(Closed) Flea hell

posted 6 years ago in Pets
Post # 3
3357 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

indoor only cat and he has fleas? geez.
my Mother-In-Law bathes her cats and puts some medication on them I think – she started watching them for fleas because I was eaten alive one time I stayed with them. But she has two cats, one is indoor only and the other actually goes outside.

Post # 4
258 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

try buying Comfortis from the vet. My indoor cats had REALLY bad flea problems but after this medicine it cleared up withing 24 hours. It as cheap too

Post # 5
1963 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

When our dogs had fleas bad two years ago, we cleaned EVERYTHING, cut up flea collars, and put them in various places throughout the house- mostly under cushions in furniture.  Good luck!

Post # 6
595 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: February 2015

Advantage worked really well for our cats (long haired & short haired). It was around $65 at PetSmart. Ours are indoor only too, they were coming in from the window!

Post # 7
5475 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

We have dogs, but we use Frontline or the generic version Fipronil or Fiproguard. 

Post # 8
1830 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: November 2014

The cut up flea collars and Advantage/Frontline are all great suggestions.

When we got both our cats from the shelter they were completely flea-infested, but they were still babies still so we couldn’t give them a true flea treatment anyway, so a groomer friend of mine told us what to do.

Believe it or not, a warm, soapy bath with some Dawn (yes, dish soap) works WONDERS, even compared to “flea baths”. Just soap up the cat (yeah, I know easier said than done, but that’s what the neck scruff is for, right? Trim nails in advance…) and get a good lather, and then leave it on for 5 ish minutes, all soaped up. Keep some tweezers handy so if while you’re waiting you see a flea try to run away you can grab and crush it. We flushed them down the toilet just to make sure they wouldn’t come back lol. Then, rinse rinse rinse. You might need to repeat after 1-2 days, but all the fleas should be gone.

OH, and don’t do the face! Just go over the face with a water-only washcloth and tweezers; the soap shouldn’t really go past the neck, and definitely don’t get any water in the ears.


Post # 9
5147 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

Sprinkle your carpet with diatomaceous earth (you can get it at a garden store, I always buy food-grade because sometimes I feed it to my dogs too). It will kill flea larva. Fleas aren’t just on the cat, eggs fall off into the carpet.

And CapStar! It’s a pill you give them that will kill all adult fleas on your pet.  http://www.petsmart.com/product/index.jsp?productId=11394956′ defer=’defer

Post # 10
1250 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

When my indoor-only cat had fleas our vet recommended Advantage and a good flea comb. She hates the flea comb, but it did seem to help a lot. And I second the Dawn bath suggestion (I’ve heard that the blue kind is best but this may be some kind of weird urban myth), if you can bathe your cat without getting your eyes scratched out, because I definitely couldn’t haha. One last thing to keep in mind apparently the choice of Advantage vs Frontline depends on the particular fleas in your area and what they’re more susceptible to, so it may be worth a call to the vet to see what he/she recommends.  Good luck!!!

Post # 11
11166 posts
Sugar Beekeeper

I would do an entire treatment of your home and yard. If your cat is indoor only it is possible that you or anyone else coming in and out of the home is bringing in the fleas as well.

1). Treat your cat with any option as mentioned above.

2). Treat all cloth/fabric items in the home with Raid Flea Carpet and Upholstrey Spray. Anything that can’t/shouldn’t be sprayed including any bedding wash immediately.

3). Vaccum like you have never done so before…every inch of the house especially those favored by your cat.

4). Spray the lawn/garden/yard area that is around your home with a flea/tick yard spray killing them and preventing an infestation outside your home. Something similar to this: http://www.petco.com/product/117895/Virbac-Yard-Spray-Concentrate-Outdoor-Flea-and-Tick-Insecticide.aspx?cm_mmc=CSEMGooglebase-_-Dog-_-Virbac-_-1254103&mr:trackingCode=031CE772-B442-E111-B9EF-001B21A69EB0&mr:referralID=NA

I have done the above on a few occasions and without fail it has worked.

Best of luck!


Post # 12
248 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: March 2013

My Fiance is in vet school and we have had flea problems too. He takes a more holitic (and maybe a little cheaper) approach on getting rid of fleas. I believe he used borax, which is a laundry detergent that kills fleas AND flea larvae (which a vacuum can’t).

You can get Capstar from your vet, which is a one time flea medicine that drops fleas off almost instatnly. After you give that to your cat, take the borax and spread it over any carpet/rugs you have in your home. Throw all of your sheets or fabric where the cat lays and put it in the laundry. Then you (and any other living beings) should leave the house for awhile – that way you can let the borax really get into the carpet to kill the fleas. Then, come home and vacuum it all up.

As far as flea medicine though, it totally depends on where your from and what your cat is like. Some animals refuse to take the flea meds that are in pill form – but down here (south louisiana) those work the best. You would have to ask your vet which flea meds work best in your climate region.

Hope this helps.

[EDIT] This year is supposed to be a terrible flea season… we’ve been warned by so many people.

Post # 15
336 posts
Helper bee

Sorry, this is kind of long.

Unfortunately, none of the things you are doing are going to control an ongoing flea population. Without a topical prevention (other than Capstar, there are not a lot of great oral options for cats…Comfortis is licensed for dogs only. There is Program, but this is only something to sterilize fleas, not kill them.), there is nothing to stop any fleas in the environment/newly hatching from jumping right back on.

One adult female flea lays DOZENS of eggs in the environment, daily. Those eggs can lay dormant for months at a time, or they can hatch and the fleas start feeding (on your cat) within minutes. It’s a vicious cycle. You HAVE to get a topical, long lasting prevention in order to stop this, or one flea is all it takes to continue reproducing at a ridiculous rate.

Revolution or Advantage (I recommended Advantage/Advantix products over Frontline) applied every 3-4 weeks, consecutively, for a MINIMUM of 3 months is what you really need to tackle this.

Borax is a great option for helping treat the environment, but it’s not a total solution. Get it, sprinkle onto all carpets/rugs/soft surfaces (couch), brush it in with a broom or firm bristle brush, all the way into the base. Then vacuum a few times to get it all up. Change the bag/canister every single time you vacuum, and seal the waste bag and throw it out immediately. Wipe down and disinfect all hard surfaces, and wash ANYTHING you can, on the hottest wash/best dry cycle possible. And save up, get one dose at a time from the vet, whatever you can, get a GOOD topical prevention (do NOT use otc Hartz/Addams/Sargents/etc).

Good luck!

Post # 16
1021 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

I used to work at a vet and this was always a huge problem for our clients in the summer. I know it’s frustrating and expensive, but if you’re diligent you can get rid of them.

First (and it sucks), but you really will need to get a monthly topical medication (Frontline, Advantage, etc.) or a monthly pill (Comfortis) if your cat will take it. You’ll start noticing a difference almost immediately, but it will take about 3 months for the cycle to be completely broken (death of all fleas, larva, and eggs) and every flea eliminated. When applying the topical make sure to part your cat’s hair and apply the medicine directly on the skin. It spreads through the skin cells, so if you’re only getting in the hair then it won’t really be effective.

Usually you can get the meds cheaper on PetMeds than at your local vet. I’m pretty sure Frontline is still doing a promotion where if you buy 6 (at your vet’s office), you get a 7th dose for free (which saves you about $14).

Wash all your linens in hot water. Cut up flea collars and put them in your vacuum cleaner bag/compartment. Good luck!

ETA: Totally forgot, but PP is right – Comfortis is for dogs only!

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