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Has your cat been itching and licking itself more than usual?
Does your majestic floofy companion seem uncomfortable and not its same peaceful self?
Well, I hate to break it to you, but this is probably because your cat has been infested with fleas.
Fleas are a nightmare for any pet owner, let alone cats.
They expose your pet to hazardous diseases and may even cause a serious allergy, known as dermatitis. They are especially harmful to kittens as they may cause blood loss and severe anemia.
But don’t you worry! There is no reason to let your cat succumb to those troublesome fleas and their torture. Keep on reading to know more about how you can fend off your cat from these pesky little creatures!
All about Fleas
If you want to protect your cat from fleas, you’ve got to know about its life cycle first.
The idea that fleas spread from one cat to another is wrong.
In fact, if a flea finds shelter on your cat, you can be sure it won’t go anywhere else. Although most of the flea’s life is already over at this point, the rest of its life will be spent in its new furry home.
As soon as the female flea lands, it’ll start sucking your cat’s blood, starting the process of reproduction simultaneously. And boy, does this process happen fast! Just 24 hours later, eggs will be laid, that too around 40 to 50 every day.
As your cat goes about its day, it basically acts as a transport system for the fleas, depositing the eggs in the various places it goes.
From then onwards the eggs hatch into larvae and go on to become baby fleas, which wait for another cat to pass by. As you can tell, most of the flea’s life is just spent as an egg and in metamorphism.
It’s timeline as an adult is pretty brief.
What this means is that, if you spot an adult flea on your cat, you shouldn’t take it lightly as there is a high probability that there is a flea infestation in your house.
Treating Your Cat
The first step in dealing with fleas is to treat your cat. Your goal is to take away the discomfort your cat is feeling and eliminate all the fleas on its fur. But before starting any treatment, you need to check for fleas on your cat.
Initial Flea Check Treatment
Fleas are quite visible to spot. All you have to do is look for any sort of movement in your cat’s fur.
Once you’re sure of this, use a comb across your cat’s fur. This will remove the easily accessible adult fleas and eggs. While this won’t get rid of all the fleas, it’ll make your cat feel better.
Also, make sure to keep a mixture of water and liquid detergent at hand. Dip the comb into that mixture every time you go across your cat’s fur. This might be a slow process, but it’ll kill a lot of them in the process.
Spot on Treatment
Spot on treatment is a good option as it’s a lot more effective and faster than the shampoos and sprays that we usually use. This type of treatment is also much safer than other chemicals.
Some popular brands that are known to fight off fleas are:
When using these treatments, it’s very important that you consult with a vet. Only a vet can assure you about the type and quantity to use.
Nowadays you can get both a cat and dog flea collars on the market. These collars have a chemical that actually kills the fleas and stop them from returning.
However, cats sometimes tend to get these stuck as they move around so much. So, definitely make sure the collar has a safety release buckle.
Medication is a great way of treating your cat’s fleas. Just pop a pill into your cat’s mouth along with its food, and your job will be much easier!
There’s a magical tablet called Nitenpyram, also known as Capstar, which if consumed, will eliminate all the adult fleas hiding on your cat within a mere 30 minutes
However, this isn’t a permanent fix and the fleas can always come back. Another option, Spinosad, better known as Comfortis, is a chewable tablet that targets fleas before they can even start laying eggs.
It responds really fast and its effects last for an entire month. So, it’s not just an effective cure, but also an active prevention.
Getting Rid of Fleas in the House
The flea nightmare is unfortunately still not over after you treat your cat. Remember the whole life cycle we talked about?
Well, eggs can be everywhere in your house and they’re spread more easily because they roll around. Once these eggs hatch, it gets really difficult to stop the cycle.
So, after dealing with the fleas on your cat, it’s important to de-flea your entire house as well.
Vacuum the Fleas Away
Your vacuum cleaner is the best weapon you have against all the flea eggs hidden in your house.
Make sure to vacuum all the nooks and crannies of your house and clean all your carpets and pillows really well.
A big warning here: after vacuuming, don’t leave your bag to be emptied later! Throw it away immediately and wash the canister thoroughly with warm water and soap.
It’s extremely important that you wash all your bed covers, sofa covers and basically anything in contact with your pet regularly.
Washing once a week should actually be enough. But don’t pile up all the materials on the floor or anywhere else. As soon as you take them off, throw them into the washing machine directly.
Also, using hot water during washing will ensure that none of the fleas actually survive.
Clean All the Surfaces
For this, you’ll need to evacuate your house. I know that seems a bit extreme, but this step is for those extremely persistent fleas that just won’t leave.
So, get everyone out of the house and simply spray all the floors and other surfaces in contact with your flea infested pet.
The best flea killing sprays have methoprene or pyriproxyfen in them. And if you want to safeguard your house from these chemicals, try out a citrus spray.
However, make sure you only let everyone back in once the surfaces have dried up completely.
Fleas are a nuisance to everybody involved. You’d be surprised to know that indoor cats too are at risk, even if they’ve never stepped outside in their entire lives.
This is because fleas are clever and just hop onto our clothes, while we unknowingly bring them into our homes. However, this does not mean that they are impossible to get rid of.
Simply follow the instructions in this article and you’ll see how easily the fleas in your house have disappeared. So, go on and get flea hunting, to give your cat the itch-free life it deserves!
Shawn is a content writer at FeedFond. A pet enthusiast, he loves all things animals. To read more of his articles, visit FeedFond.com.