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11/25/2006 12:54:04 AM · #1
Okay, so our cat that we adopted off the street had kittens 6 days ago and my boyfriend just saw two fleas in their blanketed area they're living in. I heard that fleas are really dangerous to kittens and I am just freaking out. What should we do?

We didn't know our cat had fleas, we bought her a flea collar as soon as we brought her in almost 2 months ago and she hasn't seemed to scratch very much.

We took the collar off a couple of days before she had babies because we were told it wasn't good to have it on her when the babies came.

Should we put it back on her, move the kittens to clean towels? Are there any anti-flea things available for kittens?

We don't know what to do and we don't have a vet for Evey yet. I'm thinking we should find one and get her and the babies there asap, but we don't have a carrier and we aren't picking up the kittens yet so I don't know how'll we'll move them without panicking them and Evey.

Has anyone raised kittens here before? Help please, I am so worried.
11/25/2006 01:00:01 AM · #2
okay here it says we should be washing them regularly, should we try washing them?
11/25/2006 01:00:34 AM · #3
Should we wash the mom?
11/25/2006 01:05:48 AM · #4
I'd just give your local vet a call and ask them what they would suggest.. I'm not sure if a flea collar or flea bath would transfer from mom to kittens via the milk she is providing. Best bet is to call the vet and get a professional opinion.. then you have a solid answer straight from the horses mouth (so to speak) .. :) good luck
11/25/2006 01:07:09 AM · #5
I think you should definately change the towels regularly, but I don't think the fleas will really harm the newborns. I normally use Frontline on my cat, but with the kittens crawling all over the mother they might get into it and lick it or something.

I think unless someone knows of one of those crazy household remedies like garlic or something you should just keep the towels clean for a few weeks until the kittens are stronger.
11/25/2006 01:11:35 AM · #6
Originally posted by moniepenny:

okay here it says we should be washing them regularly, should we try washing them?


Just don't put them in the dryer.
11/25/2006 01:13:26 AM · #7
I read what that website said about fleas being deadly to kittens, but that's if you let the fleas get out of control. I highly doubt a concerned mother like you would ever let that happen. The washing and combing with a flea comb probably isn't a bad idea depending on how the mom reacts. I know some cat moms are really protective and if their scent is gone they might reject the wee one.

Maybe a water bottle with warm water and a flea comb? That way you can do it with the mom there and it's less tramatic?
11/25/2006 01:19:09 AM · #8
Fontline is safe for kittens (just went through the same thing with some 'found' but 4 week old kittens.) I just talked to the Vet office and Frontline is better than fleas for the kittens. You have to go to the vet office to get Frontline or Advantix which isn't the cheapest. Frontline will kill the fleas and wash the bedding and give them new bedding after a day.

DO NOT USE flea shampoo, or any flea product you can buy in the grocery store. They are either ineffective or toxic to cats. Especially the over the counter flea products for dogs... very toxic to cats. (and the bug spray for horses too BTW often has that bad element in it that affects cats, the name is eludng me at the moment ,just search for flea product info on the internet.)
11/25/2006 01:37:45 AM · #9
Thanks guys. We're going to try to find a vet but I don't know if any will be open on a saturday. Right now it's 2 AM here so we're panicking. We took the kittens out and put them in a very shallow box with a new towel in it. Evey got a little panicky and tried to pick one up to take it back to the closet they are nesting in. We put the whole box in the closet with them and she is very protective of them.

There is a pet supply store just down the street that opens at 8, we're going to be there right at that time to get a flea comb and ask them about local vets.

Thanks for the help everyone. Keep the ideas coming.

We're first timers so we tend to scare easy. : (
11/25/2006 01:43:55 AM · #10
In the short term you do not need to worry. We raised a gazillion kittens before the days of Frontline and Advantix, and there were definitely fleas around (Point Loma in San Diego is famously flea-infested, even Cabrillo remarked on it) and it never caused us a problem. The mother will keep the fleas under control on the kittens when they are little. So don't panic as far as the weekend is concerned, no big deal.

