What Do Fleas Look Like
Fleas are a reddish-brown colour, incredibly thin and have big back legs. They’re around an eighth of an inch long, but it’s unlikely you’ll be able to see them clearly without a microscope.
Adult fleas live on the fur of animals where they will lay their eggs. The average life cycle of a flea is around 100 days, however they can live indoors for up to a year if the conditions are favourable to them.
They go through four life stages:
Take a look at some of the effective ways you can get rid of them in your home:
Topical Flea Prevention Product As Recommended By Your Vet
There are several topical cat flea control products that work by affecting the nerve receptors of the flea. They are usually applied to the cat’s skin at the back of the neck and are collected in the skin, from which the product is slowly released. Most topicals are labeled for a once-monthly application. In order to truly get rid of a flea problem, you need to have your cat on flea prevention for three to four months minimum- but it is the opinion of most vet’s that year round prevention is important and warranted especially if your cat has had fleas once before. The concern for disease, and other flea-related problems, warrants year round prevention as well.
It’s very important to avoid using products labeled for dogs on cats. Dogs and cats have different physiologies and are very different in size. If possible, avoid flea dips, sprays, powders, or collars. If you choose to use such products, do your homework and be absolutely sure that the ingredients used are safe for cats.
An example of some flea topical products are below. Remember, always pick one recommended by your veterinarian and make sure your cat is within the right weight range and that it is NOT the dog version of these products. Follow the directions for your age/size of the cat.
How To Get Rid Of Fleas On Cats
Imagine that you are an indoor/outdoor cat. Your life is pretty simple and fun. Except for a few chase from the neighborhood dogs, you have got it made. However, there are a few minor annoyances that may come your way. One of these is getting flea-infested. So you always ask if how to get rid of fleas on cats?
The most fun that you can have is when you are stalking critters in the bushes. The problem is that that’s where you are most apt to pick up the unwanted guests.
As the owner of an indoor/outdoor cat, you want to make sure that your pet doesn’t suffer from parasites.
This is important for both you and her. The only problem is that many of the flea remedies on the market are toxic or noxious.
You want a natural remedy that will keep both you and your cat protected. The following list mentions some natural treatments for how to get rid of fleas on cats. We hope that this is helpful to you.
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Dealing With A Flea Infestation
If you want to learn how to get rid of fleas, you need more than just some simple tips on bathing your dog. Fighting a flea infestation isn’t a one-and-done battle. It’s a war that could take days, maybe even weeks, thanks to the flea’s life cycle, abilities and habits. It’s not an easy job, but one that has to be done right. Here’s everything you need to know about how to get rid of fleas in the house.
Making A Rosemary Flea Dip
A rosemary flea dip is excellent for fighting fleas, and this specific flea dip is safe for use on cats.
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Wash Your Pets Belongings
As fleas enter your house via your pets, it is important to keep a close eye on your pets and their belongings. In fact, always check your pets for fleas before bringing them in the house.
- Use hot water to wash lived-in areas and other items used by your pet.
- Wash your pets clothes and bedding in the washing machine using hot water and dry them under the sun.
- It is also important to wash and clean anything that your pet likes to regularly lie or sleep on.
- If some of your pets items are not salvageable or extremely dirty, its best to throw them out and purchase new ones.
Flea Invasion: Remember To Treat Your Home At The Same Time As Your Animals
As mentioned previously, fleas multiply quickly. Indeed, once attached to the skin of your little feline, they begin to lay eggs which spill out wherever the cat passes. These spilled eggs hope to find a new host. So, if you only treat your cat, it is highly likely that it will be recontaminated by flea eggs and larvae spread throughout your habitat.
This is the reason why as soon as you notice that your cat is infested with fleas, in addition to treating it, you should also administer a treatment to all your other animals, not forgetting to disinfect your house .
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Use Pesticides In Shady Outdoor Areas
How Long Will This Take To Clean
Depending on the level of infestation, it can take anywhere from a few hours to an entire day to clean your home. And youll need to keep up this routine for at least two weeks or up to a monthand possibly keep using insecticides for a year to prevent fleas return.
Why so long? Fleas can be tricky to kill because theyre rather good at hiding, and they can live for a year or longer, says Cornell Universitys Insect Diagnostic Lab. Also, depending on whom you ask, experts say a flea can lay anywhere from 500 to 5,000 eggs during its lifetime. If you miss any bugs, you could be trapped in a life cycle of misery trying to remove them from your home as they repopulate.
To rid your home of fleas, youll need to do a thorough cleaning, both inside and out. If the infestation is severe or you cant clean your home from top to bottom, contact your local pest-control agency. It will come up with a game plan thatll get the job done quickly and safely.
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Ensure Your Pet Has Been Treated
When you have worked so hard to treat your home, the last thing you want to do is bring your pet back in when they still potentially have fleas and eggs on them. Your untreated pet will start the flea infestation all over again by dropping eggs in all of the areas you just cleaned and in a couple of weeks, you will see fleas throughout your home again. The full development cycle of a flea can take between 14 and 140 days. There are many ways you can treat fleas on your pet including flea shampoo, sprays, spot on treatment, collars and more.
Once your pet has been treated and your home has been thoroughly cleaned you should have the problem well and truly under control.
What Are Signs Your Cat Has A Flea Problem
There are many common symptoms of flea infestation. They include:
- Bald patches
- Allergies and mouth sores
Whilst not as serious, fleas also interfere with your quality of life.
For all these reasons, treating a flea infestation is a good idea. To learn more about treating fleas on your own body, check out this article on how to get rid of fleas on humans.
