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.
Ridding Your Home Of Fleas
Just as important as treating your cat, its imperative that you eradicate the fleas in your house. Fleas arent just concentrated on your cat. They can set up a home base in your yard, bed, couch, favorite chair, etc. a seriously skin-crawling thought. These extra steps can help you prevent future infestations:
- Vacuum everything.
- Clear up any yard waste.
About Dr Pete Wedderburn Dvm
Dr Pete Wedderburn qualified as a vet from Edinburgh in 1985 and has run his own 4-veterinarian companion animal practice in County Wicklow, Ireland, since 1991. Pete is well known as a media veterinarian with regular national tv, radio and newspaper slots, including a weekly column in the Daily Telegraph since 2007. Pete is known as “Pete the Vet” on his busy Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages, regularly posting information on topical subjects and real-life cases from his clinic. He also write a regular blog at www.petethevet.com. His latest book: Pet Subjects, was published by Aurum Press in 2017.
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What About Sprays And Other Products
I have probably tried every product out there from the toxic to the environmentally friendly. Some of these products have worked, and others have not been very effective. I prefer to stay away from toxic sprays in the house as I have now found a viable alternative.
I don’t use the toxic sprays for a couple of reasons: I don’t want to cause harm to my pets, and I also now have a little boy. These sprays stay active in your carpets for 12 months, which makes me very reluctant to use them. If you are inclined to use one, however, make sure you buy one with growth inhibitors so that any survivors cannot grow up and breed again. These kinds of sprays are ineffective against pupae, so the fleas will not all die instantly. I recommend treating your pet simultaneously.
Do not apply any of these sprays to your pet, and keep them well away from aquatic life or you’ll have a lot of dead fish. I also recommend vacuuming daily when treating a house for fleas. Vacuuming not only gets rid of the dead fleas, but it also encourages more to hatch and “come out” because of the vibrations.
You can see three fleas crawling on this dog.
Treating Fleas On Kittens
Fleas don’t care how young or old your cat is, and young kittens are unlikely to have had a preventative treatment, so it’s not uncommon to find fleas in kittens.
Treating fleas on kittens can be a little different from treating adult cats. This is because not all medications or treatments are safe on your sensitive kitten’s skin. If you suspect your kitten has fleas, the first thing you should do is contact your vet.
They will be able to help you choose the safest treatment for your baby ball of fur. If you are using a store-bought remedy or prevention method, make sure you check to make sure it’s safe for kittens. Bayer Advantage specifically states that it’s safe for cats 8 weeks or older, while the Zodiac formula is approved for all ages.
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How Can You Get Rid Of Fleas
When it comes to helping your cat avoid any serious flea-related issues, getting rid of the infestation entirely is your only guaranteed defense. There are several traditional methods as well as a few clever home remedies that can effectively treat the current outbreak. These treatments will also make any new fleas think twice before entering your home.
Remember, before trying any medication or home remedies, be sure to consult with your cats veterinarian first. You want what is best for your pet, and your vet will know what route to take to keep your cat healthy.
How Do Cats Get Fleas
If you have been wondering, how did my indoor cat get fleas? Here is how she might have contracted fleas:
- From other pets: If you have multiple pets in the house or live in one of those apartment complexes with shared housing space, your cat may get fleas from other pets that she encounters. It might be your dog or a neighbors pet.
- Used furniture: Who does not love to buy stuff from flea markets and garage sales? I mean, you get great deals there! Many times, the stuff that we buy contains fleas and ticks, which can easily jump onto our feline friends when they come near.
- Wild animals: While our cats may not be going outside but some wild animals like rodents, rats, and rabbits often find their way into our homes. These flea-infested wild animals drop flea eggs in the environment form where our cats may catch them. Our cats may also catch intestinal worms if they prey on these infested wild animals like rodents.
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Use A Flea Preventive For Cats
Flea preventives help discourage fleas from coming back. Effective flea prevention options include collars, topicals and oral products that can last anywhere from 30 days to eight months. Choose the prevention method that works best for you and your cat.
Keep in mind that preventives work best when used regularly and year-round applying for only one or two months per year could leave your pet unprotected.
How To Handle Fleas Infestation
The only method to get rid of fleas is to get rid of them from your cat and your environment.
Despite the numerous commercial flea-killing treatments available, this is more difficult than it appears.
Vacuum and clean your house completely. Flea shampoo should be used on all fabrics and carpets.
Hiring a professional flea exterminator is a good idea.
