What to Do if You Suspect Your Kitten Has Fleas

November 9
Image from mathias-erhart at Flickr

Cat flea treatments are a little tricky. Of course, everything is a little tricky when it comes to managing a cat. They do not appreciate your efforts to clean, medicate, wash them; or just basically anything they didn't ask you for. They prefer you to feed them when they say so, pet them when they say so, and the rest of the time, leave them alone. When your cat gets fleas, then you can say you've got a problem!

Seriously, the most important thing to know about cats before any flea treatment is administered is that you never, ever put anything on the cat that was made for a dog. The active flea killing ingredients are totally different. The chemicals in dog flea products will hurt your cat.

They may start screaming because their skin is burning; now you have to give them a bath; or another bath as the case may be. They may break out around their necks, chest and above the tail, and guess what; they will scratch and make sores everywhere and then their hair will fall out. Have you ever seen a bald cat covered in scabs; believe it, you don't want to!

Flea treatment for cats come in powder, spray, shampoo, flea collars and spot treatments. They come in all kinds of varieties and prices. One rule to remember, if it's cheap, it will not work!

Totally disregard flea collars; they don't work and most cats are allergic (more rash, more scabs). Whoever invented that flea powder must have been insane; does a cat look like a baby's butt that needs powdering? NO! The powders do not work, but go ahead and use one if you're really bored; it'll give you something to do later.

You can run all over vacuuming while you watch the cat sneeze and gag and puke; then guess what? You get to clean it up. The cat does not care, and at this point, is probably not, liking you very much anymore. Trust me, that cat is sitting over there in the corner thinking about getting even!

The only reasonable options are top quality spray (fun!) and/or shampoo (more fun!) and spot treatments. Purchase these items from the veterinarian or the local farm supply (they have the same product as the vet). Not cheap, but believe me, you want it to work the first time. Next, if you don't know, you need to know now; the cat is going to have a fit! The only thing they despise worse than a spray bottle is, guess what, a bath.

If you have never bathed a cat, you are in for a treat! One helpful hint for bathing a cat is, use a harness, not a collar on them. The harness will allow you to hold them by the part of the harness that is on their back, and hopefully keep you from getting bitten or scratched too badly. You have no idea how a cat can contort its body, but you are about to find out.

Topics: Fleas