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Flea advice. PLEASE help!

Discussion in 'Cat Health and Nutrition' started by MSH_C4C, Apr 22, 2019.


  1. MSH_C4C

    MSH_C4C PetForums Newbie

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    Hi, there.

    This is my first post, so please accept my apologies for the flea subject; but I am at my wits end and would be grateful of advice.

    I have an 11 year old house cat, who has never, until now (miraculously, I’ve now come to realise), had fleas. He doesn’t go out... ever. I hold my hands up; naively, I never administered flea treatment (when he would go to the vets (this was on occasion and not regularly), they would treat him as a precaution, I guess). I could really kick myself for not realising the importance of regularly applying flea treatment, as he now has fleas and it is freaking me out. Unfortunately, the infrequent visits to the vets are based on my financial limitations; however, the cost of cleaning and treatment products is growing, so a regular vet visit would negate this!

    Yes; it is my own fault, but I genuinely didn’t think the treatment was required.

    The cat has now been treated with a Veterinary-prescribed flea treatment, which is going to be reapplied in a couple of weeks (at the vet’s advice). I will, of course, be following this regimen on a strict 4-weekly cycle!

    I have read many articles on the flea life cycle, but I am looking for reassurance that I am doing as much as is reasonably deemed necessary to eradicate these vermin.

    Following the flea treatment, I removed all bedding, clothing that had been in the laundry basket; wiped down all wooden surfaces/skirting boards in each room of the house - even those the cat doesn’t frequent.

    I have vacuumed all of the floors, (mostly carpet, but I have tiled, too (I washed these down with disinfectant)). I made sure I paid particular attention to the skirting boards/nooks and crannies when vacuuming. I have vacuumed all sides of the mattress, had the floor-touching curtains dry-cleaned, and the other curtains machine washed (at 60 degrees) and then tumble-dried (did the same for the clothing)

    I carried out the following on all carpeted floors, mattress and sofa/office chair upholstery:

    Vacuum - Staykill spray treatment - leave for an hour or so - vacuum. This is to be repeated in 7 days, as per the product’s instruction.

    I also empty and wash the bag-less component of the vacuum cleaner following use.

    I am freaking out because I am still finding a flea here or there (I know the life cycle means this may occur). I feel itchy, and I am suffering with anxiety because of this situation.

    I try to comb the cat to rid him of the fleas’ eggs, but he tries to attack me and doesn’t allow me to spend any great length of time in removing them.

    I may be sounding melodramatic here, but living on my own, the enormity of this problem is getting me down. In fact, it is making me a paranoid and nervous wreck.

    I just can’t see a way out of this situation. How on earth do I continue to vacuum everywhere and wash all the bedding every couple of days, and hold down a full time job. I am really struggling - it takes between 4-5 hours to vacuum (due to moving the furniture).

    Anyone experiencing/has experienced this, please can you offer any advice on the steps I’ve taken so far. Is there light at the end of the tunnel?

    * To anyone reading this post, particularly those who have an untreated pet, please don’t make the same mistake I did!
     
  2. BarneyBobCat

    BarneyBobCat Slave to an AcroCat

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    You might need to wash the cat too with flea shampoo if you are still finding them on him
     
  3. MSH_C4C

    MSH_C4C PetForums Newbie

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    Thanks for the reply.

    The cat becomes very distressed and aggressive when I try to even comb him, so a bath is not going to be an option.

    I have contacted the vet, and they are going to sedate him and give him a ’lion’ shave. He’s a house cat.
     
  4. OrientalSlave

    OrientalSlave Shunra Oriental Cats

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    You need to use a good spot-on on the cat, NOT one with Fipronil as the active ingredient as that isn't effective any more in some parts of the UK.

    You will continue to find the odd flea after using Staykill or similar as it won't kill the pupae, which continue to hatch. You need to do lots of vacuuming and keep the place warm to get them all to hatch. This is known as the pupal window.

    http://www.ripfleas.co.uk/pupal-window/

    Strongly recommend you read the rest of that website as well as the page I've linked.

    I've no idea what the active ingredients in Staykill are, maybe you could list them from the label?
     
  5. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

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    I agree with Oriental Slave you need a good effective spot on flea treatment that does not contain fipronil as the active ingredient. Advantage is one good make that you can buy without a prescription.

    Your vet's suggestion of sedating your cat and giving him a "lion shave" should not be necessary if you are using the right treatments for the cat and for the house.

    A cat's fur acts as insulation, keeping him warm in winter and cool in summer. Shaving your cat's fur off is not a good idea, and it would be very unfair to make the cat uncomfortable, as he would be in the summer heat, without his fur. Please reconsider.

    I assume your cat is shorthaired, and is not used to being groomed. So you need to train him gradually by using treats as a a bribe and a distraction. Start by combing him once (with the flea comb) by that I mean passing the comb through his fur once, while feeding him treats. Gradually build up the number of times you pass the comb through his fur slowly day by day. Stop the very second he becomes upset. and start again with the training next day.

    Place him on a table to comb him so he is at the height of your waist. Put newspaper or an old white sheet on the table first to catch any fleas. But bear in mind that combing him won't achieve a great deal now, as the fleas will have jumped off the cat because of the flea treatment you have given him. Or they will have died from biting him and ingesting the chemicals from the flea treatment. So you will be combing out the flea dirt (flea excrement) and perhaps the odd dead or dying flea maybe.

    Staykill household insecticide contains permethrin the same as many other household insecticides. Permethrin is highly toxic to cats as I expect you know, so caution must be exercised in using it around the house, following the instructions to the letter.

    The makes usually recommended by vets are Indorex, and RIP Fleas, either of which can be bought from amazon or from your vet. They contain permethrin too but it may be a larger amount perhaps than in Staykill.
     
  6. MSH_C4C

    MSH_C4C PetForums Newbie

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    Thank you very much for taking the time to respond; I am very grateful!
     
    chillminx likes this.
  7. lorilu

    lorilu PetForums VIP

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    Do you share walls/floors/ceilings with anyone else? If the fleas are coming from your neighbors I guess you will have to continue to treat. Seems a shame to have to put poisons on a senior indoor cat indefinitely though.

    You can use Capstar to eliminate the adult fleas living on him while the spot on goes to work killing the other stages of development.
     
    chillminx likes this.
  8. MSH_C4C

    MSH_C4C PetForums Newbie

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    Firstly, thank you all for taking the time to reply to my post. Your advice is much appreciated.

    I live in a terraced property, but none of the neighbours have pets.

    I do have a friend who owns 3 dogs... they are treated for fleas each month. I have been in contact with the dogs at my friend’s home fairly regularly over the past few years, but this is the first time my cat has had fleas. My friend has checked the dogs following my cat’s flea problem, but they didn’t show any signs of eggs/fleas. The dogs have also been to the vets frequently over the past few weeks, so the vet would have routinely checked them, I’d imagine.
     
  9. OrientalSlave

    OrientalSlave Shunra Oriental Cats

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    Eggs drop off into the environment. The only life stage on a cat is the adult flea
     
  10. MSH_C4C

    MSH_C4C PetForums Newbie

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    I read that the eggs are literally impervious to any insecticide, and so to deal with that part of the life-cycle, vacuum everywhere and wash bed clothes frequently.
     
  11. OrientalSlave

    OrientalSlave Shunra Oriental Cats

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    It's the pupae that are impervious. The eggs and larvae are killed. The vacuuming is to get the pupae to hatch, when the residue of the spray kills them.

    http://www.ripfleas.co.uk/pupal-window/
     
    chillminx likes this.
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