One of the most annoying and upsetting situations you and your pet can endure is when your cat or kitten has fleas. Fleas are infamous parasites that breed quickly, transmit several illnesses, and carry other parasites like tapeworms.
Cats are generally known for their meticulous grooming, so you might not immediately notice if they have fleas. These brown, black, or dark red parasites leap or creep through a cat’s fur. These more subtle symptoms, such as frequent grooming, red lumps or scabs on the neck and back, head shaking, restlessness, worrying behavior, and hair loss, must be watched out for.
The following are 15 methods you can do right now to get rid of fleas:
Table of Contents
- 1. Do a flea inspection
- 2. Give your cat a flea bath
- 3. Comb your cat with a fine-tooth comb
- 4. Clean your home and furniture
- 5. Use Flea Pet Collars for Cats
- 6. Use Spot-on Products
- 7. Use Oral Medication for Fleas
- 8. Wash your cat’s bedding
- 9. Use Flea Sprays
- 10. Use Essential Oils for Fleas on Cats
- 11. Keep your cat indoors
- 12. Clean your Backyard
- 13. Plant Flea Repellent Plants
- 14. Go to the groomer’s
- 15. Go to Your Veterinarian
1. Do a flea inspection
Before investing in expensive flea treatments, check to see whether your cat has fleas. You should keep a close eye out for any movement in their fur. If you see little bugs bouncing off their coat, it’s time to tackle fleas. Seek out small, shifting black spots.
Try using a flea comb to brush your cat’s fur around the back and legs to check whether you can capture the fleas in this fine-toothed instrument. The teeth of the comb are made to entice and extract fleas from the hair coat. Get the comb right up to the skin as you comb the cat, then pour the contents into a bucket of soapy water. Immediate immersion in water will kill the fleas; otherwise, they could leap off the comb and return to your house.
2. Give your cat a flea bath
Dish soap is an option. If you aren’t currently taking a flea preventive, experts advise choosing a reputed brand of flea shampoo. Ask your veterinarian first what is best for your pet. You don’t want to provide your animal’s system with two contradicting medications.
Regular washing is one of the simplest methods to stop fleas from spreading throughout the house since hot water and soap kill fleas. Use a flea shampoo designed for cats or kittens to bathe them to kill fleas as soon as they make contact.
When giving your cat a bath, remember that some cats dislike unexpected movements and require additional caution since they feel vulnerable. Blot his damp fur with a dry towel after the bath to remove some extra water. Allow him to air dry in a warm little area that isn’t drafty.
3. Comb your cat with a fine-tooth comb
To get rid of fleas and their eggs, use a flea comb. To get rid of and capture the parasites, dip the comb into hot, soapy water after each pass. comb your hair in the direction it grows. For optimal effects, repeat many times each day.
A flea comb is a grooming instrument with tiny, tightly spaced metal or plastic teeth that fits in your palm. It removes fleas on your cat by collecting adult fleas, flea eggs, and flea filth between its teeth.
It’s crucial to comb your cat for fleas in a location that can be sterilized and cleaned when you’re done. The fleas that land in the environment might continue their reproductive cycle if you don’t eliminate them. Any mature fleas you manage to remove with the flea comb should be submerged in warm, soapy water. Use warm, soapy water to wash the flea comb after use to get rid of any flea eggs that may have become stuck there.
4. Clean your home and furniture
Naturally, you’ll want to completely rid your cat of fleas and provide them with the best comfort, but doing so alone won’t halt an infestation. Experts estimate that fleas spend 20% of their time on animals and the remainder of their time in the environment. You must eradicate the whole flea life cycle.
You’ll need to take identical care to eliminate fleas in your surroundings as you would for lice, bed bugs, or any other insect. Every day, you must vacuum the floors, the furniture, and any other area where your pet may be. Once finished, close the vacuum bag and then discard it.
Steam clean your carpets. Wash all pet and household bedding every two weeks in hot, soapy water. Treat the house and yard yourself by applying pesticide per the manufacturer’s recommendations. Or better yet, you can hire a professional exterminator.
