You have seen them: tiny, fast creatures that scamper through your feline’s fur, delighting in her blood, and triggering unpleasant itching. If you have found fleas, keep calm: cat flea control is not only possible, it’s relatively simple.
How Can I Tell If My Cat Has Fleas?
The most typical flea that feeds off cats, dogs, and people is the Ctenocephalides felis. If you observe your feline scratching and aren’t sure if fleas are the cause, use a flea comb on your feline and observe the tiny black dots that emerge on the comb. These are commonly called “flea dirt,” however in reality, it is the excrement the flea leaves. Smash some with a damp paper towel, and the flea dirt will turn red. The red color is residue from your cat’s blood and a warning that cat flea control is suggested.
Typical Feline Diseases Carried by Fleas
As if the itching and stinging weren’t enough, fleas likewise transfer other conditions which can have a more detrimental effect on your cat’s health.
- Anemia: Unchecked problems of fleas can trigger anemia from blood loss; this can in some cases be deadly, particularly in kittens. Pale gums are a warning for anemia in kittens, and their gums should be routinely examined if your kittens have merely made it through a flea attack.
- Tapeworms: With kittens, fleas and worms are almost synonymous, and kittens that are preyed on by fleas should always be dealt with for worms.
- Haemobartonellosis: A more major type of anemia, caused by a microbe carried by the flea, the h.felis when it comes to felines. Lab tests diagnosed Haemobartonellosis and treated with antibiotics, steroids, and in some severe cases, blood transfusions.
The Life of a Flea
The cycles of flea are very like that of a butterfly, but unlike the beautiful result of those flower-friendly creatures, the adult flea is a hazard to all it encounters.
- Eggs: Fleas lay their eggs on the host animal, where the entire cycle might occur. Other eggs fall off into the environment, including onto your carpets, your pet’s bed linen, or your bed.
- Larvae: The larvae “hatchlings” feed on the feces left by the adult, and continue to develop for about a week.
- Pupae: Like the butterfly, the larvae will spin a cocoon for itself, where it continues to evolve into the adult flea.
- Adult: The emerging adult feeds upon its host, mates, and continues the life cycle. Is it any marvel why cat flea control is so important?
Ridding Your Cat of Fleas
Your first task will be to remove as numerous fleas from your cat by combing and bathing. Once the bulk of the tiny problems are gone, you can avoid additional flea invasions with making use of a topical flea control item.
Comb the Cat: Using a flea comb, comb thoroughly throughout the entire body of the feline. Keep a jar or bowl of diluted bleach close by, and as you collect fleas on the comb, shake them into the container. The fleas will die rapidly.
Bathe the Cat: If you and your feline depend on it, a bath will drown most remaining fleas. It isn’t needed to utilize a “flea” shampoo or a “flea dip” for this function. Only a moderate feline or baby shampoo will get the job done handsomely.
Topical Flea Control Products
Several topical cat flea control items work by impacting the nerve receptors of the flea. They are generally applied to the cat’s skin at the back of the neck and are collected in the hair follicles, from which the product is gradually released. Most topicals are labeled for once-a-month application, although in practice, they might work much longer.
It’s very crucial to prevent using products identified for dogs on cats: dogs and felines have various physiologies and are very different in size. If possible, avoid flea dips, sprays, powders, or collars. If you choose to use such products, do your research and be sure that the components used are safe for felines.
Ideally, the very best path is to select one of these topical items, following the directions for your age/size of the feline.
- Advantage: Uses imidacloprid as the active component, and is usually regarded as safe for cats and kittens over six weeks of age. Does not kill ticks. We use this item and have not seen a flea in our house for many years.
- Frontline: Said to kill both fleas and ticks; Frontline utilizes an artificial component called fipronil, which may cause a short-term level of sensitivity in the area of application.
- Transformation: Its main component is Selamectin, which is stated to kill not only fleas and some ticks, but also ear mites, as well as using protection against heartworm. Revolution stays in the bloodstream, and ought to not be utilized on kittens under six weeks of age. Considering that it is a systemic item, it may cause allergies in some felines.
Does Flea Shampoo Work on Cats?
A good cat shampoo must be amongst your first line of defense versus feline fleas considering that it’s an easy, efficient way to kill fleas and provide instant relief.
