Cat Fleas-The Best Methods for Killing
the Fleas on Your Cat
If you have ever had a cat with fleas, you know how uncomfortable the cat can become. There are several ways that you can go about treating your cat to relieve his discomfort. Be sure to consult your animal’s veterinarian about the best ways to treat for cat fleas. The following information should help you decide what questions to ask your vet.
First, determine whether you are dealing with fleas or another parasite that may be causing the itching. Examine the cat’s hindquarters and groin area. Do you see a “salt and pepper” residue? That is a sure sign that fleas are living on your cat.
Once you have determined you have a flea problem, you must treat the cat as well as the home and the yard. Let’s look first at how to treat the cat.
There are several flea control products on the market to help you eliminate your flea problem.
If your cat has a serious problem there is a very fast acting oral
flea medicine called Capstar that kills all adult fleas in a
matter of hours. Capstar comes in packages of 6 and runs around
$24 for the package. Capstar uses Nitenpyram to kill the fleas and
is very good to eliminate an immediate problem. You will still
need to deal with any larve or eggs that will hatch but you can
give a pill every other day to catch all the flea cycles.
Advantage is another popular treatment. It is applied to the skin between the shoulder blades. The liquid must come in direct contact with the cat’s skin, so be careful to part the hair to apply it correctly. Also, cats who lick the Advantage liquid will drool because of its bitter taste, so be sure to keep the application where the cat cannot reach it. This treatment eliminates 98-100% of the fleas on the animal within 12 hours, and it does not lose its effectiveness if the coat
Cat Flea enlarged
gets wet. This quick-acting product prevents the laying of new eggs by the fleas that are already on the animal. Humans do not absorb Advantage, and it is safe on animals 8 weeks and older. Again, be sure to treat all of your
animals. * Advantage is a good
product but it some areas have fleas that now appear to be much
more resistant to this brand.
Advantage plus has all the benefits of Advantage, and it adds treatment for heartworm, ear mites, and some intestinal parasites.
Frontline and Frontline spray kill the fleas without the need for the flea to bite. Like Advantage, Frontline products come in liquid form and are applied to the skin between the shoulder blades. Frontline can be helpful in controlling chewing lice and sarcoptic mange. Frontline is safe for use on cats eight weeks and older, though it may cause skin irritation at the application site. Like Advantage, Frontline does not lose its effectiveness because the coat gets wet.
Frontline Plus provides added protection to kill adult fleas, eggs, and larvae, and it is safe for pregnant or lactating cats.
Revolution is a heartworm preventative that also controls adult fleas and prevents eggs from hatching. It can also help control ear mites, roundworms, hookworms, and some ticks. Its application method is the same as the Advantage and Frontline.
If you choose to use flea shampoos, powders, dips or foams, please be careful to avoid ingredients that cause harm to cats. Permethrins and some organophosphates are toxic to cats, as well as amitraz. All these ingredients can be found in various flea treatments, so be sure to check your ingredients. Do not use products designed for dogs on your
One of the cheapest and easiest
flea shampoo we've found is Dawn Dishwashing Soap. I always use an
oatmeal shampoo directly after to soften the coat and help the
skin from becoming dry but Dawn works great to kill the fleas if
you lather and let set for about 3-4 minutes. My current cat,
Cleo, does not do shampoo's or baths so I use a flea comb and a
spray bottle with Dawn and water to squirt on the fleas to kill
Flea shampoos only work when they are on the coat. Once they are rinsed off, no flea killing residue is left on the
animal. And try and let the shampoo stay on the cat for at least
2-3 minutes to have time to work. Also start at the head since
many fleas will run and hide in this area. Flea shampoos are best used when you have
already treated the environment. Otherwise, fleas growing in your carpet and yard will quickly find a home
again on your cat. Shampoos are should used before bringing a new cat into the home. Killing any fleas that cat may be carrying will help prevent your existing pets from being infested.
Powders and dusts must be used several times a week and they leave the coat feeling dry and gritty. The powder must be worked through the coat to contact the animal’s skin. Again, be sure the product you choose is safe for cats.
Sprays and foams are best used in between shampoos. They will kill fleas that have hatched after a shampoo. The effects of sprays and foams
can last up to 14 days and use the same insecticides as shampoos. Be careful to follow the instructions on the product to be sure to gain the most effectiveness.
Dips are extremely effective on cats. They are products that are applied wet and allowed to dry. They penetrate the coat and they kill the most effectively with the longest-lasting results. There are dangers to dips. Be sure to follow the instructions on your product before you begin, and don’t use a dip on a cat younger than four months.
Two of the most important factors in a flea management program are your home and your yard. Flea eggs drop off your pet and nestle in the yard and the carpet. Once the
flea hatches, it can live up to two weeks before it must find a food source-your pet. Be sure to use pesticides that are safe for your home. Consider other pets you have in the home, particularly birds or small mammals. Treat your yard with products that will not have adverse affects on the animals or children. Neglecting to treat your yard and your home will allow these pests to
re-infest your cats!
