Your cat can be sensitive to olive oil, and since most cats are fond or licking themselves, it makes it harder to use repellants and other insecticides. So, how do you get rid of fleas without compromising your cat’s health?
Signs of flea’s infestation on your cat
Before treating your cat, how do you know that your cat is infested with fleas? Most cat owners start the process of treating the cat when they notice it scratching; however scratching is not the only sign of fleas’ infestation. Most cats are resistant to fleas, and will not scratch even when under heavy infestation. In such cases, your cat might develop serious flea related ailments like pneumonia without showing any signs that it is infested with fleas. In some cases, the cat can be highly sensitive to flea saliva and will start itching on the first flea bit. Thus, how do you know that your cat is flea infested?
- Scratching, biting or itching especially around the ears, neck or tail base.
- The presence of crusting especially along the back.
- The presence of flea eggs, fecal material, dried blood or droppings in your cat’s beddings.
- Carefully check your cat’s fur, paying close attention to the tail base and neck area. Also, look for flea bites in your cat’s skin, the bite leaves a red, swollen broken skin.
Treating fleas from your cat
After establishing that your cat has fleas, first take it to your vet. The vet should recommend the best treatment option basing on your unique situation such as the level of flea infestation on your cat, whether your cat is nursing or pregnant, and presence of other pets or people in your home. Remember, safety is of utmost importance since most flea treatment products are highly poisonous, and it is for this reason that most products have a warning label from manufacturers. Some of the methods you can use to treat your cat include:
Spot-on medication refers to the administering of liquid insecticide to your cat’s skin mainly the shoulders. The insecticide contains an active ingredient which is known to kill adult fleas. There are several spot-on medication products in the market. They include: Dinotefuran & pyriproxyfen also known as Vectra; Fipronil & methoprene known to kill adult fleas, larvae, and eggs; Lmidactoprin and pyriproxyfen ( Advantage 11) is known to kill fleas at all stages of their life cycle and Selamectin also known as Revolution known to kill adult flies and eggs. When applying spot-on treatment medication, be sure to follow instructions on the products packet to the later. Most of these products are closely related to dog products which can be highly harmful to your cat. For instance, Vectra 3D is a dog product containing permathrin which is highly harmful to cats. Similarly, Advantix 11 is also a product used for treating fleas in dogs and is highly harmful to your cat. Thus, ensure that you pick the right product and administer it correctly if in doubt ask your vet rather than run the risk of losing your cat.
Oral suspension is another technique to treat your cat. Oral suspension must be administered once per month, and it involves adding the product to your cat’s food. The product is absorbed into your cat’s bloodstream, thus, when the flea bites the cat, it ingests the active ingredient which then either kills the flea or prevents it from hatching. Some of the products used in this method include Lufenuron or program, Nitenpyram or Capstar and Spinosad also known as Comfortis.In some instances, oral suspension works best when combined with other techniques especially if the active ingredient is only meant to prevent fleas from hatching; another product is required to kill the adult flea. Always talk to your vet before administering oral suspension technique particularly if the cat is nursing or pregnant.
Flea shampooing is an effective and safe technique to remove fleas. Shampooing involves bathing your cat in a mixture of warm water and a shampoo of your choice. Although there are various brands to choose from, Adams Plus Flea and Tick shampoo is the best product to start with. This shampoo is highly effective due to its ingredients including Methoprene and Adams Plus, which are known to kill adult fleas and the eggs. The best thing about shampooing is its low chemical content, making it ideal for treating pregnant or nursing cats. However, if the flea infestation is heavy, you might be forced to complement shampooing with other techniques to kill the fleas completely.
Flea- combing is one of the home remedies to rid your cat of fleas. This technique involves brushing your cat using a flea comb or special brushes. These brushes have stiff bristles which when brushing through your cat’s fur can remove fleas, eggs, larvae, and flea waste. If you use a flea comb, combine it with either petroleum jelly or lemon to increase its effectiveness. Be sure to have a bowl containing warm soapy water where you can drown the fleas as your remove them.
Remember your cat’s environment determines whether or not you will eliminate flea problem completely. Thus, as you use these techniques to remove fleas from your cat, remember to treat your home, couch, backyard and any other place that your cat frequents. Use your vacuum cleaner to remove fleas and their eggs from your seats, behind the furniture, underneath the couches, the cat’s bedding and any other place that your cat loves to sleep. Spray your backyard using appropriate insecticide paying close attention to warm moist areas.
Remember, if you ignore the environment, the eggs will develop into larvae and hatch to fleas and the problem persists. Further, be attentive to the type and quantity of insecticide while removing fleas, as using excess amount can harm your cat.