A scratching kitty isn’t one you want to pick up -- you don’t want her fleas jumping onto you! You can ease your cat’s itch and increase your cuddling time with her by knowing how to spot and destroy fleas on your pet and in your house.
Do a Flea Check
Before you spend money on flea treatments, find out if these pests have settled on your cat:
- Watch for any signs of movement in your cat’s fur. If you spot tiny bugs bouncing off your cat's coat, it’s time to fight fleas.
- Comb your cat with a fine-toothed metal flea comb from head to tail several times a day to skim off adult fleas and their eggs. This comb-down will ease kitty’s itching, and the pampering will make her purr with pleasure.
- If your cat has fleas, dip the comb in a mixture of water and liquid dish detergent to kill the fleas.
Keep Your Feline Flea-Free
Your cat's warm, furry coat and nourishing blood supply are a flea's dream home. Protect kitty with a flea barrier to prevent these tiny pests from freeloading on your cat.
Products you put on your cat. Spot-on products are safer, more convenient, and more effective than traditional flea collars, dusts, shampoos, and sprays. You can buy them from your vet or on the Internet. Ask your vet where on your cat to put the product, how much of it to use, and how often to use it. If you’re not getting the treatment from your vet, read the product label first to make sure it's safe for cats. These are some common active ingredients and brands:
- Fipronil in Frontline Plus
- Imidacloprid in Advantage
- Selamectin in Stronghold/Revolution
Medicines your cat eats. Once a month, you add the flea treatment Program, which contains lufenuron, to your cat’s food. It’s also available as an injection your cat gets every 6 months. This doesn’t kill adult fleas; it keeps them from reproducing.
The pill Capstar, with the active ingredient nitenpyram, kills fleas on your cat within 30 minutes. It does not have any residual effect, though.
De-Flea Your Home
A female flea can lay up to 50 eggs a day! Those smooth eggs can roll right off your cat and onto your carpet. Give them the chance to hatch, and you'll have a full-blown flea infestation on your hands.
No matter how much you hate cleaning, this is one time you'll appreciate the result:
Vacuum every day. Clean the carpets, cushioned furniture, and cracks and crevices in the floor to suck up any eggs before they can hatch into a real-life flea circus. You'll also get rid of live fleas that way. Just don’t forget to throw away the vacuum’s bag or wash out its canister.