Guidebook: Guide to Raising Unweaned & Underage Kittens

Chapter 2: Caring for Kittens from Birth to Eight Weeks

5 Requirements for Kitten Care:

  1. Keep kittens warm.
  2. Provide kittens with adequate hydration and nutrition.
  3. Keep kittens clean.
  4. Provide socialization with people and with foster mates.
  5. Do your best to protect them from infectious disease.

Body Warmth

We cannot overemphasize the need for a heat source in orphaned kittens. The queen would have provided a nice 100 - 103 F (38 – 39 C) environment for them. Continue to provide a heat source for orphaned kittens until four to six weeks of age. Although kittens over four weeks old may start avoiding the warmed bed, if the room is cool, even older kittens will seek out a warm spot. For this reason, as well as for socialization, consider appropriately pairing new single kittens of the same age so they can share body heat and be less likely to experience hypothermia.

Provide a warm, non-drafty room for the kittens. Place a blanket over the entire bottom of the cage and provide a bed (made from a small litterbox or cardboard box) as well as a litterbox. A towel covering the crate or front of the cage prevents drafts and keeps kittens under 4 weeks of age nice and warm. Ideally, kitten rooms should be kept around 85 F or 29 C but that it isn’t always practical. A kitten over 6 weeks of age only needs the availability of a warm, cozy spot.

Since kittens under four weeks of age do not have the ability to thermoregulate, we must help them maintain body warmth. One method is to place a warmed Snuggle Safe disk at the opening of the cage or crate. This disk then provides the needed warmth for 8 hours. Instructions for how long to heat the Snuggle Safe disk depending on the wattage of the microwave are printed on each disk. If you are unsure what wattage the microwave is, heat the disk for 5 minutes, then check the temperature with your hands. Make sure it does not feel too hot before covering it with a soft blanket and placing it in the cage or crate. Make sure the kitten cannot directly contact the disk. If no heating disk is available, place a heating pad on the low setting under the crate or on the bottom of the cage, then place a soft folded towel or blanket between the kitten and the heating pad. Do not use terrycloth towels with unattended kittens under 6 weeks of age as they do not have the ability to retract their claws and they can get a claw caught in the loop of the towel possibly leading to a shoulder dislocation. If no heating disk is available, consider a pet heating pad wrapped in a soft blanket. Most pet stores now carry pet heating pads that only reach a low temp and do not have an automatic shut off. These are ideal assuming there is always a plug close by.

Check the heat source frequently to ensure it is not too hot or too cold. Make sure some area of the cage does not contain a disk or have a heating pad under it so kittens can move away from the heat source if too hot. Kittens also like a nice nest in their cage or crate so bundle them in a nice fleece that they can crawl into and out of.

Kitten Feeding

Just like humans, every kitten is different. They will eat different amounts, gain weight differently, and prefer different foods. Daily weight gain of any amount is an indication that the diet is meeting the kittens’ nutritional needs. Weigh kittens at the same time daily, under the same circumstances (i.e. before feeding and stimulation or after feeding and stimulation). Kittens should gain about ½ ounce (14 grams) per day or 4 ounces (113 grams) per week. Keep in mind these numbers will fluctuate from kitten to kitten based on resources. Again, the most important indicator is weight gain. Younger kittens recently taken from their mother are more accustomed to receiving smaller amounts of food slowly and more often through the process of nursing.

When bottle feeding kittens, we are delivering larger volumes of milk at a much faster rate than a nursing mother. Healthy kittens do not need to be fed every two hours. Allow kittens to sleep for longer periods and do not wake a kitten to feed it. After a few feedings this will stretch their stomach to allow for more milk to be taken in at each feeding, which in turn will require less feedings than the previous practice of every two hours.

Guidelines for bottle feeding kittens:

  • Kittens must be warm, they cannot digest properly if their body temperature is low.
  • Prepare kitten milk replacer according to the packaging. (NEVER give them cow’s milk and keep them on the same formula)
  • On average, kittens should eat 2 tablespoons or 30 ccs of formula per 4 ounces of body weight within a 24-hour period. However, if a kitten is gaining weight, they are meeting their nutritional needs
  • Kittens that have recently left a nursing mother will need time to lessen the frequency at which they are fed
  • After a first few initial feedings, even the youngest of kittens should not require a feeding of every 2 hours.
  • Feed weak kittens, ill kittens or ones not gaining weight more frequently. They will be at a greater risk for hypoglycemia.
  • Never wake a sleeping kitten to feed it unless a significant amount of time as passed. Uninterrupted sleep is vital to growing kittens.
  • Kittens tend to sleep longer and deeper at night when vibrations and disruptions are minimal.

