How to Use a Flea Comb for Dogs and Cats (All Steps)

Hey, today I am here on my garage table with my dog Jake. I’ll demonstrate how to use a flea comb on your cat or dog. You’ll not use chemical and thus its a non-toxic process. Note: first, fleas live in the house (not on pets) – so, they’ll temporarily jump on pets or pet owner. I recommend inspecting your pets if you find the pet starts scratching frequently, losing hair, or is more restless than usual.

Summary: Place the cat/dog on a white or light-colored towel. Comb through your pet’s hair slowly – start at the nip of the neck and work your way down. Make sure to cover the base of the back and the neck area.

After each stoke, inspect the comb for live fleas and flea dirt. Any live fleas should be placed in a bowl of soapy water. If you’re not sure any dirt found on your comb is actually from fleas, you can place it on the soapy water – if it turns red then this is a sign that its flea dirt. 

1. Half-full Bowl or Bucket of Hot Soapy Water 

First, you’ll need to put a half-filled bowl or bucket with hot soapy water. The hot-soapy water will drown or kill fleas that you’ll remove from the cat or dog. The logic of having a hall-filled but equally deep bucket so that the fleas won’t jump out and escape.

Suspend a Lightbulb

Have a light bulb as fleas are attracted to light. Therefore, you’ll need to suspend a light source (like an electric bulb) over the table where or place you’ll be placing the pet. 

Place the pet on a Light-colored towel

Spread a white or light-colored towel that will enable you to easily see the fleas and flea dirt, flea eggs that you’ll remove from the cat or dog. 

2. Comb from the head moving to the tail

Now, run the flea comb through your pet’s hair. However, begin the combing process from the pet’s head and slowly move to its tail. 

Fleas are mainly on the groin area, around the pet’s neck area, around leg folds, and around the base of the tail. Therefore, you’ll need to have thorough combing on the pet’s underside, near the pet’s rump, and on its neck. 

Next, as you complete any flea combing stroke, analyze the flea comb to check whether it has fleas or flea dirt on it. If you notice any of them, then put the flea comb into the bowl or bucket containing the hot-soapy water – this will drown or kill the fleas and their eggs.

Finally, after completing the first combing process, relax from about 5 minutes to allow the remaining fleas to move around (to hidden places like ground and legs). 

Fleas try to hide around the pet and hence the second combing will help you to get the fleas that could have escaped the first combing. Now, flea combs your cat or dog again to remove the remaining fleas and their eggs. 

3. Clean the flea combing area and vacuum the room

Now that you’ve cleaned your pet, its time to clean the flea combing area. Therefore, you’ll need to dump the soapy water you’d put in the bowl or bucket and which now has fleas, fleas eggs, and flea dirt.

Next, you’ll need to clean and vacuum the area or room where you were conducting the combing. Further, if your house or rooms is flea infested massively, remember to use the best flea bombs.

However, if you were combing outside you’ll have to flea spray your yard or use a hose to down the fleas that might have dropped there. Finally, repeat the combing process on your dog after 1 week to completely eliminate a massive flea infestation.

When to Use a Flea Comb? 

A flea comb is a pet care device that has fine tines or teeth, which we’ll use to find and remove fleas from cats, dogs or rabbits. But why not use your regular human hair combs? – you ask. Well, flea combs are special as their closely spaced times will remove fleas, their eggs, and flea dirt more effectively. So, when should use a flea comb: 

1. To Find flea dirt: Flea dirt is the bug’s feces and if found on your pet’s fur – that’s a sign that the pet has fleas.

2. To Remove adult fleas: Flea combing will stick the adult fleas on the combs finely spaced tines.

3. Remove flea dirt and eggs from adult pets and small pets that have sensitive skin – and thus cannot use chemical based flea control methods.

How Often to Flea Comb your pet?

Well, this depends on where your pet sleeps and how close it gets to you and your family members. Therefore, if you tend to have the cat or dog on your couch or bed, then you should flea comb more regularly.

Further, if you’re near a place with a forest, large amounts of grass and trees, then you’ll need a daily flea combing routine until you can no longer see fleas during combing.

But, normally, you’d need to comb your cat or dog once or twice per week – for protection and proactive flea management. However, if you’ll be using other flea control methods such as Advantage, then you’ll have to reduce the frequency of flea combing. 

Any consideration when flea combing your cat?

Not all flea combs will work for your cat. Notably, a good flea comb teeth must be 0.155 mm between each other and have about  10 teeth for every 8 mm. A litmus test is to hold up the flea comb to the light – if you see light then the flea comb will not catch the feline fleas.

1. Interestingly, flea combing allows you to socialize the kitten or cat through “Mutual Grooming” – which is all fun. However, if you cat is uncomfortable (shows resistance and fighting) with flea combing consider using alternative flea control methods.

2. Avoid sensitive areas on your cat – When flea combing note the sensitive area that may cause discomfort and fear on your feline friend. For example, in case the case skin is bruised or broken by flea bites or anything else – be gentle in flea combing or treat the cat using soothing creams before flea combing or brushing.

What about an Electronic Flea Comb?

Unlike your manual flea combs, manufacturers of the Electric Flea Comb claim that their device is able to go deep into the pet’s hair, search for the fleas, kill them upon contact, and eject them from the pet’s coat.

Notably, the electric flea combs will release some charge into the pet’s coat, which will kill the fleas on contact. Further, the electric flea comb will be appropriate for furs of any length and pets of all ages.

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