Cat Flea Bath Tips

Earlier this week I shared a video on cat flea treatment by bathing your cat but there are a few other tips I thought might be useful.

One of the common mistakes people make is to think that their pet needs a bath every day or every week. This is not true and be irritating and drying.

Cats will self-groom, and many will bath each other, but older cats and kittens cannot often deal with flea infestations. If there is a flea infestation you might bath once a week for two weeks or so but normally felines don’t need to be bathed every week.

Once you have the flea infestation under control you can bath your cat once a month or so if you want. Many grooming salons also offer cat services. Ideally use one that specializes in felines since too many barking or whining dogs might stress your critter out.

If you are not taking your cat to a specialist, take the time to trim your pet’s claws first since cat nail trimming helps reduce scratches during the bath.

Cat Flea Bath Tips:

  • Use the bathtub but I prefer the kitchen sink for ease of handling the cat.
  • Provide a grip mat so the animal doesn’t slip and has something for footing–unless your cat is more cooperative without leverage!
  • Use a spray nozzle to help you (plus they dislodge fleas).
  • Collect all your bathing tools and place them within arms reach (shampoo, towels, bath mat, brush, comb, crate).
  • Warm the room so your feline stays warm. This is especially important when bathing kittens or senior cats.
  • Test the water to make sure it is warm and not too hot or cold for your feline.
  • Wear an apron, and if you think your cat is going to protest, heavier garments.
  • Suds quickly and be careful to keep suds out of the pets eyes and ears.
  • Massage for 10-15 minutes and use the nozzle to dislodge fleas when you rinse.
  • Rinse completely.
  • Towel dry and keep the cat in a warm room immediately after the bath.

Remember, a flea treatment bath is only part of the process. To eliminate fleas you must treat the home, yard, and animal at the same time using the triangle of successful flea contol and the strategies outlined in Flea Control Secrets.

Diagnosing a Flea Infestation (Video)

I’ve talked about identifying a flea infestation on a pet before but here is a video that shows you how to look and then how to use a flea comb to identify your pet has fleas.

Most fleas can be seen on the lower belly, near the undersides of the thighs, and at the base of the tail.

If you move the fur (as seen on the video) you can often see the fleas move away and catch glimpses of flea dirt (flea poop and debris) in the coat or on pet bedding.

Pet Flea Infestation (Video)

People often ask how they can tell if their animal has fleas–which surprises me since anyone who pays attention to their animal should be alert to some of the warning signs.

Some signs of a flea infestation include:

  • excessive scratching,
  • black insects crawling on pet,
  • presence of flea dirt on animal and animal bedding, and
  • increased chewing and licking.

In this video the animal is severely infested with fleas and is being cleaned by a grooming professional. The reddish brown water is actually flea dirt.

Flea dirt is the poop of fleas and what flea larvae feed on. The amount of fleas are only some of of the entire problem. The home and yard should be treated since the other 95% of flea populations are made up of flea eggs, flea larvae, and flea pupae–only 5% of any infestation are adult fleas.

I’d also get the animal into the vet for an exam to rule out flea bite anemia and for deworming.

The point to all this is to encourage people to not wait to implement flea control to avoid a bigger problem and complications–and the additional expense of professional grooming and veterinary care–not to mention the health risks to pets from flea infestations.