How to Flea Bathe a Kitten

Kittens with fleas should be bathed.

Kittens with fleas should be bathed.

Fleas can infest a kitten from the moment it is born. They can cause anemia and carry feline tapeworms. Flea control products contain strong chemicals that can be toxic to young animals and should not be used on kittens younger than 8 weeks. The safest option to remove fleas from young kittens is to give them a bath, which will drown many fleas, and use a flea comb to remove those remaining. You also will have to treat your home, especially the kittens bedding, to prevent another infestation.

Fill a sink or bowl with enough warm water to sit your kitten in with his head above water. The water should be the same temperature you would use for a baby. Test it is not too hot on the inside of your wrist.

Place the kitten in the water and use a sponge to dampen the top of his head, between his eyes and behind his ears. Pour water over the top of his head with the cup and make sure it does not run into his ears. You may see the fleas start moving upward on his head.

Pour some dish-washing liquid into your hand and massage it into his fur beginning around the neck and working down his back around his sides, belly, legs and tail. You can lift him out of the water to do this. Put him back in the water and lather up the back of his head. Avoid getting soap in his eyes or ears. Rinse your fingers before using a thumb and forefinger to remove any fleas you see on his face and drop them in the water.

Take the kitten out and empty the soapy water then refill the sink or bowl with warm water at the correct temperature. Put him in the water and use the cup to rinse away any soap. Be careful around his eyes and ears.

Lift the kitten from the water and run your hands along his sides to remove some of the water from his fur. Rub him with a towel to dry him off. As you are drying him run a flea comb through his fur, concentrating around the base of his ears and tail and beneath his belly by his legs. Remove any fleas you find with your fingers or tweezers and drop them in a cup full of very hot water. Smear a thin layer of petroleum jelly on the flea comb so the fleas will stick to it. Flush the water with fleas down the toilet when you have finished.

Items you will need

  • Sink or large bowl
  • Cup
  • Face washer or sponge
  • Liquid dish-washing detergent e.g. Dawn
  • Towel
  • Flea comb
  • Petroleum jelly

Tip

  • Kittens lose body heat quickly so keep him in a warm room until he is completely dry.

Warning

  • You can burn your kitten if you try to dry him with a hairdryer, so a towel is a better option.
 

Photo Credits

  • Martin Poole/Photodisc/Getty Images