How To Handle Fleas On Young Kittens

In the Midwest, flea season generally starts in May and goes on until winter. In fact, it’s possible for fleas on your cat to peak in the fall, not the summer as is commonly thought. Generally, temperatures outside need to stay consistently below freezing before flea season is over, and even then, if they’re already in your house they will likely continue to flourish. What do you do if you find fleas on young kittens in your house?

It’s not smart to treat fleas on young kittens with the usual flea and tick treatments

Products such as Frontline, Revolution, flea shampoos and flea dips can help you get rid of fleas in your house and on your older pets, however, you can’t treat fleas on young kittens this way. Flea products like those listed above can cause serious illness, injury, and even death in young kittens. It’s best to avoid using these altogether. The best thing to do is to take her to your vet and let your vet handle it.

Fleas on young kittens

What you can do with fleas on young kittens

If you can’t take her in within a few days of noticing the fleas, consider giving your kitten a bath in lukewarm water with baby shampoo. Baby shampoo is very gentle and ideal for young kittens. You can also use Dawn dish soap for fleas on young kittens, because it has been proven to be safe for wildlife that has been rescued from oil spills. Make sure it’s diluted first, though.

Your kitten needs to be in a warm place while doing this, so start by using a space heater to warm up your bathroom. Fill the sink with a few inches of lukewarm water (not hot, it should feel like a warm swimming pool) and gently put her into it. Keep her head out of the water at all times. You want her to be neck-deep when she’s sitting, but absolutely no deeper; it’s very important you keep soap and water out of her eyes, nose, mouth, and ears.

Once she’s in the water you’ll see her fleas running to her head and face to escape. Start working a dime-sized amount of soap into her fur as the fleas try and run, and use a flea comb to brush them off her head and face. You won’t get them all this way but you’ll get many, and many more will drown when she’s put into the water. Flea combs are readily available at your local pet supply store.

Make sure you take good care of your kitten following the bath, too

Fleas on young kittens

Drain the water and rinse her off thoroughly; there shouldn’t be any soap at all left on her when you’re done. More fleas will die during this part of the process, and you may also want to run the comb over her head and face once more before taking her out of the sink.

When you’re done bathing her, dry her fur as much as possible with one towel, and then use second towel to wrap her up, leaving her face exposed. If she’s younger than 6 weeks, she will need to stay wrapped up in the dry towel because very young kittens have trouble regulating their own body temperatures.

Do NOT leave her body exposed to the air while her fur is still damp; she can get a nasty chill this way. In fact, the best way to keep her warm is to cuddle her while she’s drying because your body heat will help a lot. This may take a few hours so it’s best to actually set aside a good chunk of your day to do this.

To effectively fight fleas on young kittens, you’ll have to repeat this until you can get her to the vet

Effectively treating fleas on young kittens involves doing this once to twice a week, especially before you’re able to get to your vet. Also, you’ll need to vacuum your house daily and wash every blanket and towel that your kitten uses or sleeps in on a daily basis to keep the infestation from spreading as much as possible.

If you have adult pets in the house you can use products like Frontline or Revolution on them to keep them from getting fleas as well, and that will also help keep the fleas from multiplying as quickly as they otherwise might. Don’t use these to treat fleas on young kittens, though. There’s no way to emphasize that enough.

It is time-consuming and labor-intensive, but it’s also the best and safest way to handle fleas on young kittens. Remember, ALL flea products are a type of poison and are very dangerous for young kittens. Further, over-the-counter flea products can be toxic even to adult cats. DO NOT use these on your kitten no matter what the label says about age or body weight. Once you get her to your vet he will be able to recommend a course of action that’s both safe for your kitten and effective at getting rid of the fleas.

One Reply to “How To Handle Fleas On Young Kittens”

  1. Becky

    I rescued a small kitten recently who had some fleas . I used a flea comb it helped a lot . Thanks for posting this I was unsure if baby shampoo would be safe enough for her.

    Reply

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