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Just say no to fleas

Fleas are a pain…and not just for your cat. Most fleas look like brown colored spots moving. While it's true that their favorite meal may be your cat, they don't live where they eat. If your cat has fleas, then so do you. Fleas live in carpeting, upholstered chairs, drapes, afghans, almost anywhere. When they're hungry they'll jump to the nearest animal. Sometimes that means you! And to make matters worse, your furry friend may be allergic to fleas. That means they not only scratch the bite, but the area around it. Soon there are red bumps all over your cat and she or he is spending most waking hours scratching. Hair begins to fall, skin dries out, cracks, bleeds….such a horror! You must do something! Thankfully there are things you can do. Some cat owners believe that the best solution is one of those new products available. . Products such as "PROGRAM" "FRONTLINE" "ADVANTAGE", available several years ago for dogs, have become safe for cats when administered according to instructions. [Warning! Do not use the dog versions for your cat without checking with your vet as dog amounts could be highly toxic for the cat!] These products either kill adult fleas or sterilize the female fleas so that she's unable to lay her eggs. One of our cats, Samantha, is allergic to flea bites, so we were grateful when these products became available for cats. We recommend that you begin with a trip to the vet. Let your vet look at your cat and determine which of the products will work best. Be aware that even if you choose one of these methods for flea prevention you may have to "fog" your house in order to get rid of any remaining adult fleas or larvae. And if you choose not to use one of these chemically based products, there are other courses of action. Flea collars are available. Just remember, collars lose their effectiveness quickly, and even faster if gotten wet. There are sprays that you can use to prevent fleas, but these usually need to be applied daily.

Some folks swear that Brewer's Yeast, garlic, or Vitamin B does the trick for their cats, although there is little scientific evidence to support such remedies. Insecticide shampoos are available from your vet, the many pet-product catalogs, or pet stores. Remember that if you choose one of these latter remedies it's not just your cat that needs the bath, the powder, or the garlic. You'll have to clean, re-clean, and probably fog the living space you share with your four-legged friend. You will also need to limit your cat's freedom--he or she won't be able to pal around with former friends with fleas. But, he or she is definitely worth it! Save Save

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