What About Flea Sprays
Flea sprays are cheaper than their topical or oral counterparts. But many products need weekly applications, so in the long run they arent as cost-effective or convenient as a monthly topical or chew. Since these treatments kill on contact, you also generally need to spray down your entire pet, which takes a lot more work than a couple of drops on the scruff of the neck.
Some treatments, like Advantage Treatment Spray for Dogs, direct owners to rub the spray around the pets eyes, nose, and mouth, and they can cause adverse reactions if ingested. Others, like Vets Best Flea & Tick Home Spray for Cats, contain essential oils that are toxic to cats. Some sprays also contain alcoholwhich sometimes isnt disclosedwarned the ASPCAs Wismer. If a pet is soaked with one of these products, they can actually become intoxicated, and this requires immediate veterinary care, she said.
Topical Flea Treatments For Cats
The most common flea control products contain either imidacloprid , fipronil , dinotefuran , spinetoram or selamectin . These are applied to the skin on the back of the neck, where they sink in and spread throughout the layer of fat beneath the skin, killing any adult fleas present. They continue to kill fleas for at least 30 days. After 30 days, a new dose is applied.
How To Tell If Your Cat Has Fleas
Sometimes theyre visible. You might see tiny black specks of flea dirt in your cats fur, or small scurrying insects. You might also see them on your carpets, your furniture, or even your own body and clothing. But even if you cant spot any fleas, theres still a few tell-tale signs to look out for. The most obvious one is scratching. All cats scratch now and then, but if your cat is scratching more than usual, they may have fleas. Fleas dont just bite cats, so be wary of any unaccountable insect bites on your skin. If you think your cat has fleas and you want to confirm your suspicions, groom your cat with a fine-tooth comb held over a white surface such as tissue. If your cat has fleas, theyll drop onto the surface. You can remove any doubt by adding a few drops of water. If the specks turn reddish brown in water, it confirms it is flea dirt made up of your pets blood. Bad news, your cat has fleas. So now its time to act!
Don’t Miss: Blue Buffalo Training Treats Review
How To Treat Your Home For Fleas
Hoovering helps you should regularly vacuum your floors, your furniture, and your skirting boards to eliminate fleas at every stage of their life-cycle. Dispose of your vacuum cleaners dust bag when youre done. Your vet will be able to recommend flea treatments for your home as well as your cats. This will usually be in the form of a sort of spray to apply to the various parts of your home where fleas might lurk. This kind of flea treatment can be mildly toxic for cats. To prevent illness, treat your house one room at a time. After treatment, open the windows, close the door, and make sure your cat cant enter for at least an hour.
Make a point of regularly washing your bedding, as well as any surfaces your cat sleeps on. Keep on top of things and your flea problem should never spiral out of hand. Talk to your vet about how often you should treat your cat, and make treating your home part of your regular cleaning routine. If you’ve got any questions about flea treatment for cats, or about any other aspect of cat ownership, feel free to get in touch. Call our 24hr hotline on .
Oral Flea Control Products For Cats
Oral flea control products are also available. Nitenpyram is good for heavy flea infestation. A single oral dose of nitenpyram will kill all of the adult fleas on a cat. It has no residual effect, however. Spinosad is an oral formulation that kills 100 percent of adult fleas on a cat by 24 hours after administration. Spinosad has residual effect it continues to kill adult fleas for 30 days before the next oral is required.
Lufenuron is an insect growth regulator. It works by interfering with the growth and development of fleas but has no effect on adult fleas. It is given orally once a month however, an injectable form is available that is effective for six months. When a female flea ingests blood from a cat treated with lufenuron, the eggs she produces will be infertile.
You May Like: Prevent Cat Scratching Door
Read More About The Real Cost Of A Pet Cat
Anyone who owns a cat will know not only how rewarding it can be, but also the true costs involved usually much higher than might be expected.
Cats are often the preferred choice of pet for people who are out at work all day, as they are independent and, provided youve got a cat flap installed, they are usually happy to go in and out the house whenever it suits them.
However, before rushing out to buy a cat, its important to budget for all the costs that are associated with owning a pet.
I Have Been Told That Corticosteroids Can Cause Cushing’s Disease Why Is This
An excessive level of corticosteroids may cause Cushing’s disease. When a cat is on long-term, high doses of glucocorticoids, there is an increased risk that a condition called iatrogenic Cushing’s disease will develop. The clinical signs of Cushing’s disease include increased thirst and urination, an increase in UTI’s, skin/ear infections, a ‘pot-bellied’ appearance, thinning skin, and hair loss. In the treatment of some diseases, the risk of iatrogenic Cushing’s disease is unavoidable. To minimize this risk, corticosteroid doses are tapered down over time or several different drugs may be used in combination.
