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Everything You Need to Know About Cats and Flea Control

This week I’ve have had a few phone calls from owners concerned that their cat has fleas and what can they do about those pesky parasites.

Before I get started I want everyone to understand that cats are NOT like little dogs and should be treated with care when it comes to giving medications (or with any form of parasite control). 

It is my opinion that NO cat should ever be washed with a flea shampoo or have any powders or sprays applied to their skin to control fleas or ticks. I do NOT care what is written on the packet or the bottle about the safety for cats – I repeat – it is my opinion that NO product should be applied to a cat in the form of a shampoo, powder or spray.

Of all the years I have been a vet (all 43 years) I have had to treat a number of cats who were poisoned from these products and I am sad to say that I could not save them all.

It is also my opinion that there are NO safe flea collars and I’m constantly finding healthy adult fleas living directly under a flea collar when cats are presented here at the veterinary hospital. I do NOT recommend the use of flea collars on cats.

In my opinion, there are a number of flea ‘spot ons’ that do not kill fleas very well or do not last any length of time once applied. Some products worked wonderfully well 5 years ago but now a lot of fleas are resistant to the drugs.

So what do I recommend as a flea control on your cat?

  1. Revolution spot on – at this moment in time it seems to be working well and I have yet to see any bad reaction to the product. My only comment is – if you have a large number of fleas in your environment then you may need to apply this product every 3 weeks rather than every 4 weeks (as written on the packet).
  2. Activyl spot on – This is working very well on cats that I have applied it to and seems to work for the whole 4 weeks as written on the packet. I have not seen or heard of any side effects from this product.
  3. Comfortis – a tablet. Seems to be working well but I am always concerned with giving internal medications to cats due to their weird ability to adversely be affected by some medications. I personally use this medication when I have a cat that is licking itself a lot (and that removes any spot on from the coat) or needs to be bathed a lot (and that does not happen very often as most cats do not enjoy being bathed).

The most important points to remember is to

  1. Medicate all dogs and cats in your environment
  2. Continue with your flea control for at least 12 months

Control of fleas is relatively simple if you are using the right product at the right time and continue with the same products for a reasonable period even when you are not seeing the pesky parasites.

If you are not sure on what to do – call us here at East Bundaberg Veterinary Hospital on 41531399 or 41591009 and talk to one of our staff.

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