Home Remedies For Fleas On Cats
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Fleas can be a natural part of life with a pet. Fortunately, between over-the-counter sprays, powders, and flea collars, there are endless solutions to help eradicate a flea problem in your home. However, while commercial flea medications and treatments can certainly help tame a flea problem in your cat, there are also an array of do-it-yourself approaches that cat owners can take to banish the bugs without the use of chemicals or potential side effects to your cat or other members of your family. If youve already had a consultation with your veterinarian regarding your feline flea problem, here are some at-home remedies you can try that may help get rid of your cats flea problem for good.
Before trying any of these at-home remedies on your cat, consult your veterinarian, who will know best which route you should take.
Prep Everything Before The Bath
You don’t want to start your cat’s bath only to realize you forgot something, so set up everything in advance. Trim your cat’s nails a day or two before the bath to reduce scratching.
Have several towels ready. One should be on the bathroom floor to soak up spilled water, and one will be used to blot your kitty’s fur after his bath. Some people even put a towel or rubber mat at the bottom of the tub so their cats have more of a grip while they stand.1
Brush your cat’s fur before you bathe him. Matted fur can be tough to detangle once it’s wet, which might hurt when you’re applying the shampoo.2
Have the flea shampoo near the tub so you can reach it easily. Adams Flea & Tick Cleansing Shampoo is a great choice for cats. It kills fleas, ticks, and lice while preventing new flea eggs from hatching for 30 days.
My Cat Is Allergic To Fleas: What Do I Do
- Fact Checked
You might not have guessed it, but cats can get fleas just as frequently as dogs do. In fact, flea bite hypersensitivity, or flea allergy dermatitis in cats, is the most common skin disease. There is even a specific species of flea called the cat flea, which is actually the flea that is most often responsible for the allergies found in dogs as well.
If a cat is allergic to fleas, he will scratch, bite, and lick at the bites that may be all over his body, which can be quite a bothersome condition, making life very uncomfortable for your furry feline friend. When cats are allergic, this incessant scratching and licking can lead to skin inflammation in cats, hair loss, and sores that make your pet more susceptible to developing secondary infections.
In order to provide your cat with some relief, you will have to take steps to remove the fleas from your cats environment, which may be easier said than done. This post is going to look into how to relieve the symptoms of a cat allergic to fleas and arm you with the right information you need to fight your cats flea infestation. Youll know what signs to look for as well as how to properly treat a flea allergy so you and your cat can go back to enjoying your lives together.
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How To Get Rid Of Fleas According To Veterinarians
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As the weather starts to warm up, we can look forward to socially distanced walks, picnics and ultimately more time outdoors. However, warming temperatures often means increased flea activity, which is not as pleasant: Fleas very much enjoy kind of a hot, humid environment, said Douglas Kratt, DVM, president of the American Veterinary Medical Association. Flea infestations can be stressful, but by following a multi-step treatment plan and listening to your local veterinarians advice, you can efficiently stop an outbreak from happening in the first place.
First of all, take a deep breath there’s a lot of really great products out there that are safe, said Kratt, who works as a small animal practitioner at Central Animal Hospital. Second of all, use your resources. Lean on the experience of the people that you’re trusting the care with to give you a couple of good options.
Feed Your Pet The Right Food
In order to prevent fleas from biting your pet, try to keep them as healthy as possible. Feeding them healthy food that isnt filled with fillers or chemicals can make them less tempting to fleas and make their skin less sensitive if fleas bite them. Read the labels on the bag and see if the first ingredient is corn or wheat. The first ingredient is the one that is used the most and it should be a meat or protein, rather than a filler like corn or wheat.
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How To Check A Cat For Fleas
Signs of fleas in cats include scratching, skin irritation, and the presence of dark red or black specks on your cat’s skin, fur, bedding, or furniture. These specks, about the size of grains of black pepper, are called “flea dirt” and are flea feces . Back when I worked in the veterinary hospital, I learned a handy trick to help find out if those little specks are regular dirt or flea dirt. Scoop some onto a damp paper towel. If the paper towel turns red, it’s flea dirt.
To check your cat for fleas or flea dirt, run a flea comb through your cat’s coat or part the hair with your fingers to examine the skin. If you find any live or dead fleas or flea dirt, your cat has a flea infestation.
Comfortis Chewable Tablet For Dogs & Cats Best Flea Pills For Cats
Comfortis is more commonly used on dogs, but it has also shown effectiveness on fleas in cats. Just pay extra attention to the dosage amounts so you dont accidentally give your cat too much.
