How to Get Rid of Fleas on Cats
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How to tell if your cat has fleas
There are numerous frequent indicators that a cat may be suffering from a flea infestation, but it will require some investigation on your side to determine whether or not the cat is infected with the parasite. Fleas are extremely little, measuring just 1/12 – 1/16″ in length, which means that when there are only a few of them, they are difficult to detect. Furthermore, their reddish-brown tint may be able to mix in with your cat’s coat. Rather from concentrating just on physically detecting fleas, keep an eye out for some additional typical symptoms that your cat is infested with fleas:
- Itchy skin and excessive scratching: Even though fleas can multiply fast, it only takes a small number of them to set your cat on a scratching frenzy.. The general movement of the flea across your pet’s skin is not the only thing to consider. Your cat may also be sensitive to flea saliva, which transforms it into an irritant that causes sensitivity to the touch as well as itching, scratching, and little scabbed lumps on their skin
- Biting or nibbling excessively at their fur, legs, or feet: In addition to scratching, your cat may turn to biting or gnawing excessively at their fur, legs, or feet in an effort to seek some comfort. Patchy hair loss, particularly towards the tail or neck: Even a single flea’s saliva can create an allergic reaction in your cat, resulting in hair loss. This is in addition to any fur that has been taken by your cat’s own biting or scratching, which can also cause hair loss. Inactivity: A single flea can bite its host hundreds of times each day, drawing blood from its host at every attack. This blood loss can result in anemia in severe circumstances, such as when a large number of fleas bite your cat at the same time. The most prevalent symptom of this is lethargy. Visual clues include: Fleas may become visible if the population of fleas begins to increase. Seek out light-colored specks in your pet’s coat or bedding (these are flea eggs), or black, pepper-like spots in their coat or bedding (these are flea larvae) (this is flea feces). The darker insects crawling about in your pet’s coat might potentially be seen by you.
When it comes to your cat, fleas may cause more than simply irritation; they can also create major medical concerns, which is why you need to treat them immediately and thoroughly. If you suspect that your cat is suffering from flea-related problems, you should consult your veterinarian as soon as possible. It is critical to maintain your cat on flea preventive medicine in order to avoid these medical difficulties in the future. The following are some of the most prevalent flea-related problems in cats:
- Flea allergy dermatitis: Some pets are allergic to the saliva of fleas, which causes significant irritation, itching, and aggravation when they are bitten by a parasite. It is possible to identify if your cat is suffering from flea allergic dermatitis by the appearance of tiny scabs and redness at the bite site, as well as by the presence of severe fur loss. It is possible to develop a secondary infection at the bite site. If your pet already suffers from other allergies, he or she may be at greater risk of developing flea allergy dermatitis.
- In order to assist ease your cat’s symptoms, you should remove all of the fleas that are already in your house and yard and maintain your cat on a flea preventive medication. In addition, your veterinarian may give steroids or antibiotics to assist alleviate the itching.
- Cats can become infected with tapeworms if they eat a flea that is carrying a tapeworm larva. If this happens, the tapeworm will mature and grow in your cat’s digestive tract. If your cat has tapeworms, they will appear as minute grains of rice around the anal area of your cat or in their feces
- If your cat does not have tapeworms, they will not appear.
- If you suspect your cat is infected with tapeworms, schedule an appointment with your veterinarian as soon as possible for treatment. Your veterinarian will offer a deworming treatment as well as any continuing preventative measures that your pet should be on the lookout for.
- The danger of flea-bite anemia increases when your pet is subjected to a severe flea infestation and has a high number of fleas eating on him or her for a lengthy period of time
- This is known as flea-bite anemia. Keep an eye out for indications of lethargy in your cat, especially if it is very young.
- Anemia caused by flea bites has the potential to be lethal, and treatment may include blood transfusions, iron supplements, and possibly hospitalization. If your cat has become extremely sluggish, especially if they are younger than 12 weeks old, it is critical that you take them to the veterinarian as soon as possible.
Despite the fact that there may be treatment options for these flea-related health conditions, you may assist your cat prevent them by administering an over-the-counter flea medication or a prescription prescribed by your veterinarian to your cat.
How to get rid of fleas on cats
When it comes to helping your cat avoid flea-related diseases, getting rid of the flea infestation in its entirety and preventing subsequent infestations are your strongest lines of defense against them. There are various things you can do to cure an existing infestation while also preventing new ones from forming.
- Take good care of your pet. Begin by treating your pet and all of their belongings, even pets who don’t appear to be suffering from fleas, to rid your home of fleas.
- Cats’ flea and tick collars are available. aid in the immediate killing of fleas, flea eggs, flea larvae, and ticks, as well as the repelling of fleas Topical treatments and shampoos also aid in the killing of adult fleas, flea eggs, and lice, as well as the prevention of the hatching of new fleas. A fast-acting method of killing and relieving symptoms of fleas is by the use of flea tablets and chewables. Several flea-relief products are available at Petco Grooming Salons.
- Take good care of your home. It is critical to not only cure an infected pet, but to also address the environment in which the pet lives. In the absence of attention to your home, fleas will make their way onto your pet, and the cycle will repeat itself.
- Maintain the cleanliness of your house by washing or cleaning all of the bedding, and applying spray or powder to the upholstery and carpets. Wash all of your pet’s bedding on a regular basis. After each usage, remove vacuum bags and toss them away to prevent flea eggs from hatching in them. Vacuum the whole house, including hardwood floors, upholstered furniture (especially the bottoms of furniture), carpets, and rugs. If necessary, seek the assistance of a professional flea extermination firm.
- Take good care of your yard. Keeping your cat indoors is one of the most effective ways to protect him against fleas. It’s important to note that if you do let your cat out, or if you have other animals that may bring in fleas from outside, you’ll want to make extra certain that you’ve treated your yard for fleas as well. This involves keeping your grass manicured at all times and applying a yard spray that kills fleas around the perimeter of your property
- Other measures include:
Our cats are known to be quiet suffering, which makes it all the more essential to pay attention when they begin to act differently and to be aware of the indicators that a flea infestation may be taking place in your home. Your veterinarian can help you identify and treat the problem, and you should look into the flea prevention options available at Petco for an easy and quick method to put those pesky little pests to rest.
