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My Babies have fleas!! URGENT!!

post #1 of 44
Thread Starter 
I have 2 day old babies and they have fleas!! They keep twitching and it's horrible!! I didn't even know Ziggy had fleas.

I'm so sad. I know this can be bad for the kitties but how bad? What happens? What do the fleas do? Can they die from them if they get too ill? How long do I have before they get ill?

Ziggy keeps licking them, I guess to help get them off but it's just not working. I don't have the money to buy anything for them until Wednesday and don't have a flea comb. Are there any other free ways of damage control?

I read on a previous thread that their vet told them they can use a tiny amount of frontline on a glove to put on the kitties. I have frontline but haven't used it as Ziggy has been pregnant and I don't like flea collars, (although I have one she's never worn) Should I temporarily put the collar on her or try the frontline?

Please help me!!!

(I am not a teenager and live at home with my son and partner. We have no money because I got paid wrong and our bills were really high. Payday is on Wednesday)
post #2 of 44
Do not use a flea collar. The only thing they are good for is to cut it up and put it in your vacuum cleaner bag.

I would not put anything like Frontline/Advantage/Revolution on a kitten so young.

You can use some Dawn dish soap in warm water. Use a comb (any kind if you don't have a flea comb) dipped in the soapy water to comb the kittens, then dip the comb back in the water to drown the fleas.

I would contact a vet prior to using anything else on them.

Fleas can kill kittens, so it's important to get rid of them. Wash everything they've been on (blankets, towels, etc.) in hot water.
post #3 of 44
Thread Starter 
I have changed the blanket several times and put them straight in the washing machine.

I'm so afraid and feel so responsible. I don't want to lose any of my babies. Will a usual head lice comb do because I can borrow one from my mum.

They have 'flea dirt' on their bellies and my tortie (pixie) has a couple of actual fleas.

Thanks for your advice. Much more is welcome
post #4 of 44
OH sweetie....I'm going through the same thing right now, although it took a few weeks for those little critters to get to my babies.

I can only imagine we brought them in on our clothes (it IS the season) and then one thing led to another.

There were live fleas found on my Sophie when he was neutered the other day and he had to be given frontline.

I'm trying also to figure out a safe treatment because I've done the flea comb and dawn dish soap and it isn't working.

Hopefully I'll be able to do something soon, because if babies are infested, then Momma must be too!!!!

Thankfully my babies are older so the risk is smaller, I hope you are able to get rid of those fleas as they are especially dangerous to the younger ones!!!

post #5 of 44
Thread Starter 
I probably seem so naive but how do the fleas kill them? How long do I have?
post #6 of 44
IIRC, when they lick themselves, they ingest the fleas. In turn, the fleas turn into worms in their intestinal tracts. Not to mention all the scratching and misery the kitty is put through.

For an adult cat, you can use Borax. It's found on the laundry detergent aisle at Wal-Mart. Sprinkle it on your cat and work it into their fur. Rub their fur against the normal grain and sprinkle as you go. If possible, leave it on for a few minutes, or as long as possible. Then brush and/or comb it out completely.

Sprinkle it everywhere in your house, on the carpet, on furniture, under furniture and beds, etc. If you have carpet, use a broom to "sweep" it into your carpet so it gets way down deep in there. If possible, leave it on overnight, then sweep it up in your vacuum cleaner.

Be sure to wash everything in the washer in HOT water and bleach that your cat has come in contact with, blankets, bedding, and etc.

For a nursing kitty, if you have her and the babies confined, I would think you could do the above treatment everywhere EXCEPT in the area she and the babies are confined. Change the bedding daily or twice daily and wash thoroughly to helpt control the fleas as well. Also, I wonder if you could put the Borax down under any kind of bedding you use for the momma and babies?? (This is just a thought as I've never tried this.) Seems like it might work especially if you use a couple of layers of bedding (towels or blankets). What do others think about this idea??

You may also talk to your vet about applying something like Advantage or Revolution to your adult or nursing cat. Again, never having owned a nursing cat, I'm not sure this would be advisable.

Outside, you can apply beneficial nematodes to your yard every 4-6 weeks to help control fleas, ticks, roaches, grub worms, and chiggers. Beneficial nematodes can be purchased at many organic garden centers, feed stores, and online. We have been applying nematodes this year and have seen a dramatic decrease in chiggers, roaches, and grubs in our yard and house.

post #7 of 44
Fleas can give kittens anemia, which can lead to death.

