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How to Give a Cat a Flea Bath Without Getting Scratched: 4 Tips

Written by: Christian Adams

Last Updated on January 3, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team

bathing cat

How to Give a Cat a Flea Bath Without Getting Scratched: 4 Tips

Cats get fleas from time to time, just like other animals. However, cats are so hairy that spotting the signs of fleas can be too late to stop them in their tracks. So, how can you effectively get rid of fleas on your cat? Give them a flea bath, of course!

The problem is that flea baths are not popular among cats. These animals tend to crawl, scratch, and worm their way out of flea baths whenever possible. Here is how you can give your cat a flea bath without getting scratched.

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How to Give a Cat a Flea Bath Without Getting Scratched

1. Start Slowly

Do not just throw your cat into a bath, because if they are not accustomed to the water and they are forcibly introduced to it, chances are that they will never like the water. This will make it virtually impossible for your cat to get comfortable with water baths any time in the future. Therefore, you should introduce your cat to a bath slowly.

Start by putting their feet in a sink of water, and slowly move to get their entire body in the water. Once they trust you with the water, you should be able to immerse your cat, with flea repellent medication incorporated into the water.

2. Turn It Into a Game

If your cat does not want to go to the water with your cohesion, you can try luring them with a game. You can hide your face behind the bathtub — with any luck, they will jump in the bathtub and be exposed to the flea bath medication instantly. You can also string plastic fish from chopsticks or stick pieces and then dip the fish into the flea bathwater so your cat will jump in to catch them. Once in the bath, offer your cat treats as you rub the flea treatment into their fur and skin.

a British short hair cat playing with a feathered rod on a corrugate cat scratcher
Image Credit: Freer, Shutterstock

3. Pretend It Is Not Happening

You can try to pretend that a flea bath is not happening by utilizing toys, treats, and spray products that are designed to kill fleas. While playing with your cat and providing them with treats, have someone else spray them with flea repellent. This is not the most effective option, however, because spray treatments are like spot treatments and likely will not be as effective as full flea baths. However, if your cat only suffers from occasional fleas or will not accept a full-on bath no matter what you try, this option should provide you with satisfactory results.

4. Utilize Other Non-Bathing Options

Some options to get rid of cat fleas do not include bathing. It is always a good idea to give your cat a flea bath at least once a year. But if your cat will not tolerate bathing at all, powder and spray options might be your best bet. Veterinarians should be able to prescribe flea control medications too. So, you are not limited to bathing when it comes to controlling your cat’s fleas. In fact, you should think of flea baths as supplemental treatments rather than main treatments. If you really want to use water flea baths, start handling and bathing your cat while they are still a kitten.

Woman at home holding her lovely Devon Rex cat on lap and gives it a pill
Image Credit: Veera, Shutterstock

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Final Thoughts

Once a cat starts showing signs of a flea infestation, it is time for decisive action. Waiting too long to treat a flea infestation could mean the need for extensive treatments. Keep an eye out for signs of fleas and treat your cat accordingly. Let us know how you plan to tackle future flea baths with your cats in the comments section.

Featured Image Credit: ilmarinfoto, Shutterstock

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