Read Also: Kitten Licking My Nose
How Do I Get Rid Of Fleas In The Home
Thorough vacuuming followed by the use of an insecticide spray containing an insect growth regulator is a good way of eliminating fleas in the home and other areas. A single application can last for six months to a year. Great care should be taken not to allow products containing permethrin to come into contact with your dog and never use any spray in close proximity to a fish tank, as they are highly toxic to fish.
Why Is Flea Control Necessary
Many animals carry fleas, some are allergic to the flea saliva and react with intense itchiness. In dogs they often chew around the tail base region whilst cats often over groom or get small crusty sores along their back. Some animals are only slightly worried by their fleas and act as a reservoir for fleas and flea eggs.
Don’t Miss: Cat Calorie Requirements
Why You Should Trust Me
As Wirecutters pets writer, Ive covered everything from essential oil myths to how to get rid of fleas. Im also a lifelong pet owner and a shelter volunteer with over a decade of experience whos dealt with her share of pets with fleas, ticks, and other pests.
For this guide, I spoke with six professionals, from veterinarians to pesticide experts, about how to select the best flea and tick treatment for your pet. I spoke with Jennifer Gervais, a pesticide specialist at the National Pesticide Information Center, and Ken Labbe, a spokesperson for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency about pesticide regulation. I consulted Dr. Douglas Kratt, president of the American Veterinary Medical Association, about how to select the appropriate medication for your pet. I asked Dr. Tierra Price, a spay-neuter surgeon and founder of the BlackDVM Network, and Dr. Jennifer Welser, chief medical officer at , about their favorite flea and tick medications. And I discussed product safety with Dr. Tina Wismer, senior director of the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center.
The Best Way To Treat Fleas
No matter how advanced or safe flea products become, people still let the problem get out of hand. Heres my examination into the best way to treat fleas.
If you have a dog or cat, youre probably wondering whats the single best way to treat fleas.
The truth is, anyone can get a flea problem. No matter how advanced and safe flea products become, people can be lax about treating their animals, and their pets and households become infested.
If your pet is living in a flea-endemic area and you dont use prevention, your pet probably will get some fleas.
If you let the infestation get out of hand, you will most likely have to use more flea products on your pets and youll probably have to treat the environment. You may also have to treat itching and skin infections caused by the fleas.
As a veterinarian, I dont like to see people forced to use products they dont like, or having to spray their home with insecticides.
If you begin to check your pet early in the warm-weather season or, in warm climates, all year round then you may be able to stave off a big problem.
In this 4-part expert guide to the best way to treat fleas, well cover:
Average Cost Of A Pet Passport For Your Cat
If you want to take your cat on holiday with you, then a pet passport is going to set you back between £25 and £50, by the time you have paid for the extra jabs required.
Your cat must have been microchipped to get a pet passport and they will also need a rabies vaccination and be treated for tapeworm before they return to the UK.
Its also worth remembering your pet insurance might not cover you if youre out of the UK.
Could An Injectable Flea Treatment Help Your Cats Fleabite Dermatitis
Fleas are annoying and common parasites that all cat owners need to be vigilant about, using preventative treatments on our cats themselves to keep fleas at bay, and treating your home with the appropriate products too every now and then to kill any eggs and larvae that may be lurking in soft furnishings too.
Flea infestations in the home can be difficult to eradicate fully, and even fleas on our cats themselves are not always easy to manage, as some flea products are ineffective for some cats, or lose their efficacy in certain areas of the country as fleas begin to develop a level of resistance to them over time.
However, keeping your cat flea-free is important, not only to ensure that you yourself dont get bitten to death or left with an infested home, but because biting fleas are a source of great irritation for your cat, just as they are for you.
Those one-off irritating bites are not the only issue to contend with when it comes to cat fleas either and if your cat has a chronic or long-term flea infestation, this can actually go on to cause a more acute and long-term issue called fleabite dermatitis or flea allergy dermatitis, which is a type of hypersensitivity to flea bites that causes an extreme reaction in your cat every single time they are bitten.
However, a prescription flea treatment product is available for cats that can be really helpful for cats that suffer from fleabite dermatitis , and for cats in general for that matter.
Don’t Miss: Blue Wilderness Cat Food Reviews
Cat And Kitten Flea Treatment Advice
The only way to be certain that your cat does not have fleas is by using regular, good quality flea control which is recommended by your vet. A single application of any product is not sufficient.
Not only can fleas make your pet uncomfortable, sore and itchy – they also pose a serious health risk. Flea infestations can cause anaemia due to the amount of blood a cat can lose to the parasites, and it can be fatal – especially in kittens.
A cats lifestyle makes prevention difficult. Fleas only spend limited time on the animal and their eggs tend to build up in cracks and crevices, such as down the sides of armchairs surviving for up to six months. So as well as treating your pet, the home and other areas such as garages need to be treated with an aerosol spray, or with products that stop fleas from developing.
