Kittens are vulnerable to a range of
illnesses that can affect them more severely than they do adult cats. You can
help to keep them safe by making sure they get all their vaccinations, have
regular veterinary check-ups and are well looked after at home. Neutering will
protect them from a range of long-term risks and a healthy diet will keep their
immune systems strong. One thing it can be difficult to protect against,
however, is a flea infestation. This means you will need to groom your kittens
frequently and check for problems so you can start prompt treatment if
trouble with fleas
Although they’re small, fleas can consume a
surprising amount of blood. With kittens, this can lead to anaemia, which can
make them lethargic and can even be fatal. Fleas also carry diseases, and their
bites alone can cause itching and distress; fleas need to be taken seriously
and dealt with as soon as they appear, but you can’t safely use some adult cat
flea treatments on kittens, so you will need to make sure you use the correct
product. It’s a good idea to talk to your vet before a problem develops so you
have a flea treatment plan at the ready.
You can reduce the risk your kittens face
from fleas by taking the following steps:
- Learn to
identify fleas – use a fine-toothed flea comb to groom your cat over a
plain white surface. Flea faeces look like dark specks and will turn
reddish-brown on cotton wool.
- Focus on the
mother first – you can use stronger treatments on adult cats and keep
fleas from spreading, but be careful not to leave residue on her fur where
the kittens may lick it.
- Remove kitten
fleas directly – submerging a kitten up to the neck in warm water with
mild detergent will loosen the fleas’ grip so they can be combed out
before you towel the kitten dry.
- Use age
appropriate flea treatments – check with your vet to find out what’s right
for your kittens. The Bob Martin Clear
range includes products suitable for different age groups.
- Beware of
natural remedies – these can be just as dangerous to kittens as brand name
products designed for adult cats, so ask your vet for advice before you
consider using them.
- Treat the
environment – talk to your vet about safe anti-flea sprays to use on
bedding, soft furnishings and other places – including outdoors – where
your kittens like to hide.
- Check your other
pets – although cat fleas prefer cats they can also live on dogs, rabbits
and smaller pets. Make sure you use an appropriate treatment in each case.
Keeping your kittens flea-free requires
ongoing care and attention, but it’s one of the best ways you can show your
love for them. It will help to ensure that they grow up into the happy,
healthy, beautiful cats they’re meant to be.