Unfortunately, fleas happen. Especially if you’ve rescued your kitten from a barn or a homeless situation or if the mother cat herself has fleas. These itch-inducing, blood-sucking parasites can cause anemia, flea bite dermatitis and other health issues in your new kitten, so you will want to remove them as soon as possible. Plus, once they have entered into your home, they are even more difficult to eradicate.
Don’t despair, there are safe and effective ways to get rid of those nasty pests. Check out these four helpful steps on how to de-flea your kitten.
Do you suspect that your kitten has fleas? Here are the steps to get rid of fleas on a kitten:
1. Identify If It Is Indeed Fleas
Adult fleas are flat, brownish-colored and have many legs, which help them jump around 100 times their height. If you don’t actually see any on your kitten (because they are so quick) you can part your kitten’s fur and look for dark pepper-like debris on its skin. This is actually the waste the flea leaves behind after feeding on your kitten. You can also observe white flea eggs.
Other signs of fleas include:
- Unusually agitated or restless behavior
- Loss of fur
- Itchy red marks and bumps especially in the kitten’s neck and back
- Shaking the head
- Actually seeing the fleas in your kitty’s fur
2. Wash the kitten
To begin treatment, soak your cat in warm water up to her neck. Since fleas will swarm to the driest area of the fur, don’t be surprised to see a bunch around her face and eyes. If you can grab them with tweezers or your fingers, drop them into a cup of hot soapy water. This will kill them on contact.
Remove the kitten from the water and place her on a dry towel. Apply flea shampoo made specifically for kittens according to directions. Lather it into the fur and skin.
Submerge your kitten up to her neck once again to rinse off all the shampoo. Now place her back on the towel.
3. Picking the fleas of your kitten
While your kitten is still wet, begin to search for and remove the remaining fleas. You can use a flea comb to help with this task. Be sure to go over your kitten several times while also parting her fur. If you find any more fleas, drop them into your soapy water cup.
Once you’re finished flea pickin’ place your wet kitten in a warm, dry, flea-free area and continue on to step four.
4. Rid your home of fleas
If your cat has been in your home for any length of time, you most likely have a flea infestation in your home.
Start by grabbing all of her bedding and placing it in a garbage bag. Transfer these to a washing machine and launder with hot water and detergent to kill the fleas.
Now thoroughly vacuum all areas your kitten has come in contact with including your furniture. Once finished change your vacuum cleaner bag and throw it away in a tightly sealed garbage bag.. If you have a bag-less vacuum, be sure to empty the contents into a garbage bag and tie it up tightly. You will also want to clean your canister with hot soapy water to kill any eggs or larvae that may have been left behind.
You can also treat your home with a flea spray by following the directions on the specific brand.
5. Prevent fleas from occurring
Being vigilant is one of the best ways to combat these pests. Once your cat is old enough (especially if it is allowed outdoors) you may want to ask your veterinarian about flea prevention during the spring and autumn months.
Staying flea free is the best way to keep your kitten healthy and happy.
For more information on getting rid of fleas and other common cat questions see also the FAQ at Somerzby.