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PLEASE HELP- newborn kittens with fleas!!

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
Hello. I've been taking care a female cat that I found by my house..
and a month or two later, she started showing that she was pregnant

I couldn't bring myself to take her to get spayed/abortion.


She had been wearing a flea collar but we took it off when she started showing.
We didn't give her a flea bath, because I've read/been told that you should not put any sort of flea killer on pregnant/breast feeding cats.

She gave birth two days ago, and now there are several fleas on each kitten. I am very, very worried because I've read that fleas can give kittens anemia and they can die.

Please help... what should I do?

I bought some unscented baby wipes with aloe in them, because I read on another forum that aloe baby wipes can somewhat help keep fleas off of the kittens... but I looked at them about 15 or 20 minutes after I wiped them down, and they are already covered.

My other cats all have flea collars on, and I have bought Raid flea carpet spray, and sprayed it on my carpets.. except about 3 feet around the kitten box.


I don't know what else to do! Please give me any suggestions I can try.
post #2 of 19
Ask your vet about Advantage or Frontline... both are safe for nursing moms... put that on the mom cat and your other pets as well... but not on the kittens themselves. Flea collars generally don't work.
As for getting the fleas off of the kittens, bathe them in warm water and Dawn dish detergent. Most of the fleas will die, and those that won't will be "stunned" enough so that they're easy to pick off. While you're drying them, pick the fleas off with tweezers and wash them down the sink.
There's also a wonderful product that you can get from your vet called Capstar, which is a tablet that kills all of the fleas instantly but I'm not sure if it's safe for nursing mommas.... but it's certainly worth asking your vet to see what he/she thinks.
post #3 of 19
Just make sure you dry the kittens right away and REALLY well.
post #4 of 19
You can get a little wire flea comb, too, from the vet or the pet supply store. After you bath them and dry them you can comb them with it, and put the fleas in a cup of water so they drown. They kittens love it, and you can cuddle them while you do it, hehe.
post #5 of 19
Diatomaceous earth made for this purpose might be another thing to try. I controlled a pretty massive infestation from Zissou's first homecoming... it works MUCH better if you keep all your cats inside, as we have discovered. Anyway, it's safe enough you could eat it if you felt like it, and kills fleas by drying them out, which helps when you have chemical-resistant fleas.

This is important:

Flea collars and over the counter flea medicines can kill your pets. Pet medicines, unfortunately, just aren't regulated very well. Some companies are trying to improve it, but you are likely to harm your cats and still have fleas going that route. Prescription medicines, or my recommendation above, are much safer and more effective. "Natural" remedies for fleas are also sometimes worse, as they contain essential oils, which are toxic to cats because their bodies are unable to break down the chemicals in them unlike us. Even environmental essential oils can make them sick.

So take them to the vet for a checkup, flea meds, and make your spay appt!

And welcome to TCS.
post #6 of 19
Thread Starter 
Thank you so much for your responses!

I did purchase some Sergeant's flea drops a week ago.
Are those really bad for cats?

I want to purchase some Frontline or Advantage for my cats, but I recently went from making $400 a week to about $130. Bad times.
So I will have to save up some money for that.



How long should I wait to wash the kittens? Is it safe to do it tonight or tomorrow? Should I use unscented dish soap?
I don't want the mother reject the kittens.

Also, do you wait until the mother is done nursing to spay her?


(And thank you for the welcome)
post #7 of 19
I had a small flea infestation when I fostered an orphan kitten in the fall. One of the girls who was watching him on the weekend had fleas in her house and Smeagol got infected and then spread them to my apartment. I got OTC flea ointment for my cats and they ALL had a bad reaction. I definitely would not do that again. It didn't even get the fleas. I used a flea comb on all of them and got rid of them that way. What a bunch of junk that stuff was. :/ All my kitties had bald spots on their necks.
Smeagol (the baby) had them the worst and I used the flea comb everytime I held him. You should use Dawn dish soap only. Apparently there's something special about it as they use it for rescuing animals exposed to oil spills as well. Probably it's super gentle and doesn't cause reactions.
Only use a drop or two of Dawn in a little bowl of water and comb the kitten, then dip the fleas in the water. The fleas drown! YAY! Die fleas die!!!
There's a thread on bathing kittens that's pretty recent so you might want to look it up.
I've heard 8 weeks is the best time to spay and THANK YOU for thinking ahead about this. All too often people don't spay in time and mom gets pregnant again.
Devlyn
post #8 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by oceanroar View Post
Thank you so much for your responses!

