Fleas can be a serious problem for many pets. Both cats and dogs can experience these irritating parasites that are almost as annoying as your big brother or sister picking on you.
Treatment and prevention, though, can be a straight-forward process. As your kitten’s first line of defense against the biting bug, you should be well-educated on how to find, treat and prevent infestations.
Finding The Infestation
Pull out your famous Inspector Gadget magnifying glass and Sherlock Holmes hat. Finding fleas on kittens will require a bit of detective work on your part. There are several signs of fleas you should be aware of:
- Red bumps and scabs along your kitten’s neck and back
- Excessive shaking of the head
- Restless behavior
- Loss of fur
- Brown fleas jumping and crawling in your kitty’s fur (the most obvious sign)
Even a clean home and well-groomed cat can draw fleas to the yard, like your milkshake brings all the boys. So, don’t blame yourself or think you’re a bad pet owner. Finding evidence of fleas is the first step in treatment!
Treating Your Kitten’s Fleas
Fleas can be an unwelcome surprise, but getting rid of them is actually easy, unlike a cousin in a 1980’s family sitcom. A few options are available to you. Some work well in tandem with other treatments.
- Comb your cat with a flea comb dipped in a mixture of soap and water.
- Bathe your kitten in a flea shampoo – not going to lie, this isn’t going to be a fun time.
- Treat your cat with a flea spray.
- Use flea preventative medication year-round.
Ridding Your Home Of Fleas
Just as important as treating your cat, it’s imperative that you eradicate the fleas in your house. Fleas aren’t just concentrated on your cat. They can set up a home base in your yard, bed, couch, favorite chair, etc. – a seriously skin-crawling thought. These extra steps can help you prevent future infestations:
- Vacuum everything.
- Clean all pet beds.
- Clean your bed sheets.
- Use flea treatment products on any furniture and in crevices around your dwelling'
- Mow the lawn.
- Prune the weeds.
- Clear up any yard waste.
How To Prevent Fleas
Once you’ve treated an infestation, the best way to prevent a second or third or fourth round is with medication. Work with your vet to go over flea prevention options and medications. Flea collars are also a good option because not only do they help prevent the little irritants but rumor has it that they are quite the style right now!
First-time kitten owners may find it disappointing to discover fleas on their precious new animal. But, keep in mind that these pests are normal and no reason to sound an alarm. Don’t be afraid to break out your inner Starship Trooper and go crazy on cleaning. Ultimately, the best way to combat fleas is prevention, so make sure you’re giving your kitten the necessary medication.