For such tiny insects, cat fleas can inflict a horrendous amount of physical and emotional distress upon you and upon your feline. Just when you think you’ve got an infestation under control, a whole new generation rises up ready to feed.
Cats usually get fleas when they go outdoors, but even indoor cats can be vulnerable. All it takes is a flea hitching a ride on the owner’s Reeboks. The cat rubs its head against the shoe in greeting…and there you are, dealing with a plague of cat fleas.
How Will I Know?
If your pet is suffering from fleas, soon the entire community will know about it. Watch kitty for excessive scratching. If you do notice your cat scratching a lot, purchase a flea comb (available at any pet store), place your pet on a light colored towel, and gently comb his or her fur. At times you might come across the fleas, however it is more likely that you notice black dots on the comb and towel. This is flea excrement–i.e., cat flea poop.
I Saw The Black Dots. Now What?
First you have to know your enemy and that means a quick lesson on the flea life cycle. A mature female flea can lay up to 50 eggs per day. Most of these eggs will go on your cat, others will go on your cat’s favorite places to sleep and eat. When the eggs hatch, the larvae survive by eating the adult flea’s feces. After about a week, the larvae cocoon themselves into pupae. After a week the pupae emerge from their cocoons to be adult fleas, all set to repeat the entire cycle once again.
To cure your cat of fleas, you must not only kill all the adults, but also all of the eggs, larvae, and pupae. To be effective, you must carry out your campaign of destruction all at once.
Killing The Adult Fleas
The quickest way to accomplish this is to take kitty to the vet for a flea dip. During your presence there, make sure to enquire the vet about available products for getting rid of flea eggs. Also ask your vet about cat flea prevention so you don’t have to go through the same thing again next year.
Killing The Eggs, Larvae, Pupae
While your cat is at the vet being dipped, it’s time to take on the flea babies. It is important to clean and vacuum your cat’s bed at regular intervals (also clean any piece of cloth that your cat might have used). Vacuum or steam clean all the carpets in your home. Ensure that you do not miss on any part of the carpet, more prominently the area near to the floor boards. Take the vacuum bag out to the trash immediately so fleas do not start to breed inside it. Ultimately, you may use an insect bomb inside your house. Ask your vet for a recommendation and follow the instructions exactly.
If you follow these instructions, your cat should be free of fleas in short order, but put him or her on a prevention program recommended by your vet. One flea annihilation per cat is more than enough.