Are you winning the war on fleas?

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Are you winning the war on fleas?

The Post Are you winning the war on fleas? von Arden Moore first appeared on Catster. Copying entire articles is against copyright law. You may not know about this, but all of these items have been assigned, contracted, and paid for so they are not in the public domain. However, we are happy that you like the article and we would be happy if you continued to share the first paragraph of an article and then link to the rest of the article on Catster.com.

Just adopted a kitten? Or do you share your home with adult cats? Or are you interested in a community cat colony in your neighborhood? Regardless of the environment, the challenge remains: keeping fleas away from cats. These blood sucking nuisances have strong survivability considering they have been harassing mammals and birds for more than 50 million years. And they’re pretty productive, as each female flea can lay up to 50 eggs a day.

“The good news is the war on fleas and ticks, we’re good off,” says Dr. Michael Dryden, distinguished professor of veterinary parasitology at Kansas State University. “The new generation of flea and tick products is remarkable as fleas are killed not just the first time they are administered, but throughout the life of the label. The key follows the directions on the label and is used consistently. “If left untreated, a cat that copes with flea attacks may suffer from anemia, develop flea allergy dermatitis, develop cat scratch disease (Bartonella henselae) and itch, itch, itch like crazy.

So what’s the best game plan to keep your feline friend flea free? Let’s divide cats into four categories – kittens, domestic cats, community cats, and those with medical problems or old age. Scrape the right stuff to navigate fleas with ease.

© FARBAI | Getty Images © dreamboxstudio | Getty Images

There’s a reason the kitten I adopted from Samantha Martin of The Amazing Acro-Cats is named Rusty. She found him when he was an orphaned young kitten covered in fleas. Some ran in his ears and even in his nostrils.

“When I bathed him, the bath water turned a rusty color, which indicates blood from any flea bites on him,” says Samantha. “It took three baths before the water was clear. The next step was to apply Dawn soap on him, let it sit for a few minutes, then rinse and use the flea comb to remove the remaining fleas from him. “

Samantha, a renowned animal trainer who runs Meowy Manor outside of Atlanta, Georgia, says kittens like Rusty are at high risk of becoming anemic, which leads to a decrease in the red blood cell needed and a weakened immune system.

“The very young kittens can’t handle commercial flea drugs because of their immune systems and their flea combing,” she says. “Once kittens weigh about 2 pounds, you can work with your veterinarian to use products like Capstar that kill fleas quickly in about 30 minutes.”

Rusty’s name has stayed the same, but I’m happy to report that he is flea free as he’s approaching 2 years of age due to regular flea preventive medication.

Drive fleas away in colonies

Preventing flea attack in communal cat colonies across the country is beneficial for both these cats and local residents.

People like Stacy LeBaron, moderator of the Community Cats Podcast and organizer of many national and international conferences on community cats, teach people how to handle and treat these cats safely.

“If you can handle the cat, you can use current issues,” she says. “Certainly the cats in the community who are humanly trapped to be neutered and neutered and who are given the necessary vaccines at the veterinary clinic will also receive flea treatments at this time.”

She adds, “If you have a cat who is focused on eating, you can feed her treats as a distraction if you apply the subject behind his shoulder blades. What we don’t recommend is trying to wrap a community cat in a towel as you will face a fight that you are likely to lose. “

Another option: try sprinkling diatomaceous earth around where the community cats are.

“Diatomaceous earth is safe for cats and kills fleas at all stages of life by dehydrating them,” says Dr. Jean Hofve, a holistic veterinarian from Denver, Colorado.

Provide couch potatoes

In my house, four well-groomed, flea-free cats rule the sofa. I consider it a wise investment to offer monthly flea treatments to Casey, Mikey, Mort, and now Rusty. You are less likely to develop flea-related health problems and my home will remain parasite free.

This means that this quadruped cat receives flea repellent even in the cold winter months.

“Gone are the days of skipping a month to save money,” says Dr. Dryden. “It doesn’t matter if you live in Tacoma or Tampa. Parasite protection must be guaranteed for your cat all year round. “

He adds that it is important to apply the topic correctly.

“For it to work properly, the subjects must reach the pet’s skin,” says Dr. Dryden. “If you just apply it to the top coat, it will lose its effectiveness in killing fleas.”

I also brush my cats regularly, using this time to examine their coats and skin for signs of fleas, matted fur, cuts, or lumps.

Support sensitive types

About 5% of cats are allergic to flea subjects, according to leading veterinary parasitologists. Symptoms range from a red, itchy rash at the application site to blisters and scabs on the skin.

For allergy-prone cats or older cats with compromised immune systems, ask your vet about the best prescription flea repellants, ideally with a fast-acting adulticide to kill adult fleas.

However, veterinarians do not recommend equipping sensitive cats with flea collars as they are at risk of contact dermatitis.

Bottom line: You have more options today than ever before to repel fleas.

“Many of the drugs that are effective against fleas today work well, but the best is the one that the cat owner uses consistently,” says Dr. Dryden.

Certified Animal Behavior Advisor, Author, and Pet First Aid Instructor, Arden Moore, often teaches hands-on classes with her cool cat Casey and the very tolerant dog Kona. Every week she hosts the Oh Behave Show on Pet Life Radio. Learn more at ardenmoore.com and petfirstaid4u.com.

The Post Are you winning the war on fleas? von Arden Moore first appeared on Catster. Copying entire articles is against copyright law. You may not know about this, but all of these items have been assigned, contracted, and paid for so they are not in the public domain. However, we are happy that you like the article and we would be happy if you continued to share the first paragraph of an article and then link to the rest of the article on Catster.com.