- There are six different flea treatment options. What is the mechanism of action of flea medicine? The Best Way to Keep Fleas Off of Dogs and Cats
6 Home Remedies for Fleas on Cats
Fleascan can be a normal (and unpleasant) part of life when you have a dog or cat. To their credit, there are several over-the-counter remedies such as flea powder, flea collars, and flea sprays available to help eliminate a flea infestation in your house. In spite of the fact that commercial flea medications and treatments are effective in controlling an infestation in your cat, there are a variety of do-it-yourself approaches that cat owners can use to rid their home of the bugs without the use of chemicals or the risk of adverse reactions in your cat or other members of your family.
Consult your veterinarian before attempting any of these at-home cures on your cat; he or she will be able to advise you on the best course of action.
It’s a well-known truth that fleas despise the scent of cedar chips—and there’s a good probability that your cat will feel the same way. You may, however, experiment with scattering cedar chips about your cat’s bedding or outside in your garden to see if it helps. Additionally, because cedar oil is a non-toxic, non-toxic essential oil, you may spray it on your cat’s fur, or you can sprinkle a few drops on a banana peel or even your cat’s collar to help keep the bugs out of his or her fur.
Lemon juice contains citric acid, which is one of the most efficient natural flea killers available, and is hence a commonly used home cure for treating fleas. A solution created by boiling a sliced lemon or two (and allowing the lemons to soak for a few hours) and then draining the liquid before transferring it to a spray bottle can be used to deodorize your cat’s coat. Use a gentle massage motion to work the solution into your car’s fur—be careful not to get it in his or her eyes, and keep an eye out for redness or other symptoms of irritation—and repeat the treatment as frequently as necessary until the fleas are completely gone.
If you’re concerned about any lingering fleas and flea eggs, add a cup of lemon juice to your laundry when you’re washing your pet’s bedding to help eradicate any bugs that have survived the wash.
One of the simplest things you can do for a flea-infested cat is to make their lives more interesting by using natural products that you could already have in your home. Because of the presence of a natural compound known as carvacrol, oregano oil can be very effective at removing fleas. To begin, combine one teaspoon of oregano oil with three teaspoons of olive oil and apply small amounts of the solution to areas where fleas tend to congregate, such as your cat’s ears, stomach, tail, and neck; repeat as necessary until the fleas are gone.
In the event that your cat would not let you to apply topical remedies to his or her fur, you might try adding a little quantity of cumin (less than a teaspoon) into your cat’s food.
If you don’t have any of these spices on hand, a pinch of table salt will suffice, since it will assist to dehydrate and kill the fleas on your cat’s furry coat.
These spices are a safe substitute for garlic powder, which can be hazardous to cats if consumed in high quantities. Ana Cadena’s Spruce / The Spruce
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is another grocery store product that fleas aren’t especially fond of, according to the manufacturer. While it is not successful at killing the bugs, apple cider vinegar can force fleas to leap from your cat’s body, allowing you to more easily deal with the problem. This makes apple cider vinegar an excellent first line of defense in your personal battle against fleas. Using a 2:1 combination of apple cider vinegar and water, spritz the mixture onto your cat’s coat and watch it disappear.
Cleaning all floors and upholstery (and immediately disposing of the vacuum cleaner bag) is also recommended, as is washing all bedding in hot water.
Ana Cadena’s Spruce / The Spruce
Even the mildest formulations of dish soap, believe it or not, have been shown to be quite successful at removing fleas from the environment. Even after being diluted in water, the dish soap tears down the flea’s exoskeleton, causing them to die within minutes. Simply moisten your cat’s coat with a spray bottle and gently massage the dish soap into his or her fur (paying particular attention to places where fleas prefer to hide) before washing. Fill a small dish halfway with warm, soapy water and place it near a source of light to capture and kill fleas that have made your house their permanent homes.
Ana Cadena’s Spruce / The Spruce
Lavender and Chamomile
Lavender is not only a soothing approach to calm your pet’s skin—and perhaps even let him or her take a little cat nap—but it is also a potent, fast-acting flea repellent. In fact, several studies have found that flea-killing solutions incorporating diluted lavender were equally as efficient as commercial chemical sprays at killing fleas. Allowing fresh lavender to rest in water overnight before draining the liquid and spraying it into your cat’s coat is a simple way to put lavender to good use in your house (no need to rinse).
Pour the tea into a mug and set it aside to cool completely before applying the liquid on your cat’s coat.
If you have any reason to believe your pet is unwell, contact your veterinarian immediately.
How to Help Get Rid of Fleas on Your Cat
Despite its reputation as a soft approach to relax your pet’s skin—and perhaps even assist him or her in falling asleep—lavender is a potent, fast-acting flea repellent. It has also been proven in several trials that recipes using diluted lavender were just as efficient as commercial chemical sprays at killing fleas. Allowing fresh lavender to rest in water overnight before draining the liquid and spraying it over your cat’s coat is a simple way to include lavender into your home’s decor (no need to rinse).
Simply brew the tea and then apply the liquid to your cat’s coat once it has completely cooled.
If you have any reason to believe your pet is unwell, contact your veterinarian immediately for advice and treatment.
Always consult your veterinarian for health-related inquiries, since they have evaluated your pet and are familiar with the pet’s medical history, and they can provide the most appropriate suggestions for your pet’s needs and circumstances.
Fact Check: Essential Oils for Fleas on Cats
It is possible that some online pet blogs will promote the use of essential oils, such as tea tree oil, as a “natural” flea treatment method. Natural, on the other hand, does not always imply harmless. Cats are more sensitive to essential oils than humans, and undiluted essential oils can be dangerous or even lethal if ingested in large quantities. There are no regulations for essential oils and extracts, and they do not have to be tested for safety. It can also be difficult to dilute them correctly.