You might also want to check out this thread:

post #8 of 44
Found this, too, which might be helpful. from the following website:


Controlling fleas in the environment -- indoor control


Combing your cat or dog daily with a flea comb is an important part of flea control. Bathing animals regularly is also advised. There is no need to use chemical flea shampoos. A water bath with a gentle soap that won't irritate their skin is sufficient to eliminate existing fleas.

Sanitize your pet's environment

Fleas lay their eggs everywhere -- in carpets, curtains, upholstery, animal bedding, cracks and crevices. Destroying the fleas' eggs by thorough weekly vacuuming and frequent washing of animal bedding goes to the source of the problem and will help eliminate the flea population in your house. Keeping clutter on the floor to a minimum also will deprive the fleas of hiding places.

Essential oils as flea repellent

Essential botanical oils such as eucalyptus, cedar, peppermint, citrus (dogs only), lemongrass, etc. are one way of combating fleas. While not an insecticide, these blended oils repel fleas with their smell. Even better, the scents are often quite pleasing for people. Mix a few drops with distilled water in a spray bottle and spritz infested areas.
post #9 of 44
Be careful about bathing a young kitten. They can't handle being cold and wet. If you do bathe them, they must be dried thoroughly immediately following the bath.
post #10 of 44
Thread Starter 
That thread said I can't get the babies wet. And what is this stuff called Dawn? I don't think we have it over here
post #11 of 44
Dawn is a dishwashing detergent. It's very gentle. You probably don't have it in the UK, but you can use something that's very gentle.

post #12 of 44
Thread Starter 
Oh right, that it was something like that. We have Fairy, thats gentle. Anyone in the UK with an idea of what to use?

I know they are too young to be bathed, should I try? Should I just bath Ziggy to get rid of hers until I get to the vet? I read that flea larvae can take 3-6 weeks to hatch, so I will hopefully have a while until more come out. Will the babies' fleas move onto Ziggy or will they continue to prey on the young and the weak? I would rather get rid of what I can and 'spread them' instead of leaving them til Wednesday.

Someone on the thread I was linked to said that frontline/advantage was okay for nursing cats.

I'm going out of my mind.

What are the signs that they have anemia?
post #13 of 44
I live in Uk, I still think Fairy has too many chemicals, my partner Sophie said that there is an organic flea treatrment taht you can get, to be honest we have just got rid of a massive flea problem and our cat is giving birth as I write this, and I am quite worried we are going to have the same problem,
while you are on line, I know it sounds silly but do the new kittens need a litter tray ? or will the mum show them when she needs to ?

post #14 of 44
Dawn is a dishwashing liquid similar to Fairy. Personally, I would not use it and opt instead for cruelty-free brands (not tested on animals/not containing animal ingredients) if possible. Also, not to disagree with other posters and perhaps the info I have is erroneous, but I've heard Borax is not good for cats as they might ingest it and that is not good for them. Any more light to shed on this?
post #15 of 44
Thread Starter 
A bit. Shall I bathe my mother cat? I'll get a flea comb tomorrow and start the lengthy processess of hand removeal of the fleas on the kittens. I just hope Ziggy doesn't get funny about me holding her squeeling babies for too long.
post #16 of 44
Well, I guess if you're able to bathe her, it would be all right; I'd probably opt for getting Advantage, myself, as it's our topical of choice. As for the babies, yes, flea combing would probably be the safest option; and if mama takes exception, you could have them in separate rooms while you de-flea. You MUST get the fleas off of them.
post #17 of 44
Thread Starter 
I know thats why I'm fretting!! Cant do anything today now as its 11pm here.

I've been on here all night looking for answers.

Is Advantage okay for Nursing cats then? Wont it end up in the kittens system?

I'll give the vet a call in the morning and get some advice from them too.

I'll bathe her first, shall I use shampoo? I'v heard ones like pantene are okay to use?
post #18 of 44
I spay/neuter all cats in my care, so I don't have knowledge of nursing moms and kittens and suggest your vet is the best source of information on the subject.

Pantene, btw, is a cruel shampoo (tested on animals) and I don't buy it; but if it's all you have perhaps it would be all right, as long as you make sure it's rinsed out completely. A shampoo for kittens would probably be a better choice, as well.
post #19 of 44
Originally Posted by stephanietx View Post
IIRC, when they lick themselves, they ingest the fleas. In turn, the fleas turn into worms in their intestinal tracts.
This is not true. The entire life cycle of fleas is outside the cat. They are an external parasite. Fleas can, however, transmit tapeworms, which the cat can get by swallowing a flea that contains tapeworm eggs.