Click here for a video from Maddie's Institute on Orphaned Kitten Care and bottle feeding

General Feeding Guidelines

Test the temperature of the formula before feeding, it should be warm (around 100 F or 38 C), but not hot. Warm the bottle by placing it in hot water for a few minutes or by putting it in the microwave until it reaches the correct temperature.

A brief time in the microwave is fine but can warm too quickly so always err on the side of not warm enough. When microwaving, be sure to gently mix (to avoid bubbles) well before feeding to eliminate hot spots that naturally occur in microwaved liquids. Test on your wrist after you have shaken the microwaved formula.

Always properly position a kitten for feeding. NEVER recline a kitten on their back while feeding. This can cause them to aspirate, which means the kitten inhales the formula into their respiratory tract rather than swallowing. Aspiration can lead to a reactive pneumonia and be fatal. Think of how they nurse when they are on the mother, they are in the prone position, leaning forward or flat on their belly while feeding. To achieve this position, place the kitten on their stomach on a towel or cloth so the kitten can cling to the material and knead instinctually. If the kitten is acting frantic while nursing, try wrapping the kitten in a towel while feeding it. When bottle feeding, gently open the kitten’s mouth with the tip of your finger and slip in the nipple. Once the kitten learns what is coming, it will search out the nipple enthusiastically. You will feel a vacuum effect when the kitten gets into suckle mode. Watch for bubbles in the bottle during suckling and ears wiggling. These movements mean the kitten is suckling successfully. To keep air from getting into its stomach, hold the bottle at a 45-degree angle, keeping a slight pull on the bottle. Allow kittens to suck at their own pace. If a kitten refuses to take the nipple or will not suckle, try rubbing it vigorously on the forehead or stroking its back much as its mom would. Using a toothbrush to stroke the kitten can simulate the feeling that it would get from the queen’s tongue. If you still cannot get them to nurse from the bottle, syringe feed the kitten to make sure they get adequate nutrition. If a kitten requires syringe feeding, be aware that the milk needs to be administered from the side of the mouth to ensure that all milk swallowed by the kitten is completely under their own control. Inserting the syringe at the front of the mouth can easily lead to aspiration.

If syringe feeding is necessary, have a plan in place for who foster parents should contact. See “Kitten Weight Gain and Developmental Milestones” section for instructions on how to syringe feed.

If feeding multiple kittens, it is often easiest to give all of them a full turn at the bottle, drinking until they spit out the nipple, then stimulate the kitten and allow them to rest while you feed remaining foster mates. After each has had one turn at the bottle, go back to the first and repeat the process. This will ensure that you get the kitten as full as possible allowing for longer rest periods between feedings. You cannot over feed a kitten, but you can feed a kitten too often. Forcing a kitten to eat when they aren’t hungry or asking for food, can stress them and give them diarrhea. A full kitten should have a pear-shaped abdomen when it is held up under their front legs.

Kittens that seem too weak to nurse may have an underlying medical issue. A kitten refusing to nurse beyond the first few "getting the hang of it" times may indicate illness and the need to be examined by a veterinarian. Have a plan in place to for who foster parents should contact.

After each feeding session, give each kitten a full-body once over with a barely damp, warm washcloth. Use short strokes like their mom would use. This activity keeps the kitten’s fur clean, teaches them how to groom and provides needed socialization. Make sure the kitten is completely dry before placing them back in their cage. Cover the cage with a blanket.

We highly recommend taking a warm cotton round and stroking a kitten’s eyes twice a day. This is the first place that bacteria can enter the body for kittens as they grow and their eyes begin to open. Queens keep this area very clean so we need to pay close attention to it as well to reduce the risk of eye infection.

Kittens naturally suckle as an act of self-soothing. Sometimes kittens begin suckling on each other after or before a meal. This may be a sign that the frequency of feedings needs to be increased or the kittens are stressed. If littermate suckling becomes problematic, especially around the genital area, temporarily separate the kittens as soon as you can. This can become a very dangerous habit. Check each kitten’s genitals to ensure sucking activity is not causing problems (redness, irritation, penis hanging out, etc.). Suckling on genitals can lead to the urethra swelling shut and having to be surgically reopened. If any of this occurs, have a plan in place for who foster parents should contact. Kittens that have to be separated from littermates should still be allowed supervised playtime with siblings and sleep in close proximity to still get the recognizable scent of littermates. In most cases temporary separation is only needed for about a week or so until the kittens mature and suckling reflex dies down.