Using a flea comb, remove fleas and their excrement from your cats fur.
Flea-killing medicines, either local or oral, can be used to rid him of the infestation.
Read all labels carefully since certain items that are acceptable for dogs are harmful to cats.
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Use Cat Flea Products
There are tons of cat products available to help treat fleas. Some of these products include:
Some cat flea products help kill fleas, and some help repel fleas. Some of these products can help kill fleas on your cats body and prevent any more from showing up while you work to get rid of them.
Signs Your Pet Might Have Fleas
There are a few things you can look out for that could mean your pet has fleas.
- Is your pet scratching?
- Areas of hair loss, bald or sore patches?
- Spots or scars?
- Thickened skin in areas ?
- Can you see tiny dark specks in its fur, or small browny-black insects scurrying about?
- Do you have any unaccounted for insect bites yourself?
If you’ve answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions, it could mean fleas.
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How To Treat Fleas In Indoor Cats
Traditional dusts, shampoos, and sprays are less safe, less convenient, and less effective than spot-on treatments.
You may get them from your veterinarian or get them online. Inquire with your veterinarian about where to apply the product, how much to apply, and how often to use it on your cat.
If youre not obtaining the therapy from your veterinarian, check sure the product is safe for cats by reading the label.
The following are some examples of common active compounds and brands:
Medicines that your cat may need:
Adult fleas on your cat are killed in 30 minutes with the tablet nitenpyram .
However, it has no long-term consequences. Comfortis is a fast-acting chewable that kills fleas before they lay eggs.
It offers a months worth of flea prevention to help prevent new fleas from developing.
Working With A Pest Control Company
Sometimes its best to have professional help when dealing with fleas. A pest control company can treat both indoor and outdoor areas.
- Before having your home professionally treated, vacuum carpets and clear toys and clothing from areas to be sprayed. Vacuuming helps straighten fibers and prepare the carpet to receive treatment. Plan to stay off treated carpets until sprays have thoroughly dried, usually at least 2 hours.
- Ask the pest control operator to use the least toxic materials necessary to do the job. Use insect growth regulators for long-term control.
Download a printer-friendly version of this publication: Controlling Fleas
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Don’t Forget To Treat Your House
A flea attached to a cat produces an average of 50 eggs per day , which spread throughout the house, with the aim of infesting as many people as possible . This is the reason why you must imperatively treat your home against fleas, during or immediately after treating your infested cat, at the risk of seeing your cat again invaded by fleas just shortly after its treatment.
To get rid of fleas in your home, you must prioritize treating the places that the cat frequents the most, such as passageways or sleeping areas. You will only need to vacuum these areas to already eliminate the majority of flea cocoons, and then you will have to use a pest control spray, to eliminate all the remaining eggs and larvae.
Lethargy And Pale Gums
When a flea infestation is left untreated for too long, it can lead to a more serious condition called anemia. This happens when the amount of red blood cells being lost is greater than the number of new ones being produced in your cats body.
While this can affect adult cats if fleas are not treated properly over a long period of time, anemia is more common in kittens due to their smaller size. Signs of anemia are lethargy and pale gums. If you notice these symptoms in your cat or kitten, head straight to the vet as soon as possible.
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How Do You To Get Rid Of Fleas In The House
To get rid of fleas in your environment, you’ll have to take precautions similar to if you were dealing with lice, bed bugs, or another pest. Follow these tips from the Environmental Protection Agency:
- Vacuum the floors, furniture, and anything your pet is around daily.
- Seal and dispose of the vacuum bag afterwards.
- Steam clean carpets to kill lingering fleas.
- Wash all pet and family bedding in hot, soapy water every two weeks.
You can also apply insecticide according to the manufacturer’s instructions or contact a professional exterminator to treat the house and yard. The most effective ones contain ingredients such as permethrin, imidacloprid, or dinotefuran to kill adult fleas and an “insect growth regulator” like methoprene or pyriproxyfen to stop the development of eggs and larvae, according to the University of Kentucky Entomology Department. Always follow the directions and safety precautions on the label. It’s typical to see new adult fleas after treatment, but continued vacuuming may stop the infestation without a second application.
Persistence is key when it comes to fleas, but by taking all of the necessary steps, it is possible to stop an infestation and protect your cat from these nasty bloodsuckers.
How Can You Tell If Your Cat Has Fleas
If you are unsure whether your cat is suffering from a flea infestation or not, some telltale signs will allow you to confirm the presence of the culprits. Although it is not extremely difficult to verify, it will take a bit of investigation.
