Kittens are fun, playful, and very small and fragile, which is why it can be alarming to find that your newest family member is covered in fleas. These bloodsucking insects can cause huge issues for pets, including itchy skin, infected bites, and hair loss, which is why they must be removed immediately. This article on how to get rid of fleas on kittens will discuss a safe and gentle method that’s proven effective and can help eliminate an infestation ASAP.
Flea Anemia in Kittens
Fleas can easily find their way to a kitten, even if you keep your kitten inside. For example, if the kitten’s mother has fleas, or there are other cats and dogs in the home, they can bring the fleas inside. Fleas can lay up to fifty eggs a day, which will keep the infestation cycle going.
If you’ve noticed any fleas on your kitten, it’s important that you take action right away.
Fleas actually don’t bite. Instead, a flea will stick their proboscis into the skin to suck blood. A flea infestation in a kitten can quickly lead to health complications due to the extensive blood loss. You don’t see flea anemia very commonly in adults, although it’s possible. Unfortunately, this condition is very common in kittens.
After you have noticed fleas on your kitten, take a look at their gums. A healthy kitten’s gums should be nice and pink. Kittens with this condition will have pale pink or white gums. If your kitten has pale gums, contact your vet for information on how to treat this condition.
Flea Control for Newborn Kittens
If you notice fleas on a newborn kitten, treating the mother first is one of the best ways to shut down the infestation cycle. This should be done before you focus on removing fleas from the kitten. Because kittens are so small, you should be able to remove most of the fleas quickly, with tweezers or by picking them out with your fingers. You do not want to use any type of medication on a newborn kitten. Make sure your family is on the same page and helping with daily flea control.
How to Get Rid of Fleas on Kittens
If a kitten is under four weeks of age, this can complicate things since there’s no safe medication you can use for their flea problem. As I mentioned above, you will have to remove them yourself.
If removing them using your fingers or tweezers is not effective, you can try the following:
Gently dampen their coat using warm water. Make sure the water isn’t too hot for your pet.
Ideally, a bath should be done in under two minutes since a kitten can be chilled or can become panicked during the bathing process. However, when you’re trying to get a handle on flea control, a longer bath may be necessary to kill fleas on kittens.
You can use blue Dawn dish soap to kill fleas on kittens. Dawn is safe, gentle, and effective.
The dish soap should be left on for approximately five minutes. Eight minutes may be needed for a bad infestation.
As you bathe the kitten, you’ll find that the fleas begin to quickly move away from the water and head to the driest area on the kitten, so it’s not uncommon to see them start to swarm the kitten’s face and head area. During this time, you can start using tweezers or your fingers to quickly remove them, dropping them in a cup of soapy hot water. This is a gentle treatment that will not harm cats.
Flea Comb or Brush
The next step is using products to manually remove the fleas. Use a flea comb or the best cat brush for long haired cats to comb out the kitten’s fur and remove any fleas or flea eggs that have somehow managed to cling on. Don’t worry about spending money on higher priced products. The best combs are ones that have extra fine teeth. If the teeth are too widely spaced, fleas will easily pass right through the teeth.
Combing their fur with a flea comb should be done right away, while the fur is still damp. Part the fur carefully, so you can make sure you get every area. Part the sections on their stomach, and search for both adults and eggs.
As you part the coat with the comb or brush, continue to dump any fleas that you come across into a cup of soapy hot water.
You can continue to use a flea comb on your pet, daily, or as needed, just remember to dampen the kitten’s coat first. If you’re not sure your cat still has fleas, search through their fur for coffee ground-like debris. These small pieces are referred to as flea dirt, which is actually flea feces. In this case, another bath with soap can do the trick. The key here is consistency and an aggressive approach using gentle products.
Drying Off the Kitten
After you’ve used the flea comb, dry your pet off right away using a thick towel. The cat should be placed in a warm room, wrapped in a blanket. After a bath, a kitten can easily become chilled, so it’s very important that you focus on keeping the kitten warm and avoid using things such as a fan or blow dryer, since they will stress out the kitten.
