How to Shampoo a Kitten for Fleas

An essential part of owning a cat is to regularly de-flea it. On older cats, this is far easier, as one can purchase flea collars or topical monthly flea treatments (Advantage, etc). However, flea collars and treatments are not recommended for kittens because the amount of medicine on a flea collar or in a dose of topical medicine may be toxic for a small kitten. The most efficient and practical way is to give the kitten a bath using commercially available kitten shampoos.


  1. Image titled Mild shampoo for your kitten Step 1
    Make sure that the flea shampoo you have is not only extremely mild, but is designed for kittens. Kittens are frail and if you use normal cat shampoo, you will hurt your kitten's eyes.
  2. Image titled Wear an apron Step 2
    Wear an apron and clothes you don't mind about as you are likely to get wet.
  3. Image titled Use plastic basin Step 3
    Wash the kitten in a plastic hand-wash basin.
  4. Image titled Lukewarm water Step 4
    Use lukewarm water. Water that you would consider comfortable could scald a kitten. Make sure the water is not too deep, just deep enough that your kitten can stand easily.
  5. Image titled Hold your kitten firmly Step 5
    Hold your kitten firmly, but gently, in the water and begin to pour water over him/her. Avoid its eyes and ears!
  6. Image titled Small amount of shampoo in your hand Step 6
    Start with a small amount of shampoo in your hand and slowly begin to lather the kitten gently (adding water to aid lathering if needed). Shampoo must get right to the skin.
  7. Image titled Shampoo must get right to the skin Step 7
    Make sure that no shampoo gets onto the kitten's face or into the kitten's eyes, nose or mouth.
  8. 8
    Rinse off the kitten.
  9. Image titled Slowly begin to latter the kitten gently Step 9
    Depending on the strength of the shampoo, you may have to lather the cat again (The bottle should have clear instructions).
  10. Image titled Dry your kitten with towel Step 10
    Dry your kitten very well with a towel, as he/she does not like to be soaking wet. Kittens are usually afraid of hair dryers.
  11. Image titled Treat kitten after bath Step 11
    Give your kitten a treat or praise after his/her horrible wet experience, as most kittens hate or fear water.


  • Start washing around the neck. If you start at the tail fleas tend to migrate towards the head and ears.
  • Place cotton balls, soaked in vegetable oil and squeezed dry, in kitty's ears to keep the water and the fleas out.
  • Using a flea comb in the wet fur will really help if the infestation is bad. Just dip the fleas on the comb in hot soapy water to rinse the comb and kill the fleas.
  • It's mostly common sense, just be constantly aware of the welfare of the kitten and you should be OK.
  • Since bathing upsets the flea's ideal living environment, they will run to dry areas on the animal, like the head. To help prevent this, use undiluted dishwashing liquid (like Dawn, Joy, etc.) to thoroughly soak the neck of your pet before starting to bathe the animal. This creates a barrier to the fleas escape, and will kill any caught in the soap. (It's also easier lathering the animal since the soap is pre-applied!).


  • Always read the label on the bottle.
  • If in doubt, call your local veterinarian to find out which shampoos are appropriate for a kitten and the optimal way to use them.
  • Do not use regular Cat de-fleaing shampoo as it will hurt your kitten.
  • If your kitten shows sudden signs of irritation in its eyes or ears, rinse area with water and quickly dry, to not scare and hurt it badly.
  • If the instructions on the shampoo bottle are different than what is in this article, follow those instructions instead.

Things You'll Need

  • Kitten Flea Shampoo
  • hand-wash basin
  • Towel
  • Apron
  • Cotton Balls
  • Treats
  • Kitten

Article Info

Categories: Grooming Cats