Comfortis uses an ingredient called Spinosad, and it causes seizures in fleas that bite your cat. Spinosad is derived from naturally occurring microbes in the soil, making it a good choice for anyone whos leery about putting toxic chemicals on their best friend.
Its a chewable tablet, so you wont have to deal with oil on your cats fur, but not all cats will be eager to swallow it down.
These are big tablets too, so youll likely have to chop them up to get your cat to eat them. Fortunately, most cats dont seem to mind the taste, so as long as you mix it with food, you should be fine. The pills are flavored, so you may even need to hide them from your cat to prevent an overdose.
This is one of the priciest flea treatments out there, and the company recommends pairing it with another product for flea prevention, so its a little disappointing that you dont get complete protection for that price.
Still, if you want an oral medication thats lethal to fleas, Comfortis is the way to go.
- Needs to be paired with flea prevention product
- Have to be careful with dosage sizes
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What Are Common Side Effects Of Flea Treatment Medication
As with all medications, sometimes reactions to flea treatments happen. Depending on the product, side effects vary. However, the side effects most often noticed after flea treatments include:
- Hair loss
However, even though these are the most commonly seen side effects, theyre generally very rare. All adverse reactions are ranked on a scale from common to very rare , and for most flea treatments, side effects are rare or very rare.
Treat All Of Your Pets
If you own multiple pets, each pet should be given a flea treatment, preferably one with a monthly or longer protection.
Cheaper alternatives such as flea baths or temporary treatments may be enticing, however they may end up being more costly and ineffective in the long run. These types of treatments will generally only treat the adult fleas on your pet at the time of use, without any ongoing protection. This means that the larvae and pupae in the environment eventually cause another infestation when they develop into adult fleas.
Treating all year round is important, even in the colder months. While fleas are less active through winter, they can lay dormant. Lack of treatment over this time can result in more extreme infestations come summer.
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Can A Flea Collar Harm Your Cat
The safety of flea and tick collars has been in the news lately, specifically the bestselling Seresto flea and tick collar, which was developed by Bayer and is now sold by Elanco Animal Health. On March 2, 2021, USA Today and the Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting published a report maintaining that the Seresto collar has been linked to thousands of adverse incidents, including pet deaths and incidents of harm to humans.
The Center for Biological Diversity filed a legal petition in April urging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to cancel the registration of the Seresto flea and tick collar. A week later, the American Veterinary Medical Association published an article addressing the controversy surrounding the Seresto collar. According to the AVMA, Seresto’s “manufacturer has defended the collars as safe and effective, and veterinary experts say they have seen no cause for alarm.”
Additionally, Elanco published a statement on its website calling the media coverage “misleading” and stating that the company stands by the product. “All data and scientific evaluation used during the product registration process and through Elanco’s robust pharmacovigilance review supports the product’s safety profile and efficacy,” the statement reads.
Help Your Cat Get Used To The Water
Some cats need time to realize the bathwater isn’t secretly trying to hurt them. Let him get slowly acclimatized to the idea of a bath by just getting his paws wet at first. Or put him in the bathroom with you while you’re taking a bath, so he gets used to the sound of running water.
Give him treats when his paws get a little wet. You might even float one of his toys in the water. This could make him curious enough to dip a paw in, helping him realize it’s not so scary.
Some cats will gradually become more comfortable with water, while others will still need that extra nudge and comfort during an actual bath.
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Best Flea Treatment For Cats: Bayer Advantage Ii
According to our experts, Bayer Advantage II Flea Prevention is the best cat flea treatment as it offers quick and lasting freedom to your kitty from fleas and ticks. The topical formula gets rid of fleas in all life stages. Safe, effective and easy to administer, Bayer Advantage II is popular among many cat-parents and vets.
Signs Your Cat Has Fleas
If your cat starts grooming much more than usual, scratching or has itching or loss of hair at the base of their tail, fleas may be the cause, Dr. Bales told The Dodo.
You might also notice your cats more restless than usual, shakes her head often or has scabs appearing on her body.
Surprisingly, you probably wont actually see many fleas on your cat, though since cats are such expert groomers.
Its more likely youll see flea dirt on your cat, which looks like ground coffee beans in her fur.
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Make Sure The Cat Cant Get More Fleas
If youve already treated your cat once, then you may be surprised to see him infested again. The unfortunate reality is that it could take a few months to break the fleas life cycle. Up until that point, they will be constantly hatching and trying to re-establish themselves on your cat. So, the first step to beating the fleas in your home is making sure that your cat can not become a safe space for these little vermin anymore.
