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How to Kill Fleas on Kittens

| Updated September 26, 2017

Things You'll Need

  • Kitten

  • Warm water

  • Shampoo

  • Lemon juice

  • Vinegar

  • Fennel

  • Ear swabs

  • Baby oil

  • Tea Tree oil

  • Eucalyptus oil

  • Cups (2)

  • Lice comb (optional)

Flea products for cats or kittens indicate that they should not be used on kittens under 12 weeks old. What can you do if any of these precious babies have fleas? Using a commercial flea product anyway could adversely affect your kittens’ health or life. Allowing the fleas to feast away on your precious kittens can result in parasitic anemia, tapeworms, or even death. Is there anything you can do to kill fleas on kittens without harming the kittens?

Mix up some special shampoo to wash your kitten. Mix 1 cup of hot water with 1 tsp. Fennel and allow it to steep into a tea. When it has cooled enough to use on the kitten add 1/2 tsp. Tea Tree Oil, 1/2 tsp. Eucalyptus oil and 1tbsp. lemon juice together.

Place a washcloth in the bottom of the sink and plug the drain. Fill the sink with a couple of inches of warm water.

Gently holding the kitten's front and rear legs lay it on one side and then the other to soak the fur. Make sure you are not submerging the kitten's head or nose.

Put about 4 ounces of vinegar in a cup or bowl that will not easily tip, like a ceramic coffee cup. Set the cup near the sink but not close enough for the kitten to grab and spill it.

Shampoo the kitten thoroughly with the special shampoo you mixed up and allow the shampoo to stay on for several minutes. However if you notice the kitten shivering you will need to rinse, dry, and snuggle immediately. Begin the next step immediately after you have applied the shampoo and massaged it through the fur.

Pick the fleas off with your fingers or try using a special comb designed for removing lice. Do this while the kitten is wet with the shampoo. When kittens are wet, their hair looks very thin and almost translucent. It is very easy to see the fleas on a wet kitten so you can pick them off or get them out of the hair with the lice comb.


Drop the fleas into the cup of vinegar that you have sitting nearby. If you are using a lice comb, dip it after each comb through the fur. If at any time, the kitten seems to be too cold or begins sneezing you should stop, dry, and snuggle the kitten. You can always repeat this process in several hours or the next day.

Wrap the kitten in a dry cotton towel and cradle it to warm and calm it. While cradling the kitten do the next step.

Dip an ear swab into the tea tree oil and then put a drop of baby oil on the swab. Now clean the inside of the kitten's ears removing dirt, wax, and ear mites. Rub a little of this mixture on the kitten's face to repel and fleas that want to live there.


  • For kittens 12 weeks and over you can use a kitten flea shampoo. Some kittens enjoy blow-drying with an electric hair dryer if you have one. You should wash and dry the kittens bedding in an electric dryer to kill any fleas residing there and prevent re-infestation. Try putting a little of the special tea mixture, without the shampoo, in a spray bottle and lightly mist the bedding.


  • If a mother cat is nursing the kittens and has fleas you should treat her with this same method instead of commercial flea products.