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Old 01-06-2018, 01:15 PM
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GESancMan GESancMan is offline
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Dealing with fleas

When we lived in apartments, we would always let our cats out onto the balcony, but they weren't able to go anywhere. We bought a condo a year ago, which has an enclosed yard. We let Rocky, our 11-year-old, out whenever he wants, and he's never made an attempt to escape the yard. The other two, Irving and Ophelia, are 15-month-old siblings that we got last May. We have never let them outside; we're waiting until we have the money to put a solution in place to prevent them from being able to leave the yard.

We have never had any issues with fleas. About a week ago, Rocky suddenly got a bunch of sores around his neck, and a few on his rump. I took him to the vet yesterday, and the diagnosis was an allergic reaction to fleas. They gave us Cheristin, which we applied to all three cats, and will continue to do so as a preventative measure.

They also gave (well, sold) me a can of flea spray, and told us to thoroughly vacuum the condo and spray the entire place down. I did a bit of research after I got home, and I'm wondering if that might be excessive. From what I've read, spraying chemicals is what you do if you have a bad infestation. We've never seen any signs of fleas in the house. I took Irving to the vet at the end of November for an allergy problem, not six weeks ago, and the doctor found no sign of fleas. Thus, I really don't think we have an infestation.

We have no carpeting in this condo. The entire downstairs is real bamboo wood flooring. We've only ever swept it, because we're afraid our vacuum cleaner will scratch it up. Upstairs is fake-wood laminate. We have a couple of flat area rugs under furniture upstairs, but the cats don't spend any time on them.

Rocky has a bed that he loves. The kittens have a cat tree that they spend a lot of time on. All three of them like to sleep on our bed, and spend a lesser amount of time on our sofa, which is covered in blankets so we won't have to constantly clean cat hair off of it.

So I'm thinking washing Rocky's bed, our bedding, and the blankets on the couch, and spraying down the cat tree with the flea spray, should be good enough. If there are any fleas in the house, with the medication on the cats the fleas have no food.

What's your experience with this? Is my plan sufficient? Am I not taking the situation seriously enough?
  #2  
Old 01-06-2018, 02:20 PM
Jackmannii Jackmannii is offline
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Originally Posted by GESancMan View Post
If there are any fleas in the house, with the medication on the cats the fleas have no food.
Except for the humans, who will suddenly look a lot more appetizing.

Based on my own experience many years ago, if there's a serious flea infestation, you need to exterminate the little bastids, as they and/or their eggs can be incredibly hardy and difficult to eradicate. At a minimum, you don't want to have to re-treat the cats over and over.

It might also be time for a lifestyle reappraisal, as in keeping all cats indoors, or maybe with access to a covered run that has no vegetation for fleas to hide in.
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Old 01-06-2018, 02:31 PM
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Beckdawrek Beckdawrek is online now
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I agree. Them little shits can quickly take over. Spray and spray again. Washing all the bedding and blankets is a good idea. Do your immediate neighbors have pets? You may want to warn them.
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Old 01-06-2018, 02:38 PM
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Decades ago in California, fleas were a major issue. They came in on your clothing, if nothing else, and we periodically had to "bomb" the house. The bombs were aerosol cans that had a clip to lock them on. I'd bundle everybody into the car, then set off the bombs in every room in the house and leave for the day. Our present cat is an indoor cat who we occasionally let out in the front under supervision. She gets flea treatment every six weeks and we haven't had a problem.
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Old 01-06-2018, 02:58 PM
Merneith Merneith is online now
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If your cats are out in the yard, you should ask your vet about flea treatment like Advantage. It's a miracle flea killer that also kills the eggs and larvae. You should also inquire about tick and worm treatments, perhaps. We don't have a tick problem in my neighborhood, but your vet will know what it's like in your neck of the woods. It strikes me as actually a little weird that your vet didn't suggest it.

Flea spray - I hate having that stuff on my belongings. IME cats & dogs with a flea solution such as advantage will mean you can skip this step. I would try that first, and if the Advantage doesn't work, then try the spray. If you need the spray, though, be thorough. If you have a real infestation, you have to go Lt Kilgore on it.

I keep talking about Advantage but there's other brand names, too. It's not cheap but it works. Your vet will know.
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Old 01-06-2018, 03:45 PM
P-man P-man is offline
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We've been dealing with them too. We fogged the house with Cedarcide, and have been religiously frontlining the cats and dog. We have also had furnace problem coinciding with the polar vortex, which any remaining ones probably aren't enjoying. I haven't seen any on the dog in a while. She scratches some, but what dog doesn't? It isn't the urgent scratching of a dog whose skin in crawling.
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Old 01-06-2018, 04:32 PM
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GESancMan GESancMan is offline
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Originally Posted by Merneith View Post
If your cats are out in the yard, you should ask your vet about flea treatment like Advantage. It's a miracle flea killer that also kills the eggs and larvae. You should also inquire about tick and worm treatments, perhaps. We don't have a tick problem in my neighborhood, but your vet will know what it's like in your neck of the woods. It strikes me as actually a little weird that your vet didn't suggest it.

Flea spray - I hate having that stuff on my belongings. IME cats & dogs with a flea solution such as advantage will mean you can skip this step. I would try that first, and if the Advantage doesn't work, then try the spray. If you need the spray, though, be thorough. If you have a real infestation, you have to go Lt Kilgore on it.

