How do I introduce my kitten to water?

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Would you like to give your kitten or cat a bath? Here's our advice on how to introduce them to water.

Q) I recently rescued a 10-week-old kitten and I adore her. I would like to introduce her to water so that I can keep her coat in good condition, as she is long-haired and the occasional wash would help. How do I introduce my kitten to water in a calm manner?

You can try and introduce your kitten to water in several ways. You could place them on the side of the sink and give them food/ treats while cupping your hand with warm water and gently depositing the water on to the back.

Alternatively, you could get a washing up bowl lined with a small towel and fill the bowl with a little warm water. Place your kitten in the bowl and reward with treats. The water could then be gently placed on the body via your cupped hand alongside a treat.

This way you are teaching your kitten that water is connected to a positive and will not harm them, but will be a fun process. Toys can also be used. This process should be slow and at the kitten’s pace until they are calm around the bathing procedure.

When bathing her, use a kitten shampoo that is unscented. If your kitten hates the process then I would stop trying, as most cats do not need a bath and mainly need good combing and handling techniques.

Advice given by expert cat groomer Anita Kelsey.