Here are a couple of ideas that’ll help you choose the very best flea hair shampoo for cats …
Kill vs. Repel Flea Shampoos
Do a quick Google look for the very best flea shampoo for cats, and you’ll wind up with an entire lot of results. Fleas suck, after all, so it only makes sense that there’s a big market committed to eliminating them. With numerous choices, how do you select the best feline flea hair shampoo?
Well, the first thing you should know is what you’re trying to find: do you want to kill the fleas presently surviving on your feline or do you merely desire a hair shampoo to repel the possibility of fleas?
This is essential to understand since a number of the flea hair shampoos on the market do not eliminate fleas – some are created to ward off fleas while others are soothing shampoos that are valuable for flea-bitten, irritated skin. So make sure the feline flea shampoo you select does what you require it to do!
Cat Flea Shampoo vs. Dog Flea Shampoo
If you have both dog(s) and feline(s), you may be questioning if you can utilize your dog’s flea shampoo for your cat. The answer is … possibly, but be very mindful.
You see, felines are more susceptible to have negative reactions to particular insecticides than dogs are. That’s because felines have a compassionate metabolic process, are often smaller sized than dogs, and also persistently groom themselves (making it most likely that your feline will consume the insecticides you use on their fur).
This implies that shampoos and other flea products consisting of specific insecticides need never to be used on cats, although they may be great for dogs. For instance, any flea product including permethrin is highly toxic to felines, even if it worked marvels for your dog.
Likewise, take care with insecticides that are typically okay for felines – pyrethrin, for instance, is great for the majority of cats but can be hazardous when it remains in concentrated kind, as it is in particular dog flea items. Always check out labels and make sure the product is planned for both dogs and cats before utilizing dog flea items on your cat!
What About Natural Flea Shampoo for Cats?
Natural sounds good, does not it? You like the idea of getting rid of fleas on cats without the use of possibly hazardous pesticides. The important things are – natural doesn’t necessarily indicate safe, particularly when it pertains to cats.
The majority of the natural flea shampoos for cats utilize a mix of powerful vital oils like cinnamon, clove, rosemary, peppermint, and cedar instead of pesticides. In the beginning, this seems like an advantage, however, in truth, the very same thing that makes pesticides more potentially damaging for felines likewise makes certain essential oils more hazardous for felines too.
Yes, we’re speaking about metabolism. In short, most essential oils are made up of hydrocarbons and terpenoids – the terpenoids are metabolized by the liver, and after that, the remaining metabolites are gotten rid of through the urine and feces. However, cats lack the liver enzyme (glucuronyl transferase) that allows them to break down these compounds, which means it takes a lot longer for the metabolites to leave their system.
The outcome? These otherwise harmless compounds can build up in cats’ liver, causing toxicity issues and liver damage. So while natural flea hair shampoos can sound enticing – and make your cat odor like tasty, smokey gingerbread! – take care about using them on your feline.
Now that you understand what’s up let’s have a look at our top choices for the best flea shampoo for cats read on to learn precisely why each shampoo might be the best flea killer for your cat!
Removing Fleas and Their Eggs From Your Home
Next, you’ll get rid of fleas and their eggs from your home. This need to be an ongoing program while the adult flea treatment is eliminating the live fleas.
- Wash all bedding completely. While the bed linen is devoid of coverings, vacuum the bed mattress, particularly in the crevices, where eggs may conceal.
- Vacuum carpeting daily and dispose of used vacuum bags.
- Do not place flea collars in the vacuum bag, as the heat generated by the device might cause harmful fumes.
- Steam-clean carpeting. This will eliminate any remaining eggs the vacuum may have missed out on.
- If needed, utilize a whole-house insect bomb which mainly targets fleas. It is vital to eliminate all food dishes and live animals, including birds, throughout this process. You might consider working with an expert for this job, however, ensure he knows you have cats, and will utilize a cat-safe item.
- Employ a professional to deal with outdoor areas. Insist on a “cat-friendly” product for this function. If you have an outdoor cat, keep him confined inside for the day.
If you follow this feline flea control program scrupulously, fleas will soon be a distant memory in your home, and your cats will be forever grateful to you free them from unwanted fleas and the issues they bring.