Cat Flea Protection Tips
A good flea-control regimen will treat not only your cat but also your cat’s environment. The treatment or combination of treatments you choose should control infestations during all stages of the flea’s lifecycle. If your cat is allowed outdoors, you’ll also want to make sure the treatments you use are effective against ticks.
Here are some flea-control treatments and strategies that can help protect your cat from fleas and other parasites.
Topical flea and tick treatment drops or flea sprays can be effective ways to keep your cat free of fleas. Because different products contain different active ingredients, you may want to ask your vet to recommend the best one for your pet. You’ll also want to watch for reactions or side effects that could indicate sensitivity.
A flea collar can be another helpful treatment alternative, but if you choose this option, be sure to use a break-away collar for your pet’s safety — particularly if your cat spends time outdoors. As with any other chemical product, always watch for signs of sensitivity.
Bathing your cat using a natural flea shampoo can supplement your pet’s protection against fleas and other pests without exposing your cat to additional chemicals. Natural flea-control products generally contain safe botanical ingredients.
Combing your cat periodically with a fine-toothed flea comb is another strategy you can use to protect against fleas while limiting your cat’s exposure to chemicals. Keep a bowl of warm water containing a few drops of dishwashing liquid nearby, and use it to dispose of the fleas you remove from your pet’s coat. This will prevent them from escaping and re-infesting your cat.
Treat furniture and cat bedding with a safe, natural flea spray and reapply often.
Scatter food-grade diatomaceous earth around your yard to treat outdoor flea infestations. A completely non-toxic natural treatment, food-grade diatomaceous earth can also be sprinkled on carpets and cat bedding, allowed to sit for a few hours, and then vacuumed.
Flea treatments to avoid
Orally administered treatments that contain pesticides may be harmful to your cat’s health. These treatments are typically either mixed into cat food or administered in pill form. A similar product is available as an injectable liquid. Before using any internal flea-control product, be sure to consult with your vet about its safety.
While some believe it’s a good idea to place a flea collar inside your vacuum cleaner bag to kill the flea eggs collected while vacuuming, the safety of this practice is questionable since toxic fumes can be released into your home as the vacuum cleaner heats up during use.
Fleas on cats are never fun — for you or your pet. If your cat has fleas, talk to your vet about which flea remedies might work best to bring your cat relief.