HOW TO WASH A CAT: In warm weather, shampoo Puss. Get two sinks or big wash tubs, or those big plastic carrying tubs... of body temperature water ready; one for soaping, another with clean water and some vinegar or lemon juice, for rinsing. In Winter, set up a towel or two and floor heater full blast, get bathroom warm, bring puss in and lock the doors. Take all china off shelves anywhere near the basin.

You will be using diluted human shampoo, diluted pet flea shampoo or plain old bar soap. I love IRISH SPRING bars as that stuff is piney natural smelling and kind of goes with cats. Immerse puss slowly, talking in a friendly voice, soap him all over. Caress the spots his mother usually licks so he realizes this is a grooming exercise not an attempted assasination by drowning. Use an old nailbrush or toothbrush to loosen flea refuse on lower spine tail top which accounts for that red color that comes off the cat. Then rinse him in second bucket or sink, or tub. A two sink kitchen basin is great.

After rinsing him, squeeze him off, wrap him in a towel, sit down in strong sunlight, put on a big cartwheel straw hat so your neck or headtop or face won't get sun burnt. YOU NEED the strong sunlight to see the little fleas which shine copper in natural light only, not in house lightbulbs. Then to pick individual fleas off. I peel back towel a little from his face, start on top of head. Then peel back from neck, work that area, then shoulders. Fleas are suffocating under towel and trying to crawl up to the head, so this method peels him slowly, like a banana. If tense, massage back of brain, neck -- it's relaxing. then, let him loose thirty seconds --then start over.  Pick off the fleas that are immobilized by the wet fur and quite visible. They're the color of copper pennies, very shiny. Squash on table surface or newspaper with fingernail or drop into a pot of hot water with l drop soap in it.Whatever's faster for you.  Then BRUSH him down.

On cold days, (rare that fleas are a problem then) plop him in front of heater and rub him dry and search for stragglers. If you want, you can use a dry brush to fluff his fur but they'll fluff automatically unless there's soap left unrinsed. I do one cat after another ----while I've got the set up, changing the water for every cat.

A kitten will usually float happily in the warm water of this bath either tummy up or face down, but not face down in water. Make sure he doesn't inhale water as it's very dangerous for pneumonia in the lungs. So don't let him flail and get his own mouth or nose under water. Do not wear gloves as you will be picking off every flea that rises to the top of the fur, throwing it in the sink or a separate container of water.

An older cat who has not been bathed regularly all his life is an anxious customer, and you should wear thick rubber, old, torn dishwashing gloves that you've saved for this, and talk calmly as the low, loving voice is very contagious and calms him right down. Cuz he's wondering. She suddenly trying to KILL ME? So while you talk  be fairly quick with the two dunk-scrub-rinse- scrub movements.

DRY the little guy off and make this experience so fun with you talking baby talk and so hair fluffing FEEL GOOD that he thinks about it all night, smelling his nice IRISH SPRING FUR and that PUSS will be BEGGING YOU to have another FUN FLEA BATH tomorrow at the very latest!!


NOTE: VACUUM the HOUSE DAILY in flea season. Then park the vacuum just inside back gate or in shed. Fleas go thru a life cycle in your vacuum bag and find a way out. You can spray some poison in the outdoor shed which you wouldn't let in your home. I have to park my vacuum in shade outside all summer as in L.A. it doesn't rain during flea season

LITTLE KITTIES are your best vacuum cleaners. FLEAS go to them, not parents. Every two days, turn kitten over, see if any spots moving on belley, little black spots? if so, fill sink, warm water, submerge buster to his ears. let him sit for a while, stroking his tummy so he'll know you're cleaning him. Fleas come to top, then with right thumb/forefinger pluck off, dropping on or rather IN water. I use bar soap, suds the lil guy. Top, bottom, up to his ears again. IF FLEAS are in neck region they run for head top, you see them scoot over face pluck off! Rinse under running water. HAVE A HALF LEMON by sink side. RUN OVER HIM, squeezing juice. RINSE
again.  NOW in sunlight, you can see any half drowned bugs. THEY SHINE like a copper penny, really easy to see even in black fur! Crack between fingernails. Towel dry in sun. The toweling makes them realize they're
having fun. Kitties, not FLEAS!

KITTENS vaccum a house of fleas. Fleas run to babies cuz they taste better. YOU CAN easily bathe a baby. NOT so a teen or adult! UNLESS you keep it up all year long so they don't forget what fun a bath is!

You think a room has fleas? Turn an electric light on a bowl of hot water on floor. Leave it there overnight but don't let cats run in there, as they'll knock lamp into the bowl!

Personal trick. I wear shorts so my legs are unfortunately exposed. BUT I rub sludgy castor oil from toes to knees, rub it in. Fleas jump on ankles they get embedded, I can easily catch them, drop them in sink.

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