First of the Month

It’s monthly flea treatment day!  Remember the days of flea powder and horrid flea collars?  Does anyone still use those things?  I still see flea collars on the market.  None of it worked worth a darn.  The flea collars managed to chase the fleas to the cats’ tails where they pretty much set up camp.  As for powder?  Never could get a cat to sit still for that!  Have you ever had a flea infestation in your house?  I remember one year in the late 70’s.  I had two cats at the time and was oblivious.  Fleas don’t feed on me like they do some folks, so I don’t get bites, but one day I noticed the cats wouldn’t walk across the carpet unless absolutely necessary and when they did, they pranced like they were walking on hot coals.  Clearly, something was amiss.  I put a white paper plate on the floor.  It took over a decade for me to recover from the shock of seeing those little black things leaping out of the carpet, starkly silhouetted against the white paper … YUCK!  And, before you ask, yes, these were indoor only cats.

Many people live in FD.  Flea Denial.  I’ve had people tell me they don’t worry about it because their cats are indoor only.  I’ve gotten phone calls and emails — FLEA DISCOVERED!   Where could it have come from?  A couple of flea truths:  one flea means there are others, and they can get into the house any number of ways just like flies, mosquitoes, spiders, ants, etc.  In the northern latitudes and colder climates, fleas are not always an issue or not an issue all year.  In some areas, your house should be treated periodically as well as your yard or enclosure if your pets are allowed outside.  There are suitable products for home and garden and you can email me privately as to what I use if you are interested.  Of course care should be taken not to expose your cats to these additional toxins until they’ve dried.  I spray my carpets and my enclosure during the warmer months when I don’t have small kittens in residence.

The spot-on flea medications are one of the greatest breakthroughs in the history of modern Veterinary medicine.  I’m not familiar with them all.  Many of them take care of additional parasites as well as fleas.  It’s important to consider your area and talk to your veterinarian to choose the right one.  I’ve recently switched over to Revolution since it also prevents heart worm, mites, and a few intestinal worms.  A bone of contention I have with the manufacturers of these meds is the blatant discrimination against cats.  Ounce for ounce, it’s more expensive for cats and the smaller animals than for the larger dogs due to packaging expenses.  They calculate a weight range, then package the product for each range.  So an animal at the high end of the weight range is getting the minimum dose required to do the job, while the animal at the low end of the weight range is getting a higher dose than required… and this stuff is expensive!!  Prohibitively so for some people.  If you have several pets, it may be possible to control fleas in the environment by treating just one or two of the animals at a time on a rotational basis.  In fact before I started breeding, I plead guilty as charged for being haphazard with treating my cats due to the expense.  I have since learned that you can get it at lower prices on the Internet, though some require a prescription.  Also, you may find a willing vet who can calculate the exact dose for you so that you can buy for the high weight range and portion out the meds per the actual weight of your cats so the meds will last longer.   The consequences of not treating can be even more expensive.  Consider an infested house, for example, in addition to the medical cost of treating your cats for the parasites and diseases carried by fleas.  Also ask your veterinarian about heart worm prevention for your cats.  It’s long been standard to treat our dogs preventatively for heart worm, but cats also can and do get heart worm.  This parasite is carried by mosquitoes.  Though cats are less likely to get this parasite than dogs, it’s more serious when they do, and can be fatal.  If you live in a region where dogs are treated, it is recommended for cats as well.  … and I don’t want to hear that mosquitoes never get in your house.  I killed one in my entry just last month!

Time to go chase down Sahara.  She’s the only one who hasn’t gotten her flea treatment today.

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7 responses to “First of the Month

  1. That is so interesting Molly. I don’t have a cat, as our condo doesn’t allow pets, but I have friends who do. I’ll pass on the information to them.

    Thanks

  2. I use Frontline monthly for both my kitties. Used it for years and had no problem with flea infestation. When I had kittens, I did use the white powder puffer and combed the eggs and fleas away, but it wasnt pleasant for the kitten 😦
    I also used a spray for the carpets and bedding for the kitties, but fortunately – I have had no problem within the home since using frontline regularly.
    They always hear the clic when I open the pippet- and run for cover…. lol !!! I won in the end.

  3. Once again, we are bombarded with so many choices! LOL. I guess that’s better than none. Frontline is good and takes care of ticks, too, I think if that’s a problem. I also use Advantage and now, of course, they have SEVERAL varieties of each. Advantage-multi, for example covers heart worm. We need a scientist to sort this out. But, yes, as Maggie indicates, if you control the bugs on your cats, it often controls the environment as well. But that can vary from year to year and area to area. Here in northern Calif. fleas are a problem, but nothing like some of the southern states.

  4. I picked up a great tip in addition to the flea treatment. Sprinkle baking soda on the carpet and let it sit a while before vacuuming. It’ll dry out any eggs that may be laid in the carpet. Also, while I would never use a flea collar on my cats, esp. the grocery store ones, cut a piece off and put in your vacuum cleaner bag – it’ll kill the fleas in there (if they don’t suffocate from all the dust, lol!).

    I had a terrible problem with my previous 2 cats, strictly indoor. They were highly allergic to flea bites and their hair would fall out in patches. The only thing that worked was the drops – I think I used Advantage.

  5. My younger cat (Daisy) I took on when she was 5 years old, and she unfortunately suffered as the vet told me from Harvest Mites? You could not actually see them on her, but a small patch would appear on her body where her fur came out from scratching – I cannot remember which droplet he put her on, but after a couple of years they did not re-occur again – so now I have them both on Frontline – and yes I also used a household spray for carpets, furniture and their bedding.

    • I’ve just read Maggie’s post. Have you ever heard of some Frontline product forcarpets etc?Our vet says it exists but I didn’t find any

  6. Frontline for our Polly, too. Unfortunately last time my uncle put too much of it and it dripped down on the fur. poor kitty licked it with the fur and got intoxicated!Poor Polly vomited for 2 days, refusing the medicine her vet want her to take. Now she’s well but the flea are on her again…

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