Step 2: Use a Flea Preventive for Cats
Flea preventives work by preventing fleas from re-entering the house. Flea prevention solutions that are effective include collars, topicals, and oral medicines that may last anywhere from 30 days to eight months in most cases. Choose the technique of preventive that is most effective for you and your cat. Please keep in mind that preventatives are most effective when administered on a regular basis and throughout the year; administering preventatives for only one or two months each year may leave your pet exposed.
Step 3: Treat All Your Pets for Fleas
It is possible to prevent fleas from returning by using flea preventives. Collars, topicals, and oral treatments are all effective flea control alternatives, and their durations can range from 30 days to eight months. Choose the technique of prevention that is most effective for both you and your feline friend. Please keep in mind that preventatives are most effective when administered on a regular basis and throughout the year; administering them for only one or two months each year may leave your pet defenseless.
Step 4: Treat Your Environment for Fleas
Flea preventives work by preventing fleas from returning. Collars, topicals, and oral medications are all effective flea control solutions that may last anywhere from 30 days to eight months. Select the technique of prevention that is most effective for you and your cat. Keep in mind that preventatives function best when applied consistently and all year long; using preventatives for only one or two months each year may leave your pet exposed.
Make an Ongoing Plan to Treat and Prevent Fleas on Your Cat
To interrupt the flea life cycle, it is necessary to maintain constant monitoring in conjunction with flea protection and prevention. Don’t get disheartened if it takes many months to completely eliminate the infestation. Even if you continue to notice a flea or two on your cat from time to time, this does not necessarily indicate that the products are ineffective. Follow these actions to help reduce the likelihood of a flea infestation reoccurring:
- Check your cat with a flea comb at least once a week, and watch for indications of itching and scratching as well. Plan to apply or administer treatment and preventative items in accordance with product instructions by setting reminders. Keep track of your cat’s interactions with other pets, animals, and humans in order to evaluate the likelihood of your cat contracting fleas.
Although finding fleas on your cat might be a surprise discovery, it is possible to have an infestation even if your home is clean and your cat is well cared for. Fleas are little, yet they are quite powerful. In order to completely eradicate a flea infestation, it may take up to three months for the fleas to reproduce and spread to other animals or wildlife. Keep an eye out for signs of reinfestation, and remember to apply a flea preventative on a regular basis all year long to assist your cat.
How to Get Rid of & Prevent Fleas on Cats
Your cat appears to be in a state of restlessness. If she’s licking and scratching herself, it’s possible that her skin will get red or become inflamed. These might be tell-tale indicators that your feline buddy has fleas, especially during the spring and summer months, when these parasites thrive in warm weather environments. It might be difficult to figure out how to get rid of fleas on cats and in your house. Once an infestation has begun, it is far easier to prevent them from spreading than it is to eradicate them.
However, this does not rule out the possibility of success! Here’s how to identify whether your cat has fleas so you can get rid of them as fast and successfully as possible, as well as some preventative measures you can take to keep them from re-infesting your home.
How to Tell if Your Cat has Fleas
Fleas on cats are most noticeable when there is increased scratching and chewing of fur on the body. Furthermore, the itching caused by fleas might cause your cat to brush more frequently and to become restless as a result. Cats are easily disturbed and tormented by fleas, and it only takes a few of them to do so. However, these small, fast-moving parasites are more than simply an itching annoyance; they pose a serious threat to human health. Because they feed on your cat’s blood, they can cause anemia and weakening in your cat, as well as transfer tapeworm illness to other animals.
- If your cat develops bald patches as a result of over-grooming or skin irritation as a result of an allergy to flea bites, you should contact your veterinarian immediately.
- In fact, Michael Dryden, DVM, Distinguished Professor of Veterinary Parasitology at the Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine, points out that because cats are such meticulous groomers, fleas can be particularly difficult to find on them.
- Flea experts recommend concentrating your search on the neck and back of the cat, since this is where the majority of fleas tend to be located (and also where your cat is less likely to be able to groom herself because they are hard to reach areas).
- A fine-toothed flea comb may be quite helpful in identifying the parasites, and Dryden recommends looking for reddish brown or black specks, which might be fleas themselves, their eggs, or flea filth, among other things.
- Place them on a moist tissue or white paper towel to catch any drips.
- Even if you don’t see any fleas, you may be concerned about a problem.
“Because an animal is such an excellent groomer, it is possible that you may not discover any fleas on it, but you will notice that it is shedding fur.” “However, you could come upon a swarm of fleas on another animal.” It’s important to check for fleas on other cats and dogs, as well as on your own legs for bites.
You may ask the expertise of your veterinarian if you’re still having problems recognizing fleas on cats. Your veterinarian will be able to locate any fleas that may be hidden or any other skin concerns that may be creating discomfort in your cat’s skin.
How to Get Rid of Fleas on Cats
Once you’ve confirmed that your cat has fleas, you’ll want to get rid of the unpleasant hitchhikers as soon as possible to avoid spreading the disease. Because not all flea medications are effective at treating all life stages, you may need to take many measures to ensure that fleas are adequately treated and removed from your house as well as from your pets.
Step 1: Remove as many fleas as you can from your cat.
If you notice fleas, flea filth, or flea eggs on your cat, begin the treatment process by combing and bathing your cat to get rid of as many of them as you can before calling your veterinarian (though it may be easier said than done). This isn’t the first time someone has asked themselves how to get rid of fleas on cats who dislike water. If your cat doesn’t allow your attempts to bathe him, this procedure might be quite tough, so don’t force him to do anything. Fleas may be killed quickly and easily using a spray bottle.
Fleas should be soaked in a mix of water and dish soap to prevent them from jumping back onto your pet later.
Step 2: Administer a flea medication specially created for cats.
