My indoor cat has fleas.

How did this happen? I’m not a type-A personality but not a slob either, have no other pets and have never had this happen! I’m disgusted, phantom-itchy (I say phantom because I don’t find any bites on myself), and not sure what to do.

I read up on the internet yesterday, then went out and bought:

  1. Zodiac Spot-on for my cat
  2. Natural Defense Spray for the house

I went with the natural stuff for the house because I have a nine-year old and I didn’t want anything that would hurt him or be poisonous to the poor cat, who is already so miserable. I didn’t get anything for the yard because Max is an indoor kitty, so he never goes out. Do I need to?

Last night I applied the Spot-on, then I went and test-sprayed an area on my bedspread to test it on fabric. A FLEA JUMPED UP from my bedding. I was horrified. I had to ask my husband to wash everything and then proceeded to spray my entire bedroom. Later on, I saw one on the couch. Do I need to burn my house?


We had indoor cats who would occasionally get fleas. According to the vet they like to hitch a ride on you in search of animals which will satiate their bloodlust. If your 9 year old is an active outdoor type (lots of rolling around in the grass and stuff) that may do the trick.

I don’t know if it is “natural” but I highly highly highly recommend Advantage. It is a to fleas what jello is to cultists. It’s not a full bath or anything… You get a little vial of medecine and put it onto the neck area behind the ears. This will kill off the fleas and the non dead ones will quickly abandon your home with no food source (they are unable to live off humans- again according to our Vet)

They’re attracted to their own?

I also agree with course of action. When my cats were indoor only, they would occasionally come down with fleas. One dose of Advantage each would get rid of the fleas for months. I never had to go postal and wash all the bedding or anything, just apply the advantage and wait a day or two.

Now that my cats go outside, I give it to them monthly, and I haven’t seen a flea in years. It may be a little pricey, but it is defenatly worth it.

Ours have gotten them twice. The first time, it was likely because I like to fraternize with stramge outside cats - I probably brought them in myself. The second time, my wife went for a walk on the beach, and the pet store clerk opines that she picked up sand fleas and brought them home. Advantage or Revolution will kill those fuckers deader than Kelsey’s nuts - they both work well for me.


So I shouldn’t vacuum my walls, throw the bag out in a double-plastic bag and spray top-to-bottom?

I took the Zodiac because Petsmart didn’t carry Advantage and I heard Hertz kills pets dead. :frowning:

OTC products like Hertz ARE more toxic than the ones obtained through the vet (Frontline, Advantage, Promeris, Capstar, whatever other new one is). Particularly for cats because it contains compounds for which they are more sensitive (permetrhin, pyrethroid? I keep forgetting).

Yeah, the good stuff (Advantage, Frontline, Revolution) you have to get from your vet. My vet told me not to worry about the house, though - the fleas jump back onto the cat, bite, and die from the chemicals.

I just took my dog to the vet last week for her routine exam and found out she had fleas. Apparently the Frontline I bought online (from a supposedly ‘good’ site) was counterfeit. According to her, there is no assurance of legitimacy unless it is bought directly from the manufacturer. I will never buy anywhere again except from my vet. She said Frontline Plus works so well now, that she has never seen a dog with fleas when they were using it.

When I asked about de-contaminating the house, my vet said there is no real need. Once you apply the Frontline, the animal becomes a flea-killing machine. Any fleas or eggs not currently on the animal will find their way to it, if you let it roam around as usual. She did suggest just doing a good vacuuming, and I also washed all the bedding and things where the dog hangs out, but I never saw a live flea like you did. But I did not use any sprays or anything.

She assured me that fleas much prefer the animal, and will not live on you if there is an animal to be found. As soon as they find the animal, they are dead. You do need to keep the animal on the Frontline for a few months to make sure any straggling eggs that hatch or larvae will find their way to it and die. I usually just keep my dog on it all the time to be sure.

Indoor animals can get fleas from visitors - say another person has a cat with fleas and they carry an egg over on their clothes, or if you go to someone’s house that has fleas and carry something home.

