in a clean, warm towel. You can use a hair dryer to dry the fur completely, however, make sure you use it gently, the air is not too hot and you're not too close.
Grooming your kitten is a great way to bond with your new pet, while also taking care of their health and well-being. It also helps you to become familiar with your cat's skin, eyes, ears, teeth and coat, so that you are able to identify anything out of the ordinary. If you do notice any sudden changes or abnormalities, consult a vet for professional advice and treatment.