Treat All Of Your Pets
If you own multiple pets, each pet should be given a flea treatment, preferably one with a monthly or longer protection.
Cheaper alternatives such as flea baths or temporary treatments may be enticing, however they may end up being more costly and ineffective in the long run. These types of treatments will generally only treat the adult fleas on your pet at the time of use, without any ongoing protection. This means that the larvae and pupae in the environment eventually cause another infestation when they develop into adult fleas.
Treating all year round is important, even in the colder months. While fleas are less active through winter, they can lay dormant. Lack of treatment over this time can result in more extreme infestations come summer.
Fleas On Cats: How To Identify And Treat Them
Fleas are those little blood-sucking bugs everyone tries hard to avoid. Theyve been around for 60 million years and have been found on prehistoric mammalsso it doesnt seem like theyre going away any time soon.
It turns out our feline friends are just as susceptible to a flea infestation as all those animals that came before. But how do you identify fleas on cats? And what should you do if you find them?
Overview Of Flea Infestation In Cats
The flea is a common problem for cats as well as their owners. As if flea bites arent bad enough, some pets are flea allergic and develop severe itching with even trivial infestations of fleas. This occurs because the animal becomes hypersensitive to the antigens in flea saliva.
The itching component to flea allergy can be treated with antihistamines or even steroids but the best approach is to kill the flea and prevent its return. Like all parasites, fleas pose a health-hazard to your pet , and can make him miserable. These worrisome pests can be treated and prevented.
Fleabite hypersensitivity or flea allergy can occur in any breed with the average age of first occurrence being three to six years. There appears to be no sex predilection. Fleas are typically seasonal in Northern climates and non-seasonal in Southern climates.
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Frontline Gold Flea & Tick Spot Treatment For Cats Best Topical Flea Treatment For Cats
Frontline Golds ranking is somewhat paradoxical, as its just a tiny bit worse than the previous two treatments, yet its the first thing that you should try if either of those doesnt work.
It has an ingredient called Pyriproxyfen in addition to two other active ingredients, Fipronil and S-methoprene. The latter two make up the formula for regular Frontline, which has long been one of the top flea treatments on the market.
The problem is that some fleas have begun developing a resistance to Fipronil and S-methoprene, so Pyriproxyfen was added. Its good at killing fleas that other treatments miss, but on its own, its not quite as fast-acting as Imidacloprid or Selamectin.
Instances of fleas developing resistance to insecticide are rare, but its good to have this in your back pocket, just in case.
Frontline Gold kills fleas in all their life cycles, and it will also take care of ticks. The bad news is that the formula has a distinct odor and is oily, so youll see a slick spot on your cat for a few days. Theres not much in each applicator, though, so unlike some other treatments, you wont have to rub a small lake of insecticide into your cats body.
Fleas can be devastating and even life-threatening for kittens, but unfortunately, many treatments arent approved for use on young cats. Capstar is one of the few that is, and it can be given to kitties as young as 4 weeks old.
- Has to be given orally
- Doesnt prevent future infestations
Choose The Right Flea Treatment
There are many types of flea treatments on the market. The most common are necklaces, sprays, pipettes and tablets. These treatments do not all have the same effectiveness, or the same mode of use, and above all, they are not always suitable for all cats.
FRONTLINE Spray – Anti-fleas and anti-ticks for dogs and cats – 500ml
- Spray 500ml anti-fleas and anti-ticks for dogs and cats.
- Acts directly on fleas and ticks without having to wait for the product to diffuse by effectively covering the entire body of the animal.
- It also works as a preventive treatment.
- Easy to apply. Choose the capacity of the spray according to the weight of your animal!
- For dogs and cats. Apply 2 sprays / kg and up to 4 / kg if the animal has long hair.
However there are some pretty drastic treatments to treat to get rid of fleas on your cat, flea sprays like Frontline.
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Cleaning All Of The Things
After dusting the cats and the house with flea powder, I went on a mad cleaning spree. I threw away all of the cats old toys and all of the pillows on the couch. I vacuumed under the couch cushions, behind the dresser, and along the baseboards. I hauled all of the blankets on the couch and in the closet to the laundromat and did six loads of laundry. By the time I finished, I was sweaty and exhausted but I was certain I had this flea problem licked.
Look at them! Theyre too cute to have fleas!