The best way to do that is by investing in a high quality flea treatment. Sometimes flea medications can be misleading, because while they do work to kill the adult fleas, they may only work once! This leaves your poor fur baby open to just getting them again. Instead, choose a product which will continually kill fleas over a long period of time. The fleas need blood to reproduce, and by using a preventative flea treatment you can rob them of this.
Our top pick for this is the Seresto Flea Collar. These babies do an awesome job killing fleas, and they work for 8 months. That means your cat will be protected long after you break the flea cycle, effectively starving the fleas and killing any new ones that try to hatch. You can read our full review of this product here.
Flea Shampoos Are Unnecessary
“Nowadays, flea shampoos are rarely if ever needed because the topical and oral flea products are much more effective and safer,” Sawyer said. “For flea-infested animals, we typically give a fast-acting oral product such as nitenpyram and follow with a bath in Dawn dish detergent or another mild cat shampoo. You can use a flea comb to assist in removing dead fleas and flea dirt .”
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Some Home Remedies For Fleas On Cats
I will again mention some of the home remedies that were listed above:
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar does not kill the fleas. However, it will make them jump off of your cat. Mix the apple cider vinegar and water in a proportion of 2:1.
Mix it well and pour it into a spray bottle. You can drench the coat of your cat with the solution and comb it gently. This remedy will work for about three to four days.
Slowly drag the comb across the hair that is close to your cat’s skin. Comb more in the areas where the fleas are likely to hide.
This will include the base of the tail, the armpits, and the groin area. Have a bowl of soapy water on hand. As you remove the fleas, drown them in the water.
DE is a natural rock substance that is made from shelled algae. It is one of the best substances for use in getting rid of fleas. DE is harmless to pets as well as people. It causes fleas to dehydrate, making them die.
To use it, first put on gloves and dust your hands with the substance. Sprinkle it onto your cat’s coat and rub it thoroughly. You can also use it on your cat’s bedding. Use it once a day and once a week on your cat’s bedding.
Natural Flea Collar
You can make an excellent herbal natural flea collar for your cat. While it will not provide total protection from fleas, it certainly will help.
What Home Remedy Keeps Stray Cats Away
To keep cats away from gardens, flower beds, or specific areas of property, scatter fragrant items that don’t appeal to a cat’s sense of smell, like fresh orange or lemon peels, organic citrus-scented sprays, coffee grounds, vinegar, pipe tobacco, or oil of lavender, lemongrass, citronella, or eucalyptus.
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Use A Long Acting Flea Preventative Year Round To Break The Flea Lifecycle
There are loads of super effective flea treatments for cats which can be used to both treat pre existing flea infestations and prevent them from recurring. Depending on where you live and the other preventative products you use, you may want to go with a flea only product or a combined product which covers ticks or worms as well.
Thoroughly Clean And Treat Your Home
Environmental clean-up and treatment are key to getting rid of fleas on cats. All bedding that your cat has access to must be thoroughly washed on hot and dried on hot. Daily thorough vacuuming of all carpet as well as the nooks and crannies of fabric furniture and wood floors may decrease the number of fleas .
Realistically, calling a pest control to treat your house for fleas is the absolute best way to keep your cat and your home environment flea free. You and your kitty will need to leave the house for a few hours while they use chemicals to kill fleas.
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How To Get Rid Of Fleas On Cats Naturally
If you have a cat with fleas, these five tips will help you rid your feline of these annoying insects and say goodbye to those pesky bugs.
1. Keep Cats Inside Fleas Out
One of the best ways to prevent your cat from getting fleas in the first place is to limit your cats exposure to the outdoors and keep them inside. Removing your shoes before you head indoors can also help prevent tracking fleas inside your house. If you have dogs or other pets that might bring fleas inside, you may need to take extra steps to avoid a flea infestation.
2. Vacuum, Launder, Repeat
Frequent vacuuming of rugs and upholstery will go a long ways towards keeping fleas at bay. Be sure to empty the vacuum and dispose of dust outdoors. And dont neglect your cats favorite lounging spots. Cover cat beds and furniture with towels or blankets and launder with hot water every few days.
3. Comb Away Cat Fleas
If you end up with a cat with fleas, you can help get rid of them without chemicals by using a flea comb. Comb slowly and thoroughly, working the comb thoroughly into your cats fur. Dunk the comb in a bowl of soapy water to rinse and drown fleas as they come off. Do this daily until the fleas are gone. Follow up with a thorough coming about once a week to keep them from coming back.
4. Wash Cat Fleas Away
5. Create a Flea-Free Yard