Although most cat owners would prefer to use a non-chemical means to rid their Kitty of fleas and indeed the house, there are sometimes instances when we need to use chemical treatments. Owning several animals in the same household and large flea infestations may require a more serious intervention. Overall the suffering of an animal may outweigh the potential harm and side effects of using chemical treatments.
When treating your cat for fleas it is important that the house and other animals be treated at the same time. This is covered in the previous blog post and therefore, I won’t repeat all of those instructions here, word for word. Ensure that your cat, it’s bedding, your other animals and your house are all treated on the same day.
Vacuum all flooring, including under, over and around furniture, skirting boards, corners and curtains. Spray the vacuum filter afterwards with a flea spray to prevent the escape of larvae or eggs next time you vacuum. Dispose of the bag in a sealed plastic bag or empty and wash the dust collector.
Treating The House
There are a variety of products on the market to assist in treating the house and your cat. The most commonly used products are sprays or flea bombs. Flea bombs and some foggers can be placed in the middle of the room and set off. Be vigilant in following instructions as some products direct that the power to the house be turned off prior to using and rooms need to be shut off for a minimum of 2 hours prior to re-entering. Sprays and some foggers can be used to spray under beds, heavy furniture and pet bedding, however please read the instructions prior to use. Some sprays also require that you don’t vacuum for a long period afterwards due to the ongoing effects of the sprays used. Also, exercise caution when using sprays or bombs when children or other pets are present… don’t forget fish, birds etc… Treating outside the house includes all of the practical tips included in the previous blog post. An insect spray or fogger may be used to spray directly at entry and exit points that your cat uses, porches or places where your cat may rest outside.
Treating Your Cat
Typical chemical treatments used for your cat may include pet shampoos, flea collars, flea powders and flea sprays. These treatments are widely available from Vets, Online and Supermarkets. Ensure that you use the product as intended and strictly follow instructions.
The most useful of all of the chemical treatments, are the flea treatments either applied directly to the cats’ skin or ingested. There are a variety of products on the market with some including an insect growth regulator which impedes the growth cycle of the flea, reducing infestations quite quickly. These treatments usually last one month and together with household treatment are usually sufficient to stop the flea cycle. It is important to be aware of the ingredients of the product (insect growth regulator or insecticide) to know how effective the treatment will be and what the product actually treats. Some products treat cats for fleas only, whilst other products prevent fleas, ticks, lice and different types of worms.
It may be worth considering the total cost of flea and worm prevention on a monthly basis then comparing this to an all in one product or two products. Once you have decided which product to use then it is possible to compare costs of that product with another.
Once you have treated all animals and the house, check your cat for fleas during the first couple of days to assess the effectiveness of the treatment.
When you instigate treatment ensure that your yard is secure and that no other animals visit in the first two weeks at least.
Repeat the process of treating the house in 2 weeks time, as sometimes infestation may re-occur due to the fact that pupae which were missed in the first clean out, have come out of their cocoon and grown into adult fleas.