It is necessary to treat your cat for fleas at every stage of their development, including the egg stage, larval stage, pupa stage, and adult phase, after you have removed as many fleas as you possibly can by bathing and combing. Dryden advises a long-lasting prescription treatment that will guarantee that you get rid of each and every one of them completely and permanently. Because flea eggs can remain latent for several weeks, therapy must be continued for several months in order to prevent the eggs from hatching and re-starting the problem all over again.
- Consult with your veterinarian about the appropriate dosage for your pet, as dosing is determined by factors such as weight, age, and other characteristics.
- Prior to initiating any form of therapy, consult with your veterinarian, especially if your cat is pregnant or nursing.
- Most of these treatments are given once a month and then absorbed into your cat’s system to protect him from parasites and other infections (including ticks).
- Although not all spot-on treatments require a prescription to be purchased, it is always a good idea to consult with your veterinarian before administering any new medication to your pet.
After administering the liquid, try to keep your cat away from other animals in the house while the treatment is absorbing. Also, keep an eye on them to make sure they don’t rub the medicine off. Some examples of spot-on treatments are as follows:
- It is necessary to treat your cat for fleas at every stage of their existence, including the egg stage, larval stage, pupa stage, and adult phase, after you have eliminated as many fleas as you possibly can by bathing and combing him. In order to guarantee that you get rid of every single one of them, Dryden suggests using a long-lasting prescription medication. Given that flea eggs can remain latent for several weeks, therapy must be administered over a period of several months to ensure that the eggs do not hatch, re-igniting the problem. Flea treatment for cats comes in a variety of forms. Consult with your veterinarian about the appropriate dosage for your pet, as dosing is determined by factors such as weight, age, and other considerations. The fact that flea treatments for dogs can be hazardous when used on cats makes it critical that you double-check the label to ensure that the medication you’re purchasing is labeled for cats and not dogs before purchasing. Never begin any therapy without first seeing your veterinarian, particularly if your cat is pregnant or nursing. Listed below are the most common forms of flea treatments for cats, in no particular order: Flea Treatments for Spots on the Body Known as “spot-on flea treatments,” these are medicinal liquids that are administered to the back of your cat’s neck to keep fleas away from your pet. In order to protect your cat from parasites, most of these treatments are given once a month and then absorbed into his circulation (including ticks). As soon as they get to work, they get to work quickly. It is not necessary to obtain a prescription to purchase some spot-on treatments, but it is important to consult your veterinarian before administering any new medications to your pet. Make sure to thoroughly read and follow the product’s particular label instructions in order to guarantee correct dose and use. Keep your cat away from other animals in the house while the medicine is being absorbed, and keep an eye on them to make sure they don’t rub the medicine off while it is being absorbed. The following are examples of spot-on treatments:
Medications taken orally Another option for getting rid of fleas on cats quickly is to use ingestible drugs. Adult fleas on your cat will be killed within 30 minutes of delivering a pill containing the active component nitenpyram, according to the manufacturer. However, because they do not have as much of a lasting impact, you may need to provide another dosage if your cat becomes infected with fleas again. Pinosad-based chewables are another fast-acting solution that begins eliminating fleas before they lay eggs and offers a full month of flea protection to help avoid recurring infestations.
Dusts, shampoos, and sprays are some of the other flea treatments for cats that may be purchased at pet supply stores.
Instead, Dryden suggests that you use prescription treatments that your veterinarian may supply, particularly newer ones that are effective in killing fleas quickly.
Flea Treatments Made From Natural Ingredients Even though it’s tempting to look for a chemical-free way to kill fleas on your cat, Dryden points out that, because fleas have become increasingly resilient over time, natural or homemade remedies such as essential oils, dish soap, and apple cider vinegar are simply not enough to completely eliminate all of the fleas on your cat.
Step 3: Keep the fleas from coming back.
Dryden advises that, while oral and spot-on flea medicines will kill fleas on your cat in a matter of hours, it is critical to maintain using them for the required period of time in order to completely eliminate the flea problem. In addition, you should re-apply the treatment on a regular basis if necessary, according to the product’s recommendations.
Treating Your Home for Fleas
After you’ve treated your cat, you’ll need to take precautions to ensure that there are no fleas or flea eggs lurking elsewhere in your house or apartment. Fleas like to congregate in furniture, carpets, and beds, particularly in locations where your cat spends a lot of time. Flea eggs that are hidden in the upholstery will hatch later and begin seeking for a furry buddy to feast on, so it’s vital that you get rid of these unwelcome houseguests as soon as possible with the use of a vacuum attachment.
- Pay particular attention to cleaning any cracks and crevices (such as between sofa cushions), below your furniture, and any other areas where your pets prefer to congregate.
- Cleaning carpets and furniture with hot water and soap after you’ve treated your cat will also assist guarantee that fleas are killed at all phases of their life cycle.
- Once a week, wash your bed linens, pet bedding, and pillows.
- However, for some families, cleaning and vacuuming are simply not enough—especially if they are dealing with a very persistent infestation of fleas.
- The University of Kentucky’s Entomology Department suggests sprays that include specific insecticides as active components, but cautions that the spray must be applied below furniture where fleas and their eggs may be hiding in order to effectively treat the space.
- Unqualified individuals will examine the infestation and eliminate the fleas, their eggs, and their larvae, if necessary.
Full treatment may need many sessions, and if they are required to return more than time, this does not imply that the initial treatment was unsuccessful; rather, it indicates that there were fleas that were adept at concealment.
Preventing Fleas from Returning
Prevention is the most effective method for preventing fleas from taking hold on your cat in the first instance. Flies are far simpler to avoid than they are to eradicate, therefore most veterinarians prescribe year-round flea prophylaxis for all cats and dogs, regardless of their age. In addition, while cat fleas and dog fleas are technically separate species, they do not have a preference for one over another. It is extremely vital to treat all pets in your home for fleas for several months, since any species of flea may cross over and infect both cats and dogs.