Do go to the vet and ask about long-term control, however, if only to make the house more habitable for YOU :-)

R.
11/25/2006 01:43:58 AM · #11
You can buy Frontline online for cheaper than the vets... but by the time you pay for rush shipping it might be the same. Just thinking through my fingers.. don't mind me, heh
11/25/2006 01:48:39 AM · #12
Hi, my wife and I just had a similar situation with some kittens we found under my work. In the situation we had, the kittens had fleas as well (and I don't want to scare you) but they did lead to the death of one of our kitties. My recommendation would be to put a little (and I stress little) bit of advantage (I am talking one drop... max 1.5 drops) on the scruff of their necks (backside) and see how the fleas react (over 12-14 hours). I agree with the earlier poster with the flea treatment being better than the fleas being allowed to live. I also think that baths are pretty ineffective and cause a lot of stress on kitties that age. Unfortunately your dealing with the lesser of two evils, but I would still try using the treatment (it saved one of the kittens we were took home). Also, make sure they are getting plenty of their mom's milk and that the momma cat is eating well - this is really the best defense they have (something we didn't have because the momma split and we had to hand feed them from a syringe). From the experience we had, the little bit of treatment killed all of the fleas in 12-14 hours. Good luck!
11/25/2006 01:49:16 AM · #13
Originally posted by Bear_Music:

Do go to the vet and ask about long-term control, however, if only to make the house more habitable for YOU :-)

R.


I shared a home with 2 other people a few years ago and we each had our own cat. The fleas started off easy enough and get got collars for all 3 cats. Then the fleas seemed to get worse.. and worse.. and worse. You could see the fleas crawling around under the fur on the white cat. It was so gross! We were despirate and were manually picking them off the poor kitties. It got to the point that one of my roommates was sleeping in his car in the garage for a month. We tried everything in that house. We even bombed it. It was just plain infested. Thankfully it was a rental and we just moved out, heh. Now when my cat scratches once I give him his bi-yearly dose of Frontline and wait for the next itch 6 months later.

11/25/2006 01:49:40 AM · #14
First -- relax. There may be a few flies around, but it is nothing compared to what nature has been protecting kittens from for centuries. Yes flies could become dangerous for kittens (and cats for that matter), but their minor (and temporary) presence is not cause for alarm.

Let their mother's instinct care for them, she will keep the flies from becoming a problem until you can get to the vet for some frontline.

There is a lot of helpful information on the FrontLine website -- maybe it will help calm your nerves.

David
11/25/2006 01:52:37 AM · #15
From the Frontline website:

"Gentle enough to use on puppies and kittens 8 weeks of age or older without weight restrictions"
11/25/2006 02:13:07 AM · #16
The momma cat will keep the kittens clean of fleas. When they get old enough, then you can treat if you need to. My Thomas cat came to me via a home that had a lot of fleas (in addition to momma and kittens, they had a German Shepard, and this was in Florida where fleas vote). I just got a flea comb and combed him every day until we didn't have any more fleas. Keep a bowl of soapy water next to you and when you grab a flea, dip the comb in the water. Fleas will drown in soapy water. Good luck, and don't worry! Momma kitties do a very good job.
11/25/2006 02:30:53 AM · #17
i'm not fond of using chemicals around my pets so i use Diatomaceous Earth. it's completely natural and will not harm even the youngest kitten or puppy. i've used it for many years and never had any problems with it. it's a silica powder made from freshwater diatoms and it can be used anywhere. i recommend buying the food grade DE. you can even sprinkle it on their food because it makes a great de-wormer.

Diatomaceous Earth
11/25/2006 04:45:11 AM · #18
Fleas can be deadly for kittens. They can get anemic and die rather easily. Watch their gums, if they get pale gums they're in danger.

I use frontline on my cat and I've never noticable fleas on her. Works really well and doesn't seem to bother her at all.

You should also seriously think about getting momma cat spayed once she's done nursing the kittens.

Message edited by author 2006-11-25 04:45:57.
11/25/2006 04:51:57 AM · #19
Originally posted by sher9204:

i'm not fond of using chemicals around my pets so i use Diatomaceous Earth. it's completely natural and will not harm even the youngest kitten or puppy. i've used it for many years and never had any problems with it. it's a silica powder made from freshwater diatoms and it can be used anywhere. i recommend buying the food grade DE. you can even sprinkle it on their food because it makes a great de-wormer.

