My Cat Has Fleas! What Do I Do Now?

Fleas are nasty little critters.  These parasites jump onto your pets and drink their blood, leaving flea dirt and eggs in their wake.  They are hardy insects that are designed to be resilient and uncrushable.  What does this mean for you?  It means that in order to get rid of fleas for good, you will have to take multiple steps.

What’s So Bad About Fleas?

Fleas drink your pet’s blood and leave itchy bumps wherever they bite.  Pets can even suffer from anemia (severe blood loss) if the infestation is bad enough! In addition to the blood they steal from your pets, fleas also carry parasites like tape worms and can provoke allergic reactions.  Flea allergy dermatitis is caused by fleas and causes severe itching that can lead to secondary infections.

Treating Your Pet Is Not Enough!

Fleas don’t just live on your pets: they live in your house and in your yard.  This means that the battle against fleas must be fought on three fronts: pets, house, and yard.  Because fleas have a 4-stage life cycle that can take up to 8 months to complete, removing all fleas from your pet’s environment takes time.

Your First Step

Remove fleas currently on your cat.  We can give your cat a flea bath with a cat-safe flea shampoo that removes all fleas that your kitty has when they come in the salon.  This provides temporary relief from the current pests, however shampoos do not kill all stages of the flea life cycle. You’ll need to continue with a topical or oral treatment as directed by your veterinarian, and treat your furniture, carpets, etc. for full relief care.

Next Up: Prevention

Treat your pet with an oral or topical monthly spot-on treatment like Revolution, Frontline, Cheristin or Advantage, etc.  Your veterinarian can recommend the best product for you and your area.  Be absolutely sure that the product is safe for use on cats.  Cats are very sensitive to certain chemicals and if you use a product for dogs, it could result injury or even death to your cat!  If you aren’t sure, consult your veterinarian.  If your cat has just been bathed, so you will need to wait a few days before applying the product (each product is different, so check the product’s label for specifics).

Continuing the Fight

Now that your cat is more comfortable, begin eliminating the fleas in your cat’s environment.  If you do not treat the environment, the fleas will just keep reproducing and continue to bite you and your pets!

House: Many different products exist on the market for treating your house.   Among them are carpet and floor sprays, bombs and foggers, and powders.  Read the labels carefully to find the product right for your home.  Again, be sure that the product is safe for cats.

Yard: If you have fleas in your house, then you have fleas in your yard.  Fleas can jump over 6 feet and can ride in on any carrier they can find: cats, dogs, and even humans.  There are many insecticides available on the market, but the best long-term flea management contains insect growth regulators.  These products prevent anything with a larval stage (like fleas) from maturing so once the current generation dies, the fleas will be unable to replenish their numbers.

Last But Not Least

Don’t give up!  A flea infestation can be very difficult to get rid of, but with the right products and diligent effort you and your cat can be flea free!  To help with the flea removal process, we recommend a Follow-up Flea Bath within 2-3 weeks after your initial grooming appointment. 

Schedule your cat's flea bath appointment with Cat Naps Cattery here.