I was wrong. A few days later, the cats were still itching and grooming in the spastic, almost maniacal way I scrub dirty dishes when Im stressed out and have had too much coffee. Because you have to wait at least a couple of weeks between flea treatments, my boyfriend and I and our poor cats had been dealing with fleas for almost two months at this point. I was so overwhelmed that I wanted to cry. I can only imagine how Bubba and Phoenix felt.
Thoroughly Clean And Treat Your Home
Environmental clean-up and treatment are key to getting rid of fleas on cats. All bedding that your cat has access to must be thoroughly washed on hot and dried on hot. Daily thorough vacuuming of all carpet as well as the nooks and crannies of fabric furniture and wood floors may decrease the number of fleas .
Realistically, calling a pest control to treat your house for fleas is the absolute best way to keep your cat and your home environment flea free. You and your kitty will need to leave the house for a few hours while they use chemicals to kill fleas.
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Killing Fleas: Create A Plan Of Attack
When you’ve cleared the house, take a walk through every room looking for signs of fleas and their larvae. Fleas in a carpet can look like tiny dark specks which disappear just as quickly as they appeared. Fleas congregate in places where your pets sleep the most. They also prefer to hang out in areas that don’t have heavy foot traffic, and they avoid spots in the house that get a lot of direct sunlight.
Be on the lookout for the highly visible dried feces and blood fleas leave behind. These should be easy to spot on your pet’s bedding, but also on lighter colored rugs. These dried secondary signs of fleas are also known as “flea dirt,” resembling grainy specks of black pepper or black dandruff. Flea larvae feed on this flea dirt before turning into pupae. Removing it removes a growing infestation’s food source. It’s important to note areas with flea dirt. These specific breeding grounds need extra attention during the next step in how to kill fleas in-house: vacuuming.
Prep Your Home For Flea Treatment
Next, pick up all of the stray items from all carpeted areas of your home. This includes clothes, toys, shoes, boxes, papers, etc. You want as much carpet surface to be accessible to your vacuum as possible. Be sure to remove items inside of closets and under the beds as well. If possible, you should also move furniture. You can leave larger objects that sit flush with the floor, such as dressers or bookcases, in place if the fleas are not able to get underneath.
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Can You Prevent Fleas On Indoor Cats
In order to prevent flea infestations among indoor cats, make sure to keep up with your regular flea preventive. Your veterinarian can advise you which flea preventive topical, oral, or collar is best for your cat.
Additionally, check your cat’s fur regularly for fleas or for signs of fleas, such as “flea dirt” flea excrement that resembles black pepper. If you notice your cat scratching a lot, check them carefully using a flea comb, which has much finer teeth than a regular grooming tool.
Fleas are a hassle for cats and their owners, but by taking these precautions, you will greatly decrease the likelihood of a flea infestation. Find more information on how to treat your cat with fleas.
Eliminating Fleas From Your Home
It should go without saying that if you spot flea dirt on your cat, you have a flea infestation at hand. Although it is possible that you do not see fleas on your pet, that does not necessarily mean that your cat is already safe from these pests.
Removing fleas from your home is critical for a few important reasons.
For starters, fleas cause flea allergy dermatitis or FAD. When a flea bites into your cats skin, it leaves some saliva. In turn, flea saliva causes severe itching.
Fleas can also cause anemia, especially if the infestation is severe. Among the signs of anemia in cats are lethargy and pale gums.
Although the risk of human harm from flea dirt is low, the bigger issue at hand is that fleas can make people sick. Fleas usually target the four-legged members of a household but it is not unusual for these pests to latch on to people. Furthermore, fleas can transmit some diseases to people.
Treating a flea infestation requires a four-prong approach.
To achieve these goals, you will need to treat your cat with the appropriate medication designed to kill fleas in various stages of development, from eggs to adults.
Risks Of Fleas Oncats
Fleas dont just irritate the skin of your kitty it alsobrings various diseases that will compromise the health of your pets. Hereshow dangerous fleas can be, much so if left untreated.
The leading impact of fleas among cats is skin irritation.Since the bites itch, your pet will scratch the affected area continuously,causing wounds and scabs all over.
If this is untreated, the open wounds would be a perfectgateway for a variety of infections.
Usually, cats will develop the so-called Flea AllergyDermatitis . This happens when the cats become hypersensitive to bites.