5. Use Flea Pet Collars for Cats
Flea collars can produce a gas that is poisonous to fleas and kills or repels them, or they release a chemical that dissolves and distributes into the fatty layers of the animal’s skin, killing fleas all over the body. As you can expect, the first method may be pretty unsuccessful as it only affects fleas close to the collar. Usually, this is how the less expensive collars operate.
Some products include active components that might be poisonous to some animals; for instance, some dog flea collars can make cats sick or even kill them if they come into touch with them. The second method uses safer substances and is far more efficient.
6. Use Spot-on Products
Items you apply to your kitty. Spot-on treatments outperform conventional flea powder, shampoos, and sprays in terms of safety, convenience, and efficacy. They’re available online or via your veterinarian. Consult your veterinarian for advice on where to administer the medication, how much to use, and how frequently. Read the product label to ensure the therapy is safe for cats if you’re not getting it from your veterinarian.
A spot-on therapy is a liquid packed in individual dosages and poured over your pet’s back, between the shoulders. One application typically protects a pet against fleas and ticks for one month, but you’ll need to use it more frequently if your pet swims or is active.
7. Use Oral Medication for Fleas
Even though there are many over-the-counter choices, prescription programs work best. Simparica, NexGard, and Bravecto are a few of these medications. You can purchase any of them in chewable form from your veterinarian.
Nitenpyram kills mature fleas on the animal in around 30 minutes by inhibiting nerve receptors in the bug. It cannot be used for ongoing flea control since it has a short-term impact. This item is helpful for brief visits to places where fleas may be prevalent.
Drugs never come without risk, so keep that in mind. Whatever product you decide to use to manage parasites, read the label thoroughly and seek advice from your veterinarian if your animal is extremely young or elderly, unwell, or weak. Also, call your veterinarian immediately if your cat becomes unwell or your pet’s mood or behavior changes after using a parasite prevention medication.
8. Wash your cat’s bedding
Vacuuming all soft surfaces can help in getting rid of fleas if you have them. This applies to rugs and upholstered pieces of furniture like sofas and chairs. Flea powder can be applied to carpets and rugs, then vacuumed away later. Additionally, sprays are readily accessible for use inside.
Each time you vacuum, discard the vacuum bag. Many fleas may be killed by the suction action of vacuuming at various phases of their life cycles, but most likely not all of them. Fleas may survive for one to two weeks and lay eggs in vacuum cleaner bags. Every few days, wash your bedding in hot water, including your blankets, sheets, and pet bedding. You should frequently wash your drapes, especially if they touch the floor.
9. Use Flea Sprays
Use a flea-killing product to treat your cat. For cats afraid of water, flea sprays might be a helpful solution. As needed and as advised on the label, repeat the therapy.
Wearing home latex gloves is strongly advised while utilizing flea treatments. Use a gloved hand to apply the flea spray, then carefully work it into the hair near your pet’s head, eyes, and ears. Spraying these regions may cause the product to enter your pet’s eyes and mouth. Take care to avoid doing this. Apply the spray on your pet’s legs, sides, stomach, legs, shoulders, and neck while fluffing the fur with one hand. Spray on your pet’s coat until it is moist or totally wet.
10. Use Essential Oils for Fleas on Cats
Since essential oils have been used for millennia to ward off insects and other pests, logically, it would mean that they could also be effective against fleas.
The explanation behind essential oils is that they can potentially be better than commercial chemical-based therapies, which in some cases can harm your cat’s health. However, consult your veterinarian before putting any essential oil on your cat since not all of them may be suitable. Your veterinarian can advise you more effectively on which essential oils are best based on the volume of your cat’s fleas.
Fleas can be killed by essential oils in a few different methods. Citrus and peppermint oils, for example, include ingredients that make it harder for fleas to breathe. Eucalyptus oil and other oils have insecticidal effects. Finally, oils that relax and soothe the cat’s skin include lavender oil.
