Here to challenge that tired old policy is Dr. Sandra Newbury, DVM, Koret Shelter Medicine Program, UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, who reminds us, “Kittens were born wet!” Bathing the little ones is important in preventing skin infections and removing feces that might accumulate in a kitten’s rear and result in blockages. “Just keep them warm, using warm water and towels,” she says.
Dr. Newbury further points out that bathing is also a great way to get fleas off of youngsters who are too young for the topical treatments—and is safer than some of the alternative powders or other insecticides. “A nice warm bath with a very little bit of mild soap slows the bugs down and lets you pick them off with much greater ease,” she says. “Don’t forget to have a nice warm towel ready to receive!”
For more tips on fostering puppies and kittens, from neonates to 8 weeks old, listen to the free recording of Dr. Newbury’s webinar, “Early Age Care for Foster Animals.”