What is flea and why do cats have it?
Ctenocephalides felis, so-called cat fleas, are very tiny bugs. With the size of no larger than the tip of a pen, it’s incredible to see this creature jump up to 7 inches vertically, and 8 inches horizontally.
As a parasite, fleas feed on your beloved cat’s blood. To do so, they bite (literally) and suck it out, leaving “damages” on cat’s skin. Without a proper pesticide treatment, it’s nearly impossible to get rid of flea, because they reproduce very quickly.
Not only cats but dogs only have fleas. They are just coming out of nowhere and “live” on your pet’s skin. We don’t know yet, but we are sure to have flea treatment that works.
How to know if your cat has flea?
Here is the thing, almost any cat will get caught with flea, no matter how clean they are. When it comes, you can notice these following things with your cat:
- Your cat is scratching or biting at his/her skin more and more frequently.
- Your cat is grooming him/herself more often, mostly around the hind legs and the base of the tail.
- You can see bald patches, hot spots, itchy red lesions on cat’s skin.
- Your cat starts to show unusual behaviors, such as avoiding some particular places in your home (as these areas may have more fleas); shaking head, rubbing against the wall, corner, etc.
In some severe cases, your cat may have been transmitted with tapeworms, which results in decline inactiveness, weight loss, or even sickness.
Getting rid of flea from your beloved cat
According to our experience, when it comes to choosing flea treatment for cats, there are three things to consider:
- The method should be reliable enough not to kill adult fleas only, but it should kill eggs and larvae also.
- The method should last effectively for a long time, by preventing new fleas coming.
- The method should be easy to carry out at home, both for you and your cat.
This is called complete flea control: get rid of and prevent. And we have a bunch of flea control products, categorized into these options:
- Cat flea comb – A particular type of comb that can get rid of fleas every time you brush your cat’s hair. Perhaps, this method is the most traditional ones on our list. Flea comb for cats has almost no side effect. You just need to comb gently enough not to hurt your cat.
- Cat flea collar – A flea collar with strong chemicals that spread over time on your cat’s body. These chemicals are made to kill adult fleas immediately. Eggs and larvae are also stopped. This method can last for several months, useful to prevent ticks as well. The downside of cat flea collar is it has strong odor, which may irritate your cat.
- Cat flea spray – Flea spray is one of the most inexpensive methods for flea control. This can be applied to kill living fleas, as well as prevent them from showing up on your cat’s skin. It’s also easy to carry out at home, spray – massage – wash – dry out. The effect can last several months upwards.
- Topical treatments – The method is effective against ticks, mosquitos, and foremost, cat flea. Typically, you can apply topical medication on the base of the neck or between the shoulder blades. This can last for a considerable amount of time as the ingredients will stay active and gradually spread on over the entire body.
- Cat flea pills – The pills act as an immediate treatment for cat fleas. One shot can kill most parasite on cat’s body and provide up to 30 days of protection. Some other types of cat flea pills are effective against ticks, heartworm, and other internal parasites. But you must use this method with cautions, in some cases, the medicines can cause vomiting or diarrhea, or making your cat depressed, or lose their appetite.
- Cat flea shampoo – Another quick flea control method, cat flea shampoos is made to kill adult fleas and wash flea eggs and larvae away. To maximum effect, you should leave flea shampoos on your cat’s skin for 10 to 15 minutes before rinsing. This may cause a problem as some cats don’t like to get wet for such long time like that. Cat flea shampoo is not guaranteed to bring long-term protection.
Precautions for cat flea treatment
As said above, we have several ways to get rid of fleas from your cat. Each method has its own pros and cons. Depending on your cat preference, you can choose the suitable treatment. But there is one universal precaution that applies in most cases:
Most current flea treatment products are not meant for kittens.
Yes, that’s right. You shouldn’t use these products for your kitten until it’s over 12 weeks old or so. But what if your kitten gets fleas? You can use a flea comb to remove them physically. We think this is the safest method.
Natural methods that can do the job
If you prefer not to apply chemicals on your lovely cat, don’t worry, we still have some “organic” ways to do the job. As we said above, cat flea comb is the most traditional method that has been used a long time ago. Yet, it still works.
Comb your cat hair every day can naturally remove fleas and stop them from laying eggs. Thus, provide real long-term protection without using any additional products. Talking about other products, we can use apple cider vinegar, lemon or lavender oil to get rid of fleas from your cat. Just add a teaspoon into the water and wash your cat. All fleas will soon be gone.
What is the best method?
If we have to pick out one best method, we could choose cat flea spray. There are some benefits of the approach which make it highly recommended for cat owners:
- Convenient: One of the ultimate reasons why we choose flea spray. Imagine just simply spray it on your cat’s back and tail, or anywhere on the body that you think those annoying fleas are hiding. Then things get done. Eventually, you can also use a flea comb to spread it all over the body.
- Effective: Most cat sprays are made to kill both adult fleas and eggs and larvae. Moreover, the method can provide long-term prevention. Some products even have active ingredients that help calm flea bites (to end your cat’s suffering once and for all).
- Multi-purpose: The good thing is, you can apply cat flea spray on any surface at home: carpet, sofa, floor, under a bed, you name it. It still does the job.
- Inexpensive: With all of its benefits, you can say it’s not expensive for such a good product like that. You don’t need to spend a fortune to solve that tiny problem.
- No side effects: High-quality cat sprays will leave no side effects on your pet. Some high-end products will eventually use only natural ingredients such as peppermint oil. It’s safe not only for your cat but also for humans. Just fleas should be afraid of, right?
We hope you get some good ideas on how to get rid of fleas from your cat. We’re happy to help, feel free to leave comments below if you have any question.