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5 day old kittens with fleas

post #1 of 39
Thread Starter 

We just moved into our apartment on the second. All of my animals are treated monthly with advantaged. I picked up the kittens tonight for the first time and really looked at them. Before today I moved them just long enough to do a quick daily bedding change. As I was looking them over I noticed fleas on the two white kittens. They had to come from the carpet in this house right?

 

I know the best thing is a Dawn dish bath but Ive never had to do it on such new kittens before. Any tips? Im so nervous about it. Should I gather up all the kittens at once and then put them back in the box one at a time for mom to keep them warm? I dont have a hair dryer so I will be towel drying them in front of a portable heater. Im worried about them getting cold and about mom freaking out.

 

I would love love some tips. Thanks so much!

post #2 of 39

You can treat mum (Frontline or similar), you can treat the appartment, you can comb the fleas out of the kittens, you can wash the bedding on hot or replace it.

 

Do NOT bath the kittens. 

post #3 of 39

Having used Google and found out that the Dawn product is simply washing up liquid, I would never, ever use it on an animal.  Also avoid anything with tea tree oil and similar products.

 

http://www.messybeast.com/teatree.htm

 

This is a UK article so brand names might be different, but it covers all the bases and uses the generic names for active ingredients so you should be able to find the US equivalents.

 

http://www.fabcats.org/owners/fleas/info.html

 

post #4 of 39
Thread Starter 

Thanks! Ill have to pick up a flea comb in the morning. :)

post #5 of 39

You also need to do something about the presumed infestation in your house and talk to the vet about treating the female.  And be very careful with the kittens - they are very fragile, make sure you don't upset mum.

post #6 of 39

Would you like me to have this thread moved to the Kitten Care Forum, in case you have additional questions? 

post #7 of 39
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrsgreenjeens View Post

Would you like me to have this thread moved to the Kitten Care Forum, in case you have additional questions? 



Yes, please.

post #8 of 39
Thread Starter 

I combed out all the kittens with a flea comb and did not get one single flea out! I can see the fleas around thier bottom and I can see them scramble but can not get them off with the comb.

post #9 of 39
Thread Starter 

Also, the kittens arent crying much. They cried when I picked them up. Dont kittens usually cry more? I only hear them cry once or twice a day.

post #10 of 39

Um...I totally disagree with the other poster.  I got Meowgie when he was an abandoned little 2 week old baby.  He was COVERED in fleas and my vet told me to bathe him in dawn dish soap.  I used luke warm soapy water and then the flea comb.  I towel dried him.  To keep him super warm after the bath, I put white rice in an old sock, tied the top, and heated it in the microwave for about 2 minutes.  I put that in his little crate bed with towels on top of it.  He also had a place where he could snuggle up without the extra heat.  He did GREAT!!  He is 5 mos old now and has been flea free since that first night.  :)  I did go ahead and flea comb him daily for about a week after just to be sure.

 

If I were you, I would make a call to my vet to be 100% sure it is okay at 5 days...but it didn't hurt a thing at 2 weeks.

post #11 of 39

A happy, contented kitten that is not hungry or in pain will not cry much.  I always knew Meowgie was hungry when he started to cry.  They are a lot like human babies in that way.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by lorindaleigh View Post

Also, the kittens arent crying much. They cried when I picked them up. Dont kittens usually cry more? I only hear them cry once or twice a day.



 

post #12 of 39
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueRexBear View Post

A happy, contented kitten that is not hungry or in pain will not cry much.  I always knew Meowgie was hungry when he started to cry.  They are a lot like human babies in that way.

 



 


Thank you so much :)

 

post #13 of 39

A 2-week old kitten is far larger than a 5-day old one.  It would be so easy to get such a small kitten too hot or too cold unless you are very careful about the water temperature.

 

However, unless the OP deals with the fleas in the environment another lot of fleas will be along as soon as the kittens are dry.

post #14 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by lorindaleigh View Post

Also, the kittens arent crying much. They cried when I picked them up. Dont kittens usually cry more? I only hear them cry once or twice a day.


Hopefully they are contended. But I fear they are weakened out by the fleas...  If so, their lives are hanging on a thin thread...

 

How are they?  Are they moving all right, are they suckling well??

 


Edited by StefanZ - 2/22/12 at 10:44am
post #15 of 39

About defleasing the flat. Which it seems you must do, asap.

 

An interesting tip is to have these anti flear collars. Who are bad to have on the cats. But the trick is to have them in the vacuum cleaner, and do lot of vacuum cleaning...

 

Clothes and so do have in freezer,  or outside if you do still have cold graders at your place.

 

Im sure there are also other advices...Seek on our site, google if necessary.

 

 

Good luck!

 

 

 

ps.  Yes, of course contact your vet, take his advice which alternatives there are for defleasing the kittens.