Of course, speak to your vet about this, but I can give you some qualified advice on fleas: You can use Advantage on the nursing mother, it is safe to use on pregnant and nursing cats. It cannot be used on the kittens. Be very careful about what you use on the kittens. I would not bathe them at this point, I would just flea comb them. You can remove all fleas with a comb. You should change the bedding every other day or so, too. If you must bathe them, dilute some dish detergent in water so it's pretty weak, just a little suds. Get them wet with it and then rinse very very thoroughly. Make sure they are in a warm place when you're done. They are so very young, though, again, I would not recommend washing them unless your vet says otherwise. If you do wash them, place the clean kittens on clean bedding only. Do not put unwashed kittens on the clean bedding or they will just get fleas again.

Fleas are not a great thing and can make the kittens anemic, but don't stress out about that, that will take a while and you are already on top if it. It will be ok.
post #20 of 44
I would put Frontline or Advantage on the mom, in addition to using a comb on the kittens and washing the bedding often. The Frontline web site says it is "approved for breeding, pregnant and lactating cats" - I just checked. So it should be safe to use the Frontline you have.
post #21 of 44
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all your advice guys, I don't know what I'd do without this forum.

I combed the kittens a bit today while they were suckling from mum. Combed mum too for about 30mins

I got a couple of live ones but I don't think it's as bad as I thought, I think I've caught it just in time.

If my kittens get tapeworm, is there a treatment for them as they are so young?
post #22 of 44
Originally Posted by sadieandziggy View Post
If my kittens get tapeworm, is there a treatment for them as they are so young?
I don't think so, but I wouldn't worry about it for now. From what I've read about tapeworm, cats usually get it from grooming themselves and swallowing a flea. Since baby kittens are groomed by mom, she's the one who is more likely to get tapeworm. If she does, it's easily treated and really not a big deal.
post #23 of 44
It can take several months before you see tapeworms. Just keep an eye on the litterbox; if they get tapeworms, you'll be able to see them in their poop.

I'm glad you're starting to get things under control. Fleas are irritating and time consuming!
post #24 of 44
Thread Starter 
They are very time consuming!!! I've been combing on and off for hours!!

New question (s)....

If I use frontline or advantage on nursing mum, will it get into the kittens system through the milk? If so, will it kill the fleas on the kittens or will it make them ill? (It probably wont make them ill if it says its okay for nursing mums)

Also, when the fleas move from baby to mum, will they die, or will they stay on the babys knowing that it is life threatening to go onto mum?

And finally... What are signs of anemia...I think one of my babies has diaorreah (however you spell it!!)

Oh yeah, as good and lovely as my cat is, I'm too scared to bathe her coz I fear my eyes may be scratched out!!
post #25 of 44
I have never used this stuff personally, but have heard great things about it.
Diatomaceous Earth -the human grade stuff, not the stuff for swimming pools.
Here is a website that was recommended by a dog owner friend of mine, but I don't know if they ship across the "pond".

And here is a quick link about the stuff and how it kills fleas...

Good luck! Fleas can sure be hard to get rid of!
post #26 of 44
Check this out i am having the same problem im gonna buy this organic stuff go to this website it's really cheap:http://www.ghorganics.com/DiatomaceousEarth.html
Let me know if it works.
good luck my kittens are 4 weeks old the dish detergent didn't work
post #27 of 44
Signs of aneamia is pale gums. When my son 1st found Blossom at 3 weeks old the vet gave me Felix worm paste for cats & kittens. I started using it when she was 4 weeks old. I gave it to her every 2 weeks until it was gone. There was 4 doses. She was then old enough to have Revolution spot-on for kittens, I used this 3 times, monthly. She then went onto adult cat Revolution. It doesn't kill tapeworm but vet said that bc she had Felix paste which did control tapeworm she didn't need any more tapeworm medicine as Revolution controls all life stages of fleas.
In the old days b4 all these new flea treatments I used to kill fleas by hand by squashing them between 2 fingernails. Its time consuming & the fleas are very quick.
post #28 of 44
So is revolution safe to use on four week old kittens?
post #29 of 44
Thread Starter 
Well, I went into the petshop near my work today and they have a vet clinic instore!! (I never knew that!!) So... I got some frontline coz I found that I'd put on empty box back in the cupboard, and I've also booked them in with the vet on friday so the kitties can all be sprayed to kill their fleas. It's a free health check so I'm going to get Ziggy checked over just in case of any afterbirth problems.

I also bought a spray to kill any fleas in my house, even though I vacuum properly, I want to be sure. This stuff will stop the cycle for 12 months too!!

So, I am happier now, just have to wait for two days til I see the vet.
post #30 of 44
DO BE CAREFUL, guyz -- those are very, very young kittens!!! Flea combing is the safe way to go.
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