Whether they are indoor cats or outdoor cats, flea and parasite control is just as vital for cats as it is for dogs, according to Dryden.
“We do this for dogs, but we aren’t nearly as good at it as we are at it with cats.” Even indoor cats are at risk because they venture outside from time to time, or because other animals or humans carry them into the house.” Spot-on flea barriers of prescription strength, which may be used to treat fleas that may be present on your cat as well as to offer long-term flea prevention, are highly recommended by the veterinarian.
- Though a large number of these items are accessible online or from pet supply merchants, the latest and most effective therapies are only available through a prescription from your veterinarian.
- Just bear in mind that cat flea collars should include a breakaway mechanism to assist prevent your cat from being entangled while climbing or hiding in tight spaces..
- Reduce the amount of grass and bushes in locations where fleas would want to congregate.
- Keep in mind that year-round prophylaxis is essential for getting rid of fleas and keeping them away, particularly in cats that have a history of flea infestation.
- Keep in mind that it might take up to three months to ensure that every flea has been eliminated, so be diligent with your cleaning and use of preventative flea barrier products.
If you have any questions about treating your cat for fleas, contact your veterinarian. Also, keep an eye out for any persisting skin disorders that may necessitate a more in-depth inspection by your veterinarian.
How to get rid of fleas, according to veterinarians
Walks with friends at a distance, picnics, and, eventually, more time spent outside are all possibilities when the weather begins to warm up. Warming temperatures, on the other hand, are frequently accompanied by increased flea activity, which is not as pleasant: According to Douglas Kratt, DVM, president of the American Veterinary Medical Association, “fleas thrive in a type of hot, humid atmosphere.” Flea infestations may be extremely distressing, but by following a multi-step treatment plan and listening to the advise of your local veterinarian, you can effectively prevent an epidemic from occurring in the first place and save time and money.
“First and foremost, take a big breath – there are a lot of very fantastic things out there that are completely safe,” said Kratt, who works as a small animal practitioner at Central Animal Hospital in New York City.
Make use of the knowledge and expertise of the individuals who will be providing you with care to provide you with a handful of solid possibilities.” “Preventive care is significantly more preferable than therapy,” stated Heidi Cooley, DVM, a veterinarian at Banfield Pet Hospital, despite the fact that it may be too late for anybody reading this post who has already had difficulties.
Another beneficial habit that they recommend is giving your pet a regular bath in addition to cleaning his or her bedding on a regular basis.
In order to deal with an existing flea infestation, we spoke with specialists on the best procedures to take and some over-the-counter treatments to consider purchasing.
How do fleas attach to your pet
Fleas may survive outside for up to two weeks without a host, which means that your dogs can come into touch with them in backyards, dog parks, and kennels, as well as contracting them from another animal that has been infected with fleas. As soon as an adult female flea attaches herself to your pet, she can lay up to 50 eggs every day and survive for up to 100 days (depending on how old she was on attachment). According to Kratt, “when they climb on your pet, the female flea will honestly start laying eggs within the day,” he said.
How to get rid of fleas
Once you’ve determined that your pet has fleas, the best method is to take many actions at the same time to eliminate the fleas, larvae, and eggs on your pet, as well as in your home and yard. Always consult your veterinarian for advice on the best course of action to take for your pet’s condition.
Step 1: Brush your pet with a flea comb
Vets recommend that you first brush your pet with a flea comb to eradicate any fleas that may be present.
Pay particular attention to the area around the neck and the base of the tail.
Hartz Groomer’s Best Flea Comb
This Hartz brush, which is suitable for both cats and dogs, is designed to quickly and effectively remove fleas, flea eggs, and other detritus. This $3 flea comb is priced at the cheaper end of the spectrum for flea combs, but it also functions as a grooming tool, allowing you to untangle knots in your pet’s hair. The extra-fine teeth comb has received an overall rating of 4.7 stars from over 4,500 Amazon customers.
Step 2: Give your pet a bath
Flea, flea eggs, and other detritus are simply removed with this Hartz brush, which is suitable for both cats and dogs. This $3 flea comb is priced at the cheaper end of the spectrum for flea combs, but it also serves as a grooming tool, allowing you to untangle knots in your pet’s hair. Almost 4,500 Amazon customers have given the extra-fine teeth comb an average rating of 4.7 stars.
Vet’s Best Flea and Tick Dog Shampoo
According to the manufacturer, this flea shampoo is formulated with natural oils and is said to kill fleas, flea larvae, flea eggs, and even ticks on your pet within hours of use. This shampoo has received an overall rating of 4.3 stars from more than 3,600 Amazon customers. Vet’s Best also provides a plant-based solution for cats, which you can get here.
Sentry FleaTick Oatmeal Hawaiian Ginger Shampoo
According to the manufacturer, this flea shampoo, which is formulated with natural oils, is supposed to destroy fleas, flea larvae, flea eggs, and even ticks on your pet within hours. Over 3,600 Amazon customers have given this shampoo a 4.3-star review on average. A plant-based formula for cats is also available from Vet’s Best.
Adams Plus FleaTick Shampoo
Notably, this Adamsshampoo, which has received a 4.5-star rating from more than 8,800 customers, is particularly formulated for cats (12 weeks and older). According to the National Pesticide Information Center, in addition to its natural ingredients, which include soothing aloe, coconut extract, and oatmeal, this shampoo also contains anInsect Growth Regulator (IGR) that stunts flea development and is safe to use around pets and people (because it targets insect hormones), which is a good thing because fleas can be a serious health hazard.
Step 3: Disinfect the house
Having taken care of your pet’s fleas, it’s time to deal with an infestation that has taken over the rest of your house. According to the American Kennel Club, it typically takes three to four months to entirely eliminate a flea infestation since it takes fleas this long to complete their life cycle. This is just another reason to exercise preventive measures on a regular basis. “The most important part of the war against fleas is killing the ones that aren’t on your cat or dog,” Cooley explained.