We've found the vacuuming every
other day for about two weeks, and if necessary, even shampooing
the carpets with soapy water will kill all the fleas. For hard
surface floors you can use hot soapy water. For furniture and
other areas you can use the Flea Spray recommended below. Be sure
to do a small out of site test area first if you are concerned
Fleas in South Texas Now
Resist All Commercial
Repellents That We Used to Rely On!
The product below, Natural
Flea Spry for Cats, is made by a company called Natural
Chemistry out of Connecticut. No China syndrome here, it's
American made (China has had quite a few bad food products for
cats and dogs lately). This is what I use for both my cats and
dogs. Both Advantage II, Frontline, and Revolution do not work
around my area of Texas. They did forever and then stopped working
about 2 years ago. Can't tell you why but both the dogs and the
cats started picking up fleas that were not repelled or even
bothered by any of our prior go to products.
We went nuts and could not keep
the fleas off of our pets until we found this product. It is
carried by PetCo at most locations but if you don't have one close
you can get it below from Amazon. They also make a shampoo but our
cats don't do shampoo =8~). This is an instant killer of fleas and
so is the shampoo product.
Natural Flea Spray for
Cats has a natural botanical extract formula and does not
contain pyrethrins or similar chemicals. It leaves a
natural scent of cinnamon and clove and is ideal for
application on cats and their bedding as
**it provides control
for up to one week. See note below on what we do for the
best flea repellant.
not a great repellent. We use a lemon and water solution for that
and it seems to work better than any commercial product. We throw
a couple of sliced lemons in big sauce pan of boiling water, turn
off the heat and let them simmer for 60 minutes. Then we dilute
with water and use this in
a spray bottle and wet down our cat brushing against the fir to
let it adsorb. You can also do this with a one to one mixture of
white vinegar and water too but the lemons smell better and our cats don't
mind it at all. We do this at least every 3-5 days. But don't over
do it. We have never had an issue with lemon water but I have read of some people
who went overboard and caused some allergic reactions in their cat
or dog. Too much citric acid is not a good thing for people or
The best non poison yard and
house flea treatment we've found is DE powder (Diatomaceous Earth).
But be careful since there are two general types, the one you
would use for a swimming pool filter and the Food Grade version.
You want to use the Food Grade version of course. It will clearly
state on the label which is which and you can usually find the
right version DE where they sell pest control stuff.
Be careful to get the right
DE, use the natural found in Garden departments - not the version
made for swimming pool filters! And no matter which you choose to
use, do not breath the power nor let your cat breath it since it's
not a good thing for your lungs and use gloves when handling to be
on the safe side! Just sprinkle the area of yard or house and
keep animals out of the are for an hour or two to let it settle in
out of the air. these both work well to kill many insects and are
one of the safest method of pest control. Some people even
sprinkle on their pets, being careful not to let them inhale it.
If you can't
find it, it is available at Amazon too.
Concern Diatomaceous Earth Crawling Insect Killer
This organic insect killer harnesses the power of diatomaceous earth (85%). Made from very finely ground fossils of prehistoric fresh water diatoms, this product kills these types of household pests: Ants, cockroaches, silverfish, and fleas. Since
DE is organic and natural it can last for longer too.
Insects die within 48 hours.
Our pets are valuable members of our families, and we hate to see them struggle with fleas. A cat fleas problem is relatively easy to solve with the right combinations of ingredients and products. For the safest, most effective treatment of your animal, be sure to consult your
Cat Fleas And Humans
I get asked a lot about cat fleas
on humans. Yes, a cat flea will definitely bite any human. Fleas
are attracted by rapid movement, carbon dioxide and heat. Cat
fleas on humans are very common if your cat has a flea problem.
These fleas are quite greedy too
and will bite multiple times. And just like cats, some humans are
allergic to the flea bites and these flea bites can get infected
by scratching too much. Here's the best flea bite treatments we've
- Wash with cool water and any
antiseptic type soap or rubbing alcohol.
- If you are feeling a allergic
reaction (you will know if you are) you can also apply a mild steroid
to reduce pain and selling, like 1% hydrocortisone cream. You can
also take an oral anti-histamine to help with the itching.
- To reduce the itching try calamine lotion or
other lotions that contain baking soda or colloidal oatmeal.
Best Flea Repellents For
You best way to keep fleas off of
you to begin with is the lemon water mentioned above or any insect
repellent that contains 15% of Deet. These two are the most
effective we've personally used.
The easiest and most effective
way to keep the fleas out of your house is to make sure you vacuum
carpets and mop any hard surface floors with hot soapy water as
mentioned often. Some people swear by regular old table salt and baking soda
on carpets and other surfaces. Avoid the areas for about 4-5 hours
and then come back and vacuum and wash any hard surfaces. The salt
dehydrates the fleas (and most other bugs too).
If you have any questions, just
shoot us an email and we'll find out if we don't already know the
answer. Send emails too fleas @ freecathelathtips.com (notice that
we put an extra space on each side of the @ symbol - you will need
to take that out when you send us email - that keeps the spammers
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