Kitten Fleas - A Health Risk

Kitten fleas are not harmless, far from it.

In some cases fleas can be deadly for young kittens.

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The mere presence of the parasites crawling through their fur can make kittens scratch themselves to the point of damaging their coat.

Kittens can get tapeworms through swallowing fleas and heavily infested kittens may develop an allergic reaction to saliva from flea bites.

But the biggest danger to a flea infested kitten is that of anemia.

Kitten Fleas - The Danger Of Blood Loss

Fleas are blood sucking parasites, they ingest blood for nutrition. Kittens, being small, do not have a huge amount of blood.

The more severe the infestation, and the younger the kitten, the greater the danger of blood loss.

Loss of blood can cause anemia, (a low red blood cell count.)

Anemia can make a kitten unwell, in severe cases it can lead to the death of the young animal.

For many reasons, fleas must not be allowed to infest kittens.

Flea parasites are a health risk to adult cats, but with young kittens the risk is magnified.

However, the over the counter flea treatments that can successfully free adult cats of fleas cannot be used on young felines to rid them of kitten fleas.

Using these treatments can prove toxic for very young kittens.

Responsible manufactures of flea treatments state clearly on the packaging and in the instructions, the minimum age of the of the kitten that it is safe to use their product on.

With some products it is 6 weeks, with others it is 8 weeks, and some even 12 weeks.

Young Kittens And Fleas

So you have a very young kitten with fleas. For the health of the animal you have to get rid of the parasites, but you cannot use a commercial product. What do you do?

First thing that you need to do is contact your veterinarian. He or she may have something that is safe to use on a young kitten. If not they are bound to have some good advice about tackling the problem.

You can also give your kitten a flea bath.

Do you think a kitten will enjoy having a bath? Probably not. The little one will likely protest by biting and scratching. Wear gloves and if possible have a friend help you.

Kittens must not become chilled. The room that you bathe your kitten in must be kept warm, so too must the water. Perhaps just slightly cooler than the water you would bathe a baby in.

Although there are many flea treatment cat and kitten shampoos on the market, there does not appear to be any that are safe for very young ones.

young kittens
Fleas must not be allowed to infest kittens. Flea parasites are a health risk to adult cats, but with young kittens the risk is magnified.

Use a good gentle baby shampoo or Dawn dish soap.

There are two ways of giving a flea bath. Fill a bowl or a sink with warm water.

Add a small amount of Dawn or baby shampoo. Immerse the kitten up to her neck and allow the sudsy water to soak the fur.

Avoid getting the suds in the little one's nose and eyes. Rinse, again using warm water.

Some of the parasites will have been washed off with the water, but not all of them will drown (and some could even jump straight back on to your kitten.) Many more will crawl up to the drier area of the head. Pick these off using a pair of blunt tweezers. Have a jar or mug of very hot water ready to drop the kitten fleas into.

Alternatively, instead of putting the Dawn or baby shampoo in the water, soak your kitten in plain warm water. Then rub some baby shampoo or Dawn into the fur until it lathers and rinse off. Then continue as above.

When you have finished dry your kitten thoroughly with a soft towel.

Be aware that you are not likely to get all the parasites with a flea bath no matter how efficient you become. So don't spend too long bathing your little pet, remember that she must not get chilled.

When the fur has completely dried you can comb your kitty with a fine toothed cat flea comb.

Gently comb through the fur and drop the kitten fleas that you dislodge into hot water or squish them on a piece of tissue.

You will need to repeat the flea bath every couple of days or so, between times give kitty a flea combing.

Older Kittens And Fleas

When your kitten is old enough you can use flea eradication products. Take advice from your veterinarian.

kittens free from fleas
Kitten Fleas. If one of the pets in your home has an infestation then it is likely they all have.

Do be sure of the age of your kitten, if in doubt err on the side of caution. Study the instructions and follow them to the letter.

If your kitten, or kittens has fleas, then mom cat will almost certainly have them as well. It is very likely that any other pets that you have will also have fleas.

Treating your kitten and not treating mom and your other pets will mean that the parasites will soon be back on your kitten.

In addition, to guard against a repeat infestation of kitten fleas you need to remove from your home all the stages of the parasites, the eggs, larvae and pupae as well as the adult flea. You can find advice on how to do that on this page - - - cat fleas.

To Summarize . . .

  • Kittens must not be allowed to become infested with fleas. The pests are a serious health risk and an infestation could even be fatal.
  • Commercial flea treatments cannot be used on very young kittens.
  • If your kitten has fleas all your other pets are almost sure to have them as well. All need to be treated.
  • To prevent re-infestations of kitten fleas all the stages of the parasites need to be removed from your home.
  • Never use any flea treatments intended for dogs on kittens or cats.
  • Your veterinarian is your best friend.

Kitten Toys Make Your Kitten's Playtime More Fun.
Kitten toys can be an aid to development. Kittens love to stalk, chase, attack and investigate and they exercise and learn as they do so.

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