Fleas are parasites that feed on the blood of other animals. Have you ever seen a flea before? It is remarkable how they are able to adapt to their environment in order to feed on their hosts. For instance, fleas don’t have wings, but their back legs are powerful enough that they can easily jump from furniture onto your cat.
Once they’ve settled on their host animal, fleas begin to feed, leaving behind itchy bites. Fleas also reproduce rapidly! Once your cat is infested, you have a real problem in your hands. That is why flea prevention for cats is fundamental to maintain a healthy home environment for all! How to achieve this? Read the following pet parent guide.
First things first: Carry out a Flea Check
Before you begin any sort of prevention or exterminating treatments, you need to find out if these pests have settled on your cat. For that, conduct the following inspections:
- First, watch out for any signs of movement in the fur. If you spot tiny bugs bouncing off the coat, your cat’s in trouble.
- Second, comb your cat with a metal flea comb from head to tail several times a day. This will prove that he has fleas or flea eggs.
- Third, dip the comb in alcohol or a mixture of water and liquid dish detergent to kill the fleas.
After you have done this, and you know for a fact that your cat has fleas, you need to begin treatment right away. If your cat is not infested, then you should begin flea prevention for cats just in case.
How to conduct flea prevention for cats?
Here you have a few things you can do to keep fleas away:
- A monthly anti-flea treatment for your pet will kill any fleas. Flea collars are an alternative treatment, but these only kill fleas around your cat’s head and neck. Flea spray or powder is also effective for protection.
- During warmer months (flea season), regularly hose down areas in your yard. This will get rid of any lingering pests!
- Vacuum frequently those places where your cat likes to stay. It is advisable to add a flea collar to the vacuum-cleaner bag in order to kill any live fleas or hatching eggs.
- Watch for signs of “flea dirt”, or flea eggs.
These steps are important to carry out proper flea prevention for cats. The effectiveness of these measures is entirely dependent on how much importance you place on them.
Treating fleas on your cat
Sometimes, the flea check will indicate that your cat already has fleas! Flea prevention for cats will do no good unless you get rid of the fleas first! If this is the case, you need to fight them on several fronts:
- Bathe your cat with a flea shampoo – Flea shampoo has chemicals that easily get rid of fleas. Another option is a flea dip which is a topical solution that you don’t rinse off. Important: Do not use flea shampoo or other chemical treatments on kittens because the strong ingredients may harm them.
- Clean your house – Vacuum your home daily and launder your cat’s bedding and blankets.
- Use a fogger or an insect-bomb – If the infestation persists, you may need to consider spraying your home with flea-killing chemicals or using an insect bomb! For both of these, it is advisable to hire a professional since these products must be used with care.
Get rid of fleas around your house
“A female flea can lay up to 50 eggs a day. Those can roll right off your cat and onto your carpet, couch, or comforter. Give them the chance to hatch, and you'll have a full-blown flea infestation on your hands”, said Dr Amy Flowers. Given the high number of eggs, it is safe to assume that if your cat is infested, then your house is infested. If you want any flea prevention for cats to work, then you need to get rid of ALL of them first.
A thorough cleaning of your home is necessary to solve this problem:
- Vacuum every day – Clean the carpets, furniture, and cracks in the floor. Don’t forget to throw away the vacuum’s bag and wash out its canister with warm, soapy water when you’re finished.
- Wash at least twice a week during flea infestation – Strip off any bedding, sofa covers, and any other fabric that your cat has touched and throw them into the washing machine. Make sure to use hot water.
Consider all of these instructions to conduct proper flea prevention for cats. Remember that fleas are dangerous and annoying! So make sure to spot them quickly!