I did purchase some Sergeant's flea drops a week ago.
Are those really bad for cats?

I want to purchase some Frontline or Advantage for my cats, but I recently went from making $400 a week to about $130. Bad times.
So I will have to save up some money for that.



How long should I wait to wash the kittens? Is it safe to do it tonight or tomorrow? Should I use unscented dish soap?
I don't want the mother reject the kittens.

Also, do you wait until the mother is done nursing to spay her?


(And thank you for the welcome)
As an almost unbroken rule, anything you can buy without a prescription that kills or repels fleas chemically is dangerous. You can cut up the flea collars and put them in your vaccuum bags though. Vacuum, vacuum, vacuum some more, wash everything washable in HOT water.
You can bathe the kittens... but be very careful. You didn't say how old they were, but if they're very young you cannot get them wet under any circumstances. An older kitten you can use the unscented dish soap and the flea comb... or you could keep the cats dry, and run through their fur with the flea comb, dipping it in sudsy water between ech stroke and then drying it off. The suds keeps the fleas in the water. But the real problem with fleas is that they're mostly not on your cat.

Also, they need a checkup because they almost certainly now all have roundworm which is carried by fleas.

Or you could try the diatomaceous earth which works better, IMHO, than any flea med I've ever heard of, and costs about 8 bucks a pound.
post #9 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zissou'sMom View Post
As an almost unbroken rule, anything you can buy without a prescription that kills or repels fleas chemically is dangerous. You can cut up the flea collars and put them in your vaccuum bags though. Vacuum, vacuum, vacuum some more, wash everything washable in HOT water.
You can bathe the kittens... but be very careful. You didn't say how old they were, but if they're very young you cannot get them wet under any circumstances. An older kitten you can use the unscented dish soap and the flea comb... or you could keep the cats dry, and run through their fur with the flea comb, dipping it in sudsy water between ech stroke and then drying it off. The suds keeps the fleas in the water. But the real problem with fleas is that they're mostly not on your cat.

Also, they need a checkup because they almost certainly now all have roundworm which is carried by fleas.

Or you could try the diatomaceous earth which works better, IMHO, than any flea med I've ever heard of, and costs about 8 bucks a pound.
what is this diatomacious earth? do you spread it on your carpet, and your pets or what? I'm intriqued by this...
post #10 of 19
Don't use any dishwashing detergent, use Dawn. I've used the original blue formula. That, and a flea comb is the safest method for kittens. I'll also re-emphasize getting rid of the flea collars, or any product sold over the counter. They are just not safe.
post #11 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by happy cat View Post
what is this diatomacious earth? do you spread it on your carpet, and your pets or what? I'm intriqued by this...
Anywhere you want. It feels like talc or something, and you rub it into carpet, drapes, mattresses... anywhere. It doesn't smell like anything really. Then after while you vacuum it out. It kills fleas, eggs, larva, everything. It does this by damaging their exoskeleton and drying them out. Mammals it has really no effect on at all. You can also rub it into their fur. SOME people give it to them as a dewormer but I wouldn't, just demonstrating that it's okay for them if they lick some off. I bought mine on onlynaturalpet.com, but they sell it lots of places. Just make sure it's not the kind they use in swimming pool filters.