Fleas are tiny and can be hard to spot. They measure a mere 1/12 1/16 in length, and their reddish-brown tint might even blend in with the color of your cats fur. Instead of trying to spot fleas visually, you can rely on these more common signs of a flea infestation:
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Treating Your Home For Fleas
In addition to treating your cat, youll also need to take steps to get rid of any fleas or eggs that might be hiding in your home. Fleas hang out in the furniture, carpet, or bedespecially in areas where your cat sits frequently. Flea eggs that hide in the upholstery will hatch later and start looking for a furry friend to feast on, so its critical that you get rid of these uninvited houseguests ASAP with help from the vacuum.
Experts point out that a regimen of vacuuming and washing makes a huge difference in the overall effectiveness of flea treatment. Focus on vacuuming any cracks and crevices , underneath your furniture, and anywhere your pets like to hang out. Dont forget to dispose of the vacuum bag in a sealed plastic bag, or wash out the canister right away so that no fleas escape. Steam cleaning carpets and furniture once youve treated your cat can also help ensure fleas are destroyed at all their life stages.
Along with proper treatment of your pet, vacuuming and thorough washing of textiles are usually enough to eliminate most fleas from your home. Wash sheets, pet bedding, and pillows once a week. Use the high-heat setting on your washer and dryer and bid farewell to any fleas that might be hiding in the fabrics.
How To Treat Your Cat Naturally
To eliminate fleas from your cat, you can apply baking soda or diatomaceous earth on your cat’s body like a dry shampoo, but also essential oils.
You just need to apply lavender essential oil diluted in water and a little vinegar on your body. Warning ! Essential oils for cats can be extremely harmful to cats. It is still better to dilute essential oils more than necessary or not to practice it if you are not sure of your actions.
It is also possible for you to rid your hairball of fleas by washing it with a natural insecticidal shampoo, based on Neem oil.
Diatomaceous earth is a very effective preventive treatment but it can also act in case of weak invasion of flea, by applying diatomaceous earth remember to protect your eyes and those of your cat, and wear a dust mask to avoid inhaling the particles.
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Use Natural Methods To Get Rid Of Fleas On Very Young Kittens
There are two ways to get rid of fleas on kittens that dont require the use of flea productsbathing and flea combing. But both treatments only get rid of the adult fleas living on your kitten. They wont prevent any new fleas living in the environment from getting on your kitten or other pets. So these methods are not long-term solutions but are safe for very young and small kittens that cant safely use flea products yet.
Heres how you can help with fleas naturally.
Use a Flea Comb
For very young kittensunder 8 weeksthe safest option is using a flea comb on them once or twice a day. This will allow you to physically remove the adult fleas without exposing your young kitten to potentially toxic ingredients in products.
Give Your Kitten a Bath
Bathing your kitten is another pretty safe and effective option to help your kitten get rid of fleas. Follow these safety tips:
Start a Topical Treatment When Your Kitten Is Old Enough
Once kittens are 8-10 weeks and over 1.5-2 pounds, they can safely receive appropriate topical flea treatments. These products not only kill fleas on your kitten but can prevent new fleas from hitching a ride on your pet.
There are numerous OTC and prescription options available for flea treatment that are safe and effective for kittens. If youre using an OTC product, remember to check all ingredients and be sure to use the right dose for your kittens weight.
Best Flea Treatments For Cats
Here are some of our top picks for products to help you treat fleas on cats:
Bayer Advantage II Flea Treatment for Cats
Prevention is key! Bayer Advantage II Flea Treatment topical treatment offers your cat protection from fleas and other pests for up to one month. Its easy to apply and helps prevent a flea infestation. It begins working within 12-hours of application and works by killing fleas, flea eggs, and larvae instantly upon contact.
Zodiac Double Action Flea & Tick Shampoo
Made for both cats and dogs, this Zodiac Double Action Flea Shampoo is safe, gentle and effective in quickly killing fleas and offering your pets some relief from their discomfort. It works to fend off fleas and other pests for up to 4 weeks.
While your cat may not love bath time, this shampoo can help to provide fast relief from these annoying pests.
Baie Run Diatomaceous Earth Powder
For a flea powder to use around the house to actively eliminate fleas, try Baie Run Diatomaceous Earth Powder. This natural flea remedy works by scratching the exoskeleton of fleas when they crawl over it and causing them to dehydrate and die. It wont stain your floors, furniture or harm your pets.
Find out more about how to properly use Diatomaceous Earth in this blog.
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