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Help! I think my cat has fleas!

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

In the past 24 hrs, I've noticed two little black hopping buggies (both on my cat's nose where his fur is short and white). He also has some little lumps in his fur that are bits of black, that can be crushed. (I'm thinking flea dung)

 

I've had pets before, but never fleas.  He's an indoor kitty, and doesn't seem to be scratching much. How do I deal with this? I need to kill them on him and all over our house, right? We have concrete floors but lots of soft furnishings, and little nooks and cracks and such.

 

I've never given him flea preventatives, since as an indoor cat, I figured we could save money and avoid chemicals. Maybe I was wrong?  He has had a couple brief "adventures" lately, but he never got more than 10 feet from the house. (Which by the way, is in no way bugproof. There are seven hundred spiders here, as the walls are permeable enough that they don't notice the walls. No really, there are a lot of spider sized holes in the walls.)

 

I'd rather use the least noxious (or non-chemical if it will work) treatment possible, and also the most budget friendly treatment possible, as we're approaching broke.

 

Please help. How do I get rid of fleas? How do I prevent another outbreak? Do I have to give him flea protective medicine? I'd rather not.

Thanks.

post #2 of 6

I'm afraid the only way I know of to successfully get rid of fleas is chemicals of some sort. I use the drops on the back of the neck to treat my cat. If you don't have a big infestation you can just do that and not  bomb the house as the fleas can only survive by feeding on your cat so they'll die off fairly quickly once he starts poisoning them.

 

Indoor cats can get fleas (as you've discovered) usually by one of their humans bringing in eggs or larvae on their shoes apparently. Same with worms, so if you haven't wormed him you might need to consider that too.

post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 

ok, thanks. I'll get some flea treatment, and look into worm meds

post #4 of 6

Ok not to scare you but fleas are a HUGE PITA to get rid of...Once you think they are gone they just come right back, especially if you have multiple animals like we do. I feel like we have been battling them off and on for yearseyesroll.gif

 

As far as getting rid of them you have to hit them on 3 fronts simultaneously and then repeat the WHOLE process 3 weeks later.

Keep in mind you basically should do this all at once although it seems tricky, otherwise it will make things harder in the long run.

 

1. Give kitty a long and serious flea bath with a medicated flea shampoo, cats hate water btw if you have never had the pleasure of giving a cat a bath. Have a FIRM grip and be prepared to possibly get scratched all to heck. I have 1 cat that freaks and 1 that just meows pathetically the whole time...Sometimes 2 people are needed to do it right because you really need to get the medicated shampoo down to the  skin.. You can then comb kitty with a flea comb and see if any dead fleas fall out. They die pretty much immediately during the bath...Follow the directions of the shampoo exactly. 

 

Oh yes you will need to use chemicals. Only real solution to get rid of them.

 

2. Vacuum all the surfaces you can in your house. Even the hard ones, you never know where a flea egg might have fallen.

 

3. Spray ALL fabric with flea killing spray that is safe for animals. I mean every single surface. Couches, Rugs, Curtains, Bed, Pillows, cat bed whatever. Also you need to basically wash anything that can fit into the washing machine. On hot. 

 

4. Repeat in about 3 weeks to kill of any eggs you missed that might have hatched.

 

5. Look into some kind of flea preventative at the very least. Just something to check out because it can happen again more easily than you'd think.

 

I hope that helps, fleas are really tough to truly get rid of sometimes...I wouldn't worry about worms though...Honestly just keep an eye on your cats poop for a while, if you don't notice any grain of rice type things in it, or long flat skinny worms you should be fine. There is no reason to assume your kitty has worms just because of fleas. Ours have had fleas a lot and we never have a worm issue.

 

Oh, finally, the easiest way to see if you have fleas is to take those little black specks and just wet a paper towel then put the specks on them. If they disolve and turn red it is the blood from your kitty that the fleas pooped out (their poop is basically just blood).

 

Hope that helps and good luck!

 

 

post #5 of 6
Huh. I generally dose with frontline and do nothing else and the fleas all go away for a few years.I wouldn't go on a mad cleaning spree right off because, well, I'm sorta lazy like that, and it's never been necessary...
post #6 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dar View Post

Huh. I generally dose with frontline and do nothing else and the fleas all go away for a few years.I wouldn't go on a mad cleaning spree right off because, well, I'm sorta lazy like that, and it's never been necessary...


we have a dog with flea dermatitis, she cannot handle 1 flea on her without major itching and ends up scabbing over/losing fur. On top of that we have been treating demodex recently for her so she is miserable from that (although better)...

 

Fleas don't just go away because you frontline. That is a major misconception. They lay their eggs anywhere there is fabric and while the frontline will kill both the adults and prevent eggs, it generally is not enough to kill a full blown infestation. Frontline is also not entirely effective. We used to use frontline and had to switch to advantage because frontline literally did nothing to our dog...

 

Yeah unfortunately, full blown cleaning is necessary to completely get rid of them infestation.....It sucks though, let me tell you!

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