Every cat owner on the planet should have a couple of high-quality flea combs1 purchased from Amazon which they keep by their bed. And every day they use one of them twice. They start on the forehead and pass the comb down the back of the head onto the shoulders. They then go from just under the cheek and on the cheek on the right-hand side to the neck and then down to the shoulder. And then they do the same thing on the left-hand side. They then go under the chin, very gently, down to the chest. Then they go from the back of the neck down the spine to the base of the tail and then along the tail on the top side. And then on the underside of the tail. Then they go down the spine again and either side of it. They can repeat this several times if they wish. In fact, any section can be repeated up to three times. Gentleness and precision are the guiding rules. Longhaired cats are more problematic but it gets easier as the fur is constantly maintained. At the end the flea comb is full of hair and they can take it off with their fingers and say to their cat: “You enjoyed that didn’t you?!” The answer will be yes, because if you do this every day or twice a day as recommended pretty soon your cat will be asking you to do it.
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This is a multi-win activity and this is the list of benefits/winners:
- You might catch the odd flea. But if you do this twice a day eventually there will be no fleas left. If you catch lots of fleas then you must consider the environment because there will be fleas in your home and/or the environment generally and you need to deal with those as well. Eliminating fleas is a holistic activity;
- Your cat enjoys it;
- You enjoy it;
- You stimulate the sebaceous glands which help to make your cat’s hair feel soft and velvety;
- You remove unwanted, dead hair which helps your cat and it helps to reduce the possibility of your cat developing hairballs;
- Flea combing is a close and warm interaction with your cat in which you, the cat caretaker, deliver pleasure to your cat which is one of the major objectives of good cat caretaking;
- If your cat is allergic to fleas, you will ultimately remove that allergen from them which will bring them great joy and health;
- If the environment is pretty well free of fleas and if you only catch one or two fleas from time to time then in flea combing you eliminate the need to use a spot-on flea treatment or any other insecticide which is beneficial to your cat because these treatments are potentially poisonous and harmful. If you can avoid them so much the better;
- Flea combing is a form of massage. That’s good for well-being;
- The ball of fluffy, downy fur that has been collected can be placed in the garden or backyard for birds to use to make their nests!
- Lastly, you improve the bond between you and your cat. When you deliver to your cat pleasure and when you improve your cat’s welfare the close bond between you becomes stronger and this can only lead to better things for both of you.
P.S. Note 1: The best flea combs are those without handles as they are easier to handle. Make sure it’s a genuine flea comb for cats. Nothing else will do.
P.P.S. Don’t push through matts. Never force matts to un-matt. It will hurt your cat and totally undermine the long list of benefits. You want your cat to set up a routine in which she asks for it. If your cat’s fur is matted, they need to be removed before flea combing.
P.P.P.S. When you comb-out a flea you have to kill it immediately. I kill fleas with the nail of my thumb pressed against the flea comb where the flea has been stranded. If you act within a second or two you can kill fleas this way very efficiently. You press until the exoskeleton pops. If you don’t do that the flea will jump off onto your bed or onto the floor and you will never see it again but it will be there in your home making a nuisance of itself. Don’t allow to happen, please.
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