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my2cats 06-16-2013 10:18 AM

Fleas! (mostly a rant)
 
I've had cats for years but recently moved to a ground-level home and for the first time ever we have FLEAS. I was totally unprepared. I thought I saw one about a month ago, made a note I should get some topical treatment for the cats, and 2 weeks later they were EVERYWHERE.

I put Revolution on both my cats two weeks ago, but I really didn't notice any decrease in the number of fleas. And it's gotten bad enough they hop on me when I walk through the living room.

So, after waiting for the Revolution to kick in, I got Capstar, which works immediately and gave it to them last night (it only lasts 24 hours though). The fleas on the cats seem to have finally died, but I feel terrible - one of my cats seems mostly unbothered and only had a few, but the other has raw patches on her neck and really seemed to have fleas everywhere. I can't believe it got so bad so quickly. :(

So now I'm vacuuming and planning to give them some more Capstar maybe once or twice a week till I can reapply the monthly treatment. And possibly switch to Advantage? I also ordered a flea comb that should be here Tuesday. Giving them baths is really not an option as I don't think I'd survive the blood loss...

Anyway, just a rant - I really couldn't believe how fast they invaded. I've always had a flea-free home and never saw it coming...

PUPMOM5 06-16-2013 10:52 AM

Advantage is my preventative of choice - as a cat owner and as someone who works at a vet clinic. You might need to take the cat in with the patches if they're red, itchy, flaky and don't seem to resolve. She might need some medication.

Cats groom themselves so much that often times, you won't know you have fleas unless you're infested. Keep them on their monthly prevention, vacuum the house well (especially along baseboards) and empty the vacuum outside, wash the bedding, and you should be okay. One more caveat: tape worms often follow fleas. I would keep a close eye on your kids' feces/rear ends.

BreathingSpace 06-16-2013 02:31 PM

I've had fleas many, many times. Ironically, never from my own cats but other people's!! Just a tip - spray your carpet with the flea spray you got (I prefer Zodiac), vaccuum, but then you'll have to vaccuum again because the warmth/heat/vibration of your vaccuum can hatch any flea eggs.

Basically, if you have carpet it's best to spray twice. If you have bags of clothing that you have stored in your place, move it out of the house somewhere cold and cementy if you can, like garage and keep it there for a few months.

As for the cats, now that you have put the Capstar (or Advantage, whichever you choose), you won't really have the bathe them. Flea comb to get any live ones off. I can always detect fleas just by the behavior of my cats. Yes they groom, but they do this thing... almost like a sudden startled aggressive bite around their bum/tail area.

Yes, it's crazy how fast fleas can spread! I've been quite traumatized every time I have fleas in my house.

SuperHeroTeacher 06-16-2013 05:46 PM

I'm so sorry you're going through this! I haven't had a flea problem since I started using Advantage years ago, but I did have a dog about 25 years ago who was allergic to fleas and would get bald patches from the bites - you probably should take your cat t the vet. Poor thing!

my2cats 06-16-2013 09:32 PM

Yes, my first clue something was truly amiss was when I started wondering why my cats - who never ever used to get on the table or counters - suddenly started playing "the floor is lava". I just thought they were being weird.

I'm keeping an eye on the one kitty who was bitten the worst. She has seemed a lot better since the Capstar kicked in, and the raw patches aren't as bad as they looked at first - the fur is thinned out and the skin is reddish but they don't seem to be open or bleeding. I thought she was scabby and was horrified but as far as I can tell now it was mostly flea dirt (ugh, but better than scabs I guess).

Anyway I vacuumed again today but am still getting hop-ons (...hehe), so I'll probably give them another Capstar tomorrow to make sure they don't get reinfested.

I ordered some carpet powder online that will be here Tuesday as well. I'm not a huge fan of pesticides so I'd prefer something I can vacuum up to something that stays down, but I guess we'll see how it goes. (I'm just paranoid the cats will get any kind of pesticide on them and end up licking their fur and poisoning themselves.)

MAK247 06-17-2013 08:28 PM

Oh, this is my specialty. :) I'm a pet groomer, here are some tricks of the trade that I've picked up over the years:

Use a flea collar, not on the cats, but put it in the vacuum to help kill the ones that get sucked up.

If you do wash your cats, use plain original dawn dish soap and let soak for 10 minutes. It will work better than any chemical filled flea shampoo. Fleas create a waxy/oily coating to keep from drowning when they detect water, dawn breaks this down and drowns them.

Small items (bedding, couch cushions, etc.) that can't be laundered or vacuumed very well can be placed in a car, park in the hot sun for a few hours to kill any buggies.

You can make a trap for fleas, put a little water (enough to drown them) in a pie pan, add some dawn dish soap, mix it up but gently so there are no suds. Place the pan under a lamp on the floor, it is supposed to attract and drown them at night.

Treat the yard, many people skip this step but if the yard is infested they will keep on coming right back in.

Treat areas you might not think of such as windowsills, etc. where the cats might hang out.

Look into food grade (it also comes in a pool grade) diamatacous earth (possibly misspelled). You can safely put it on the pets themselves, carpeting, bedding, etc. I don't know what stores sell it, but some online pet supply companies do carry it.


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