"Help! My cat has fleas; what do I do?" First, try not to panic. You are likely full of questions, such as "what flea product should I use?" or "how do I get rid of fleas in the house?" We all know how fast they multiply, so it's important to take action now.
Although there is a lot to learn about these pests, sometimes you just want a game plan. If you are worried that they will quickly multiply and become even harder to get rid of, follow the steps below to quickly get the upper hand.
If you have already been dealing with this problem for a while, I encourage you to browse the site further. It's full of hidden tips and tidbits you can use. Soon you'll be able to say, "My cat has fleas no more!"
Start treating your cat immediately. Do you use Frontline, Advantage, or other topical flea treatment? Our veterinarian recommends both of these treatments. There is even an oral cat flea medicine that will give you a jump start on killing more fleas, faster.
Perhaps you are using a topical treatment, to no avail? One summer our trusty topical treatment didn't seem to do the trick. When our cats had fleas, I found that it was up to me to read up on different flea treatments and medications.
There is a lot to know! In this case I recommend that you call your vet. Ask if there is an alternate medication you can switch to. You may be able to give a dose of a different medication immediately, if your veterinarian approves.
Not all topical treatments created equal. You want to choose a product that is sold at your veterinarian or local pet store. Not a product form a supermarket, grocery store, or discount warehouse or chain-store. There is a reason they are lower in cost. They work in different ways, and are absorbed by your cats body in different ways.
Remember, do not give your cat a flea bath within 48 hours of applying topical flea treatment, before or after. For a lot more on this subject and help to choose the best treatment, visit our upcoming page on cat flea treatment.
Make sure any other pets in the house are treated, as well. Every animal with fur needs to be considered.
Thoroughly vacuum your home. Make sure to get in every crack and crevice, between furniture cushions and all around the woodwork. Don't just do a quick once-over of the carpets - that won't be enough.
This last step is an extra one. You may not need to, but if your house is infested you can consider a fogger or "bomb." These products work well when the instructions are followed.
It can give you a jump-start on eliminating these buggers. Another popular home product is a flea trap. The Vector Trap is becoming well-known and relied-upon.
So if you find yourself saying "Help! My cat has fleas!" these tips give you a jumping-off point. You can and will get rid of them.
For those who are wary of spot-on treatments and chemicals, there are natural options. Natural flea products can be good repellants.
Their effectiveness varies by each family's experience. It can depend on your diligence, the degree of infestation, and other factors. But if your cat has fleas you can follow these guidelines and substitute the products mentioned above for some natural ones found on our Natural Flea Control pages.
Here is one more reason to take action now: When cats have fleas they are more likely to develop a behavior issue such as spraying or aggression.
It's simply their way of trying to get attention (help). When we dealt with this the first time, our two sweet cats became quite grumpy.
They showed it in their behavior by occasionally hissing or swatting at one another, which was extremely unusual for them. They also started peeing outside the litter box, another very unusual issue till then.
With persistence and patience, and just the right combination of products, plus plenty of cleaning, bathing and combing, your cat will be feeling better in no time.