If you have an outdoor cat, you may not be too surprised if he returns from one of his adventures with some unwelcome houseguests! Ctenocephalides felis, or cat fleas, are perfectly adapted to life in your kitty’s fur. Despite their diminutive size, fleas cover so much ground that even indoor cats are susceptible to them.
If your cat has been scratching a bit more than usual or has led you to believe they could have fleas for any other reason, don’t worry! There are plenty of treatments available if your cat has contracted fleas. Learn if your cat has fleas and how to get rid of them from Germantown Vet now.
Does Your Cat Have Fleas?
- Itching, biting, and scratching around the neck, ears, and base of the tail.
- Crusty skin, especially along the back, as a reaction to flea bites.
- Flea eggs and droppings, which resemble flecks of pepper or dirt, on your cat’s skin or in his bedding.
How to Get Rid of Fleas on Cats
There are many products available to treat fleas. Just be sure to never use dog flea treatments on cats because increased feline sensitivity could make these products poisonous to your kitty. Before you choose one flea-killing method or another, read warning labels carefully and consult with a veterinarian. Here’s a look at your options:
Spot-on Flea Treatment
Apply this topical product to your cat’s shoulders. Oil in his skin and his feline grooming habits will spread the medicine over his entire body. Spot-on treatment is for killing adult fleas, and you should apply it once a month for maximum effectiveness.
Mix an oral suspension in your cat’s food once a month so it absorbs directly into the bloodstream. This treatment, known as an insect growth regulator, disrupts the parasite’s lifecycle. When a flea bites your medicated cat, the active ingredient passes to the eggs and prevents them from hatching. Combine this with spot-on treatment to eradicate the adults, and your cat will soon be flea-free!
Other Treatment Options
While spot-on treatment and insect growth regulators are typically the most effective flea control methods, consider these additional options:
- Flea collars only kill fleas on your cat’s head and neck.
- Flea combs only remove about 10 to 50 percent of the fleas living on your cat.
- Medicated shampoos kill adult fleas, but how many cats like to be bathed?
- Flea sprays and powders kill adult fleas, but they may dry out your cat’s coat and irritate his respiratory system.
Treat Your Home for Fleas
As soon as you begin flea treatment for your cat, start eradicating the parasites from your home.
Focus on nooks and crannies, under the furniture, and next to the walls. Use attachments to vacuum furniture, curtains, tabletops, and other horizontal surfaces. Immediately dispose of the bag or dump your bagless vacuum in an outdoor garbage can.
Wash animal bedding, blankets, rugs, and other textiles in hot water. Replace heavily soiled pet bedding or anything that can’t run through the dryer.
Perform Flea Control
You must treat your whole house for fleas, not just your cat. You can hire an exterminator or use DIY products such as aerosol foggers, sodium borate, and flea bombs. Ask your vet for advice and safety tips.
Come to Germantown Vet for Flea Treatment and Prevention
If your cat has fleas, don’t delay a trip to the vet! We can help you select the proper flea treatment and prescribe monthly flea prevention medication to help avoid future infestations.
Whether you’re looking for flea prevention or treatment for your cat, please contact Germantown Vet. We’re here to help make your home flea-free once more.