Bottom Line: Fleas carry diseases such as tapeworms and also cause allergic reactions in cats.
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Six Of The Best Ways To Get Rid Of Fleas On Your Cat
The adult fleas you spot on your cat represent only around five per cent of the total number already living in your house.1 Flea eggs, larvae and pupae are likely living in the environment, scattered over carpets, upholstery, bedding, and just about everywhere else in and around the home.
Fleas breed quickly, so a flea infestation can rapidly take over your life. Fleas can easily get out of hand if you dont move fast to rid your cat and home of these stubborn parasites.
Follow these six steps to get rid of cat fleas and prevent them from moving back in.
Treating your cat is always the first step in beating a flea infestation. And if you use an effective preventative product regularly, youre unlikely to have a problem in the first place.
There are lots of different flea treatments available. Read on to find out which ones may be best suited to your furry friend and remember, you can always ask your vet for their recommendations.
- Flea spot-ons
Spot-on flea treatments are easy to use and they can provide an effective way to remove fleas on your cat and protect them from fleas in the first place.
Fleas can cause serious skin disease in cats, so if your cat has patchy fur, sore skin, or seems generally unwell then ask your vet to check them over.
- Flea collars
Flea collars have moved on technologically, as newer models offer an effective and easy way of treating flea infestations.
- Flea tablets
- Flea combs
- Flea powders
How Long Do Cat Fleas Live In The Home
The life of a flea depends mainly on two things: the climate the flea is in and whether or not the flea has a host. Fleas flourish in warm climates with temperatures around 80 to 90 and 70 percent humidity. They also live longer with a host, which can be your cat or other animals in the home.
When these conditions are met, you can expect fleas to have a life cycle of anywhere from 18 to 21 days. Keep in mind that once female parasites feed, they will start laying their eggs like clockwork. And the more adult fleas in your home, the bigger the problem due to how quickly fleas spread.
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Launder Your Bedding And Curtains
Signs Of Fleas In Cats
Most flea-infested cats develop dermatitis, with hair loss and itchy skin especially over the lower back, around the head, and elsewhere.
A flea infestation can cause a range of signs in cats
Some cats are remarkably unreactive to fleas, and may show no signs of itchiness or skin disease at all, despite the fact that fleas may be seen running through their coat.
The most likely reason for this is that the response to fleas is based to some extent on an allergic reaction, and if a cat is not allergic to fleas, they may not cause a significant problem for that individual animal. However all of the cats in a house need to be treated for fleas, even if they show no reaction to fleas.
Most flea-infested cats develop dermatitis, with hair loss and itchy skin especially over the lower back, around the head, and elsewhere. Sometime a miliary dermatitis type reaction may be seen, with crusty, scabby areas.
Young kittens may become seriously ill after a heavy flea infestation, with systemic signs such as anemia caused by the kittens blood being ingested by the fleas.
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Remove As Many Fleas As You Can From Your Cat
If youre able to see fleas, flea dirt, or flea eggs on your cat, start the treatment process by combing and bathing your cat to get rid of as many as you can . If youre wondering how to get rid of fleas on cats that hate water, youre not alone. This method can be very difficult if your cat doesnt tolerate your attempts at bathtime, so dont force it. A spray bottle can help you drown the fleas without all the fuss: just lightly spray your cat with water, then run a flea comb through the fur. Put any fleas into a solution of water and dish soap so they dont later jump back onto your pet.
How To Get Rid Of Your Pets Fleas
If you suspect that your pet has fleas, take the following steps:
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Try Herbal Flea Spray
If chemicals are something youd like to steer clear of, you can try using an herbal spray instead. Plus, you can create herbal spray with items that you already have in your home. The best part is that these ingredients are safe to use around people and animals. Create a natural home remedy by combining four liters of white vinegar, two liters of water, 500 milliliters of lemon juice, and 250 milliliters of witch hazel in a large spray bottle. Then, cover as many surfaces of your home as possible with the herbal spray.
How To Get Rid Of Fleas In The Yard
Slowly walk the perimeter of your yard, around plants and all the places your pet frequents. The fleas will jump up onto your feet and legs, trying to get at you. On the white socks youll see black spots that are too high off the ground to be dirt. Wherever you notice this in the yard, thats where you should focus pesticide treatments.
Also, a well-kept yard creates a drier, less-welcoming environment for flea larvae and makes it easier to apply pesticides. Mow the lawn regularly, and keep it free of debris by clearing any broken branches or leaves that have piled up.
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How To Get Rid Of Fleas On The Cat
After you have had the confirmation that your cat is infested with fleas, you should treat him with a good flea control as soon as possible, our guide to choosing the best treatment for fleas will help you and your home a lot. Depending on the level of infestation of your hairball and its frequentation areas, preventive treatment may also be necessary.
Use Flea Prevention Products
The products that were mentioned earlier such as flea combs, sprays, collars, topicals, and chewables can also be great for flea prevention. They can create a protective barrier around your cat that can either repel fleas or kill any that make their way onto your cat. Never treat your cat with anti-flea products made for dogs the ingredients are different and can be fatal to cats.
It is important to note that pet parents should never useflea medallions . They can dip into the water dish when your pet drinks, adding chemicals to the water.
Always talk to your vet about using more than one product on your cat at a time. The chemicals in different products dont always mix and may be harmful to your kitty. Dont use flea shampoo or other chemical treatments on kittens because the strong ingredients may harm them. Only use products labled safe for kittens based on their age and/or weight.
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