Preventing an infestation of fleas takes a lot less effort than trying to take care of an existing problem. However, because an adult flea can produce tens of thousands of new little fleas each and every month, it takes an all out effort just to keep these hopping, pesky critters under control. It is almost impossible to completely eradicate the fleas.
The key to flea control is treating both the inside of your home as well as your outside yard area. You also have to control what other animals your cat may come in contact with as well as the roaming or prowling on properties other than your own. In addition, there are a multitude of products on the market today to help with the fleas' cohabitating on your cat as well. Let's take a brief look at ten measures you can take to prevent an infestation of fleas:
1. Flea Baths And Dips – Flea baths use a topical medicated shampoo that is used specifically for flea treatment. These baths work great for a day or two; however, the effects wear off quickly. Your cat would have to have a bath practically every other day and this is something most people simply have no time to accomplish. That is why flea dips are more effective and last for several weeks. However, these flea dips are a last resort because of the heavy chemicals involved in the process. These dips can cause a buildup of chemical deposits that can be unhealthy if too much is ingested.
2. Flea Powder And Spray Treatments – Flea powders and sprays offer only a short term defense against fleas and really are not used as often as other methods of flea treatment. It should be especially noted that only adult fleas are affected by this preventive measure.
3. Flea Collars – Flea collars are another measure for cats in getting rid of fleas. What happens is that the collar exudes a “poisonous” gas that fleas absolutely hate and this gas is then absorbed into your cat's skin. The drawbacks are that the flea collars only seem to work in the general vicinity of its wearer – which is usually around the cat's neck. You can also drop a flea collar inside of a vacuum cleaner bag to kill these creatures.
4. Flea Medication – Usually in pill form, this flea medicine can keep the flea eggs from hatching, stopping reproduction in its tracks. However, this medication has to be a continuous treatment program in order for it to be successful. Please note these flea medications in pill format do not kill the adult fleas, but rather halt the reproduction process. For cats, they are notorious about not taking medicine, so there are also certain flea medications in the form of a shot. Just be sure to ask your doctor about this delivery method of medication.
5. Absorbable Medications - Also known as “spot on” flea medication. These absorbable flea medications are customarily in an ointment or thick liquid form. Cat owners, you should apply the medicine on the back of your pet, usually between the shoulder blades. You would have to part the hair to apply the flea medication on the skin for better absorption. Effectiveness is usually a month and kills adult fleas for sure. Some medications will also halt the development of the larva within the flea eggs.
6. Vacuuming – Your carpets and furniture are harbor quite a bit of adult fleas, flea eggs, pupae and larva. If you want to get rid of these critters before they multiply and take over your home, daily vacuuming working wonders. Be sure and put a flea collar inside your vacuum cleaner bag! Fleas don't like the minute gases it gives off. Changing your vacuum cleaner bag frequently will keep the flea eggs and other parts from hatching and hopping away from the vacuum cleaner to other parts of the house.
7. Flea Foggers – This approach is a bit more drastic simply because it is such an inconvenience to the whole family. You have to ensure food items are put away as well as anything else that might suffer from the effects of the fogger. Your family and pets would have to vacate the premises while the fogger is doing its job and you would not be able to re-enter your home until everything is dry.
8. Washing Laundry – By washing your cat's bedding as well as any other items the cat is fond of, you can get rid of quite a few fleas. Be sure to wash in hot soapy water when possible. Clothes, tablecloths, slipcovers … all should be washed frequently.
9. Flea Treatments For The Yard – If your cat goes outside at any time, it would pay off to treat your yard for these fleas. Every time your cat goes outside, it has the potential of carrying back into your home hundreds of fleas and flea eggs. By treating your yard with some type of insecticide, you cut that probability way down.
10. Flea Combs – This method is ridding your cat of fleas is time consuming. However, if your cat is sick or expecting kittens, this is a workable method. You would use a special medicated flea comb on your pet, making sure to capture the fleas that come out and dousing them in water that has soap or detergent in it. That will ultimately kill the fleas and any eggs that are picked out by the comb.