Everything You Need To Know About Kitten Fleas
You’ve brought home that sweet, furry, meowing little creature only to find out that you have also adopted kitten fleas. Whether you found your kitten wandering around garbage dumpsters or purchased it from the cleanest of environments, there is still a good chance of dealing with this little situation. A flea is a parasite and they are attracted to young kittens because they’re immune systems are not strong yet. Fleas also can carry tapeworms so if you’re kitten eats the fleas they can acquire a tapeworm and Anemia can be a cause of death from serious kitten fleas.
It’s important to understand that a flea has four cycles of life. They are embryo, flea larva, pupa in a cocoon and a flea. You need to know this because for every 5% of fleas on your kitten you find, there is yet another 95% still in stage one, two and three in your home and around your yard. Therefore you cannot only treat the kitten. Fleas must be destroyed everywhere or this is a cycle you will be repeating continuously. It is also good to know that fleas thrive in humid, warmer climates and they are attracted to leaves and lawn clippings so when the weather starts warming up you know where they might be originating from.
How you get rid of your kitten fleas will depend on the age of him or her. There are plenty of flea powders and flea rinses on the market but they are only to be used if your kitten is over eight weeks old. It is very dangerous to use chemicals and essential oils on a kitten any younger than that and never use a dog product on a cat. They can die from toxic effects. It is also not recommended to use flea collars because they irritate the skin and generally don’t work anyway.
The safest and most effective way to get rid of kitten fleas is by giving them a bath in warm water and Dawn dishwashing detergent. Dawn is known to kill fleas very quickly and the ones that are left alive can be picked out. It’s easiest to put warm water in the kitchen sink and submerge the kitten in the water to his neck. After he is completely wet take him out of the sink, put him on a towel and lather up some Dawn being careful to not get any in his eyes. The fleas will start to scurry to his head where it is dry so be prepared to see this. Put him back in water and continue to rinse him as long as he will allow. Make a point to keep your kitten warm throughout this process. Have your flea comb ready to comb out the rest of the fleas and the eggs after taking him out of the water. It is helpful to have a cup of hot water close by so you can dip the comb into it before the fleas escape. Keep in mind that a single kitten can have hundreds of fleas so you will have to repeat this again to make sure you get any eggs that may hatch later.
Treating your home is equally important to make sure the kitten fleas don’t come back. To get rid of them in your house you will want to vacuum everywhere and wash bedding, pillows, etc that are removable and can be machine washed. Pay close attention to anywhere the kitten sleeps or hides; these are the areas you want to make sure you sprinkle Borax powder before you vacuum. It will kill the fleas. Table salt will also do the trick if you let it sit overnight. Just be sure to keep your kitten out of the area that you sprinkle.
When the weather is warm it is important to inspect young kittens often and watch for scratching. Eliminating the problem quickly makes it much easier than to deal with a severe case of kitten fleas later.