Cat Flea Removal Step by Step

Cat flea removal is a fairly complicated process. If equal attention is not paid to both the pet and the furnishings in the home, another flea outbreak is likely.

Step 1 - Prescription Shampooing

Fleas lay eggs in hard-to-spot locations under a cat's fur and these eggs will continue to grow into larvae and pupae on the cat before they become adults and begin flying around the home and laying more eggs throughout the home. Cats that have been exposed to fleas must be washed thoroughly with an anti-flea medicinal shampoo.
Wearing rubber gloves, wash the affected cat with the medicinal shampoo, making sure to cover the entire body except for the eyes and the ears. Allow the shampoo to soak into the cat's fur for 10 minutes and rinse for thorough flea removal.

Step 2 - Topical Ointment, Powder and Vet Visit

Once the cat is dry, look for signs of remaining fleas. Owners might also spot sticky cocoons that mat up fur. Apply topical ointment or powder if any signs of fleas remain. Take the cat to a vet for professional flea removal if fleas remain.

Step 3 - Clean Affected Furnishings

Begin home flea removal by cleaning all furnishings and carpets in the affected area—particularly areas such as cat beds—with a mixture of four parts Borax and one part salt. (Families with babies should be cautious of using Borax on places the babies may crawl or play.) Use a brush or broom to spread the Borax out. Allow it to soak unperturbed for 24 hours and then vacuum away.

Step 4 - Flea Bomb

If the previous steps haven't completed eradicated the fleas from the home, the home owner should flea bomb the home. Flea bombing a home involves removing all furniture, dishes, people and animals (including fish and reptiles) for as long as a day or two, so other arrangements for storage and spending the night must be arranged. Flea bombs with insect growth regulator (IGR) are most effective. Follow the directions for square footage treated with the bomb and the number of hours the bomb must be exposed to the house. Usually owners must return to the home and open windows or turn on fans for a time. All fabrics should be laundered after exposure.

Step 5 - Preventing Future Fleas

Once both the cat and the home are clear of fleas, the next best step is prevention. There are prevention prescription insecticide gels that owners can rub onto their pets about once a month to help discourage fleas from taking root. Also fairly effective are flea prevention collars, monthly oral medication or injections. Outdoor cats, indoor cats free to roam outdoors and any cats living with other pets that spend time outdoors (such as dogs) need extra preventative care.

Although it takes time, effort and money for effective flea removal from cats and homes, it is absolutely necessary that the owners of infected cats combat the problem as soon as possible. For the health of both the cat and the owner, fleas must be thoroughly expelled from the home.