Pets with Fleas.

Anne Anne
My vet just diagnosed my cat with fleas... it was really shocking for me. He told me to vacuum everything and bathe him, but I'm afraid that it still won't be enough. So for all of you pet owners that have dealt with fleas, how did you get rid of them and prevent them from coming back?
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tequilafish tequilafish
Originally posted by Anne
My vet just diagnosed my cat with fleas... it was really shocking for me. He told me to vacuum everything and bathe him, but I'm afraid that it still won't be enough. So for all of you pet owners that have dealt with fleas, how did you get ...
This is a really great list of natrual ways to get rid of fleas, but it's a lot of work. Things like vacuuming daily, and sprinkling Borax then vacuuming it up. While doing this wash all pet bedding (and human bedding that the cat sleeps on), and dry on high heat. It suggests using Dawn with Olay dishsoap to bathe your pet (which is cheaper and healthier than flea shampoos, but works just as well). If you don't want to bathe your cat daily (I can't manage to do it more than once a week, or every other week, it takes so much energy), I suggest using a flea comb and then dipping it into a bowl with soapy water whenever you catch a flea. I've been doing this with my cat daily, and at first I was getting a TON of fleas, but after a few days I'm not getting as many (which is hopefully a good sign).

Chemical flea treatments that you get from the store or veterinarian can have really bad effects on pets, but if you're going to use on I would recommend using Revolution, which needs to be prescribed by a vet. I've used it on my cat, who has breathing/asthma issues, and he was okay. It was really effective, and along with vacuuming prevented the fleas from coming back. If worse comes to worst, I'd suggest flea bombing - which means you and your cat would need to leave your house/apt for a few hours (depending on the kind of flea bomb).

Fleas are freaking annoying. I'm dealing with them for the first time since getting my own apartment, and it really sucks..
edeneve edeneve
get Frontline or something similar & after 3 applications over 9 months, you should never have the problem again - at least I haven't. your Vet can tell you all about it.
js250 js250
Wow!! That is an amazing amount of work. Where I live it supposedly is to cold for the little buggers, but I don't know. I have not had to deal with them though, and we have many animals!!!
darthkitt3n darthkitt3n
We use the Advantage II drops on the older cats to prevent them from getting fleas. We also use some flea sprays on bedding and whatever stuff they lay on. We try to vacuum as much as we can, but because of work and stuff it's not all too often. Our kittens get flea combed. A couple of kittens randomly showed up on our porch a few days ago and I don't know how old they are, so I can't use any flea products on them.

If you decide to get a once a month flea applicator, I strongly suggest researching online first to find the one that is right for you. Hartz brand stuff can be really bad for animals. It can cause them to get really sick or die. It doesn't happen to every animal, but it's not worth the gamble. You'll also want to make sure that the product you choose regulates the flea life cycle by killing eggs. I've found that stuff that just kills adult fleas is kind of useless since the eggs will continue to hatch.
SneakersAndPearls SneakersAndPearls
Our dog picked up fleas from all the neighborhood cats that wander around. We used a natural powder first, but it didn't work for us, possibly because she has TONS of fur due to the breed. A topical flea treatment worked great. Thankfully, we don't have any carpets in our house and our furniture is leather, so they don't typically resurge.
Rod Ronald Rod Ronald
Thats my worse nightmare. We had fleas once and it was insane. Never again.
Kindred Kindred
Here is the flea page from the Companion Animal Parasite Council (CAPC): link. CAPC is comprised of parasite specialists and I would consider them one of the best sources for parasite information.

As a veterinarian, I agree with some of what has already been said. Basically, research the products available because they are not all the same. There are FDA approved products which specifically evaluate the safety and effectiveness of the product on animals. These tend to be prescription only, but not all are. This does not mean that they are completely safe, but they have been investigated. There are also EPA approved products and these are generally OTC (over the counter). EPA evaluates products differently and is generally more concerned with the impact of the drug on the environment. Again, this does not mean that they are not safe products, but the evaluation criteria are different.

My personal recommendation for fleas on a cat would be Advantage, which happens to be an EPA product. In my experience, it is very effective and has few concerns. Frontline is also a good product. Whatever you choose, make sure it is safe for cats. Some dog products can be lethal if applied to cats accidentally.

Revolution, which was mentioned above, is a prescription product and is effective against other parasites. My personal experience is that it is not as effective against fleas. It also may be more than you need. You should also treat all animals in the household.

One last thing is that flea infestations may lead to tapeworms. Cats that groom and eat fleas will complete the life cycle for tapeworms. They typically look like grains of rice in the feces.
TheirPet TheirPet
Yeah I've seen some flea collars eat the skin of pets.
AmethystSmoke AmethystSmoke
Great advice from others; I've personally done the Borax and it worked very well on both carpet and tile/concrete flooring.

One addition to the vacuuming - be sure to take throw the bag in the outdoor trash as soon as you're done. Any flea eggs in the bag will soon be hatching and you don't want that to happen while it's still in your house!
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