Fleas can be a really serious problem for your cat. If you don’t notice your cat has fleas right away, you may begin to notice an issue with her skin. Fleas will often cause flea allergy dermatitis (FAD) in cats, and if your cat isn’t prone to scratching, that may be the first indicator you have of fleas. No matter how you notice them, though, you know that for kitty’s sake (and everyone who comes into contact with your cat) you want to get her treated as soon as possible. In case you don’t know where to get started, we’ve compiled a list of the best ways forward in treating your cat with fleas.
In This Article
1. Topical Treatments
The topical medications are both preventative and treatment. The most popular is definitely the Bayer Advantage II Flea Prevention for Cats, (and you can subscribe and save for extra savings). You apply it once a month, and that could be all you do for flea prevention and treatment. It starts working within 12 hours to kill flea eggs and larvae to break the flea cycle. The fleas/eggs are killed on contact, meaning they don’t need to bite your cat in order to be poisoned.
Topical treatments aren’t always effective for killing adult fleas, though, so you’ll probably want to look into another method of treatment, as well. Adult fleas can live for three months or more, so you don’t want to wait them out using only the topical treatments.
2. Flea Collars
There are several types of flea collars, and you’ll want to pick one that’s specific to cats. You can’t interchange dog/cat collars. Some collars will kill and repel fleas, while others just repel. Some kill adult fleas, larvae, and eggs, others just eggs and larvae. For the best protection and treatment, choose a collar that doesn’t require a bite, kills all stages of fleas and repels, as well. Bayer Animal Health Seresto Flea and Tick Collar for Cats is one such product that is well reviewed and highly rated on Amazon.
Flea collars can last anywhere from a few weeks to eight months, so make sure you’re keeping up on how often you should be replacing them. There is certainly something to be said for the convenience of simply switching out a new collar every 8 months.
3. Flea Sprays and Shampoos
An effective flea spray that is safe to spray directly onto your cat may be a bit tricky to find. They often include harsh chemicals you’ll want to avoid on your beloved pet. You may find it safest to spray on a more natural repellent that will double as a grooming aid.
Regular baths with a flea shampoo are an incredibly effective method of treating fleas on your cat. You’re actively scrubbing her and rinsing fleas off just by the act of washing her, and the anti-flea ingredients will kill them off, as well.
Of course, a standard bath and shampoo is not the most pleasant experience for most cats, meaning it can be a pretty unpleasant experience for you, too. You may want to take a look at a no-rinse shampoo to simplify the bathing process. Keep in mind, though, that these types of treatments may not be as effective as topicals or other flea preventatives.
4. Oral Medications
Your vet may have more effective, higher-dosage pills, but there are plenty of over-the-counter medications you can buy for your kitty that should do the trick, especially when combined with other methods. These pills are only in your cat’s system for 24 hours, so you can give them a second pill the next day to really take care of business. Always read the label to prevent over-medicating based on the age and size of your cat, and if you have any questions, call your vet.
Depending where you live, you may find no matter what methods you use to prevent fleas, you simply can’t avoid them altogether. If you find that’s the case in your home, these oral medications are nice to have on standby in your house for any unexpected breakouts or in case your regular flea prevention falls short.
5. Yard and House Sprays
No matter what treatment you chose to do with your cat, if your yard and house are infested with fleas, it’s only a matter of time before your cat becomes infested, too. There are lawn treatments you can buy to help eradicate these pests from your property. Be sure to adhere to the warnings and keep your kids and animals out of the yard for the allotted time specific to each brand.
House sprays and bug bombs are also an option if you find that your home has been overridden with fleas, but you’ll need to use caution with these products. You’ll want to either be incredibly picky on the type you use, or you may want to just call an exterminator to get the job done well.
As they say, prevention is the best medicine, and that holds true for fleas, as well. Once you use one (or several) of the methods we listed above, be sure to keep up on the work. Talk to your vet about getting your cat on a flea and tick preventative and make sure you’re doing your due diligence to keep them out of your yard and house.