Fleas and Cats - Let's Discuss
A reader wrote in the other day, "Today we discovered our little guy has fleas. We only take him on walks with a leash but that was enough. We've washed him (much to his dislike) and that got rid of the flea dirt, and we manually picked the fleas we could find out and killed them. What do you recommend treating Ragdolls with for killing fleas? Have you ever had to stamp out fleas in your house too? We're thinking of getting a pest exterminator in as my wife has been bitten in the last day or two repeatedly."
As many of you know, I let my two Ragdoll cats outside in my yard and I am with them while they are outside. But they are outside for about 1 hour a day, exploring, rolling in dirt, eating grass, etc. This is a personal choice of mine, and it is not something I advocate (I've been accused of advocating letting cats outside). It's a personal choice based on your situation, and I hope every cat owner makes a responsible educated decision based on where they live.
"Sorry to hear about the fleas - I HATE fleas. I have had them twice in my home and never want to deal with that again.
I can't tell you what to do, and it wouldn't be morally right for me to. You will want to talk to your vet.
I just applied Revolution flea control to my cats two days ago - I tried all the natural stuff and still got fleas. I even tried not letting my cats outside, and we still got fleas. I have never treated my house with chemicals, but I vacuumed everything that couldn't be washed and then threw away the vacuum bag into a plastic bag. And then washed everything that could be washed. If you already have fleas, then they have laid eggs and the eggs will hatch and the process starts over again. Before I started using flea control, I was going mad with the little buggers.
Revolution makes a alcohol based treatment that doesn't leave an oily residue on their fur.
I apply flea control in the warm months (I live in Kansas City) and apply it every 6 weeks or so - they say every 4 weeks, but that's because it's easier to keep track of. I have found going 6-8 weeks works just fine.
My Charlie is actually allergic to flea bites and will itch the heck out of himself if I don't put it on. I do hate putting it on them - feel like I am giving them chemicals, but my vet explained that I would feel much worse with heart worm (which our flea control prevents as well) or having them anemic from flea bites.
One summer I had a bad flea infestation in my home. So we had to wash everything and vacuum everything I couldn't wash with a bagged vacuum. When we were done vacuuming, I was told to remove the vacuum bag, put it in a plastic grocery bag and then seal it tightly, so that if the flea eggs we had vacuumed up hatched, they would have no oxygen to survive. Finally, our vet suggested we spray the house with this Vet Kem Siphotrol Plus II Premise Pest Control Spray. We were headed away for the weekend, so we took the cats out of the house, sprayed it and let it settle for a few days while we were gone.
Hope that helps in some way."
Here's something I can't figure out - I let my Rags outside for 3 years at the end of his life and he NEVER had fleas and I never used flea control. They must not have liked his blood?
So where do you live and how do you manage fleas? In your replies, please include:
- If you live in an area where fleas are common for pets
- If you've had fleas and what you've had to do to get rid of them on your cat and in your home
- If you use a preventative - how long you've been using it and it's effectiveness
Another resource - Best Vacuums for Ragdoll Cat Hair According to Ragdoll Cat Owners - but remember, when vacuuming up fleas and flea eggs you have to have a vacuum with a bag (and then seal that bag into a plastic bag so that the fleas that hatch die).
The Conscious Cat recently ran this article, Natural, Non-Toxic Flea Control, too.