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Fleas and Ticks
5 Pet Health Problems Fleas Can Cause Advantage II FAQ Benefits of Flea & Tick Preventatives for Pets Benefits of Flea Pills, Oral Chewables, and Tablets Can Pets Get Fleas During Cold Weather? Choosing the Best Collar Flea Prevention Choosing the Best Oral Flea Prevention Choosing the Best Topical Flea Prevention Control Your Pet's Itching and Allergies from Fleas Deer Ticks: How They Can Make Your Pets & Your Family Sick Does Salt Kill Fleas? Ehrlichia in Dogs: Symptoms and Treatment Establish Effective Pet Flea Prevention Exotic Ticks Found in United States Flea & Tick Control: Frontline Plus or NexGard? Flea and Tick: FAQs About Fleas Flea and Tick: FAQs About Flea Treatments Flea and Tick: FAQs About Ticks How do Oral Flea Preventatives Work? How do Topical Flea Preventatives Work? How to Apply Flea and Tick Medication How to Fog Your Home to Remove Fleas How to Get Rid of Fleas in Your Home How to Get Rid of Fleas on Ferrets How to Get Rid of Fleas on Kittens How to Get Rid of Fleas on Puppies How to Kill Fleas in Your Yard How to Kill Fleas on Your Puppy How to Prevent Fleas on Your Cat How to Prevent Fleas on Your Dog How to Remove a Tick from a Dog How to Spray Your Yard for Fleas How to Use a Flea Comb How to Use a Flea Spray on Pets How to Use Flea Prevention Effectively Indoor Flea Control Is Bravecto Safe? Is NexGard Safe? K9 Advantix II FAQ Killing Flea Eggs with Insect Growth Regulators Outdoor Flea Control Relieve Your Cat's Flea Itching Relieve Your Dog's Flea Itching Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever in Pets Steps To Tackle a Pet Flea Infestation Tick Paralysis in Dogs Top 4 Flea Myths Every Pet Owner Should Know What's Your Pet's Risk Of Exposure To Vector-Borne Pathogens? Predictions For 2020 What do fleas look like? What Flea Treatment Is the Best for My Cat? What Flea Treatment Is the Best for My Dog? When Flea Preventatives Fail Which Is the Best Flea Prevention for Your Pet? Why Controlling Ticks On Dogs Improves Public Health Why Does My Pet Need Flea & Tick Prevention? Why Has My Pet's Flea Medicine Stopped Working?

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How to Get Rid of Fleas on Kittens

Kittens are delightful: they're cute, cuddly and playful balls of fluff. But what's not so cute? Finding fleas on your adorable new kitten! Fleas can quickly cause serious health problems for kittens such as tapeworms, flea allergy dermatitis, and even anemia if the flea infestation is severe enough. Therefore, it's important to eliminate the fleas as soon as you identify the problem. But not all flea medications are safe to use on delicate young kittens. Here are some things to consider before treating fleas on a kitten.

How old does a kitten have to be to get flea treatment?

Even newborn kittens can get fleas which are often spread from the mother cat to the kitten. However, flea control medications must not be used on very young kittens. For kittens younger than 4 weeks, groom with a flea comb, or pick fleas off with tweezers. Be sure to keep the kittens warm while you're working with them. To prevent a recurrence of the fleas, it's important to also wash the kittens' bedding, vacuum the surroundings, and treat the kittens' mother if she's living with you.

Fleas can remove enough blood to make kittens anemic, so confirm that the kittens' gums are pink. If not, contact your veterinarian right away for advice. And because fleas carry tapeworms, watch for rice-like dried tapeworm segments at the rectum or in the stool over the next several weeks.

Flea treatment for kittens

Flea treatments for kittens fall into two broad categories:

  • Products that kill adult fleas now
  • Products that affect flea offspring-the eggs and larvae

Products that affect flea offspring are called insect growth regulators (IGRs). IGRs are very effective when you can clean up the environment and the kitten will have little exposure to fleas in the future, either from the environment or from other animals-such as our indoor cats.

Additionally, you'll need to decide if you want to use an oral or topical treatment. The age and, in some cases, the weight of your kitten will dictate which treatments you can safely use. Note that you should NEVER use a flea treatment labeled for use on dogs on your kitten as it can result in serious side effects or even be fatal to your kitten.

Flea treatments for kittens 4 weeks of age and older

For kittens with biting (adult) fleas, you will likely want a product that works quickly to kill these parasites. Capstar is a popular flea product that works within 6 hours to kill 90% of fleas, and it can be used on kittens as young as 4 weeks of age and older, provided the kitten weighs at least 2 pounds. While Capstar is fast-acting and effective at killing fleas, keep in mind that the effect only lasts for 24 hours. Once the adult fleas are removed, it's important to also kill flea offspring (flea eggs and larvae) in the environment with a room spray or fogger to prevent a reinfestation.

Flea treatments for kittens 8 to 13 weeks of age and older

If your kitten is at least 8 weeks of age or older, you have lots more options to treat fleas, including these topical treatments:

  • Advantage II: Can be used on kittens 8 weeks or older and weighing 2 pounds or more.
  • Frontline Plus: Can be used on kittens 8 weeks or older. There is no minimum weight requirement.
  • Revolution: This prescription medication can be used on kittens 8 weeks or older. There is no minimum weight requirement.
Flea treatments for kittens 14 weeks of age and older

Once your kitten is at least 14 weeks of age or older, your kitten can use Comfortis, a prescription oral flea treatment.

Molly's Tip
Max & Molly
For more information, read our guide on how to care for a new kitten.
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