I keep talking about Advantage but there's other brand names, too. It's not cheap but it works. Your vet will know.
That's what the Cheristin is, supposedly it's better than Advantage. The "flea spray" I talked about is for the house, not for the cats.

I remember living with fleas when I was a kid in the '80s in California. They were everywhere, all the time. If I was sitting on the floor in my room they'd be constantly jumping on and off of me.

I've not seen any signs of fleas at all, even on the cats. That makes me think Rocky went out and got bit a few times, and had a bad reaction. I'm sure he's brought some inside, but I'm hoping if we clean the areas the cats hang out, we can nip this thing in the bud before a full-blown infestation takes place. If that can even happen with no carpeting in the house.
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Old 01-06-2018, 04:41 PM
k9bfriender k9bfriender is offline
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Originally Posted by Merneith View Post
If your cats are out in the yard, you should ask your vet about flea treatment like Advantage. It's a miracle flea killer that also kills the eggs and larvae. You should also inquire about tick and worm treatments, perhaps. We don't have a tick problem in my neighborhood, but your vet will know what it's like in your neck of the woods. It strikes me as actually a little weird that your vet didn't suggest it.

Flea spray - I hate having that stuff on my belongings. IME cats & dogs with a flea solution such as advantage will mean you can skip this step. I would try that first, and if the Advantage doesn't work, then try the spray. If you need the spray, though, be thorough. If you have a real infestation, you have to go Lt Kilgore on it.

I keep talking about Advantage but there's other brand names, too. It's not cheap but it works. Your vet will know.
Advantage is probably the best, especially for cats. I prefer Advantix for my dog, but that is poisonous to cats. Frontline is all but useless, as it seems many fleas have gained an immunity to it, and most of the other topicals can be harmful to your pet.

I have had clients that had good results with seresto flea collars.

If you don't have much of an infestation, then just treating your pets should be enough. Fleas will hatch and grow up and bite your pet and die, not completing their life cycle. Of course, this means that your pets get bit by the fleas. If there aren't that many, that's not that big a deal, but if they have been around for a while, and since your cat has an allergic reaction, might not be a bad idea to try to kill off the other parts of the life cycle. Usually fleas spend 90% of their time living in the environment, rather than on the pet, so for every one you see, there are 9 more getting ready to come out.

Rather than sprays, I've prefered diatomaceous earth. This has little tiny shells in it that scrape up any insects shell and cuase it to dehydrate and die. I usually use a little bellows device to spray it under and into the interior of furniture. I also spread it rather liberally across my backyard.
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Old 01-06-2018, 04:44 PM
Sam Lowry Sam Lowry is offline
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Originally Posted by GESancMan View Post
I've not seen any signs of fleas at all, even on the cats. That makes me think Rocky went out and got bit a few times, and had a bad reaction. I'm sure he's brought some inside, but I'm hoping if we clean the areas the cats hang out, we can nip this thing in the bud before a full-blown infestation takes place. If that can even happen with no carpeting in the house.
I had a flea infestation in my house two summers ago. There were fleas jumping on me even on my second floor that is all hardwood flooring. I don't know where they were hiding but I'd look down and see one on me.

Since my infestation was bad I got Orkin to come out and bug bomb the place. But while I was freaking out and figuring out what to do, I found out about homemade flea traps with just dish soap and water. So maybe do a full cleaning of everything you can, and then put a few dish soap traps near where the cats hang out and if they end up empty you're good, but if there are some fleas that you trap in them you can figure out about further cleaning.
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Old 01-06-2018, 06:19 PM
Merneith Merneith is online now
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Originally Posted by GESancMan View Post
That's what the Cheristin is, supposedly it's better than Advantage. The "flea spray" I talked about is for the house, not for the cats..
I see. I should have googled it. I haven't used Cheristin (our cats are indoors and the advantage on my dogs seems to do enough to keep the pests at bay.) Good luck.
  #11  
Old 01-07-2018, 12:25 AM
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GESancMan GESancMan is offline
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Since my infestation was bad I got Orkin to come out and bug bomb the place. But while I was freaking out and figuring out what to do, I found out about homemade flea traps with just dish soap and water. So maybe do a full cleaning of everything you can, and then put a few dish soap traps near where the cats hang out and if they end up empty you're good, but if there are some fleas that you trap in them you can figure out about further cleaning.
Awesome. I'm going to lay a few of those out tonight and see what comes of it!
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Old 01-07-2018, 11:51 AM
Sam Lowry Sam Lowry is offline
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Awesome. I'm going to lay a few of those out tonight and see what comes of it!
I hope they help. I didn't use them and i wouldn't say that if they're empty then it's 100% proof that you're not infested, but if you haven't seen any, and you don't have little red bites on your feet and ankles, and you're thoroughly cleaned then it's a little more reassurance.
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Old 01-07-2018, 12:58 PM
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I left one at the bottom of the cat tree, and one next to Rocky's bed, and both were clean this morning. So that's a good sign. I'll still finish washing everything, and keep my fingers crossed.
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Old 01-08-2018, 05:35 AM
mr horsepower mr horsepower is offline
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can't believe no one has mentioned the seresto flea collar.

https://www.petsmart.com/featured-br...flea-and-tick/


they last 8 months. 2 indoor/ outdoor cats. had a flea problem that frontline was doing nothing for. started using these, no problems on the cats anymore, no problems in the house anymore. seems they're $40-$45 on sale at pets mart (not an ad for them, just happens to be the cheapest local place I've found).
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