How to Get Rid of Fleas on Cats
Fleas are much more than an annoyance; they are a health risk. In just 30 days, a small infestation of 10 fleas can grow into a large infestation of up to 250,000 fleas on your cat and in your home, causing your pet to feel itchy and exhausted – or worse. There are various techniques to determine whether or not your cat has fleas, as well as how to prevent fleas from becoming a problem on your cat and in your house. The following information will provide you with everything you need to complete the task swiftly and securely.
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.
- The risk 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, which is known as a flea-bite infestation. Keep an eye out for indications of lethargy in your cat, especially if it is a young cat.
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
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.
In the event that you notice fleas, flea filth, or flea eggs on your cat, begin the treatment process by combing and washing your cat to remove as many as you can from its coat (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 despise water. If your cat does not tolerate your attempts to bathe him, this method can be very difficult, so do not force him to use it. Fleas may be killed quickly and easily using a spray bottle.
Fleas should be soaked in a solution of water and dish soap to prevent them from jumping back on your pet later on.
- An advantage is that the ingredients are active. midacloprid
- Fipronil is the active element in the first line of defense. Selamectin and sarolaner are the active components in Revolution Plus. Bravecto Plus contains the active compounds fluralaner and moxidectin, among others.
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.
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.
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.
Better still, it is effective in killing fleas and flea eggs that may be hiding in your carpet (simply sprinkle it on), and when mixed with water, it may be used to treat hard surfaces such as concrete.
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.
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.
How to Help Get Rid of Fleas on Your Cat
To begin, use a flea-killing solution on your cat to rid it of the pests. Flea shampoo that has been particularly developed to kill fleas on contact should be used on your cat or kitten. Flea sprays might be a wonderful choice for cats who are afraid of the water. Treatment should be repeated as often as necessary and as directed on the label. Tip for treating kittens with fleas: Consult your kitten’s flea treatment label to check that the medication is appropriate for his or her age. If your kitten is too young to get flea treatment, consult with your veterinarian about additional kitten flea treatment choices.
Check and comb your cat’s fur on a weekly basis to keep an eye on the flea infestation.
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
If you have other cats or a dog in your home, they may also be at risk for flea infestation. To assist avoid an infestation from spreading and limit the danger of future flea infestations, be sure to treat every pet in your home – including indoor pets and outdoor pets.
Step 4: Treat Your Environment for Fleas
In contrast to cats, fleas do not have defined territories and are not exclusive to your cat. Flea eggs fall off your pet and land all over your house and yard…. Taking a few extra measures to treat both your house and yard will help prevent the likelihood of further flea infestations in your home and yard.
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.
Flea Control in Cats
The cat flea (Ctenocephalides felis) is the most frequent flea seen on cats and dogs, however any type of flea, including fleas from rabbits, squirrels, and other mammals, can be found on cats. Cats are particularly susceptible to flea infestations. A flea may complete its life cycle in as little as two weeks under optimal conditions; under unfavorable conditions, the cycle can last up to a year. In addition to living and feeding on our dogs, adult fleas leave eggs on them that fall off into the environment, where they develop into larvae.
Pupae can remain dormant for many weeks to several months as they wait for the appropriate environmental circumstances to emerge before hatching into adults.
When a female flea consumes a blood meal from the host, she begins to produce eggs two days following the meal.
Where did my cat get fleas?
Freshly emerging adult fleas from flea pupae found in your home or yard are the most common source of cat flea infestations. Fleas thrive in homes with carpets and central heating because they provide optimal year-round conditions for their development. Flea eggs, larvae, and pupae will be discovered in the largest concentrations in places of the house where pets spend the most time, such as their beds and furniture, as well as in regions where they sleep. Even while fleas may be present in your home, it is unlikely that you would see them.
They travel deep into carpets, furniture or gaps in flooring to avoid being seen by the naked eye since they are so little.
What effect do fleas have on my cat?
Many cats are infected with fleas but exhibit no indications of it. On the other hand, the following issues might arise:
- Some cats acquire an allergy to flea bites, particularly if they are attacked on a consistent basis. In response to being bitten by merely one flea, flea sensitive cats may compulsively groom or scratch themselves. As a result of this self-trauma, they are more likely to acquire skin diseases.
“After being bitten by merely a single flea, flea sensitive cats would groom or scratch themselves excessively.”
- Fleas are parasites that live on animals and feed on their blood. Over the course of its existence, a single adult flea eats several times its own weight in blood. The blood loss caused by fleas can be significant in a kitten or an older cat who is emaciated or elderly. Anemia can arise from this.