Many vets dont like them preparates to use on small kittens, but there are preparates which can be used with kittens too.  Although use them only with vets OK.

post #16 of 39

btw, to avoid misunderstandings among some reader.  They do surely all have fleas on them. But they are easier to see on the white ones.

post #17 of 39

All the animals in the house will have fleas.  The house sounds like it's full of flea eggs and larvae from the previous owners, all ready to hatch and jump on whatever is passing.  It's getting bad when you find fleas on the animals.

 

So, the house needs treating.  The animals need treating.  Their bedding needs washing hot (60C) or throwing away.  They probably all need treating several times, but if the OP gets on with it, she will once more have flea-free pets.

 

And it needs doing Right Now.  Over time the fleas will weaken the kittens - flea dirt is basically digested blood.

post #18 of 39

I have dealt with this problem many times, so here's my advice.

 

Use Advantage on momma, being careful that it's allowed to set into the back of her neck for at least a minute with her upright, this way the oil won't just drain/settle to one side of her, which can enable the babies to come in contact, or even get to their mouths when searching for mommas nipple.

After a couple of days you may notice the fleas are not so much around any of them, mom or babies from her treatment.By

the way, I am very confident that Advantage truly is the best! Tried the rest...

 

Babies can have baths at 5 days, and I will explain how this is properly done,  I have had to do it quite a bit, as I have rescued newborn litters or abandoned litters from outdoors where they had tons of fleas and no other way around it. However,  you might want to prolong this event at least until you feel more secure about doing this.

 

The keys here are the water temp, and avoiding chilling them afterward.

 

Run the hot water first, for a long enough time that you know it's the hottest it will get.

Now add the cold, and get a good feel of it, testing on your inner wrist, anyplace other than your fingers where it's a bit more sensitive.

You don't want it too hot, but not cool in any way!

Place the baby across your left hand (assuming you are right handed) where it's head will sort of hang over by the base of your thumb, and it's butt/tail hangs a bit off the other side. It's tummy in your palm.

Put it under the water on it's back first, then wet the neck area. This will be soaped first, as fleas head upward to hide in their face and ears, which you want to avoid if possible.

Make a soapy ring around it's neck. Then wet and soap up the rest, body, under all legs, under the tail, etc.

If you follow this way and soap the neck first, there is no reason to wash the face, so you can avoid water/soap in the eyes and mouth.

 

The key in flea removal is a long rinse, it technically takes up to 15 minutes for a flea to drown, they do not swim.

So the longer you rinse, be sure to get the underside well, the better chance of removing all of them, after 5 minutes or so a flea will finally let go if it's been watered for this long, and you can see them washing down the drain.

I use a heated towel to dry, warm it in the dryer or microwave.

Dry off as well as you can, all the excess water fluffed off.

 

Depending on how many you will be bathing, sometimes I put the baby right in with mom, she will lick and dry the kitten. Sometimes I have a litter of 5 or 6, so I will put a heating pad, prewarmed into a carrier so that the freshly washed baby stays warm until they are all done.

 

As I said before, if you treat mom for fleas, then the problem might go away, at least enough for them to grow for a week or 2 before a bath, but fleas can be very dangerous/deadly for a small baby kitten, depending on just how many there are.

 

Oh, you might see blood on the baby while bathing, this is from the fleas, the more blood water you get, the more fleas there were. Don't be alarmed, I know I sure was the first time!

 

 

post #19 of 39

In my view bathing such tiny kittens is an absolute last resort.  Dealing with the house, the bedding and the other animals in the house should pretty much deal with the fleas.  Apart from them getting too hot or too cold I would worry about mum rejecting them because they no longer smell like her kittens.

post #20 of 39

OrientalSlave, I agree as it being a last resort, this is why I recommended treating mom which will at the least buy some time for the kids to get bigger, however not knowing just how infested they are is big here too. I've lost kittens who were loaded with fleas at a very young age due to anemia, I couldn't save them as they were just a week old when I found them, despite my efforts.

So tragic to lose babies from those pesky little creatures.

 

In my own personal experience I have never had a momma refuse her babies after bathing them. They didn't seem bothered by it at all, even in ferals, just happy to get the baby back and cleans the heck out of them, which dries them quickly too :)

post #21 of 39
Thread Starter 

Would it be safe to use Borax on the floors? I want to use Borax and let it sit for 24 hours but mom walks all around the house and then goes back in with the kittens. It will only be on her feet but she'll probably get some on thier bedding. What do you all think?

