Fleas are icky pests that can cause a variety of health issues for our feline friends, including itchy skin, hair loss and anemia; they can even carry harmful tapeworms. Rid Fluffy of the adult fleas infesting his coat and the many eggs that they lay on a daily basis.
Bathe your cat using a flea shampoo, or ordinary dish soap for kittens under 12 weeks of age. The bathing process and the insecticides in the shampoo will remove and kill off adult fleas on the coat, preventing them from laying any eggs. During the bath, the existing eggs will simply by washed down the drain because they aren't sticky and easily come off of the fur. Have some treats handy to reward Fluffy for enduring a bath.
Brush your cat's fur using a flea comb. These combs have tightly spaced tines that help root out and remove little black fleas and their eggs, which look like small grains of rice. Coat the comb with petroleum jelly to make the fleas and eggs stick to it. Dip the comb regularly in a cup of rubbing alcohol or soapy water to kill the pests that you find. Concentrate your brushing on Fluffy's neck and chest, where fleas tend to hang out.
Give your cat a prescription oral flea preventative like lufenuron, a type of insect development inhibitor that prevents those icky flea eggs from hatching. You give this medication to your feline friend monthly and it's safe to use in kittens 4 weeks old or more and over 2 pounds in weight, according to the manufacturer Novartis Animal Health.
To kill off adult fleas and prevent them from laying any eggs in the first place, give your kitty a medication like nitenpyram, another prescription oral medication you can give to Fluffy up to two times per week. It's also safe for younglings at least 4 weeks old and weighing 2 pounds or more.
Apply a topical flea preventative, such as selamectin, monthly between your kitty's shoulder blades to kill the fleas and eggs on his coat. This chemical kills off adult fleas and prevents the development of their eggs. Selamectin is safe for kitties over 8 weeks of age.
Vacuum your home thoroughly to remove flea eggs that have fallen off his coat. Dispose of the vacuum bag immediately to get those eggs out of your home so that they don't hatch and reinfest Fluffy's coat. Wash his bedding in hot water as well to get rid of any fleas or their eggs lurking on it.
- Feline Advisory Bureau: Tackling Fleas on Cats
- WebMD: Ticks and Fleas on Cats Q&A
- North Texas Cat Rescue: Flea Medication for Kittens
- Pet Product Advisor: Cat Flea Medicine—How to Choose Cat Flea Medicine
- American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals: Fleas
- Animal Planet: Home Remedies for Cats with Fleas
Based in Las Vegas, Susan Paretts has been writing since 1998. She writes about many subjects including pets, finances, crafts, food, home improvement, shopping and going green. Her articles, short stories and reviews have appeared on City National Bank's website and on The Noseprint. Paretts holds a Master of Professional Writing from the University of Southern California.