A kitten is ready for the weaning process when they are litter box trained and begin biting the nipple often and forcefully. Continue bottle feeding through the weaning process to ensure kittens get adequate nutrition and are not overly stressed.

The first step of the weaning process is to get the kitten to lap up formula or gruel/pate from your finger and then a spoon. Once they master this skill, put formula in a flat dish. Introduce the kitten to solid food by mixing warm canned kitten food and prepared kitten formula into a thin gruel. Gradually reduce the amount of formula mixed with canned food until the kitten is eating just the food.

Place the food in a shallow dish. Some kittens begin lapping right away; others prefer to lick the gruel from your fingers. Allow them to do so and slowly lower your finger to the dish. The kittens may bite the edge of the dish or walk in the food. Sometimes it takes several meals before they catch on. If a kitten does not seem interested in the gruel, try gently opening the kitten’s mouth and rubbing a little of the food on its tongue or teeth. Be patient, the weaning process takes time. As the kittens catch on, thicken the gruel. When kittens are eating thicker gruel, they should always have fresh water available in a low spill-resistant bowl.

Kittens often walk through their food. Make sure the kittens are clean and DRY before putting them in their cages. Most weaning kittens are messy eaters so you may not be able to leave gruel or water in their cages at first. Wet kittens can rapidly lose body temperature.

Some kittens will simply refuse wet food. Make sure you have a small kibble, highly scented option like Royal Canin Babycat. The scent creates interest, and the kibble size makes it easy to eat. This can be available at all times through the weaning process. At the same time you make kibble available, place shallow water bowls out. If a kitten turns down wet food and sticks to dry, they need more hydration available to them.

Click here for a video from Maddie's Institute on weaning orphaned kittens onto solid foods.

Stimulation for Urination and Defecation

Mother cats groom their kittens to stimulate urination and defecation on a regular basis. If you are acting as their foster parent, you get this important duty. Very young orphan kittens will not be able to urinate and defecate without your help, so this is a crucial part of neonatal kitten care. Before and after each feeding, gently rub the kitten on their lower abdomen, as well as the genitals and rectum with a cotton round, or toilet paper dipped in warm water or an alcohol and fragrance-free baby wipe. Whatever you stimulate your kitten with, make sure it is white so you see the color of the elimination. Pale yellow urine is ideal. The darker the urine, the more dehydrated your kitten may be. Consider adding more water or Pedialyte to your formula. Make sure to rub only enough to get the kitten to eliminate because overstimulation will irritate the area. Keep an eye out for chafing and lingering dirt and do not let the kitten get chilled. Kittens should (and almost always will) urinate during each stimulation. They should defecate at least once daily. It is normal for a kitten that just comes into your care to not defecate for up to 48 hours. Transitions stress their system resulting in a delayed bowel movement.

General guidelines are:

  • Kittens need to be stimulated until about 3 weeks of age.
  • Kittens should be stimulated before and after each feeding.
  • Kitten should urinate every time and defecate at least once daily.

When kittens are 3 – 4 weeks old, they no longer need help eliminating body wastes. Place a litter box in the crate or cage and fill with non-clumping litter or shredded newspaper.

At the same time as introducing a litterbox, you may need to start providing some dry kitten food so the kittens can chew on the food and not the litter. When teaching a kitten to use a litterbox, placing their feces in the box so they smell it there often helps. If you have a kitten that defecates on its towel instead of in the box, move the feces to the box instead of completely cleaning it out of the cage.

Click here for a video from Maddie's Institute on how to stimulate a kitten to urinate and defecate.

Kitten Weight Gain and Developmental Milestones

Kittens should gain about ½ ounce (14 grams) every day or 4 ounces (113 grams) per week.  Weigh them at the same time every day with a kitchen or small postal scale. Lack of weight gain in a 24 hour period is cause for concern. Begin syringe feeding the kitten and have a plan in place for who foster parents should contact. To syringe feed the kitten, mix up the formula as usual and then draw it up in a syringe. Place the opening of the syringe on the side of the mouth – never directly in front of the mouth. Place a drop of milk on the kitten’s tongue and make sure whatever is swallowed is completely under the control of the kitten to avoid aspiration. If you place a nipple on the syringe, you can enter through the front of the mouth encouraging the kitten to pull the milk through the nipple. Make sure they swallow the formula before you push more into their mouth.

