San Diego Mobile Pet Grooming Blog
Serious flea infestations can be fatal to very young kittens, because parasites taking nourishment in large quantities can leave the kittens with a low red blood cell count (also known as anemia). It’s tricky business because the chemicals that you might use to kill fleas on older cats can be harmful or outright fatal to kittens. Therefore the best approach with small kittens is to get rid of the fleas naturally, and as quickly as possible.
The first thing to do is bathe your kitten in a dish or sink of warm (not hot!) water with a natural unscented shampoo intended for cats. Soap the kitten up good, avoiding getting soap in its face, and let the soapy solution sit for five minutes if you can. The water and suds will help smother the fleas, and will help with removal of flea eggs. Some all-natural shampoos contain ingredients that weaken the flea’s shells, which is helpful, but basically at this stage you are just going for physically removing the little critters by washing or rinsing them off the kitten. It’s not necessary to waste time shopping and waiting for a special flea shampoo to arrive. Just get a bath done ASAP with a very gentle general pet shampoo so that you can get on with the process of removing the fleas.
During the bath, take a soft cloth and gently wipe the kitten’s face to remove any fleas that have gathered there. Wipe away any other fleas you can see. Rinse the kitten completely with warm water and towel dry him gently. Set the kitten in a box with a heating pad wrapped in a towel. It’s important to keep kittens that young from getting chilled, so be careful to keep them in a warm area and away from any breezes or drafts.
If any fleas remain after the bath you can remove them with a flea comb (a special, very fine toothed comb that can be purchased at any pet supply store). Fill a bowl with a grain alcohol. This is where you will deposit any fleas removed from your kitten by the comb. The alcohol will kill the fleas. Use the flea comb to comb through the kitten fur all over its body. Fleas will be caught in the teeth of the comb as you work it gently through the kitten’s fur until he is flea free.
In addition to washing and, if needed, flea combing the kittens, of course remove fleas on the mother cat if she is still in the picture -- and for that matter, any other pets in your household. Once the animals are clean, it’s critical to wash their bedding, where fleas and flea eggs are certainly lurking. Pet bedding should be washed in hot water, with laundry detergent and a half a cup of borax to kill any remaining fleas.
Next vacuum your home from top to bottom to pick up any remaining fleas or eggs. Be sure to remove the vacuum bag, wrap it in plastic, and throw it out immediately upon finishing. If you see any further signs of fleas over the next few weeks, repeat the cleanup, and sprinkle borax on your carpets and vacuum it back up – this is messy but it helps. You have to break the flea lifecycle. What we see are the adult creatures, but by the time you see one, there are inevitably many, many others you don’t see, and they have certainly all been laying eggs like crazy.
Fleas are pesky little creatures, and it’s a good rule of thumb that, if you see one flea, you have an infestation. Take care of the problem right away, not only for the sake of the people in your home, but for your young kittens as well.
For more on removing fleas from kittens:
How to Kill Fleas On Kittens -- powered by ehow
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