Your Cat Has Fleas? Here Are 7 Ways to Get Rid of Them
Summer is generally a cheerful season when the nice weather and longer days mean more happy play time for pets. However, someone else is also eager to play: fleas.
Just like we humans have to put up with relentless mosquito attacks in the summertime, our furry friends are in constant battle with the jumpy little vermin, and neither the cats nor the owners are happy about it.
To help cat lovers everywhere feather out the fleas from their pets, we bring you a list of tricks for getting rid of the nasty little buggers.
1. Limit Time Spent Outdoors
Better to be safe than sorry. While it’s important for your cat to get its daily exercise, you should take care to limit its exposure to fleas. Like the saying goes, prevention is the best medicine, after all.
Keep an eye on where your cat goes when it’s outside, and limit its access to any shadowy, dirty places where you think it has a good chance of picking up a load of fleas.
2. Flea combs to the rescue
Because most cats hate water, it can be hard to just dunk them into an anti-flea bath like we might do with our dogs. Try incorporating some flea exorcism into your regular grooming time.
Pick up a good flea comb instead of the usual kitty brush and stroke your furry darling carefully and thoroughly. Flea combs are especially great at getting out the eggs stuck to the hair, and your pet will appreciate the extra-caring together time.
3. Wash them all away
For those kitties that actually don't mind taking a bath and if the flea infestation has gone overboard, a flea bath might be necessary to get rid of the flea problem.
You can opt for just a douse instead of a full-on bath: rinse your cat thoroughly in cool (but not cold) water in a medium strong jet. This will force most of the fleas out of their hair, plus refresh your pet on a hot summer day.
You can also choose a full bath, in which case you should consider an anti-flea cat shampoo to successfully get rid of fleas.
It might also be a good idea to run a flea comb through your kitty’s fur after the bath to make sure you get any remaining fleas and their eggs.
4. Flea repellant
If you don’t want to limit your cat’s outside time, or it keeps coming back with fleas even if you watch where it goes, it might be a good idea to invest in some more serious flea repellants.
You can find them in any pet shop, in the form of cat collars, sprays for the fur or little ampules which you crack open and rub into their backs or necks. Ask your vet for a good recommendation.
You can also opt for more natural alternatives, such as home-made sprays and anti-flea rubs, but make sure to consult with your vet too. You can use proven recipes such as this one from dr. Baker.
5. Differences in diet
Okay, obviously, cat food isn’t a flea’s usual target, but it does make a difference.
Introducing some extra omega-3 fatty acids will help keep your kitty’s skin strong and healthy, which is a must if your preferred flea disposal method is a bath. It’s also a big help for cats with sensitive skin, which might get irritated by frequent rinsing and combing.
Another big thing to watch out for are allergies - some cats are genuinely allergic to flea bites and can have bad skin reactions, or start being lethargic, eat less etc.
Some animals are also allergic to different types of food, so it’s important that they have a good, balanced diet which will boost their immune system. Also check with your vet to see if your furry darling might need some medicine to cope with its allergies.
6. Don’t let the bed bugs bite
Getting rid of the fleas from your cat’s coat is a major step, but it’s not enough on its own.
Fleas will jump off and start nesting in your pet’s blanket or favorite pillow too, so it’s important to keep the kitty bed squeaky clean and fresh as a daisy.
Change the bedding often and wash it regularly. You can also be tricky and spray it with an alcoholic solution. Alcohol evaporates super fast, so you don’t have to worry about wet blankets. That will keep the fleas away from your cat’s bed longer.
7. Vacuums versus vermin
If your cat stays indoors, you’re bound to end up with a flea invasion in the home. Keeping your pet and its bed flea-free doesn’t help much if the couch and carpets are under attack. That’s why it’s important that you are rigorous with your vacuuming routine.
Make a point of vacuuming often and empty the vacuum bag at least once a week. Curtains aren’t safe either! They tend to collect dust, which makes a perfect nest for the jumpy little pests. It’s also a good idea to actually wash it all, on your own or with a professional help.
Carpets and curtains are a great place for adult fleas to lay their eggs, and vacuuming doesn’t always get them all out, so the occasional wash and spray is a great help.
And don’t forget your yard! Get rid of all fallen leaves, weeds and similar clutter to reduce the number of places where fleas can set up a home.
So there you have it! We hope these tips will help you and your dear kitty have a fun and flea-free summer together!
Tell us which strategy works best for you! Do you have your own tricks? Share in the comments!
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.
© 2017 Monique Flora