Seventh Generation FreeClear Natural Laundry Detergent
This Seventh Generation detergent is hypoallergenic, suitable for dogs, and specially formulated for those with sensitive skin.
The brand claims that its natural laundry detergent is a USDA-Certified Biobased Product that is free of colors, perfumes, and artificial brighteners, among other things.
Shark Navigator Lift-Away Upright Vacuum
This Shark vacuum cleaner is a good value for money because it is strong, lightweight (12.5 pounds), and one of the best vacuums available. This vacuum, which had an average rating of 4.6 stars from over 13,000 buyers, also contains features such as a removable canister, a HEPA filter, and the flexibility to transition between different floor types.
Dyson V7 Motorhead Cordless Stick Vacuum
If you’re searching for a vacuum cleaner that’s also cord-free, try one that has received an average rating of 4.5 stars from almost 6,000 Amazon customers. A single charge of this Dyson gives it a runtime of up to 30 minutes, and it is intended to take up fine dust and grime from both hardwood and carpeted surfaces. Additionally, the vacuum has the capability of converting into a portable vacuum for use in smaller places, if necessary.
iRobot Roomba 614 Robot Vacuum
In order to drastically lower your pet’s chance of infestation and help prevent flea eggs from developing, Cooley suggested cleaning your home several times each week. In the event that you don’t have the time to vacuum on a regular basis, consider investing in a robot vacuum that operates on a predetermined timetable. ThisiRobot, which has received a 4.4-star average rating from more than 6,700 Amazon customers, collects dust and grime off carpet and hardwood floors.
Step 4: Prevent future infestations
Once again, the most effective method of dealing with fleas is prevention. When it comes to treatment options, collars, topical treatments, and oral drugs are the most commonly used. Ultimately, Kratt stated that the best solution for your pet would depend on their lifestyle as well as the recommendations of your veterinarian.
Seresto Flea Collar
The ease of flea prevention collars, such as this well rated choice from Seresto, is one of their main advantages. You won’t have to worry about a messy application, and because most collars have a shelf life of up to 8 months, you can put the collar on and forget about thinking about prevention every month. It has received a 4.5-star average rating from more than 44,000 Amazon customers and is supposed to kill and repel fleas and ticks for up to 8 months with one application. Seresto also has a cat version that has the same flea-repelling capabilities as the dog version.
NexGard Soft Chews for Dogs
It is possible to mix this oral treatment with their meals to prevent fleas from developing. It has been licensed by the Food and Drug Administration to aid in the killing of adult fleas before they can lay eggs, and to provide protection from fleas and ticks for a whole month, according to the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA). While the other manufacturers mentioned above make products for both dogs and cats, NexGard is only for dogs, and it has received a 4.7-star rating from more than 600 Chewy buyers, making it the best of the bunch.
Advantage II Once-A-Month Topical Flea Treatment
Topicals are given directly to your pet’s skin, just below the fur, on a monthly basis. Unlike oral flea medication, which circulates flea-fighting ingredients through your pet’s bloodstream, this topical flea treatment from Advantage II is designed to kill through contact and does not require the flea to bite your pet in order to be effective. Advantage II’s topical flea treatment is available in a variety of strengths. It has received an overall rating of 4.6 stars from more than 2,800Petco customers.
According to the manufacturer, the product should begin functioning within 12 hours and continue working for 30 days (after which you will need to apply again). Similarly, Advantage II offers a dog-specific version of their product.
How to tell if your pet has fleas
It is critical to recognize the indicators of a flea infestation as soon as possible. The vets with whom we consulted provided us with three warning flags to look out for.
- Increased scratching or grooming: It’s one thing to observe your pet scratching or grooming in a random place, but if you find your pet scratching or grooming excessively in a specific region, you’ll want to investigate more. You may accomplish this by rubbing your fingers through their fur or combing through it. We learn from Cooley that flea bites are “sharp and painful,” and that their salivary glands secrete a chemical that is unpleasant — and perhaps allergic — to both cats and dogs. Fleas on the scalp and hair follicles: Fleas are reddish-brown in color and are about the size of a grain of rice. Given how quickly fleas may migrate through your pet’s hair, it is frequently simpler to detect what is referred to be “flea dirt.” The presence of “flea dirt” is indicated by the following: Flea dirt, which is also known as flea excrement, has been characterized as a brownish-black substance. If you are unclear whether the dirt is genuine or flea dirt, run it under running water: if it starts to become red, it’s flea filth, and you’ll have to treat it as such
Otherwise, doctors urge that you check your pet’s bedding, carpets, and other surfaces that they spend time in or on on a regular basis for symptoms of flea infestation. Check out Select’s in-depth coverage of personal finance, technology and tools, wellness and more by following us onFacebook, Instagram, and Twitter to keep up with the latest news.
How to Get Rid of Fleas on Your Cat
Pet owners place a high value on keeping their feline companions pest-free, so it’s no surprise if you’ve found yourself researching how to get rid of fleas on your cat. Not only are they inconvenient for the continuously grooming friend, but they may also be harmful to your cat’s health as well as your own. First and foremost, don’t be too hard on yourself if your cat has fleas. While indoor-outdoor cats are more susceptible to these scratchy hair invaders, purely indoor cats can also be infected with a variety of diseases and parasites.
With that in mind, let’s start with flea preventive techniques that can help reduce the likelihood of your cat becoming infected with fleas in the first place.
Ways to Prevent Your Cat From Getting Fleas
As a pet owner, keeping your feline buddy pest-free is a primary responsibility, so it’s no surprise that you’ve found yourself researching how to get rid of fleas on your cat. Not only are they inconvenient for the continuously grooming companion, but they may also be harmful to your cat’s health as well as your own.. To begin with, don’t be too hard on yourself if your cat has fleas. Inside-outdoor cats are more susceptible to these scratchy hair invaders than exclusively indoor cats, although both can be infected with a wide range of diseases.