The flea saliva triggers the immune system to respond to theirritation. What happens here is that the effect of the fleas extends beyondthe bites. Over time, this will lead to widespread infection on the skin.
Also called Bartonella, this is an infection caused by abacteria found in flea feces. If the feces were dropped on the bitten orwounded areas, your cat would likely become infected.
A lot of cats dont exhibit strong clinical symptoms ofBartonella. Usually, this infection will cause heart disease, eye inflammation,mouth and gum disease, and other conditions.
Moreover, cats can be a host to the infection and carry itfor a long time. Theres also a chance that they can transfer it to the feedingfleas and into other cats.
Fleas are notorious for being the carriers of variousdiseases, bacteria, and infection. One of which is tapeworms.
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.
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What You Should Know About Fleas In Cats
If your cat has fleas, you want to get rid of them as quickly as possible. Cats that go outside are more likely to pick up fleas, but even indoor cats can get them, either from the family dog or when they go to the veterinarian or a boarding facility. Fleas can even hitchhike indoors on your clothes or shoes.
Natural Methods To Eliminate Fleas From Cats
If you are a fervent defender of the natural, know that there are also many solutions to eliminate fleas from your cat in a natural way. You can use natural products such as lavender essential oil, baking soda, salt or even diatomaceous earth. Some of these products can even be used to remove flea eggs and larvae that are widespread in your home.
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Animal And Human Health
Fleas can be a source of both irritation and disease. Dogs and cats scratch constantly when heavily infested, resulting in soiled and roughened coats and, sometimes, in nervous conditions. The most serious effects occur when a pet develops an allergy to flea bites. As few as one or two bites can cause severe itching and scratching in allergic pets.
Cat fleas do not normally live on humans, but do bite people who handle infested animals. Flea bites cause small, red, itchy bumps, usually on the ankles and lower legs. People with allergies to flea bites suffer from hives, rashes or generalized itching. Allergic reactions usually appear 12 to 24 hours after a bite, and may last a week or more.
Fleas that have fed on rodents may transmit diseases, including plague and murine typhus. For this reason, avoid close contact with wild rodents such as squirrels, rats and prairie dogs. Their fleas can bite you and may transmit disease. Cat fleas, however, do not carry plague.
Control And Prevention Methods
Fleas are not always apparent on cats in fact cats are notorious for ‘hiding’ that they have fleas. And guess what? Even indoor only cats can get them! If you see fleas on your cat, they often catch you by surprise: tiny, quick creatures that scurry through your cat’s fur, feasting on its blood, and causing itching. Sometimes it is a mild itch. Other times, it causes severe hair loss and itching. However, if you’ve spotted fleas, keep calm: cat flea control is not only possible, it’s relatively easy.
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Using Flea Treatments Responsibly
NEVER use a flea product on a cat that has been formulated for use on a dog some of these contain permethrin, or related compounds, that can kill cats. Care should be taken to ensure that cats never have contact with these products, including contact with a recently treated dog as even this can lead to sufficient exposure to cause toxicity and death in cats
Some household pesticides such as wood treatments, ant and other insect killers may contain similar active ingredients to those used in flea treatments. To prevent additive effects, care must be taken to limit exposure to these.
Always read the small print carefully. Keep package inserts as they usually contain more detailed information than the outer packaging concerning any possible toxic hazards. If your pet does become ill after application of a product, always take the package insert with you to the vets. If in doubt, ask your vet.
Make An Ongoing Plan To Treat And Prevent Fleas On Your Cat
Ongoing vigilance combined with flea protection and prevention is the key to disrupting the flealife cycle. It may take a few months to end the infestation,so dont get discouraged. Even if you continue seeing a flea or two on your cat from time to time, that doesnt mean the products arent working.
To help prevent a flea infestation from returning, follow these steps:
- Check your cat at least weekly with a flea comb and look for signs of itching and scratching.
- Set reminders to apply or administer treatment and prevention products according to product labels.
- Be cognizant of your cats interactions with other pets, animals or people to determine the risk of catching fleas.
Finding fleas on your cat can be shocking, but even a clean home and a well-cared-for cat may still be subject to an infestation. Fleas are small but mighty. They can reproduce quickly and easily hop on other pets or wildlife, so it may take up to three months to adequately clear out the flea infestation. Help your cat by keeping a watchful eye for reinfestation, and remember to regularly use a flea preventive year-round.
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