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Monday, November 17, 2008

3 Keys to Cat Flea Control

3 Keys to Cat Flea Control

Drs. Foster & Smith Educational Staff

The short and long of flea control

Oftentimes, you are not aware your pet has a flea problem until the damage is done and your home is infested with them.

Fleas are a common cat concern and although most cat fleas do not actually live on humans, they can bite humans and cause skin irritation. Regular preventive treatment should ensure that your cat does not have fleas, but if you are dealing with a flea infestation, cleaning and spraying the environment with a flea control preparation will stop the problem immediately.
  1. Why control fleas...

    While many cats live with fleas and show minimal signs of infestation, control is advisable because:

    • The cat flea carries the larval stage of the tapeworm Dipylidium caninum. Cats can be infested with these worms by eating fleas during grooming.

    • Fleas have the potential to transmit other infectious agents.

    • Adult fleas feed on cats' blood, and in young kittens, this can cause anemia. Anemic kittens are weak.

    • Some cats develop an allergy to flea saliva, which causes them to scratch excessively or to develop skin disease.

    • Cat fleas can cause itchy bites on sensitive humans.

  2. Remove fleas in the environment

    Regular preventive treatment ensures that your cat does not have fleas and keeps you and your pet happy.Frequent vacuuming can help to reduce, but not eliminate, environmental infestation. Vacuum bags should be disposed of to prevent collected immature flea stages continuing to develop in the house. Even though it is expensive and time-consuming, all soft furnishings should be treated. All nooks and crannies should be included, such as gaps between floorboards and moldings. Treatment of the whole house is essential. Anything that is heavily infested, such as pet bedding, should be treated with a flea control product, laundered, or thrown out.

  3. Long term flea control

    Once the adult fleas have been removed from all the animals in the house and the environment, prevention should be considered. Flea control products come in many forms: collars, shampoos, sprays, foams, powders, and monthly topicals or oral liquids.

    We firmly believe that prevention is the best guard against a flea problem. The monthly flea preventives we recommend that include Insect Growth Regulators (IGRs) or Insect Development Inhibitors (IDIs) are very safe because they act on receptors that are not present in mammals, only in insects. They have excellent safety profiles enabling the treatment of kittens from a young age. We recommend monthly topicals to our clients and have several effective choices for cats:

    • Frontline Plus contains fipronil, an adulticide and S-Methoprene, an IGR, to eliminate all forms of the flea life cycle.

    • Frontline Top Spot is a topical product that eradicates adult fleas with the insecticide fipronil.

    • Advantage kills adult fleas and flea larvae and is also a topical product. It contains the insecticide imidacloprid.

    • bioSpot SPOT ON contains an IGR, methoprene, to kill juvenile forms of fleas, and it contains an insecticide to kill adult fleas. Plus, this product also kills and repels ticks and mosquitoes, for even broader protection in a single dose.

    One oral preventive that we recommend is Program containing the IDI lufenuron, which halts development of flea eggs. The flea has to bite the cat in order to ingest the IDI and, therefore, would not be the preventive of choice for cats that have flea bite dermatitis.

    Remember that if you have treated your cat with a spray or mist, do not use a topical preventive immediately afterward. Always follow manufacturer's guidelines, and never use products labeled for dogs on your cat.

Read Full Article HERE

1 comment:

  1. Both advantage and Frontline work well, but you have to remember to treat the cat's bedding and areas in the home that the cats sleeps and hangs out, or the flleas wiill just jump right back on to the cat. These topical flea treatmentwork well when you also treat yourhome, with a flea powder or another type of fllea treatment. Here's an article on effective flea treatments, http://www.cat-health-101.com/cat-flea-treatment.html


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