How to Keep Your Cat and Home Rid of Fleas!
28 April, 2015
We hate to see our kitties uncomfortable or in any kind of pain. And, we know they scratch away sometimes, but if it happens more often and frequently, it might be that your kitty has fleas. You can ease your cat’s itching and find our right away if your kitty has fleas by knowing how to spot and destroy fleas on your cat and also in your house.
If your cat has any of the following symptoms, your kitty might have fleas and should promptly be taken to the vet:
Itchy/irritated skin, persistent scratching, chewing and licking, hair loss, tapeworms (small, white, rice-shaped objects in your pet’s feces or in the hair around her butt), pale lips and gums.
Check your cat’s body for any fleas
Make sure to take a look out for any signs of movement in your cat’s fur. If you spot tiny bugs bouncing off your cat’s coat, it’s time to fight fleas ASAP!
Start by combing your cat with a fine-toothed metal flea comb from head to tail several times a day to skim off adult fleas and their eggs. This comb-down will ease your kitty’s itching, and the pampering will make her purr with pleasure. If your cat has fleas, dip the comb in a mixture of water and liquid dish detergent to kill the fleas. If it is a minor case of fleas, they should die instantly. If you still see them in a few hours, make sure to go to the vet.
Your veterinarian will provide the best flea treatment for your cat
The best way to tackle the problem is to consult your veterinarian for a flea control program designed specifically for your pet and your pet’s environment—one that treats fleas in all stages of life. There are many effective flea control products available both as prescription and over-the-counter formulas. These formulas often require just one monthly application to the skin to effectively kill adult fleas and prevent further fleas from developing. Some of these products are Frontline®, Advantage® or Revolution®. They usually kill the fleas and will not return unless your kitty gets fleas again from another source.
Tips to get rid of the fleas in your home.
- Vacuum every day when you get an flea infestation. Clean the carpets, cushioned furniture, and cracks and crevices in the floor to suck up any eggs before they can hatch into a real-life flea circus. You’ll also get rid of live fleas that way. Just don’t forget to throw away the vacuum’s bag or wash out its canister.
- Apply a safe area spray, fogger or powder directly to your pet’s sleeping area, rugs, chairs and other areas she frequents.
- If using a fogger, keep in mind that some brands may not kill flea eggs. You also may need to re-fog two weeks later when eggs have hatched. During each application, everyone—humans and all animals—may need to clear out of the house for the amount of time recommended on the label.
- Treat all pets in the house, not just the pets with obvious infestations.
- For severe infestations, a professional exterminator may be of help.
- While cleaning, remember that fleas naturally hide in dark areas such as behind furniture and under bedding.
- Wash at least once a week until you know the infestation has been managed. Strip off any bedding, sofa covers, and other fabrics your pet has touched and throw them straight into the washing machine. Use hot water so no bugs will survive the wash cycle.
Fleas can come in from other animals or people
It’s easy for people and animals to bring fleas in from the outdoors. All it takes is one flea to begin a cycle of infestation. Adult fleas spend most of their lives on one animal, laying eggs in the fur. These eggs drop out onto rugs, upholstery, bedding and furniture; the new adult fleas will, in turn, find their living host, either human or animal.
Don’t use your dog’s flea medicine on your cat and vice versa
Dog flea-control formulas can be lethal to cats. Cats are extremely sensitive to insecticides, and many cats die annually from the improper use of flea control products. Feline sensitivity to permethrin insecticides is one good example. Many products using this ingredient are labeled for dogs only, as even a few drops of concentrated permethrin could be lethal to a cat. Please read product labels carefully and consult your veterinarian before implementing any flea control program.
Make sure that all products are age-appropriate and compatible when used together. Some formulas may not be healthy for kittens under four months of age, so you need to read the manufacturer’s instructions. Always consult a veterinarian before using any product on very young kittens.
If you do a daily comb on your kitty to look out for fleas, you should be able to spot fleas immediately before they become a serious issue for you and your cat!