Starting with flea prevention techniques to reduce the likelihood of your cat becoming infected with fleas in the first place, let’s move on to parasite control techniques.
Does Your Cat Have Fleas?
As a pet owner, keeping your feline buddy pest-free is a primary responsibility, so it’s no surprise that you’ve found yourself reading about how to get rid of fleas on cats. Not only are they inconvenient for the constantly grooming companion, but they can also constitute a health risk to both your cat and yourself. First and foremost, if your cat has fleas, don’t get down on yourself over it. While indoor-outdoor cats are more susceptible to these scratchy hair invaders, purely indoor cats can be infected by a variety of parasites and diseases.
With that in mind, let’s start with flea preventive strategies that can help reduce the likelihood of your cat becoming infected with fleas in the first place.
- Keeping your feline companion pest-free is a key concern for pet owners, so it’s no surprise that you’ve found yourself reading about how to get rid of fleas on your cat. Not only are they inconvenient for the continuously grooming friend, but they may also be hazardous to your cat’s and your own health. First and foremost, if your cat has fleas, don’t beat yourself up over it. While indoor-outdoor cats are more susceptible to these scratchy hair invaders, purely indoor cats can be infected with a variety of parasites. Fleas are similar to house ants in that they will infest your pet at least once. With that in mind, let’s start with flea preventive strategies to help reduce the likelihood of your cat becoming infected with fleas in the first place.
DIY Cat Flea Home Remedies
Unless you have a severe flea infestation, you may be able to treat a mild case of cat fleas at home rather than having to visit the veterinarian.
Now, let’s take a look at some of the things you can do yourself to keep your cat flea-free:
- Most of the time, unless you have a severe flea infestation, you can treat a mild case of cat fleas at home rather than having to visit a vet. Examine the following home remedies for keeping your cat’s fleas under control:
It’s possible that the flea home treatments will not be effective, in which case you can see your veterinarian for heavy-duty flea medicine or visit your local pet store for over-the-counter flea medication. Check to see if they are safe for cats, as certain flea medications for dogs can be poisonous to cats, as previously indicated. Flea medicine for cats is available in a variety of forms, ranging from sprays and collars to oils and tablets that may be hidden in food. Make careful to read the label to see if there are any adverse effects and whether or not the medication is appropriate for your cat, especially if they are elderly or have a history of health problems.
You never know where the eggs are going to roll or where the bugs are going to conceal themselves.
Happy Cats Have Flea-Free Homes
Fleas are known to cause a variety of health concerns in addition to the annoyances they produce. Remember to use flea prevention techniques on yourself and your cat to avoid introducing fleas into the house or from a visiting pet. If you do discover fleas, don’t be discouraged; there are numerous choices available to you and your cat to get back to living a flea-free life.
This is a quirky, cheesy, and perhaps a touch too heavily involved in research film. Phillip Forsgren grew up slaving away over book reports, which led to his eventual career as a freelance writer.
Fleas and flea control in cats
The cat flea is the most common flea that may be found on cats and dogs (Ctenocephalides felis). Fleas from rabbits, hedgehogs, and other animals are occasionally detected on cats, although they are far less prevalent than on dogs. Despite the fact that many cats live with fleas and exhibit only mild indications of infection, management is nevertheless recommended for a variety of reasons, including:
- The cat flea is capable of transmitting the larval stage of the tapeworm. Cats become infected with Dipylidium caninum by swallowing (ingesting) fleas while grooming themselves. Fleas have the ability to transfer other infectious pathogens between cats
- However, this has not been shown. Cat blood is a food source for adult fleas, which can result in weakness, anemia, and death in newborn kittens. Fleas play a critical role in the spread of ‘cat scratch illness’ between cats and between cats and people. Flies feed on blood, causing the infection to spread. It is caused by the bacteria Bartonella hensellae. The bites of fleas can induce an allergic reaction in certain dogs and cats, causing them to scratch excessively or developing skin illness. Cat fleas can produce irritating bites on humans who are susceptible to them, usually around the ankles. Modern treatments make it possible to eradicate cat fleas fairly efficiently
- But, in areas where fleas are extremely prevalent, this may necessitate a significant amount of work.
Does my cat have fleas?
When cats are grooming themselves, they frequently swallow (eat) any fleas that they come across, making it difficult to detect adult fleas in their fur coat. If an infestation is detected simply by an itching cat or bug bites on human ankles, it is possible that no further signs will appear. The most effective method of demonstrating the existence of fleas is frequently to methodically comb the cat with a fine-toothed ‘flea comb.’ It is important to perform this on a clean white surface, such as a wide sheet of white paper, since any fleas or “flea filth” (flea feces consisting of digested blood) will be deposited on the white paper.
If the debris is flea soil, it will slowly disintegrate, leaving red-brown blood streaks.
The flea life cycle
Fleas that are adults spend the most of their time on your dog or cat. The female will begin producing eggs as soon as she finds a host, which might take up to two weeks. They can survive for up to two years. ‘Flea dirt’ is a term used to describe eggs deposited by females that fall off of a cat or dog into the surrounding surroundings (flea excrement). When flea larvae emerge from their eggs, this flea soil serves as a good source of food for them until they reach adulthood. Larvae can hatch in as little as two days and are often seen in areas where cats and dogs spend any significant amount of time outside of their enclosures (typically in bedding etc).
The larvae grow and mature into pupae (perhaps in as little as a week), and each pupa is coated in a sticky cocoon to protect it from the elements.
The new adult flea can emerge from the cocoon and attach itself to the host in a matter of seconds, although fleas can remain in the cocoon for up to two years before emerging.
Adult fleas on the cat must be destroyed, and re-infestation from the environment must be avoided in order to achieve successful management.
