How Often Should I Bathe my Cat With Fleas?

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Removing fleas from a cat is not a difficult task unless of course, the cat does not wish to have them forcibly removed. Fleas are one of the major issues, every cat owner faces. They are harmful to humans and pets alike. Especially if you have children around.

They also bring with them a plethora of complications. The biggest one of them is bathing.

Many Cat owners ask about how often should they bathe their cats with fleas. Unfortunately, there is no single answer. Experts do recommend a monthly bathing routine with a flea shampoo.

Simply, Bathing kills fleas. The problem is bathing does nothing to the flea-infested environment of the cat. We are gonna take a detailed look at the issues persisting around bathing and fleas.


Really. Fleas on my cat. That would be the reaction that you would get from most cat owners. Many first-timers don’t even have an idea that their poor kitten is infested with fleas. Fleas look like black dirt from the human eye. They are mostly found in hard-to-reach areas like the neck, back, and behind ears. These are often found in areas where a cat is unable to groom. Unless you are an eagle-eyed pet lover, it is quite difficult to spot them at first.

Flea shampoo or Insecticide?

After acknowledging that your cat has fleas, the next biggest decision that you would face is using a flea shampoo. Some experts say that flea shampoo contains insecticides. The same thing that you are told to avoid for your pets and kids. Ironic, isn’t it?

Insecticides could enter your pet’s system when it grooms itself. Often due to the horrible taste of flea shampoo or meds, cats stop grooming themselves. I have written a detailed account of grooming issues due to flea medicine in another article.

If your cat has an injury or broken skin then such insecticides are also prone to create skin issues and enter the cat body from there. Directly attacking fleas only may not be the best solution for removing fleas.

Additionally, flea shampoo is extremely harmful to your cats’ eyes. The best-case scenario is it might lose its eyesight. For the worst case, you can take a look at harmful chemicals found in pet shampoos at the NRDC website and what can they do to a living being. Cancer, birth defects, and even neurological problems among pets and humans are not off the table.

No wonder they were banned by EPA. Unfortunately, pet products flew under the radar when the law was formed.

But Internet Forums are full of Flea Remedies?

The next thing that you will found by searching online is remedies. Dawn soap flea killer remedy is often touted in many internet forums. But please don’t bathe your pet with it.

The thing they don’t tell you is that dawn is an excellent anti-greaser. It removes the oils and essential serums from the skin. Bathing your cat in dawn soap would often result in a plethora of skin problems that would stick with your cat for quite some time.

Then Should I Bathe my Flea infested Cat?

Bathing itself does nothing for a flea-infested environment. Fleas are evasive creatures. They not only infest your animal but also lay their eggs in surrounding furniture and rugs.

The cat’s movement also helps increase the infestation area of fleas. Given that bathing does not remove those fleas, they would likely attack your cat again and multiply.

Is there a solution?

Yes, there is. But you have to address multiple issues simultaneously.

First, understand that fleas there are four phases in the life of fleas. If you can stop fleas at any stage then you can eliminate their problem altogether. But you have to attack fleas on your cat and in its environment together.

A word of warning before. Never, ever bathe a kitten less than 3 months without the vaccine. Even if it is vaccinated do not do it. Their skin is super soft and they are weak enough to get hypothermia.

The best thing that you can do in this case is getting the help of a qualified vet. They have special equipment for bathing and drying kittens in extreme scenarios along with experience to judge whether if it’s necessary.

Removing Fleas on Cat

Okay! We have decided to tackle the problem.

Let’s start with your pet. Long-haired cats attract more fleas. Because fleas have more places to hide. If your cat gets flea-infested, make sure to trim the coat to a manageable length.

I would personally advise to shave it altogether. But if you are not willing to leave your well-groomed prized fur coat, just reduce it a bit shorter.

The next step is improving the grooming routine. Get yourself a flea comb. After regular brushing, use a flea comb to remove as many fleas as possible.

Pro tip: keep a dawn soap solution in a bowl handy. If fleas get stuck in the comb, dip it in the solution and wipe it off. It would kill them off immediately. Then continue brushing.

Fleas love warm and dry places. Remove these two factors and fleas are gone. Increasing the bathing routine can help reduce fleas on the cat. Albeit your cat hates water but try to increase the bathing routine. And there are ways to bathe an aggressive cat.

The best thing that you can do is consult a vet. They would not only help you eliminate fleas on your pet. But would also arm you with the knowledge to clean up your house. Vets deal with flea infestations on a daily basis. They also have knowledge of the best available treatments for them.

Flea Medicine

As a rule of thumb, flea infestation takes around a month to completely go. There are three types of medicines available for fleas. Topical medicines, oral medicines, or flea collars. Your pet would prescribe whichever fits your case.

Topical medicines are directly applied, often to the neck area. They are low impact but they are easily washed with water. Your cat might also hate the taste of medicine during grooming. So, if it stops grooming, it is quite normal.

Oral medicine is the best out of all. They are water-proof and cannot be rubbed off on other things. But your animal might have a bit of difficulty chewing them up.

Flea collars usually contain the same topical medicine but with extended action. They are low maintenance and quite safe. Your cat might hate the collar if it has a skin issue on the neck.

Then there are sprays for your home and rugs to kill the flea infestations. The best advice here is to make a list of all the places your cat roams. Then start spraying from one side to the end.

You have to make sure that you have covered all ground. You can also hire professional pest control to kill them (and they would probably do a better job than you).

The best course of action is to clean your cat and its environment simultaneously. You should also stop your cat from going outside in case it is an outdoor cat.

If you have other animals with the cat, they are also likely to be infested. Therefore, they should be treated too. Here is the EPA recommended routine for home cleaning to remove fleas.

The key principle here is to don’t give fleas a place to flourish. It will likely hamper your efforts to kill them.

How often should you bathe your cat with fleas?

So, along with a bathing routine for flea-infested cat, we have discussed ways to eliminate fleas completely. The ultimate verdict is that bathing a cat with fleas monthly would reduce the flea population on the cat but that should not be the only course of action.

Unless you completely remove fleas in every place, they are likely to return making all your previous efforts futile. And if you are further looking for causes of your cat’s spiky and clumped coat, we’ve got you covered.

We have created a repository for pet owners to better understand their pet’s grooming needs and problems. Please feel free to add your voice with the help of comments section below.

Should I Bathe my Cat if it has Fleas?

Yes, you should. As a matter of fact, bathing is extremely helpful in killing fleas. Any shampoo would do. But it may not kill fleas that may have infested your pet’s habitat. They may return if you don’t kill them at the same time.

What is the fastest way to get rid of fleas on a cat?

Most insecticides are potent enough to kill fleas in a matter of hours. What you need is a medicine that would provide protection for at least a month. Pet safety is another concern with these medicines. You should discuss your options with your vet.

Can I bathe my cat once a month?

Except of kittens of less than 3 months, you can bathe your cat monthly. More if needed. Bathing frequency often depends on your cat’s environment.

Do cats feel good after a bath?

Cats generally hate water. But if you make it a pleasant and relaxing experience by adding a few massages here and there then most cats would come to love baths

What kills fleas instantly?

Salt, Baking Soda, and Dawn Soap. However, prescription medicines that protect against fleas are recommended in most cases.

Can Cat fleas live in human hairs?

No, they can’t. But they love your thighs and buttocks.

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