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Discussion in 'Cat Chat' started by OrientalSlave, Nov 17, 2020.
Wow, that's awful @Oriental Slave!
Time to go back to the days when there were no spot-on flea treatments then. At least until such time as an environmentally safe and reliable way of killing cat and dog fleas is discovered.
Coincidentally I read recently - in a book on cat allergies - a theory that the regular dosing of our cats with chemicals (flea treatments) may be partly responsible for the huge increase in feline allergies over the past 10 yrs. It is certainly food for thought.
When I was a kid growing up, our family cats were never treated with flea killers. My mother was house proud and I can imagine her disgust if fleas had been found on the cats or in the home. But the cats never got fleas.
Seeing as Fipronil is almost useless against fleas anyway these days, one wonders why such products haven't quickly been stopped alongside the farm ban. Of course the pet health industry is massive, and I suspect that might have something to do with it.
I saw this this morning - so shocking. I had no idea fipronil was a neonicotinoid I assumed they had been banned in all settings. Our vets still recommend broadline/frontline so it must still be effective where I am. We often wonder whether doing it every month is over treating.
I guess other treatments/insecticides you can get are probably no better for the environment.
My husband got a flea once, before we even had cats. He thought we had a particularly active mosquito in the house, then he found the critter living the life of riley in his leg hair
Thanks for sharing the article @OrientalSlave
I am not keen on topical flea treatments but understand they are needed at times. One day I hope to live where I can allow my cats safe (cat safe garden with netting etc) outdoor access.
But I worry about the harmful to the cat effects of applying what is essentially poison to them.
Biggles and Jack have had flea treatment as a precaution, before going to the cat hotel in he past. I bought the one that looked the least harmful which was one by Beaphar.
I will have mixed feelings, if ever needing to apply regularly in the future and it will be a trade off.
These are insecticides which are less dangerous to mammals than insects as they target the different metabolic pathways insects have, which is how they can be poisonous to them and not to cats, dogs or people.
I wouldn't use Beaphar as it contains Fipronil. And one contains pyrethrum plant extract which I certainly wouldn't put on my cats.
In my view, any insecticide cannot be very good for whatever mammal comes in contact with it, be they human or dog or cat, they are poisons. Poisons directed at insects but not necessarily innocuous to mammals.
The Veto Pure by Beaphar looked at the time the most attractive option and I had not read about Fipronil till you just posted this thread here. I am not sure it is in the mixture or not, as only give my cats once a year when they are in a cattery.
I think it is a matter of choosing your poison so to speak. I worry less about the flea treatments causing harm after one use but it is more the longer term effects I would worry about. And I hope the one I choose is the least harmful option but I don't see topically applying any flea treatment as fully safe. Nor would I an ingested one.
Choose your poison but they are all poisons.
But then the winter's were generally consistently colder and the houses less, or not at all, heated which certainly would have helped.
I'm not sure it helped much. The pupae can survive for a long, long time, and hatch when they sense heat, carbon dioxide, and vibrations.
This is very true Arny! Our draughty Victorian house had no central heating. We had an Agar in the kitchen; so the kitchen was the only continually warm room in the house, and where our cats and dogs slept at night. We had coal fires in the lounge and the dining room, which were not lit until the evenings .The bedrooms were unheated and were f-r-e-e-z-i-n-g cold when we got dressed to go to school in the winter early mornings. .
Neem oil & lavender? I wouldn't use those on my cat.
Was talking to someone about this today.
It probably is time for fipronil to die a death. It's had its time, it's been a great agent, but with resistance becoming increasingly common and the environmental concerns highlighted here, maybe it should be withdrawn. Imidacloprid is a trickier one as it still appears efficacious currently.
The article inadvertently triggers a difficult conversation in that "there are about 10 million dogs and 11 million cats in the UK, with an estimated 80% receiving flea treatments, whether needed or not."
If you want to maintain a free-flea home, as most of us do, then very few flea preventatives have the potential to be 'not needed'. Any cat that goes outside *could* pick up fleas. Any dog that goes outside or visits other people's homes *could* pick up fleas. Any owner who visits or stays at other people's homes *could* bring flea eggs back to their home.
There is always a risk:benefit assessment to be made and the answer is not the same in every case, but I think you'd be hard pushed to accuse almost any owner of administering flea prevention to their pets of not 'needing' to.
Apart from being gross, the health implications of a flea infestation for human and animal members of the household should not be ignored.
Yet the concern for the environment is super-valid.
As I said: a difficult conversation.
Oh, and I'm also not one for non-medical flea and worm prevention in my own cat.
If I'm going to treat with anything, I'd rather it was something that:
1. I know is going to be completely effective or close as damn it. Otherwise I may as well not treat with anything at all.
2. Contains a measured dose appropriate for his weight.
3. Has undergone the stringent quality control processes and safety evaluation that drugs have, as opposed to 'natural' products.
I think there is a tendency to assume that 'natural' = safe, but there are plenty of naturally occurring substances in the world that will readily harm a cat/dog/human. Besides, most of these products are not regulated as tightly as medications.
That's without pondering the fact that if garlic or tea-tree or whatever was effective at preventing fleas, Big Pharma would have shoved it in a product, given it a snazzy name and slapped a price tag on it by now.
This is just my own stance and I realise others' may differ. Nowt wrong with that. The only exception to this sentiment is that I would say no essential oils should be put near cats; it's too much of a safety gamble for me.
I would say that this will put people off using a spot on flea treatment - I don’t understand the “whether it’s needed or not” comment in the article, though. One of my jobs for annual leave is to try to find an alternative to a spot on after Oscar’s extreme reaction to it in October as I’m absolutely not going down that route again. I’ve discussed it with Annette the Vet and she supports my not using it - but that’s as far as I’ve got. He’s due it now, so I’d better get my skates on. If anyone has thoughts, please let me know.
I was an avid essential oil user before I got my kittens but I don’t use them now because the health of my kittens is far more important and I just wouldn’t want to risk it.
Bit of a tangent but I think the essential oil industry needs to be regulated too. EO’s are extremely powerful substances which can have a substantial effect on the body and I have seen people using them in a dangerous way because they don’t understand or aren’t qualified in aromatherapy. And that’s before you even get started on the contraindications of some EO’s when combined with medical issues like high blood pressure etc.
Tbh I was surprised in the article that the percentage of pets that were thought to be flea treated was as high as 80%. Not sure why I thought it would be lower maybe just because I don't flea treat my cats.
But overall the environmental impact of it is concerning. It will be interesting to see if the companies that make flea treatments respond or not and whether they look into safe viable alternatives without some form of intervention to stop the use of fibronil.
I think the article is slightly misleading. I originally read it that the spot-on treatments were causing the pollution, but when reading it again - the figures quoted were the pollution rates before the ban of use in farms etc.
I only use spot-on treatments sparingly in my cats, Unfortunately, I don't know of any better alternatives.
My cats don't mix with other cats - enclosed garden - and I've not needed to use a flea treatment for years. If I had a dog the dog would be up-to-date on flea treatment so it didn't bring them home.