Diatomaceous Earth


We tried that for a few months and found no improvement :(
11/25/2006 04:56:26 AM · #20
Originally posted by sher9204:

i'm not fond of using chemicals around my pets so i use Diatomaceous Earth. it's completely natural and will not harm even the youngest kitten or puppy. i've used it for many years and never had any problems with it. it's a silica powder made from freshwater diatoms and it can be used anywhere. i recommend buying the food grade DE. you can even sprinkle it on their food because it makes a great de-wormer.

Diatomaceous Earth


I save myself and my animals form too many chemical by cutting back on most everything else potentially toxic like cleaning solutions and other household chemestry (you'd be amazed at what plain old soap can do!). Therefore I leave them strong enough (if you want to call it that) so I don't ever have to second guess the parasite control. Just my preference.

Frontline is OK in small doses for kitten younger than 8 weeks according to my vet.... we dosed 3 4-week old abandoned kittens with one shared between them adult cat dose but definitely find a vet to be sure... well you have to to get the stuff! and no, a weekend wont' hurt the kitties and many vets, especially rural and large animal clinics have early Sat hours, close at noon or so. Don't waste your money on an emergency vet clinic if that's all you can find, wait until Monday.

I will say that my biggest problem with the fleas is that when the cat gets them so do I! they SUCK!!!! They tickle, they itch and they live in your bedding until you get them off all the pets at the sme time and do laundry. Like Bear said, the babies will be fine until Monday... you have a few fleas, noy yet n infestation which is where they can do harm. Most harm is done by sheer numbers of fleas and they give the animal anemia. There are a few flea borne illnesses but they are relatively rare.

Cats are amazingly tough surving machines most of the time.

Message edited by author 2006-11-25 05:16:51.
11/25/2006 05:04:36 AM · #21
okay, I haven't read the replies, but my first response is "don't freak out." I raised 3 feral kittens that were infested with fleas when I first found them. They were all crawling with hundreds of them--even living in their ears. I had the problem that I couldn't give them advantage or strong flea shampoo because they were so young, but I cheated a little w/the advantage since they had so many fleas. All in all, the worry about fleas is that they contain infectious diseases and can suck out a lot of blood...but that's rarely the case. You just have to bathe them 'til they're gone. Now, YOUR itchiness is another matter...at one point I had 100 flea bites all over me from those little boogers, so quickness is the key.

I don't know where you're from but here fleas are as common as mosquitos and spiders around here. They're just like any other pest, so don't worry too much...and this is coming from a person who lives off of a street called "Alameda de las Pulgas", which is spanish for "Avenue of the Fleas." Good luck!
11/25/2006 05:49:32 AM · #22
Fleas are not good but don't panick ! Change the towels regurlarly for the moment.
As kittens are with their mom , they soon are going to be stronger , they will double their weight in a period of 7 - 10 days.
My babies are 6 months old now , first days and weeks of their life I have weighted them to see if they were ok and have bought milk and kitten bottle to help the weaker ones , Senuferet (= mom) was a bit afraid with that , so I gave her too , to taste it , then it was ok.

Years ago I've taken newborn kitties at home , they were only a couple of hours old , they were too weak but I save one , his name is Nef , he's 15 years old now !

If fleas bite you I recommended tea tree oil ( but only for human ), a few minutes later no more bad sensation.

11/25/2006 08:24:43 AM · #23
You've already gotten alot of advice. I agree don't freak out...I would call a vet and get advice. You'll need to be doing that soon anyways if you are keeping them and/or the Mama....

I STRONGLY advise against any store bought flea med....(like Hartz, etc)...I mistakenly gave some to my Spooky cat last summer as a quick fix...and she had an absolute horrible allergic skin reaction....I've never felt so guilty in my life...Now it is only Frontline for her!

As the kittens get older watch for ear mites, they commonly get them from the Mama cat....these need to be treated to preserve their hearing.

