Dr. Mark is a veterinarian. He works with dogs, cats, exotics, and livestock.
You do not have to take your cat to the vet if he or she has fleas, but some of the products sold over the counter for fleas can be toxic to cats. Permethrin-based products, for example, which are often sold in pet shops and feed stores, can cause tremors and seizures in cats, leading to death. (1)
If you take your cat to the vet for a skin examination, you can get a prescription product like fluralaner (BRAVECTO®) which will keep fleas off of your cat for about 3 months. (2) Unless you let your cats outside and they are reinfected, this will eventually remove all of the fleas from your house too.
Read More From Pethelpful
There are also other choices for flea control, some of which are natural and non-harmful for your cat.
If All Else Fails, See Your Veterinarian
Once fleas are established in your environment, they are hard to get rid of. Cats with a flea infestation are really miserable, so it is in their best interest to find a solution as soon as possible. If your initial attempts to get rid of your cat's fleas don't work, a trip to the vet is the next option.
- Dymond, N. L., & Swift, I. M. (2008). Permethrin toxicity in cats: a retrospective study of 20 cases. Australian veterinary journal, 86(6), 219–223. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1751-0813.2008.00298.x https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18498556/
- Lavan, R. P., Armstrong, R., Newbury, H., Normile, D., & Hubinois, C. (2021). Flea and tick treatment satisfaction, preference, and adherence reported by cat owners in the US, UK, or France who treated their cats with transdermal fluralaner. Open veterinary journal, 11(3), 458–467. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8541722/
This article is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from your veterinarian. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.
© 2022 Dr Mark