Did you adopt kittens? Do you live in a cat-friendly environment with other adult animals? Or do you want to care for a cat colony in your area? In any case, there is a challenge to keeping fleas away from felines. The blood-sucking pests have the ability to endure given that they’ve been infesting mammals and birds for over fifty million years. They are also prolific since each female flea is able to lay as many as 50 eggs per day.
“The good news is in the war against fleas and ticks, we are in good stead,” says Dr. Michael Dryden, distinguished professor of parasitology in the veterinary field at Kansas State University. “The modern generation of tick and flea products is remarkable in the rate of killing fleas, not just when they are first introduced, however, throughout the life of their label. It is important to follow the directions on the label and use regularly.” If not treated cat fleas can lead to anemia, lead to allergies to fleas, cause cat scratch illness (Bartonella henselae), and cause itching as if they were a tiger.
So, what’s the ideal strategy to ensure your cat is free of fleas? Let’s break cats down into four groups: kittens and indoor cats neighborhood cats and cats with medical problems or are already in their senior years. Pick up the appropriate stuff to avoid fleas.
There’s a reason why the kitten I took by Samantha Martin of The Amazing Acro-Cats was named Rusty. The kitten was found by Samantha Martin when the kitten was still a small orphaned kitten that was covered in fleas. They were swarming around the ear and in his nostrils.
“When I gave him a bath, the bathwater turned a rust color, indicating blood from all the flea bites on him,” Samantha claims. “It required three tubs until the water became clean. The next step is to apply Dawn’s soap over him. let it sit for a couple of minutes, then rinse, and then employ the flea comb to take the remaining fleas from his.”
Samantha is a well-known animal trainer, who runs Meowy Manor located outside of Atlanta, Georgia, says young kittens such as Rusty are at chance of becoming anemic. leading to a decline in the number of red blood cells, as well as an impaired immune system.
“The very young kittens cannot handle commercial flea medications because of their immune systems and flea combing,” she states. “Once kittens are about 2 pounds, you can work with your veterinarian about using products like Capstar that quickly kills fleas in about 30 minutes.”
Rusty’s name has remained in the air, but I am glad to say that he’s flea-free at the age of 2. This is due to the fact that he receives regular preventive medication against fleas.
Oust Fleas in Cat Colonies
The prevention of a flea infestation in cat colonies of community members across the nation can be beneficial to the cats as well as local residents.
People such as Stacy LeBaron, host of the Community Cats Podcast and organizer of numerous international and national gatherings on community cats, teach individuals how to safely handle and treat these felines.
“If you can handle the cat, you can use topicals,” she adds. “Certainly, those community cats who are humanely trapped to be spayed and neutered and given needed vaccines at the veterinary clinic, are also given flea treatments at that time.”
She continues, “If you have a cat who is hungry, you can offer him treats to keep him entertained while you rub the area behind the shoulder blades. The one thing we do not recommend is trying to wrap a group cat in a towel because you’ll be fighting a war which you’re likely to lose.”
Another option is to sprinkle diatomaceous earth on the areas where cats of the community hang out.
“Diatomaceous earth is safe for use on cats, and it kills fleas in all life stages by dehydrating them,” Dr. Jean Hofve, a holistic vet located in Denver, Colorado.
Cater to Couch Potatoes
In my house, four cats that are clean and well-groomed control the sofa. I consider offering Casey, Mikey, Mort, and, most recently, Rusty regular cat flea treatments as a wise investment. They’re less likely to suffer from health issues related to fleas as well as my home is free of parasites.
This feline quartet is provided with flea prevention even in the winter months of cold and snow.
“Gone are the days of skipping a month to save money,” Dr. Dryden. “It does not matter if you reside either in Tacoma or Tampa. The protection against parasites should be available all year round to protect your pet.”
He also states that it is essential to apply the topical properly.
“In order for it to work properly, topicals must reach the pet’s skin,” Dr. Dryden. “If you just apply it on the topcoat, it loses its effectiveness to kill fleas.”
My cats also get regularly with a brushing session and use the time to look over their coats and skin for indications of fleas, cut marks, or lumps.
Aiding Sensitive Types
About five percent of cats have an allergic reaction to flea-related topicals, as per the most reputable veterinarian parasitologists. The symptoms vary from a red, itchy rash on the area of application, to blisters and the skin becoming crusty.
For cats with allergies or older cats with weak immune systems, talk to your vet regarding the best treatment for fleas that is prescription-based that includes rapid-acting adulticides to kill adult fleas.
However, vets don’t suggest fitting cats with collars for fleas as they could be at risk of developing contact dermatitis.