- One kind of tapeworm uses the flea as an intermediary host, and this is known as the flea tapeworm (Dipylidium caninum). This means that the tapeworm must spend part of its life cycle within a flea in order to complete its life cycle. Flea larvae become infected with tapeworm eggs after ingesting them, and if a cat eats an infected flea during grooming, the tapeworm larva will develop into an adult tapeworm and infect the cat’s intestinal tract. Any cat that has fleas is more than likely to have a tapeworm infestation as well.
How can I get rid of fleas on my cat?
An method consisting of three prongs is necessary to complete this difficult assignment. Fleas must be eradicated from the following areas: 1) your cat, 2) any other cats or dogs you may have, and 3) your home and yard. In fact, even with this strategy, you may not be able to achieve complete control because you cannot manage some flea sources such as other people’s pets, wild animals, or the property around your home.
What products are available to treat my cat?
Although the majority of topical pesticides kill adult fleas, many are only effective for a few hours after treatment, making them ineffective for long periods of time. This is especially true with flea shampoos and powders, which kill fleas on your cat at the moment of application but have no long-term impact, resulting in your cat having fleas again the following day. Your veterinarian can provide you with information on newer products that have good residual action. Some treatments contain adulticideingredients (which kill adult fleas and have residual activity), whilst others contain insect growth regulators (IGRs), which inhibit the larval stages from developing and killing the adult fleas.
NEVER SKIP READING THE LABEL- APPLY THE PRODUCT AS DIRECTED AND REPEAT AT THE INDICATED INTERSECTIONS. Check to see if the product is labeled for use with cats, since certain canine products may be toxic to cats if used on them.
My cat hates being sprayed. What can I do?
Many cats are quite sensitive to being sprayed. Consult with your veterinarian since there are various choices that may be appropriate for you. Flea treatments used topically are preferred by many cat owners. These are administered once a month and are highly recommended by veterinarians since they are effective and simple to use. Flea collars may appear to be a handy option, but the most of them do not perform effectively (the exception being flea collars that include an IGR), and they are not typically suggested by veterinarians.
How can I treat my home environment?
There are a variety of different treatments available that will kill both the adult and larval stages of fleas, as well as interrupt the flea life cycle, including:
- Pesticides containing insect growth regulators (IGRs) that can be used inside the home
- Insecticides that are used by professional pest control businesses
Sprays intended for use in the home should be used in areas where flea eggs, larvae, and pupae are likely to be found, such as bedrooms and living rooms. We propose that you treat the whole household first, after which you should concentrate on the hot areas, which are often soft furniture, beds, and carpets that your cat enjoys lounging on during the day. Flea larvae migrate away from the light as soon as they emerge from the egg and burrow deep into carpets and other nooks and crannies where they will be tough to reach.
- Baseboards, as well as the gaps and crevices between floor seams or floorboards, are other sites where larvae are likely to be discovered.
- Fluke eggs and pupae are particularly hard to kill, and they are resistant to the effects of most pesticides on them.
- When you vacuum your carpets, floors, and soft furnishings on a regular basis, you may eliminate a great number of flea eggs, larvae, and pupae from your home.
- Vacuuming is advised prior to applying an insecticide to the inside of the house because the vibrations will encourage freshly formed fleas to emerge from pupae, which will then be destroyed by the pesticide.
How do I choose which products to use?
A flea management regimen should be customized to your cat’s lifestyle, as well as the lifestyles of any other pets in your home and the dynamics of your family’s circumstances. Your veterinarian is the most qualified to provide you with advice on flea control solutions that are both safe and effective.
Are insecticides safe for my cat and my family?
Insecticides for flea management are generally considered to be safe for both pets and people, provided that the manufacturer’s recommendations are strictly followed. It is critical to avoid the use of insecticides with comparable mechanisms of action in the same application. If you are doubtful about anything, please seek the counsel of your veterinarian. You should also inform your veterinarian of any flea control medications you may be taking other than those that have been recommended by your veterinarian.
Without first visiting your veterinarian, do not use any flea control products in the room where these pets are housed until directed to do so by them.
I have not seen any fleas on my cat. Why has my veterinarian advised flea control?
It is believed that flea allergy dermatitis is one of the most prevalent causes of feline allergic skin illness. Even if there are no fleas present, your veterinarian may recommend that you use aggressive flea management to eliminate this chance. If the cat’s skin issue improves as a result of flea treatment, it is possible that the cat has a flea allergy. If a cat is badly infested with fleas, they are simple to find. Fleas might be difficult to detect if they are present in fewer quantities than usual.