Kitten Developmental Milestones





3–3.7 ounces

85–105 grams

Eyes and ears are closed.

Sleep 90% of the time.

Minimal handling.

2 – 5 days

3.5–6 ounces

90–140 grams

Umbilical cord falls off.

Can begin to purr.

10 – 14 days

8 ounces

227 grams

Eyes and ears should be open.

Healthy kittens will be round and warm with pink skin and will rarely cry.

2 – 3 weeks

12 ounces

340 grams

Deciduous incisors erupt, can begin to eliminate without help.

Will start crawling, standing, and playing with littermates.

Begin regular handling.

Ready for deworming.

4 weeks

1 pound

454 grams

Deciduous canines erupt, beginning to walk but do not have great balance, will start to groom themselves, able to thermoregulate.

Continue daily handling.

Ready for their 1st vaccine.

Ready for gruel and may be ready for introduction of dry kitten food.

6 weeks

1.5 pounds

680 grams

Deciduous premolars erupt.

Running, playing, using the litterbox, grooming themselves.

Should be eating dry kitten food, supplemented with canned.

Ready for surgery and adoption (if the veterinary team is comfortable).

8 weeks

2 pounds

907 grams

Ready for surgery and adoption (if not done at 6 weeks).

0 - 1 Week of Age

Feeding: If the kittens do not have a mother to feed them, they need to be bottle fed more regularly, about 6-8 feedings a day. If the kitten is not gaining weight, add an additional feeding. Do not wake sleeping kittens; feed them once they are awake to get in all of their daily feedings. Remember, you cannot over feed a kitten, but you can feed a kitten too often. Forcing a kitten to eat when they aren’t hungry or asking for food, can stress them and give them diarrhea. A full kitten should have a pear-shaped abdomen when they are held up under their front legs.

If the queen is with the kittens, they should nurse vigorously and compete for nipples. Newborns can nurse up to 45 minutes at a time. Be sure to weigh kittens nursing at least once a day if the queen will permit it. Check to make sure that each kitten is settled and nursing. A great deal of activity and crying could indicate a problem with milk flow, quality or availability. When the queen re-enters the box, there should be some fussing for only a few minutes before everyone has settled down to serious nursing.

Environment: The temperature of the nest box should be nice and warm: 85-90 F. Hypothermia is the number one danger to newborn kittens.

Development: At one week of age, the kittens should weigh around 4 ounces and should be handled minimally to ensure adequate sleep. Kittens will sleep 90% of the time and eat the other 10%.

1 - 2 Weeks of Age

Feeding: Continue bottle feeding orphans 4-6 times a day until kittens are full but not bloated. If the kitten is not gaining weight, add an additional feeding.

Environment: Floor temperature of the nest box should be nice and warm: 80-85 F.

Development: Kittens at 2 weeks of age will weigh around 8 ounces. Ear canals open between 5 and 8 days. Eyes will open between 8 and 14 days. They open gradually, usually starting to open from the nose outward. All kittens are born with blue eyes, and initially no pupils can be distinguished from the irises - the eyes will appear solid dark blue.

Healthy kittens will be round and warm, with pink skin. If you pinch them gently, their skin should spring back. When you pick a kitten up, they should wiggle energetically and when you put them down near the mom they should crawl back to her. Healthy, well-fed kittens seldom cry.

To determine the sex of the kittens, hold a kitten on their back in your hand. In females, the vulva is a vertical slit above the anus; they are very close together. In males, the penile opening is above the anus, but they are separated by a raised scrotal sac and thus seem far apart. It is easiest to see the differences between the sexes if you examine all the kittens and compare the differences.

2 - 3 Weeks of Age

Feeding: Continue bottle feeding 4-5 times a day until kittens are full but not bloated. If the kitten is not gaining weight, add an additional feeding.

Environment: Floor temperature of the nest box should be nice and warm: 75-80 F.

