Cat Flea Treatment Comparison
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Cat Flea Treatment Buying Guide
What is a Cat Flea Treatment
Fleas are one of cat owner’s biggest nuisances. Dealing with a bad case of fleas can feel like it takes every ounce of energy you have, especially if you don’t understand how to account for the flea life cycle when you are treating them. Since there are 4 stages to the flea life cycle you have to kill the adults but also the eggs, larvae and pupae as well or you’ve wasted time and product too.
Flea Infestation Signs
Cats are normally fairly calm animals unless they are playing. There are some signs that you can look for in addition to the obvious sightings of fleas on the cat or its surroundings. If you notice any of the following in your cat, you can probably assume you have fleas to get rid of.
Biting when You pick it up or try to pet it – An irritable cat is one that will not want to be bothered. When they are suffering from fleas biting them, they are not going to be in the best of moods and this can result in them biting when you do pick them up or try to play with them.
Using the bathroom other places than the cat box – cats oftentimes use the bathroom outside the cat box as a way to express that something is not good in their world. If this starts, one of the culprits could be unhappiness at dealing with a lot of fleas.
Constant scratching or biting itself – a cat with fleas will do the same thing a dog with fleas will do…scratch. If you notice your cat scratching a lot, chances are they have fleas.
Aggressive grooming, sometimes to where they start bleeding or get sores – if the fleas are plaguing your cat, you will notice them biting or chewing on themselves constantly. They may even create sores. It is important to take care of this right away since these sores can get infected.
They stop wanting to eat – one of the first things to go when a cat has a major flea problem is eating. They simply don’t feel well enough to eat.
They don’t want to play – Just like with a child that doesn’t feel well, if your cat is suffering from fleas, they will not feel much like playing or interacting.
If you notice any of these behaviors, the first thing to check is their coat to see if you see fleas or eggs. (This is assuming that you haven’t seen any fleas up to this point.) If fleas are identified, there are many things you can do and purchase that will help you take care of the nuisances that are affecting your cat’s personality.
Fleas are much more serious than people realize. They can cause many illnesses to occur that can be very serious for your cat. This is why we stress the importance of immediate treatment and also recommend treating the indoor areas where your cat sleeps, plays and hangs out. As long as you treat both the cat and its surroundings you won’t be fighting a losing battle.
- Feline Infectious Anemia – A serious and potentially life threatening disease that is contracted through bad flea infestations. Outdoor cats are more likely to get this illness although your indoor cats should not be overlooked. Symptoms of this illness include: Gradual or sudden weakness, their gums are pale, they may lose weight, they may act different or depressed, they will stop eating, their breathing may be very rapid or labored and others. If you notice any of these symptoms, get your cat to the vet for further care.
- Flea Allergy Dermatitis – Cats and dogs both can get this illness that is an allergic reaction to flea bites. You may notice hot spots, open sores, hair loss and constant itching when your cat has this condition. It needs to be treated by a veterinarian.
- Cat Scratch Fever – This is an actual disease that is carried by cats and can be given to humans through a scratch or bite. Cats will usually get it from being bitten by a flea that also bit a cat that had it. It can cause headaches, fatigue and fever in humans and should be checked out by your doctor.
There are many different kinds of flea treatments available on the market today. So many that choosing the one that you will be happy with can feel overwhelming. We have listed all the different types of cat flea treatments that you have to choose from. When choosing the right one for you, be sure to take into consideration your cats needs and age as well.
Topical Treatments – Monthly – Topical treatments are very popular due to the fact that they are typically easy to apply and they are very effective for not only killing fleas but killing eggs and ticks too. Application is as simple as putting the liquid on the base of the neck of the cat where they can’t lick it off. These treatments come in packs of 3, 6 and 12 and you use 1 tube per cat. They are also given according to weight so you will by the right pack that is for the size cat you have. If you’re treating a kitten, make sure that they are above the required age.
Cat Flea Shampoo – Most people don’t like to give their cats a bath and the cat certainly doesn’t like it, but when your furry feline has a flea problem baths are great ways to get a jumpstart on getting rid of them. There are many different brands of flea shampoos on the market. They are not meant to be used alone to prevent fleas so you should have a preventative method to use after their bath. Again, like with the topical treatments make sure of the age requirements for flea shampoos and don’t use them on super young kittens.
Cat Flea Spray – If you want something to use on your cat in between monthly topical treatments flea sprays are a great choice. They are designed to kill the fleas on contact so they can be very beneficial to use in between topical treatments or oral treatments. They will not keep new fleas from jumping onto your cat, so remember to have that preventative method chosen and use regularly.
Cat Flea Powder – Flea powders are not a popular choice due to the fact that they are messy to use and can also dry out your cat’s coat or skin. Don’t plan on using flea powders long term and use them only if you don’t have anything else handy.
Cat Flea Collars – Flea collars are easy to use, non-messy and when the right brand is purchased, they are effective. The top brand flea collars usually provide protection for up to 8 months unless the cat is wet a lot and then the effectiveness can decrease to 5 months. Be sure that the collar you purchase is specifically for a cat or kitten and that you get the right size according to the package instructions. Your cat can wear their regular cat collar in addition to their flea collar.
Fleas in Your Home
If you are wondering where the fleas can hide in your home we have listed the common places that you will find these pests. When you treat your cat or kitten for fleas, be sure to treat these areas as well to make sure that the cat doesn’t get re-infested with fleas.
- Cat towers and scratch posts
- Cat beds
- Human bedding
- Under beds and other furniture
- Damp basements
When you are treating the home, be sure to treat all of these areas and anywhere else that you know your cat hangs out regularly. Treating these areas along with your cat will ensure thorough treatment and elimination.
With the information that you have learned in this buyer’s guide you will have the knowledge you need to choose the right flea treatment program for your cat or kitten. Fleas don’t have to be a part of having a cat or kitten. If you stay on top of it, you can sail right through the flea season with minimal hassle and annoyance for your cat.
The right knowledge will enable you to assess your needs and purchase the treatment that will be the most effective and the best for your pet. A cat without fleas will be a healthier, happier cat and that means you will be happier too. It may feel like it’s impossible to get rid of them, but if you stick with it and treat both the cat and the home, you will notice fewer and fewer fleas until you don’t see any around or on your pet.
- Advantage II – http://www.bayerdvm.com/
- Frontline Plus – http://www.frontline.com
- Vet’s Best – http://www.vetsbest.com