post #22 of 39
Thread Starter 

I went ahead and gave them a bath tonight. I decided to because I noticed one of the kittens wasn't as active as the others. I toweled dried them all and put a hot towel in the little box that I used while I was bathing the next kitten. As soon as I was done mom ran to the box and waited for me to put them all in there. She is nursing and licking them right now. The most fleas that I saw on one kitten was 4. I was only able to keep them in the water for about 2 minutes during rinsing. They were really fighting me. That's a good sign right!? What else should I do? All pets have been treated. I'm vacumming and carpet cleaning daily. Chaning bedding daily. I don't know what else to do. Also there was no blood in the rinse water. I did see a few specks of blood on the kittens as I washed them. I've washed 8 week old kittens before and they turned the water bright red. I was helping a friend get rid of fleas in her house. I'm hoping that the fleas aren't that bad yet and that I managed to catch them in time. They are 9 days old now. Is there anything I should be watching for? Im so worried about them.

post #23 of 39


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by lorindaleigh View Post

Would it be safe to use Borax on the floors? I want to use Borax and let it sit for 24 hours but mom walks all around the house and then goes back in with the kittens. It will only be on her feet but she'll probably get some on thier bedding. What do you all think?

 

Borax dont seems to be poisonous for mammals. Quick googling told  It is used as a additive in food, E 285 Natriumtetraborat (borax), and also in a earlier commonly used night cream, the Cold cream.   I have a weak memory it was also used in some medical solutions, for wounds that wont heal, for sore eyes and so.  But I shall try too look a little more before I swear on anything. Memory can cheat!

Anyway, a weak solution should be OK.  You can also perhaps try to limit moms access to rest of the house??

 

Another thing you CAN do, harmless and rather efficient, is to use Di-atomeus earth,  the  DE - google, and there is many threads about it here on this site. Some forumists use it and are happy.  Works on most parasites, outer and internal.

It looks like earth, or when you buy a good product, a powder, but it si NOT common dirt, but it contains millions of old silicon algae shells, living millions years ago.  These shell are sharp, and cuts the skin of most parasites, killing them.

But is harmless for mammals.

Make sure you buy it "human grade" or "food grade".

 

You can spread it a little around, AFTER you did your vacuum, its like a powder.

You can also have it on the cats.  The mom will lick some of it in, but as hinted, it can be used also internally...

 

These forumites who did tried it, they are pleased with effects.

 

Look around, and make your decision.   :)

 

 

Good the washing off was so successfull, and there wasnt much blood in the water. Very encouraging!

 

 

Good luck!   *vibes*

 

 


Edited by StefanZ - 2/24/12 at 12:41am
post #24 of 39
Thread Starter 

So glad I gave them a bath. After they took a long nap they started moving around a lot more than what they have been. I don't spot any fleas on them at all. How often should I give them a bath? Every other day as long as I spot fleas or?

post #25 of 39
Thread Starter 

We had fleas last year and I tried DE and didn't work at all. It just made a big huge icky mess. The dust from it irritated my lungs.

post #26 of 39

Borax again...  As said, it is or was, heavily used, for external use, in cremes and medical solutions.

Even a food conservative E285 (or 284 - in another place), used in cavior.

But there ARE also warnings. Nowadays it is known to be poisonous if eaten or coming inside the body...

 

So my advice would be, if you wash off the flat with borax-solution, limit the moms access to these parts, at least till everything had dried up.  If there are several possible solution, use the mildest at first.

My guess is the small microscopic traces she may pick up when walking on the dry floor, shouldnt be dangerous for her not the kittens.

post #27 of 39
Thread Starter 

30 hours later and I don't see any fleas on the kittens. YAY! :)

 

I am going to do borax but only a few hours not 24 hours. Hopefully it will still work.

post #28 of 39
So glad u got ahold of the fleas early on. I too have had very small kittens anemic from fleas, it is so sad to see.

On using Dawn.....when used correctly, Dawn is safe to use on animals. It is actually one of the tools they use on wild animals that are covered in oil from oil spills. It seperates the oil, just like it does to your dishes. I've used it successfully many times. It's the warmth part that can be tricky, especially if there is no mama cat. But it sounds like you did a great job!

Keep us posted on their progress.
post #29 of 39
Thread Starter 

I was worried about the water being too hot. I made it a little less warm then what I could tolerate.

 

I found a flea today on one of the kittens. How often can I safely give the kittens a bath? I'm guessing I should wait until I see more than one? Of course I realize tthat they have more than one flea on them and I'll be able to see more when they are loaded.

 

Getting ready to vaccum and carpet clean again. YAY!

post #30 of 39

I wouldn't bathe the kittens too often...just flea comb them daily and bathe maybe once a week IF you see fleas.  Meowgie had a total of 2 baths due to fleas and several rinses due to poos or bottle feeding (milk stuck in his fur :)) but I tried hard not to over-do the bathing.  I would flea comb daily or even a few times a day and bath only if necessary.

 

You can use Revolution (which takes care of worms, fleas, heartworm prevention, etc.) when they are 6-8 weeks old.  :)  My vet says it is fine at 6 weeks if you are having an issue.  With Meowgie, we waited until he was 8 weeks.

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