Fleas Fleas Everywhere
Place your pet in a clean, dry area that’s flea free in order to dry them off thoroughly, without fleas jumping back on.
Next, grab a trash bag and gather up any of the kitten’s blankets or any other bedding or material that the cat may have come into contact with. Wash the bedding and other material in hot water. Bedding, clothing, and any material the cat has come into contact with, most likely has fleas. Washing everything as soon as possible will help control the infestation.
Vacuum to Get Rid of Fleas
Vacuum the home well in order to get rid of fleas, especially in spots that your pet has come into contact with. You’ll need to vacuum the entire house, since you, other members of the family, and any other pets in the home have probably brought hitchhiking fleas to other parts of the house.
This is an important step, since any fleas remaining will jump right back on the cat.
Be sure to vacuum the floors, stairs, and the furniture. You may need to make a couple of passes around the house to ensure you suck up all the fleas. Pay attention to any difficult to reach spots, including gaps between floorboards and the areas behind and under furniture where adult fleas love to hide.
Flea Medication for Cat & Kittens
You can use flea medication to treat an adult cat or the kitten’s mother. Flea products for kittens should be followed based on age. These treatments are available as flea shampoo, flea spray, topical medication, flea collars, or pills and are designed to kill both fleas and eggs. However, many types of flea products are designed for pets at least twelve weeks of age and have a powerful chemical content that’s unsafe for younger animals.
Speak to Your Veterinarian for the Best Advice
Speak with your vet if you have a cat over the age of four weeks, since they may be treated with a medication called Capstar. If you want to get rid of fleas on cats in under an hour, this medication is worth the steep price. Your veterinarian can determine if this product is safe for use. Some forms of Capstar are safe to use for younger cats two pounds and up.
This pill works to kill all the fleas on the body in thirty minutes or less and can be administered once daily until all adult fleas in the home are dead. Other types of flea medications have an age requirement of eight to twelve weeks.
Administering medication to get rid of fleas to kittens under the age of twelve weeks can be deadly or they may suffer from harsh side effects. If you’re not sure which flea products to use, what type of chemical content to avoid, and whether or not a certain product is appropriate for use in kittens, check with your vet. Avoid using flea collars until he or she is twelve weeks of age. Most vets are on the same page concerning kitten care and will advise you to use natural and gentle products until the kitten is older.
Summing it Up
- Kittens are fresh food for fleas. You need to take an aggressive approach to get rid of them for good.
- Because newborn kittens should not be given flea medicine, you will be very limited with the types of treatments you can use. However, for your pet’s well-being and health, avoid using any harsh chemicals or products if they’re under three months of age. At this time, you’ll need to bathe them and remove the fleas manually.
- Avoid using essential oils, homeopathic medication, or other types of home remedy treatments to kill fleas since these can harm your kitten. Cats are especially sensitive to essential oils, which can be toxic to them if ingested.
- If you’re not sure whether a treatment is safe and appropriate for cats and kittens, speak with your veterinarian. In most cases, your veterinarian will recommend a bath with Dawn dish soap or baby shampoo, once daily, until the flea problem is resolved. This treatment is gentle on their coat and the safest way to remove these pests without the risk of harsh side effects.
- If you want to take your pets to a professional, you can seek the services of a groomer. Most groomers are very familiar with products and soap that’s safe for use in younger cats and gentle on the coat and skin.
Fleas can be difficult to get rid of and can be an ongoing issue if you don’t use the right treatments or fail to continue to clean and vacuum daily. These pests consider both humans and pets food and should be handled aggressively. You may need to vacuum your home, wash bedding frequently, and flea comb or brush your kitten until the problem is resolved. After the first treatment, you may still notice fleas around the home or on the kitten for a period of several days or weeks, depending on how consistent you are with baths, vacuuming, and washing bedding. The reason behind this is the flea life cycle. Your focus will need to be on both eggs adults.
As your kitten grows, you will be able to safely switch to an effective topical treatment that will keep your home and your kitten, flea-free.