Development: If there is a queen, she will begin to spend larger periods of time out of the nest, though she will not go far from it. Kittens will weigh around 10 - 12 ounces. Their ears will become erect. Kittens begin to crawl around day 18 and can stand by day 21. Kittens will begin to play with each other, biting ears, tails, and paws, even before their teeth have come in. Kittens learn to sit and touch objects with their paws.

Kittens begin their socialization phase - they will be strongly influenced by the behavior of their mother for the next six weeks. To further socialize kittens, increase the amount of handling and get them accustomed to human contact. It is important not to expose them to anything frightening; children may seem intimidating and should be supervised closely while visiting to ensure gentle handling.

3 - 4 Weeks of Age

Feeding: Continue bottle feeding 3-4 times a day and begin the weaning process. At this stage kittens may start lapping from a bowl. If kittens do take an interest in solid food, still offer food allowing them to eat but continue to bottle feed as well.

Environment: Floor temperature of the nest box should be 70 – 75 F from this point onward.

Development: Kittens will weigh around 13 -16 ounces. Adult eye color will begin to appear but may not reach final shade for another 9 to 12 weeks. Kittens begin to see well, and their eyes begin to look and function like adult cats' eyes. Kittens will start cleaning themselves, though their mother will continue to do most of the serious cleaning.

4 - 5 Weeks of Age

Feeding: They can usually drink and eat gruel from a shallow dish by 4 weeks. Weaning should be done gradually; bottle feeding should be continued twice a day while they are learning to eat solid foods. Introduce dry food and water. Keep in mind that some kittens do not like wet food and will only transition when kibble is available. A strongly scented small kibble like Royal Canin Babycat can be the only way to transition a kitten who does not have a taste for wet food. If that is the case, make sure to keep offering a bottle to meet nutritional needs until their teeth are fully developed.

Development: Begin litter training at four weeks. When you notice your kittens moving away from where they sleep to relieve themselves, you know they are ready to tackle the litterbox. Use a low box with one inch of litter or shredded newspaper. After each feeding, place the kitten in the box, take his paw, and gently scratch the litter. Be patient! The kitten may not remember to do this every time, or may forget where to find the litter box, but will learn quickly. Be sure to give the kittens lots of praise when they first start using their boxes. Most will use it from the start, but like other babies, might make an occasional mistake. It is a good idea to confine the kittens to a relatively small space, because the larger the area the kittens have to play in, the more likely they will forget where the litter box is. Keep the litter box clean and away from their food.

5 - 6 Weeks of Age

Feeding: Feed gruel 3-4 times a day and thicken the gruel gradually. Dry food and water should be available at all times. Some kittens do not like wet food and some kittens do not like dry food. Make sure your options are meeting the needs of your kittens’ tastes. If you are fostering a litter with their mother, continue weaning. Some kittens will not like canned food. For reluctant eaters, try mixing any meat-flavored human baby food with a little water. The meat flavor is often more appealing to the picky eaters. Be sure the brand you get does not contain onion powder as this ingredient can be hazardous to kittens.

Development: At about five weeks, kittens can start to roam around the room, under supervision. They will weigh 1 pound and the testicles of male kittens will become visible. The strongest, most curious kitten will figure out how to get out of the nest. The others will quickly follow.

Play with your kittens daily! It is a good idea to wear long sleeves and pants, as they can play roughly and their claws are sharp. If you sit on the floor they will play "King of the Mountain," using your knees and shoulders as vantage points. This game is lots of fun and good exercise for them. Some kittens may be fearful at first; do not force yourself upon them. You can get them used to your presence by sitting in the middle of the room making phone calls; this way they hear your voice but do not feel threatened. Make them an important part of your household activities; accustom them to the sounds of the TV, vacuum cleaner, and other household sounds. Be sure to introduce the kittens to a variety of people to help with socialization and help them to have a smooth transition into their adoptive home.

6 - 7 Weeks of Age

Feeding: Kittens should be eating canned and dry food well. Feed the kittens at least three meals daily. If one kitten appears food-possessive, use a second dish and leave plenty of food out so that everyone is eating. Bear in mind that a kitten at this age has a stomach roughly the size of an acorn, so, although they may not eat much at a single sitting, they like to eat at frequent intervals throughout the day.

Development: By this time, you have "mini-cats." They will wash themselves, use scratching posts, play games with each other, their toys, and you, and many will come when you call them. Be sure to reintroduce them to their litter box after meals, during play sessions, and after naps. These are the usual times that kittens need to use the litter box.

