By Jennifer Copley (Last Updated 12 May 2011)
Fleas can cause serious health problems in young kittens. The safest way to get rid of fleas and their eggs is to manually remove them with a flea comb. Many flea control products are too harsh for kittens, and bathing creates a risk that kittens will become dangerously chilled.
Hold the comb angled slightly toward the kitten’s tail and gently run it the full length of the kitten’s body, from the back of the head right to the tip of the tail. Start with the back and then comb the sides, chest, belly, legs, and face (being very careful around the eyes and nose). After each stroke, drop fleas and their eggs into a bucket of hot, soapy water to kill them. Be sure to do the area on the lower tummy and around the underside of the tail where fleas tend to congregate.
Fleas will also have to be removed from the mother cat, and carpets should be vacuumed, floors mopped, and upholstery and blankets washed at least once a week to get rid of flea eggs around the house. If considering using a commercial flea product or bathing kittens to rid them of fleas, consult a veterinarian before proceeding.
See the Pregnant Cats and Kittens Page for information on caring for pregnant cats, kitten development week by week, kitten training, kitten care, and more. For a full list of cat articles, see the main Cats page.