I just went through bad kitty fleas with some feral kittens I found in my hay barn. These guys were anemic from the huge quantity of fleas on them. The vet recommended Capstar. Its a tiny pill that starts killing those suckers immediately. It was easy to administer, worked great and is safe to use on the little ones.
Go to the vet and ask for a Capstar pill for each of them. This is an extremely safe medication, and it can be given to kittens as young as 4 weeks old. It will kill all adult fleas on the animal within 30 minutes.
From there you'll need to address the eggs left on the babies that will hatch -- again, ask your vet for recommendations. I'd Frontline everyone at your place, dog included, just to be safe.
My vet said this is a "horrendous year for fleas," so you're not alone in dealing with this problem.
If they're in a carrier, you won't have that much of an issue with fleas getting in the car. Once an adult flea finds a host it likes, it tends to stay put. It's the eggs that drop off and get everywhere.
I HATE CapStar. We've had more than a few patients react badly to it and no longer carry it (extreme agitation, to the point where the cats were completely panicked and flipped out [and yes, these are highly technical terms ]).
I prefer Frontline.
Whatever you do, do NOT use a pyrethrin/pymetherin type product, like BioSpot, Compass, Sargeants, et al. Very, very bad for cats. Every year we get a few seizuring cats from clients who decided that the picture of the cat on the package with the red circle and slash through it was merely decorative.
I had not heard the horror stories about capstar- but really, every medication has adverse reactions, right? That's why we see all those ads on tv to sue the drug companies.
OP, we just picked up a 6wk kitten that was abandoned at the gas station near our house. Vet said was too young/ too underweight and small for frontline or capstar yet. So, I just bathed her and tried to float off as many fleas as I could. Seems to have really helped a lot, though I'm sure there are still a few there. Fleas are everywhere this year, including on our two adult cats that are frontlined religiously.
I'm in Virginia and had fleas recently, despite Frontline. I ended up washing the cat in flea shampoo, then administering Advantage on the cat a week later and hitting the dog up for another Frontline after only three weeks instead of four, in addition to using flea powder in the house. That seemed to work. So I think it is a bad year for fleas! My vet said fleas seem to becoming resistant to Frontline and suggested switching to Advantage (so I got it for the cat- but I already had one Frontline left for the dog but I figured between the two of them, it should KO any fleas). We didn't have an infestation or anything, but I was surprised to have any fleas. They're gone from the house now, but the millions of squirrels in the area are infested with them.
Good luck with the kittens! Do everything you can to keep your house dog flea-free!
Is using lemon juice a urban myth? I'd second just a gentle warm bath. PS dry them no matter how warm it is, my old old cat got fur balls from licking her wet hair "into place".
Fur balls are tough on their tummies, she passed hers and had an irritated anus from it.
If she were a horse she would have colicked those things are hard hard dense packed clumps.
The Capstar is good for getting fleas off right away, and as others said. That said, I don't like to put any of that stuff on young kittens. In a not to bad situation, boric acid works really well. You can buy it almost anywhere cheap as roach powder (the ingredient is mainly boric acid) for as little as $1. It's a white powder and it dehydrates the fleas and is perfectly safe for cats. You can just rub it all over the kittens and sprinkle it anywhere where fleas might be, especially fabric.
It's the miracle stuff companies used to come into your house and treat all of the furniture and rugs with before they invented the Advantages, Frontlines, etc.
The "reactin to Capstar" isn't actually because of the Capstar itself, but because the fleas become very hyperactive just before they die, and in a heavially infested animal the activity of the fleas makes them crazy. It's the same reaction with any rapid kill product. This is why it can be very beneficial to still bathe the animal or comb some fleas off before giving any products.
Capstar is tha fastest kill for cats, but I would do Comfortis for dogs. Capstar the kittens today, then apply Advantage for AT LEAST 3 months. While doing this you need to also treat the dogs on the property for at least 3 months, and I would use Comfortis for the dogs. Comfortis kills before the fleas can lay eggs so while it doesn't actually have an insect growth regulator in it to prevent egg devlopment it is still super effective, since there are no eggs to grow!
If all the cats and dogs on the property are treated you can seriously cut down on the amount of treating you have to do on the house and yard while still eliminating the issue.