What Flea Treatments Are Available for Kittens?


One of my outside cats unexpectedly had a little litter of two. It was my naiveness that the male cats had no interest in her so I did not spay her. But anyways, I picked up the the kittens today and noticed a flea on each of their bellies. Of course as soon as the light hit they disappeared and I couldn’t get them.

What are my options? I’m sure if the kittens have them, the mother does too, as well as another outside cat. Can I give the adult cats something like Capstar and will it feed into the systems of the kittens through feeding? In a way it seems like common sense, but my gut instinct says this is probably dangerous. They are about 15 days old.

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Three things in life are said to be guaranteed. 1) Death. 2) Taxes. 3) If an outdoor cat goes into heat, she will get pregnant.

In reality, some people successfully (albeit illegally) avoid number 2 above. But rule number 3 is absolutely inviolable. There are no exceptions.

No flea preventative is labelled for use on 15-day-old kittens. Your options are to relentlessly flea comb them (which isn’t really effective) or to use a flea preventative in an off-label fashion. You are correct in assuming that the mother is also infested.

It is a rock-and-hard-place situation. But it also is a common situation. Most people in your shoes choose to apply Advantage to all cats and kittens. Its use in young kittens is off-label, but Advantage is safer than flea dips, and in my experience it is much safer to use Advantage than to allow fleas to infest the kittens. I have used it on hundreds of young kittens and I have yet to see a serious adverse reaction. Young kittens require only a small dab of the product.

Do not, under any circumstances, apply a low quality flea product such as Hartz, Biospot, or Sargeant’s to mother or especially kittens. These products have very high rates of potentially fatal toxic reactions.

Once the kittens are weaned you should talk to your vet about neutering and spaying everyone. If you do not, they will reproduce. Guaranteed.

Photo: one of life’s few certainties.

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