And despite the belief that an animal with fleas indicates a dirty environment......Most house cats get the fleas from the people bringing them in on their clothing, blankets from a store, etc.

Good luck with the kitties...

and where are the pictures???????
11/25/2006 09:43:02 AM · #24
First, I'd say there's no need to panic. It only turns into a problem for the kittens if there's a flea infestation, trust me you'll know if that was the case. I use Frontline as the flea prevention on my cat. But I wouldn't advise using this on kittens or a mother cat.

I'd say leave the kittens with the mother and don't disturb them. The mother knows what to do. It's important to leave them with her at this young age just in case she rejects them. And hand-rearing kittens is really difficult!

I smiled when I read your comment about bathing the mother. You've never tried bathing a cat, have you? It's something you only ever try once. :-)

Good luck with them. The fact you're fretting about them is a good sign. you're obviously doing a good job.
11/25/2006 10:28:28 AM · #25
As others have said, don't panic. Unless you are crawling with fleas, it's going to be an iratant more than anything. The biggest problem you have to worry about is the cats scratching the bites and getting them infected.

Controlling fleas is a multi-step process. You can't just bomb your house, powder your cats or put on Frontline or any of the other products available that are suppose to control fleas. Most products like Frontline do kill fleas, but the fleas are going to get a number of Last Meals from the animal before they die. They don't die instantantanious.

Your biggest problem with fleas is they lay a LOT of eggs. And the eggs are pretty tough little suckers. You can bomb, you can powder, you can wash, etc. but all of those eggs that are in your rug, in your furnature, in the litter box, in the bedding of your cat box, etc., are still going to hatch and start the process all over. Flea eggs and hatch very quickly ( a matter of days) or sit around for a couple of weeks, depending on how hot it is and the humidity. This is why it's important to not only treat the adult fleas, but also vacumn everything. Then spray and dump your vacumn bag or you will have a bunch of fleas hatching in your vacumn.

It can take weeks to break the flea cycle... that is adult fleas, eggs, hatchings, more adult, more eggs, hatchings, etc. But to successfully get rid of fleas, you have to break the cycle.

In 1996 we had a big heat wave here in the Portland area. We have a lot of dogs and we knew we had a few fleas but thought we had it under control. When the heat wave hit and lasted for several weeks, we got an explosion of fleas. We could see them crawing on the carpet and our dogs and us were going nuts. I'd bomb and that would help but then they were back. This was the egg cycle that I wasn't accounting for. So we bought one of the products they had back then called Torus. This is a undiluted form of growth inhibator that doesn't kill fleas but stops the eggs from hatching. You mix a little of it with water and spray. So I sprayed everything, floors, carpet, furnature... anything that wasn't warm bodied. Then I put some in a large sprayer and sprayed the yard and all the outside walls and areas around windows and doors. A lot of fleas come in from just outside your house because your pets go outside and drop eggs out there. So you have to get them as well.

The results were almost magical. It took about a month, but by using a couple of 2 oz bottles of this stuff, we didn't see another flea until about 2002. I think those were brought in from a week long dog show we attended were we were around a lot of other dogs and our dogs were staying in a kennel most of the day. I did some spraying with a product called Zodiak that had flea killer and the same growth inhibitor. We've been flea free pretty much ever since. My wife does apply Frontline twice (she buys it through the vet catalogs for a lot cheaper than through vets)in the summer just as a percaution. We have 6 large dogs and a small one and we check them reguarly for fleas, especially if they scratch very much. Usually the scratching is from alergies (yes, dogs can get them too), so we just treat those.

They took Torus off the market (I read that it was because of buyouts and accusitions by other companies, not because of chemical problems), but it can still be found. When we bought it back in 1996 we bought a case of 2 oz bottles, but it's so concentrated you don't use a lot of it so we still have some that I will use if I need too. There are other products that are growth inhibators and you might want to look for those or ask about them.

Also, do a google search on Fleas, Flea Eggs, to get an idea of what you are up against.

Here is a web site also: //www.k9web.com/dog-faqs/fleas-ticks.html

It's no fun, but you can over come it with a little bit of persistant work.

Mike
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