What Is The Best Flea Treatment For Cats?
It seems like no matter what you do, the fleas keep coming back. In fact, they can become a serious problem for cats. And even if you don’t notice that your cat has fleas right away, you may start to see changes in their skin. That’s because, fleas cause allergic dermatitis also known as FAD in cats, and if your cat doesn’t scratch a lot if may be the first sign that you have a flea problem. Change their litter right away with litter box liners once you discover fleas.
But, no matter how you become aware of a flea problem initially, you know that for both you and your fur baby’s sake you’ll want to get them treated right away.
And just in case you don’t know where to start, I’ve put together a list of some of the best treatments to treat your cat.
1. Topical Treatments
You can use topical medications to both treat and prevent fleas. Many of the brand name topical treatments require you to apply them just once a month and for some cats that’s all it takes. Usually most topical treatments start to work within 12 hours to kill flea eggs and larvae to break the flea cycle. Flea eggs are killed on contact, which means that the fleas don’t need to bite your cat in order to be poisoned. The problem is that topical treatments aren’t always effective when it comes to killing adult fleas. And because of this you may want to look into another method of treatment, as well. The reason being that adult fleas can live for three months or more. So, waiting them out by using only topical treatments may not be the most effective strategy.
2. Flea Collars
There are a variety of flea collars on the market and you’ll want to choose one that is specifically made for cats. It’s not advised to exchange dog/cat collars. When choosing a collar, be sure to read what each collar is for. There are some that kill and repel fleas while others simply repel them. Some kill adult fleas, larvae, and eggs and others work like many of the other topical treatments and only kill the eggs and larvae. For the best protection and treatment, try choosing a collar that doesn’t require a bite, kills all stages of fleas and repels them too.
Just keep in mind, flea collars can last from as little as a few weeks to eight months or more, so it’s important to replace them often depending on the instructions.
3. Flea Sprays and Shampoos
Another great way to keep fleas away is to use an effective flea spray and you can spray it directly onto your cat. Just be careful when choosing a spray because they can include harsh chemicals and you’ll want to avoid them.
However, as much as cats hate taking baths, bathing them often with a flea shampoo can be an incredibly effective way to manage fleas. Especially, because as your using the shampoo you’re also scrubbing and rinsing fleas, flea dirt and their eggs and larvae.
If giving your cat a bath is simply out of the question, then you can even try what are known as no-rinse shampoo to simplify the entire process. Just keep in mind that sprays and shampoos may not be as effective as some of the other topical treatment’s, but they are a great additional step.
4. Oral Medications
If fleas become too overwhelming and the other treatments aren’t effective you may want to talk to your vet about oral flea treatments. You can also find some over the counter options too. These treatments can be very effective, especially when they are combined with some of the others we’ve discussed. These pills only stay in your cat’s system for 24 hours, so you can give them a second pill the next day if your really want to make sure your cat gets the maximum benefit.
Just make sure you read the label, to prevent over-medicating based on the age and size of your cat.
Depending on the area you live, you may find that no matter what you try you just can’t seem to get rid of the fleas. If that’s the case, these oral medications are a good thing to keep on hand, especially if an unexpected breakout occurs or the other treatments are simply not working.
5. Yard and House Sprays
No matter how effective your overall flea treatment plan is, if you have a cat that spends anytime outdoors or if you have a dog that does they may continue bringing them into your home.
For this problem, there are a variety of lawn treatments you can use as part of your comprehensive flea control problem. Just be sure to heed the warnings on the container and keep your kids and animals out of the yard for the allotted time specific to each brand.
You can also use a variety of house spray and bug bombs that can be used inside your home to eliminate fleas that have made their way inside. Again, be very cautious of the brands you use and make sure that your pets are not inside your home when using them.
You can also call an exterminator if you are concerned about the potential hazards or are not comfortable utilizing these types of treatments on your own.
As the saying goes, prevention is always the best medicine and that is also true when it comes to manages fleas inside your home. So, once you use one (or a variety) of the methods I’ve listed above, it’s important to remain consistent.