Your kitty’s sudden persistent itch could be telling you something. Pesky parasites called fleas invade each spring to inflict discomfort on our beloved pets. If your cat suffers from flea allergies, it only takes one fleabite to make her miserable. Fortunately, today’s flea treatments provide quick and lasting relief.
The War On Fleas
Fleas pose various health issues for your cat, from a common allergic skin reaction called flea allergy dermatitis to tapeworms to anemia. Fleas can make their way into your home by hitching a ride on your clothing, placing even strictly indoor cats at risk for exposure. If you are about to face off against fleas on your cat, you may be experiencing flashbacks to the days of donning thick utility gloves and engaging in a wrestling match to give your cat a flea bath or saturate her flailing body with flea spray. The good news is that newer options have made flea control much easier, more effective and stress free for you and your kitty.
Advances In Flea Warfare
Although flea sprays, shampoos, collars and powders are still sold commercially, today’s prescription flea control products provide longer lasting relief than traditional over-the-counter treatments, offering cats with flea allergy dermatitis the enduring protection needed to achieve relief. Most of these products contain growth inhibitors and sterilizers to inhibit flea reproduction. Oral options include Capstar, which kills all live fleas on your cat for up to 24 hours, and Comfortis, which offers your cat flea protection for one month. The simplest flea control available today is the once monthly topical, such as Advantage Multi, Revolution or Frontline Plus, which is applied on the skin at the back of your cat’s neck. Some of these products protect your cat against other parasites as well, including ticks, heartworms, ear mites and intestinal parasites.
Know Your Ingredients
Sadly, many cat owners have tried to save money when choosing a flea control product, only to be met with devastating consequences. Always read the ingredient label of flea control products that are sold in retail stores. Most of them contain permethrin as the primary active ingredient. Never borrow your dog’s prescription flea product to share with your cat because canine variations also contain higher concentrated doses of permethrin. Some of these products also contain amatraz. These ingredients are extremely toxic to cats and will result in seizures and death if applied to your kitty. Avoid tragedy by sticking to your veterinarian’s recommended product and following the instructions carefully.
Say Bye Bye to Fleas, Stress and Itching
Depending on the severity of your cat’s flea infestation and on how your cat reacts to fleabites, your veterinarian will guide you to select the product that will be most effective for your situation. He also may recommend an accompanying environmental treatment to prevent future generations of fleas from breeding in your home. This includes using a pet-friendly premise spray around the perimeter of your home and each room, thoroughly vacuuming the house and upholstered furniture and laundering all bedding material. Splurge on a cozy new bed for your kitty and combat her flea issue with today’s easily applied products. She’ll quickly feel relief and her fleas will be forgotten with no stress, wrestling match or thick gloves necessary.
- Hauppauge Animal Hospital: A Pet Owner’s Guide to Flea Control
- CatChannel.com: What Is the Best Way to Apply Flea Repellent?
- VeterinaryPartner.com: Dermatology
- VSPN: Small Animal Toxicoses – Insecticides
- Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine: The Feline Health Center: Fleas: A Source of Torment for Your Cat