Cats that go out may have hidey holes in garden sheds which will also need treatment. In the summer, fleas and eggs can survive in piles of garden refuse, so make sure these are tidied away and cannot be accessed by your cat. Even so, it can take a long time to get rid of them. Other pets in the household, such as rabbits and dogs will need treatment but ask your vet’s advice about different species, as products effective in cats may be toxic and dangerous to dogs, and vice-versa. But some of the same products can be used.
Our cat and kitten flea treatment advice below, covers a range of remedies.
How To Get Rid Of Fleas In Cats
Flea treatment for cats is an ongoing process. Unfortunately, there is no quick fix. The main problem with fleas is that they can live without a host for months.
This means that even the cleanest of homes and the cleanest of cats can soon become hotbeds for infestation. But if you stay vigilant and make an effort to stay on top of things, the occasional case of fleas will never be allowed to break out into a full-on infestation.
You May Like: How To Check A Cat’s Heart Rate
Avoid Natural Flea Control Products
If you’re considering using natural flea control products that contain essential oils, exercise caution. Some essential oils can be toxic to cats.
All three veterinarians we consulted do not recommend natural products, which do not work nearly as well as veterinarian-recommended topical and oral flea control products. “They are just not proven to be really effective,” Bourgeois said. “My biggest concern with natural products is, even if they’re safe, if they’re not effective, that’s not helping our pets. I get more concerned about the secondary ramifications for the pet if we’re using something that hasn’t been proven to be effective, versus products that have been proven to be effective and well tolerated.”
The Best Oral Flea Control Product
Comfortis Chewable Tablets start killing fleas within 30 minutes and offer a full month of protection with one easy-to-give flavored pill.
Pros: Fast-acting treatment starts killing adult fleas within 30 minutes, safe for kittens 14 weeks or older, easy to give alone or in food
Cons: Does not kill flea eggs or larvae or prevent parasites other than fleas, not labeled for use in kittens younger than 14 weeks or breeding, pregnant, or nursing cats
Parasites prevented: Adult fleas
Duration of effectiveness: 30 days
Safe for: Cats and kittens 14 weeks and older, weighing at least 4.1 pounds
Not labeled for use: Breeding, pregnant, and nursing cats
Our top choice for an oral flea control product for cats, Comfortis Chewable Tablets, is fast-acting and good for cats that can’t tolerate topical flea preventives. Its active ingredient, spinosad, starts to work within 30 minutes and kills 98% of adult fleas on cats within four hours.
Although topical flea control products are typically easier to use , there are some cases when an oral preventive is a better choice. For instance, some cats with sensitive skin can’t tolerate a spot-on treatment. “An oral flea preventive product is better if a cat has had focal hair loss related to the application of a topical product or if it has a severe flea-related allergy,” said Sawyer.
Recommended Reading: 15 Year Old Cat In Human Years
Why Are Corticosteroids Prescribed
Because of their anti-inflammatory properties, corticosteroids are a valuable class of medications. They are commonly used to treat mild inflammatory conditions and/or to suppress the inflammation associated with an allergic response. When administered in high doses, they act as immunosuppressant drugs, meaning they suppress or prevent an immune response.
“Because of their anti-inflammatory properties, corticosteroids are a valuable class of medications.”
Most forms of corticosteroids that are prescribed are synthetic, and include prednisone, prednisolone, dexamethasone, triamcinolone, and methylprednisolone. These synthetic forms of corticosteroids are many times more potent than the naturally occurring forms found in the body and typically last much longer. It is this potency and increased duration of activity that must be carefully monitored or serious side effects from these drugs may result.
For decades, this class of drugs has benefited humans and animals. They are a vital part of the treatment protocol for many life-threatening diseases. Their benefits far outweigh any risks in the majority of cases. When used properly, very few side effects occur.
What Pet Owners Need To Know
If you have questions about the Seresto Flea and Tick Collar, or any other flea-control product, speak to your veterinarian for advice. Regardless of what type of flea-control product you choose for your cat, the EPA urges pet owners to read the entire label before using the product, follow all directions carefully, and monitor your pet after treatment.
There are also reports of counterfeit Seresto collars on the market, particularly through online retailers. Petco and Petsmart, major suppliers of pet products, told us that they purchase Seresto collars directly from the manufacturer, Elanco. It’s important to purchase from a reputable website, brick-and-mortar store with a guarantee program, or for the most assurance, directly from your veterinarian. Before placing a Seresto collar on your pet, we also recommend that pet owners call Elanco product support to verify the authenticity of the product’s serial number.
If you suspect that your pet is having an adverse reaction to a flea collar, immediately remove the collar and call your veterinarian. Carroll also advises pet owners to contact theNational Pesticide Information Center, which is an EPA information-sharing partner with staff who are specially trained to respond to pesticide exposure incidents, as well as to report adverse reactions from flea collars and topical treatments on the EPA’s website.
Recommended Reading: Blue Freedom Cat Food Reviews