11. Keep your cat indoors
If you have a dog or additional cats, they can also be susceptible to fleas. To prevent an infestation from spreading and lower the possibility of further flea infestations, be sure to provide preventives to every home creature, including indoor and outdoor pets.
Minimize your cat’s exposure to fleas by keeping them indoors. Gradually transition from outdoor to indoor activities. Introduce both things well before bringing your cat inside if it has never used a scratching post or a litter box. Give your cat food indoors. After feeding, don’t immediately allow your cat outside again; instead, keep them inside for longer and longer periods.
By tossing a reward to the opposite side of the room, you may teach them to flee from an open door. Even though cats were domesticated by humans thousands of years ago, they still exhibit many of their wild predecessors’ habits. Give your cat lots of opportunities indoors to engage in their natural habits.
12. Clean your Backyard
Fleas are not restricted to your cat and don’t have defined regions. Eggs from fleas roll off your pet and land all over your house and yard. Additional procedures to treat your home and yard can help lower the likelihood of future flea infestations.
Ticks and fleas that feed on blood can harm your family and pets. They lurk in your grass and can create issues ranging from minor skin rashes to the spread of illness. Utilize these easy techniques to get rid of ticks and fleas in your grass. Mow it properly. A well-mowed lawn decreases the areas where fleas and ticks like to hang out. These two insects conceal themselves under tall grass.
Defend your house. Look into pet hangouts. Flea and tick larvae continue to exist within 50 feet of your pet’s preferred resting places. Any cool, shaded areas your pet enjoys, such as the areas under decks or porches, behind low-hanging bushes, or along fence lines, should be cleaned and treated.
13. Plant Flea Repellent Plants
Fleas are repulsed by several plant varieties, which won’t hurt your pets. The most delicate flea-repelling plants for families with pets are rosemary, catnip, lavender, sage, and lemongrass.
Strong insect repellents include peppermint and lavender. With no adverse effects on your dogs, peppermint plants in your yard can help ward off various insects, including fleas. Cats love catnip, and it’s entirely safe to grow around them. Catnip may also be a strong bug repellant. In addition to being quite powerful against fleas, catnip is also very efficient against many other insects, such as mosquitoes.
Sage’s smell repels fleas, but your pets won’t suffer any harmful effects from this plant. Plant sage in your yard to repel biting insects from your cat and enhance your food’s flavor. Adding lemongrass and rosemary to your garden can help deter fleas and ticks since they are essential components in several commercial fleas and tick-repellent solutions.
14. Go to the groomer’s
You shouldn’t attempt to keep the dog groomer from seeing your dog has fleas. They are one of the few with the tools necessary to assist you in overcoming this flea infestation. Your dog’s groomer is more likely to go above and above to provide a supportive atmosphere if they are aware of your dog’s illness.
Pets with flea infestations may occasionally be rejected by groomers. The principal justification is that they, understandably, don’t want to risk infecting their other clients. It could be that they are not equipped to deal with flea infestations. Typically, they will ask you to visit your veterinarian and obtain medicine. After receiving the proper treatment and getting rid of the fleas, you may plan routine grooming appointments.
On the other hand, there are certain expert flea grooming services that focus on eliminating fleas. Try to find these specialist groomers in your area and set an appointment.
15. Go to Your Veterinarian
Ask your veterinarian to suggest a course of action that is appropriate for your cat as they are knowledgeable about their medical history. Never provide a therapy that has not been approved by your veterinarian. Even if no fleas are present, your veterinarian may suggest strict flea control. Adult fleas eat blood and live on animals.
While meeting with a veterinarian could sometimes be an added expense, you must consider this a sound investment in your cat’s health. In some cases, you can’t put a dollar amount on your cat’s overall health and wellness, especially if they’re afflicted with something as problematic as fleas.
If you see fleas on your pet, it is usually preferable to speak with your veterinarian immediately. They can assist you in precisely deciding what your animal family member’s next course of treatment should be. An over-the-counter flea preventative may still be able to kill some fleas if your cat already has them.