- Look on the cat’s tummy, at the base of the tail, and around the neck for any signs of life.
- flea dirt is excrement from the flea that contains partially digested blood, and it is an excellent sign of the presence of fleas on a person or animal.
- When there are no fleas on the cat, flea filth might be detected in the cat’s bedding as a result of the infestation.
- One of the symptoms of a flea allergy in cats is excessive grooming, which is one of the signs of the condition.
I noticed my cat had fleas after her return from boarding. Did she get fleas there?
That is not always the case! Pre-adult fleas may survive for up to 140 days in their pupal stage, which serves as a protective cocoon. When you or your pets are away from home for a lengthy period of time, these adult fleas will remain in the pupae since there is no host present to feed on them. This type of flea will emerge in big numbers as soon as you or your pet comes home in quest of a blood meal. They will leap onto cats, dogs, and even people in search of an easy blood meal. Fleas will emerge from their pupae when they are exposed to vibrations (from walking) and/or increased carbon dioxide (from breathing).
Despite treating my cat for fleas she still has them. Is there a “super flea”?
No evidence exists that fleas are developing resistance to insecticides, particularly once-a-month topical flea preventives that contain a sterilizing agent or insect growth regulator (IGR) in addition to the adulticide. The most common reasons for apparent failure of therapy include poor administration of the preventative, insufficient treatment of the house, or exposure to other infected dogs or settings. Consider treating storage sheds, automobiles, and any other outside sleeping areas as well.
Keep in mind that your cat may be venturing into other people’s residences as well. The majority of these issues may be resolved by utilizing an effective solution that has residual activity on the cat, in addition to treating your home with a preventative measure.
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:
- In order to kill the adult fleas on the family pets, a pesticide should be applied to all of them. Only ever use items that have been expressly approved for the treatment of cats, since certain dog treatments can be extremely hazardous to cats (as discussed further down)
- Fleas at all phases of their growth should be eliminated from the house with a flea treatment. It is critical to treat the entire house, including soft furnishings, carpet pile, gaps between floors, and other difficult-to-reach spots such as electrical outlets. Clean with a vacuum first, and then use an appropriate flea pesticide to destroy the juvenile stages of the fleas. Moreover, because cocoons (or pupae) are extremely resistant to treatment, it may be necessary to repeat treatments of both animals and the family in order to entirely remove all fleas from a home
- Although, this is rare. It is possible to use products containing insect development inhibitors on pets to assist prevent juvenile fleas from growing or reproducing in the environment. All of the animals in the home must be treated in order for treatments to be successful. Some environmental agents are also designed to target growing fleas in this manner
- 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.
In recent years, a broad variety of’spot-on’ products have been widely accessible. However, many different substances are now employed in spot-ons; some are quite effective, while others are significantly less effective (or less safe). The product is administered in drips to the skin at the back of the neck, which is frequently the case. These are often simple to apply, but always read and follow the manufacturer’s recommendations. Never use a dog product on a cat, and keep in mind that not all’spot-ons’ are created equal.
The active ingredients in some treatments kill adult fleas, while other products operate by interfering with the growth of fleas, and still others function by doing both.
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
Many household environmental sprays contain insecticides, either with or without an insect growth regulator, and are intended for use in the home. Never use these items in close proximity to a fish tank since some of them contain substances that are very poisonous to fish. If you have a fish tank, make sure it is completely covered with moist towels while applying these sprays. In the environment, a single application of the spray might last anywhere from six months to a year, depending on the substance that was used.
Consider the possibility of cumulative effects in cats undergoing therapy if the cat comes into touch with other items containing these substances while undergoing treatment.
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.
Flea-killing or flea-repellent properties have been claimed for a variety of so-called “natural” substances in recent years. Concentrated eucalyptus oil, neem oil, pennyroyal oil, tea tree oil, citrus oil, and D-limonene are some of the options available. Many ‘alternative’ medicines will not have gone through the thorough safety and efficacy research that is needed for veterinary licensed goods, despite the fact that some of these ingredients are included in veterinarian-approved products. A number of these substances are potentially hazardous to cats and other animals, and none of them are likely to be anything near as effective as a prescription medication from your veterinarian.
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.
Thank you for visiting our website, we hope you have found our information useful.
Everyone, no matter where they are in the globe, may benefit from our counsel, which is completely free. However, as a non-profit organization, we rely on your contributions to ensure that we can continue to provide high-quality and up-to-date information to the public.
Thank you for considering making a gift, no matter how large or little, to help us keep our material free, accurate, and up to date. From as little as £3, you can help International Cat Care. Thank you very much. Donate Immediately