When I first found Zissou she had a pretty major infestation and I was finding fleas everywhere. We tried a flea bath before we went to the vet and they told us how dangerous it was... I found this stuff and the fleas were gone! Although other people who let their cats outside have found it doesn't work as well. So if you do let the cats outside it's still probably good to treat them with a prescription and just use it if you get some in the house.
post #12 of 19
For really young kittens, our kitten expert Hissy recommended only using a flea comb. Comb it through, dip it in water with Dawn to kill the fleas, then dry the comb before you use it again. You have to keep the little ones dry or they'll get chilled. Good luck, fleas are a real pain!
post #13 of 19
That is how I have been treating my kittens. Just with combing and although the fleas havent gone completely we have them under control and are only finding a few when we comb. We comb them every other day and change their bedding before we put them back. It seems to be working for us so far.

Emma x x
post #14 of 19
Thread Starter 
My cat keeps moving the kittens.. which wouldn't really be a problem.. except she keeps putting them behind my washer and dryer.
And then she'll just leave them there and walk off.

I know she probably doesn't like us messing with the kittens.. but we have to look occasionally to see how the kittens are doing flea-wise.


I don't think behind the washer and dryer is a very safe place for the kittens...

can anyone give me some advice on this?

I have two spare rooms that I could put her and the kittens in, but I don't have central heat and air.. so I'm afraid it would be too hot.

I could open the windows up, and turn on the ceiling fan and put in mywindow fan. But I still think it might be too warm for them.
post #15 of 19
Just wanted to repeat a few things:

-TAKE THE FLEA COLLARS OFF ALL YOUR PETS IMMEDIATELY, THEY CAN BE DEADLY

-NEVER EVER USE FLEA MEDICATION FROM THE GROCERY STORE/PET STORE unless it is Advantage or Frontline which you can sometimes buy at the check out of pet stores

-Use Dawn to wash the fleas off the babies, there are a few others you can use but I always stick to Dawn. The Anti-bacterial one is great! It even has a duck on the front label because they use it to wash the oil off of the wildlife after oil spills!
post #16 of 19
Thread Starter 
Three out of four kittens have died.
I have done everything I can... I'm devastated.

I have treated the mother cat for fleas.
I combed the kittens, dipping the comb in the soapy water and picked as many fleas off as I could at a time.

The other kittens were anemic, I assume. They had very light gums and tounges.

The last kitten is definitely being fussed over in the flea situation.
It's gums and tounge are pink.. so I don't think that's the problem.

The kitten is approximately 4 days old.
The kitten is on a heating pad, set on low, with a comfy sweater covering it.
The mother cat seems disinterested in the kitten usually, and at times she is taking care of it. I don't think she's feeding it as much as she should be, although I'm not sure.
How often should the kitten be fed? Should I buy replacement milk and feed it to the kitten occasionally?

Right now, it is sleeping and it's heartbeat is steady. It mews sometimes.
When it's picked up, it sometimes mews.. sometimes it seems asleep.



Please, please give me any suggestions/tips!


( Yes! I'm going to have the mother cat spayed ASAP. Yes! I know all of the other stuff that was said.. Please don't repeat any information that isn't going to help this kitten live. )
post #17 of 19
I can't give you any real personal advice, but I can give you this site, made for those who have newborn/very young kittens to care for. I hope it helps.

http://www.kitten-rescue.com
post #18 of 19
Just found this thread because one of our 1week old kittens has fleas on her today (we thought we'd cured mum weeks ago - obviously not). Been and bought a flea comb today so gonna use that in a minute, daughter read somewhere that salt is good to use in carpets to dehydrate the fleas, anyone tried that?
post #19 of 19
When I found my cat in a ditch at 2 weeks old, he was coated in fleas and very anemic. When I took him to the emergency clinic, they gave him capstar, they said that its not approved for cats under 2 lbs, but Zorro was 0.4 lbs and he took a whole pill and it didn't bother him at all. The fleas started dieing in 15 minutes. Wherever he walked you could actually see a trail of fleas following behind him. it killed all the fleas on him in just a few hours, and I never had a problem with the fleas again.
I tried the dawn detergent before the capstar. It worked, but not as good as the capstar, and the kitten started to become slighty hypothermic after only being wet for a very short period of time.
I would defenately give your vet a call and ask about the capstar. Its also pretty cheap. I got mine for $2.50 a pill.
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