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.
- If you suspect your cat is infected with tapeworms, schedule an appointment with your veterinarian as soon as possible. Your veterinarian will prescribe a deworming treatment as well as any continuing preventative measures that your pet should be on the look out for.
- 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
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.
To eliminate fleas from your cat or kitten’s coat after treatment, use a flea comb and dip it in a combination of dish soap and water to destroy any fleas that may have remained on the comb after treatment. 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. The flea may complete its whole life cycle in as little as two weeks under optimum settings; under bad conditions, the cycle might take as long as a year.
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.
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.
Flea collars, particularly those that have a strong pesticide scent, may be dangerous to certain cats, or they may create a skin response or rash on their coats.
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 can remove a large number of flea eggs, larvae, and pupae from your home.
- Vacuuming is recommended prior to applying an insecticide to the interior of the house because the vibrations will encourage newly developed fleas to emerge from pupae, which will then be killed by the insecticide.
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.
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.
Flies and cats both dislike the scent of cedar chips, which is well-known. There’s a good possibility your cat will feel the same way. Cedar chips, on the other hand, may be used to cover your cat’s bedding or to sprinkle about your garden. 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 your cat’s fur.
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 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.
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:
- 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.
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
Wash your pet with soap and warm water to remove any parasites. Make a note of the fact that shampoos “may have a drying impact on the skin and have an exceptionally short-term duration of action,” which means that they are “not advised for long-term parasite prevention,” according to Cooley.
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
Sentry’s flea and tick shampoo is designed specifically for dogs with sensitive or dry skin types. Sentry’s product, like Vet’s Best, may treat fleas and ticks on contact, much like Vet’s Best. According to the brand, which received an overall score of 4.5 stars from over 2,700 customers, it is conditioning on the skin while also being efficient enough to get rid of fleas 10 days or longer (then you would need to reapply). According to the manufacturer, the pH-balanced solution can also kill deer ticks, which are known to transmit Lyme disease.
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.