The nightmare that is…cat fleas

Keep your cats happy - and high-fiving - by keeping them flea free
Keep your cats happy – and high-fiving – by keeping them flea free

Fleas are every cat owners’ nightmare so what can you to do to keep your cat flea free?

While non-cat owners might think that cat diseases, illnesses or accidents are your main worry, cat owners like me know that it’s really the dreaded flea.

Fleas are a daily annoyance if your cat has them and a weekly concern if they don’t – just in case your feline bumps into any friends that do have them, as fleas transfer from one cat to another with just one wee jump.

Our biggest offender in the flea problem area is Loki – mainly because he is the most outdoors of our cats, and the friendliest too. He is always cosying up to strays and bringing new kitty mates home with him, so no matter how on top of the flea treatment we are, he always ends up catching more/then again from his new-found friends, if they have fleas.

Whether your cat’s friends have fleas or not your cat can still pick them up quite easily from any surface that they come into contact with that has ever had a flea on it or near it – they really are that annoying as unlike other types of fleas, cat fleas can live on you, dogs, carpets, bedding or even racoons/foxes in the garden, if needs be.

Even your friends visiting your house can transfer their cat’s fleas to your sofa or carpets so there is a definite need for every responsible cat owner to treat their home and cats for this problem on a regular basis – make it a maintenance issue in your home and on your pet! J

The flea’s life cycle is around 4 – 6 weeks so treating has to be an ongoing measure as any larvae you missed with the first treatment will be adult size and ready to produce baby fleas of their own after 1.5 months.

How to treat fleas

Firstly you need to decide whether you want to use a topical treatments – no need for swallowing medication – or an internal – tablets and other food type treatments for your cat. Then simply select whichever one works best for you and your Furry Baby:

  1. Powders – a bit of a messy method as you need to brush the powder into your cat’s coat and ensure they don’t clean themselves while it’s still on them and in their fur
  2. Sprays – expensive and pointless in my opinion, these pump action or mist-type sprays are not easy to use with cats that like to wriggle or are nervous of weird noises and water.
  3. Flea collars – a simple choice that many cat owners prefer but heed me here…if you decide to go with this as your preferred method of treatment, you must ensure your cat’s collar is a quick release one to avoid it choking your cat to death if they catch it on something while they’re out of your field of view.
  4. Spot-on treatments – probably the most simple and inexpensive treatment as one small vial of flea prevention liquid lasts for 6 – 8 weeks so, if done on a regular basis, this method ensures there are no nasty critters in your home or on your cat.
  5. Tablets – eaten by the cat to absorb into his or her bloodstream, so the fleas become ill when they such your cats blood, these types of tablets do not make your cat sick or put them in danger so have no fear about that.
  6. Injections – not the best option as cats and needles don’t really mix well and you usually have to supplement the injection course with an additional spot on or powder treatment to really ensure your cat is flea free. If you decide that this is the method you want to go with though, I’d recommend having a nice, calm vet do it on a regular basis rather than coming at your feline with a syringe.

Remember, fleas are a similar problem for cats as sensitive teeth is to us, their parents. They are not a one-off problem that only requires the one treatment. In actual fact, like with sensitive teeth, fleas will come back with vengeance if you stop using treatment to keep them away. They are an ongoing problem that requires ongoing medication – particularly if your cats go outside the house and mix/come into contact with other cats.

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