Flea Bath for Cats
Giving a cat any kind of bath is no easy feat – our feline friends are very eccentric and unpredictable, so raising them could really be a challenge (See: How to raise a cat.) Treating your cat for a flea bath is even worse than a normal bath since most flea treatment shampoos smell stronger than usual shampoos.
The alternative is unthinkable, however, since no cat owner would ever want to let fleas feast on our delicate and fluffy cats. So challenging as it may be, read on to find out the best way to give a Flea Bath for Cats.
How Cats Contract Fleas
If you are unsure whether or not your cat actually has fleas and need flea treatment, refer to cat expert Celia Haddon. According to her, the rule of thumb is that stray cats would no doubt have fleas. So if your fur baby is a rescue, a flea bath is the top priority. Even indoor cats have a high chance of having fleas especially if you have other pets, especially dogs, which have access outdoors.
How to Check for Fleas
It’s not difficult to observe the changes in your cat’s behavior once it catches fleas. Here’s a starter: How to tell if your cat is in pain. Dealing with fleas could be very disconcerting for your cat, so the first thing you should check for is irritability and a rapid decline in appetite. (Often caused by discomfort).
Cat expert Pam Johnson-Bennett also recommends running a flea comb through your cat’s fur to see if there are flea debris (black specks or your cat’s own dried blood.)
Step-by-step Flea Bath
Once you have confirmed that your beloved cat indeed has fleas, spare no time and prepare to give it a flea bath. Here is a step by step how-to:
1. Consult with your trusted veterinarian about which flea shampoo to use - Some flea shampoos would do more harm than good when unprescribed and when dealing with cats younger than a year old.
2. Get your cat in a comfortable mood - Flea baths and baths, in general, can be quite stressful for your pet, so you have to get him/her in a relaxed mood first. This will also reduce the chances of you being bitten by a stressed out and frustrated cat. Also read: 10 tips how to stop a cat from biting and our best interactive cat toys to keep them occupied.
3. Prepare warm water - Warm bath water helps your cat calm down. Most cats also prefer warmth over cold, so they are most likely to sit calmly through a flea bath when you use warm water.
4. Be as quick as you can - Spend no more than 15 minutes in giving your cat a flea bath. Just give a thorough run of the flea shampoo and make sure every part of skin is treated. Otherwise, the fleas would just flock to the untreated areas.
5. Towel-dry your cat - The shivering is not good for your cat’s muscles, so use an old towel to dry your cat before letting it loose. You are likely to encounter dead fleas at this point, which make it important that you use an old towel.
6. Let your cat outside for at least 12 hours - After drying, the cat must be let out of the house, unless you want a creepy carpet of dead lice. We would also recommend reading our best over the counter cat dewormer blog post.
Remember that the first step we provided on how to give a cat a flea bath is to consult first a veterinarian. This is because different cats may have different needs. Generally, though, flea shampoos predominantly made from natural and herbal ingredients are better than those that are chemical-based.
One additional feature you should look for in the best cat flea shampoo is one that has a nice fragrance. We have established how important it is that your cat is relaxed during the flea bath, right? A soft but fragrant smell will surely help your cat relax!
How to Stop Fleas from Coming Back
Good flea shampoos kill fleas and lice on contact, so the only thing you have to worry about next is to keep fleas from coming back, and unless you are willing to confine your cat indoors 24/7, this is a real challenge.
The best flea collar for cats might help, but it has no guarantee, and some might even irritate your cat’s neck! The best thing to do is to keep in mind what has been mentioned above about spotting cat fleas. At the first sign, give your cat a flea bath to prevent further infestation. Good luck to you and your cat!