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How to save abandoned kittens - Cleaning time

Updated on September 18, 2007

When our kittens arrived they were horribly dirty, sticky and smelly. It took us a few days to get them cleaned up sufficiently because since there were 2 of them frankly the smell was unbearable. If your kittens get dirty during the feeding time (and they are bound to), you can wash them with slightly damp cloth. Use short strokes, as this will teach them how to groom themselves since their real mum is not around to show them how.

If your kittens are really mucky like mine where and if they over one week of age you can wash them in a sink with warm water (however try to concentrate on the areas where they are dirty). If you have to wash more then half of their body it is ok to use the hair dryer (on the lowest of settings and carefully while avoiding their face).

Kittens that have fleas should be cleaned up immediately. Flea infestation on an older pet is a nuisance but does not represent a high health risk. If kittens have a flea infestation it can lead to both anemia and fleas are carriers for tape worm so that is another danger as well. To get rid off fleas you can consult your vet as to what would be the best course of action. As some flea sprays are potentially dangerous for cats they can be even more dangerous for kittens. Always ask your vet and read the labels carefully, if in doubt do not use the spray. If you can find a safe flea spray to use, spray them and leave them on a towel and after about 20 minutes throw away the towel with dead fleas and give them a bath.

In case you do not have a safe flea spray that you can use initially flea comb and a bath should suffice. To use a flea comb, place 2 bowls of water next to you, one with clean water another one with soapy water (use very mild detergent) and dip the flea comb in regularly (first in soapy water, then clean water) to clean it. To give your kitten a bath, use very mild dishwashing detergent and comb the kitten after the bath (water should be lukewarm so that you do not scold nor chill the kitten). Either towel them dry or use a hair dryer (again on the lowest of settings). And do not forget to remove the infested bedding after you have cleaned up your kitten.

Another thing you should clean up are the kitten's ears. You can use a cotton ball or swabs however remember to be gentle. You should also check the ears for ear mites (coffee-ground like substance), in case they do have ear mites consult your vet.

All of this may seem like a lot, however it should not take too long for your kitten to get a hang of it and they will start cleaning themselves in no time at all.

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