Adoption: It is time for their spay/neuter surgery and adoption! It is safe for healthy, robust 6-week-old kittens to be spayed/neutered at a veterinarian’s discretion and be made available for adoption. This is the recommendation of the Association of Shelter Veterinarians HQHVSN guidelines. Check your state and local animal ordinances to find out if it is possible for your facility to adopt out kittens at 6 weeks of age. Testing and vaccination for retroviruses is not recommended for healthy kittens in the shelter environment and instead adopters should be advised to discuss all future medical care with their veterinarian.

7 - 8 Weeks of Age

Feeding: Offer wet food 2-3 times a day (each kitten will be eating a little over one 3 oz can of food per day). Leave down a bowl of dry kibble and water for them to eat and drink at will. If you have a litter with a mom cat, she should only be allowing brief nursing sessions, if any.

Development: By the end of the 8th week, kittens should weigh 1.5 -2 pounds each and are now miniature cats.

Adoption:  They can be spayed or neutered and adopted at any time!

Socialization and Bathing

tiny kitten being held in a person's handBeginning around 3 weeks of age, kittens need exercise to promote muscular and circulatory development and to learn social skills. They will begin to play with their littermates and learn from their mom if she is present. It is good to begin regular daily handling of kittens to get them used to contact with people. Play is the best method to help them physically and socially develop.

If kittens do not have a mom to regularly groom then, it is important to teach them to groom and keep them clean. After each feeding session, give kittens a full-body once over with a barely damp, warm washcloth. Use short strokes like a queen would use. Kittens often get dirty between cleanings and it is okay to wash a kitten with warm water under a sink faucet but focus only on the areas needing to be cleaned. A simple "butt bath" will usually do the trick. After bathing, wrap the kitten in towels/blankets and a heating pad set on low. Your body heat is not sufficient to warm up a cold kitten. Make sure you do not leave a kitten until they are completely dry.


Socialization is the process in which the kittens develop relationships w/ other living beings in their environment. This has been shown to be important to prevent behavioral problems who are acclimated to living with humans and other animals.

  • It’s a hard job, but someone has to play with kittens to ensure they are well socialized by adoption time.
  • Kittens will naturally socialize with their mom and littermates if they have them. Socialization is another reason to pair single, same-age kittens if appropriate to do so.
  • The key socialization period in kittens is from 2-3 weeks up to 10 weeks of age.
  • Kittens start to play and explore at about 4 weeks of age. Make sure they have toys and stimulation in their cage. Pipe cleaners, cardboard rolls from toilet paper and paper towels are great play items in addition to traditional kitten toys.
  • In a foster home, the foster parent should spend some time each day sitting in the foster room with the kittens and having play time. In a shelter, make sure the kittens get some hands on in-cage socialization time with caregivers. The AAFP feline life stages suggest "Ideally, kittens should have pleasant interactions with people for 30–60 minutes per day".
  • Keep in mind, it is important to expose kittens to a variety of people (different genders, sizes, ages, etc.), therefore set this as a goal for kittens both in foster homes and in the shelter.
  • Introducing new fosters to the foster parents’ resident pets during the first two weeks is not recommended. Let the kittens get acquainted with their new home before exposing them to other animals. After this time, introducing foster kittens to adult cats and dogs in the home can be great for the socialization of the kittens but should be done with care and only under supervision.

Steps to Bathe an Underage Kitten

  1. Get a small sink or a basin ready with some warm water. If the kitten is really dirty, a small amount of Dawn or baby shampoo can be used in the water. Make the water a nice warm temperature as if you were taking a bath.
  2. To keep the kitten from getting chilled, have towels ready to immediately dry them off. If possible, warm the towels in the dryer beforehand. 
  3. You may want to wear long sleeves and gloves. Kittens may panic and start to scratch. Gently hold the kitten under their front legs and support their body with your other hand. This may help calm and control the kitten.
  4. Give the kitten a quick but thorough bath to get any food and feces off them. If only their bottom is dirty, then only immerse the bottom, not the whole kitten.
  5. Rinse the kitten off with warm water and immediately wrap them in a towel. 
  6. Rub vigorously to get the kitten dry. If the first towel becomes wet, switch to a clean, dry towel.
  7. Keep the kitten with you and do not put them back until completely dry. If needed, wrap a heating pad around the outside of the towel while the kitten is drying.

Click here for a video from Maddie's Institute on bathing kittens.