It only takes one small flea to create a big problem! Both indoor and outdoor cats are at risk since fleas can travel into your home on any person or animal. This is especially true as the nights get cooler in the fall. Once in your home, fleas will feed on your cat and lay eggs that fall off around your home. Flea eggs can take two or more months to hatch into larvae and mature into adults, starting this cycle again.
Not only are flea bites irritating to your cat, fleas can also transmit tapeworms and other diseases. Some cats develop an allergic skin condition called Flea Allergy Dermatitis, which usually requires medical treatment by your veterinarian.
In general, it is no longer necessary to call an exterminator or use ‘flea bombs’ to treat your home. These products expose the humans and pets in your home to unnecessary chemicals. Products like flea collars and over-the-counter flea treatments rarely work well and are sometimes unsafe. While flea baths help minimize the parasite load & clean the coat, they are rarely effective by themselves.
The easiest, safest, and most effective way to eliminate fleas is to treat every cat and dog in the household with a prescription topical treatment once a month for a minimum of 3 months. If your pet has this medication in his system, the fleas will die before laying more eggs. This breaks the life cycle and eventually eradicates the fleas. For cats that go outdoors or are in a household with dogs or outdoor cats, year-round treatment may be recommended.
Along with the topical treatment of your pets, environmental control can be helpful. Vacuum floors & wash the bedding that your pets frequently lay on. Be sure to discard the vacuum cleaner bags each time you vacuum.
It is often a good idea, even for indoor cats, to use these prescription topical treatments as a preventative to keep the fleas from becoming a problem in the first place.
Please call our office for specific recommendations for your cat.