Thanks for all your help. So now that I put the first does of Zodiac on, should I follow up with Frontline, or just stick to what I got? His hair is all punk-gelled where the Zodiac went. I don’t want to risk overdosing him.

How long does it take to kill them? I am keeping him off my lap and off my bed for the time being, when is it safe to let him back on?

I am not familiar with Zodiac, so I don’t know how well it works. If you are going to get Frontline, you can get it from your vet, so you could ask him/her if overdosing is a problem. I would assume not, since it does not actually get into their bloodstream (it gets through their oil glands or something and into their fur) but I am not a vet.

Frontline takes 12-24 hours to work, I think. But, the idea is to let your cat roam in all her usual places to make all the stray fleas go to her. So I wouldn’t keep her away from her usual spots too long.

You can follow up the Zodiac treatment with whatever your vet recommends and you purchase from your vet. I don’t know anything about any over-the-counter stuff because most of it doesn’t work or is toxic to cats and I never recommend it to anyone for any reason. We just admitted a poor kitty to the shelter yesterday who was suffering from toxic flea treatment that the person who found him put on him. He wasn’t seizuring, but was close. Poor baby. The dumb lady thought she would get rabies from him because he scratched her, too. I really wanted to tell her she was doomed to die from a cat scratch, but we’re nicer to dumb people than that.

Advantage, Frontline, Revolution, those are all meds you can get from your veterinarian. You can use them year-round, or the minimum for treating the household is 4 months. The flea life cycle is 100 days, so you want to treat for the length of the possibility of hatching eggs. Talk to your vet, you may be able to re-apply one of the safer meds mentioned above as soon as 2 weeks from now.

I hate fleas. I have a flea story of my own and I totally sympathize with the phantom itching and seeing ones that aren’t even there leaping around in the peripheral vision. How I ended up in the animal care business with all the ick involved, I’ll never figure out.

Max doesn’t have a vet. I inherited him along with the husband and child when I married, and I don’t think he’s ever been to one. I hate to start taking him now if this over-the-counter stuff will do the trick. There were other folk at the store with cats that swore by it.

My son’s 4 cats got fleas last month-- indoor cats, but a neighbourhood stray likes to come and taunt them through the (ground floor) terrace (screen) door. He rubs up against it. My son figures that’s where they got the fleas.

Anyhow, he bought Zodiac and treated them. One of the cats had to go to vet emergency. He was told that several cats recently got permanent nerve damage from Zodiac. Anyhow, she’ll be ok, sorta, and the cats are all going through the Advantage programme now.

My son and his wife vacuum every day, all floors and furniture. They throw away the bags (wrapped in a plastic bag) in an outside dustbin with a cover. They also do laundry every day, and used various sprays for the furniture and bedding that can’t be washed.

You can buy the meds at most vets without having them see the cat.

We had a flea infestation recently and we don’t even have a cat or dog. They just hitched rides on our socks. There was a feral cat with kittens outside for a while, that’s when it was the worst. (They were trapped and the mother was spayed and released and the kittens adopted out.)

This I true. I get mine from the local PetSmart which has a vet in it. They have never seen my pets. All I had to do was tell them their names and my info and they hand it right over.

The laws may be different in Oregon (or maybe there was a Vet onscene- so they allowed this) but at my local pet store, I could buy Advantage. They had it seperate from msot of the flea meds and locked up in a little cage, but it was there.

A Vet will surely have it though. And like has been mentioned you can just go to a vet and buy some without actually seeing the Vet.

You should do a Google search with key words on any product that kills fleas before using it.
Do it with words like “Zodiac harmed my cat” or “Frontline seizures” or “Advantix killed my dog” (cat). There are holistic products which work and I have found that Neem powder workes better than any of the above pesticides. If you want more info Google Critter Shield

I already does him for the month, but I think next month I will defintely buy the Advantage. I thought I had licked them but last night my husband brushed 7 out of his coat, and I saw one (eek!) on my bed.

It filled me with sad.