I have 5 kittens that are a week old today. I noticed that they are covered in fleas and have no idea how to get rid of them. I don't want to use anything that might harm them. I also don't know what to use on the mother cat, because she is nursing. I don't know what would be safe.
I also have other pets in the house and use Frontline, but I didn't know if it was safe to put it on them since they go around the mother cat. Can that affect the kittens/get on the mother cat? I did read that I should give them a bath, but didn't know if they are still to young to get wet.
You can bathe them using a mild baby shampoo. You'll need to bathe them all at the same time, including the mother, and do it every 3 days for 10 days in order to make sure you get the larva as they hatch.
The baby shampoo though is about all you can use on kittens that young, or on their mother whom they nurse from. Flea shampoos can be fatal to kittens that young and if you bathe the mother in flea shampoo the kittens will ingest it when they nurse. Just be sure and dry them as quickly as possible and keep them warm. You can put an electric heating pad set on Low under a clean folded up blanket for them to lay on till they and the mom are completely dry.
Also wash their bedding in hot hot water. If it's possible you should boil their bedding. You could spread it out in the bath tub and pour tubs of boiling water on with some good strong detergent and let it soak for at least 20 minutes. Then rinse it out really well. If you can't get it into the washer for a rinse cycle, you could take it outside and drape it over a chair and spray it down good with the hose.
Be sure and treat the rest of the house and your other pets too, even though they are on Frontline. I'd bathe them too just in case. (07/22/2009)
I just got 2 kittens and was told to use Dawn liquid dishwasher soap to bathe the kittens. As Cricket mentioned, you will also need to bathe the mother. I'm also trying to find out if I can worm them myself. I understand almost all kittens are born with worms. (07/23/2009)
Lime juice not from concentrate works on my kittens and cat. I put a couple drops behind their ears. (07/25/2009)
Get a quality flea comb (with metal teeth, with minimal space). It will catch fleas much more effectively than one with wider gaps, or a plastic one. Just be gentle with it. I found that with my kittens, they were much happier when I disposed of most of the flea problem. If as they get older, they go out, make a habit of giving them a light combing when they come in. (08/06/2009)
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