Tackling fleas in the home – an overview
Fleas can be reduced, but not completely eliminated, in a home by vacuuming on a regular basis. Vacuum bags should be disposed of as soon as possible and as gently as possible. Anything that has been extensively infected, such as bedding, should be thrown away. Treatments can subsequently be employed in a variety of methods to prevent re-infestation, including:
- Fleas can be reduced, but not completely eliminated, in a home by vacuuming regularly. Immediately and carefully dispose of vacuum bags that have been used. Things like blankets that have been extensively contaminated should be thrown away. Afterwards, treatments can be employed in a variety of methods to avoid re-infestation. For example,
All treatment suggestions provided by your veterinarian must be strictly adhered to in order to be successful. Consult with your local veterinary clinic for some helpful suggestions. Although it may take many weeks or even months to completely eliminate a flea infestation in some cases, it is important to carefully follow the manufacturer’s instructions in order to avoid severe side effects.
Flea treatments available for cats
Flea treatments for cats are readily accessible from veterinarians, pet stores, and supermarkets for use on both cats and their owners. It may not be immediately apparent, but the formulations, modes of action, efficacy, and safety of these products all differ significantly. Many older goods contain ingredients that may be less effective or less safe than newer ingredients (for the cat or the environment). Never forget to read and follow directions carefully, and wherever possible, go to your veterinarian first and seek their opinion – they will have access to the most effective and safest products for use in cats.
- Once again, it is critical that the items’ directions for usage are properly followed in order for them to be both safe and effective.
- It is also possible to purchase flea medications that are accessible as pills, which may be more convenient for certain owners to administer.
- While many of the products available in pet stores and supermarkets are effective, many of them are not.
- A number of sprays and powders should not be used in close proximity to fish tanks due to their toxicity to fish.
Flea treatments for cats are widely accessible from veterinarians, pet stores, and supermarkets for use on both cats and their owners. It may not be immediately apparent, but the compositions, modes of action, efficacy, and safety of these drugs all differ significantly in their respective categories. Goods in older items may be less effective or less safe than newer products (for the cat or the environment). Never forget to read and follow directions carefully, and wherever possible, go to your veterinarian first and seek their opinion – they will have access to the most effective and safest products for use with cats.
In order for items to be both safe and effective, it is essential that they are used according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.
It is also possible to purchase flea medications that are accessible as pills, which may be more convenient for certain pet owners to administer, as well as some effective flea collars.
These are not necessarily the same as the advice you would receive from your veterinarian, and it is always preferable to seek veterinary assistance.
Due of their toxicity to fish, certain sprays and powders should not be used in or around fish tanks. In the case of treating kittens, pregnant or suckling cats, or any other animals, always double-check that the treatment is suitable for use on them.
Tablets can be beneficial in some cases, particularly if the owner considers them to be more convenient to administer than a spot-on, for example. Always use a product that has been specially suggested by your veterinarian and has been approved for use in cats. See how to administer a pill to your cat.
Flea powders, in general, are only effective for as long as they remain on the coat, making them an unsuitable choice for treatmentInternational Fluffy powders are not recommended by Cat Care since there are safer and more effective alternatives available on the market today.
Capsules containing active compounds such as permethrin, pyrethroids, organophosphates, or flea growth-inhibiting substances such as methoprene are used to treat dogs with insecticidal collars. Collars, in general, are not very effective, and they may also cause local skin irritation. Furthermore, if they do not have a safety snap-open feature, they may cause damage. Some modern flea collars (available exclusively from veterinarians) may, on the other hand, be far more effective and safer. International Cat Care does not suggest the use of flea collars unless they are explicitly advised by a veterinarian and acquired from a veterinarian, since there are alternative, far safer and more effective products available than those accessible through pet stores and supermarkets.
Aerosol sprays are troublesome with cats because many cats find the ‘hissing’ sound they generate to be a source of fear. Furthermore, many of these employ items that are older, less effective, and/or less safe. International Cat Care argues that there are safer, more effective, and simpler to administer flea control treatments than utilizing aerosol sprays, and that these treatments should be used instead.
Pump action sprays
Pump action sprays containing flea control chemicals may be available, and they may be acceptable for usage since the pump motion reduces any distress experienced by the cat during the application process.
Insect (flea) growth regulators
Flea growth regulators are not only included in some spot-on treatments and environmental sprays, but they are also accessible as an injectable product and as a solution that may be used orally. For some cats, these may be the more convenient options, but they should always be used in conjunction with a treatment that eliminates adult fleas.
Flea control products for use in the home
Flea growth regulators are included in certain spot-on treatments and environmental sprays, and they may also be offered as an injectable product or as a medicine that may be used orally. For some cats, these may be the most convenient options, but they should always be used in conjunction with a product that kills adult fleas.
Foggers and bombs
Different foggers and explosives are available for treating the environment, however these are not always particularly efficient since specific locations of infestation may not be reached by the fogger or bomb. It is best to use spray treatments that allow particular regions to be targeted with precision.
Different foggers and explosives are available for treating the environment, however these are not often particularly efficient because they do not target specific regions of infestation.
It is recommended to use spray treatments that allow precise regions to be targeted.
Using flea treatments responsibly
NEVER use a flea product on a cat that was intended for use on a dog; some of these products include permethrin or similar chemicals, which are toxic to cats and should not be used on them. It is critical to ensure that cats do not come into touch with these products, especially contact with a recently treated dog, since even a brief interaction with a recently treated dog can result in sufficient exposure to induce poisoning and death in cats. It is possible that several common household pesticides such as wood treatments, ant and other insect killers, and flea treatments include active chemicals that are comparable to those used in flea treatments.
Always pay close attention to the fine print.
Take the package insert with you to the veterinarian if your pet does become unwell after using a product that you’ve applied to him.
Long-term flea control
Once adult and immature fleas have been entirely eliminated from a household setting, it is possible to reevaluate the effectiveness of additional flea control measures. In a home where none of the dogs venture outside, it is possible that no additional treatment will be required. However, if pets wander outside, additional treatment will undoubtedly be required to avoid re-infestation. This treatment will most likely take the shape of a single solution that is administered on a regular basis.
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