A million words have been written on how to control cat fleas or eliminate them. If we have cat fleas on our cat they are in our home and if they are in our home we are not doing enough to control them. The best thing is to first understand the flea life cycle. We then know where they are to kill ’em. This post spells out the flea life cycle, succinctly: Flea Life Cycle.
The fleas will be on our cat, on the floor (carpet) or on furniture (upholstery). They may have got there from an animal our cat was chasing as prey outside if she is an outdoor /indoor cat or from another companion cat or indeed from a stray cat that visits (a time share cat, for example).
The drawing above shows the flea. This page show a lot of fleas in a jar. It helps to recognise the things.
We kill them and control them by attacking them both on our cat and on the floor (usually carpet, as mentioned). I personally would never use sprays and similar products on my cat as I did it once many years ago and she suffered a reaction having licked it off. Anyway we don’t need to do it that way. There are simpler and safer methods either in eradicating a flea infestation or preventing one.
In a household with the usual companion cat arrangements (one or two cats), my experience tells me that all we need are three tools and procedures:
- Flea comb
- Frontline or similar drops
The first step is to check our cat frequently for fleas, which is best done by a daily comb with a flea comb. A flea comb is a very fine and tight comb to catch fleas. The best place to comb is around the neck and at the top of the spine (top of tail). A lot of cats are long haired or medium long haired. Combing with a fine comb will be difficult so combing must be slow and gentle to avoid upsetting our cat. It is important that our cat likes the experience as this will greatly facilitate it. Our cat will even look forward to it. A clear warning sign of fleas is when our cat scratches around the neck. Or she/he might ripple the skin as a sign of irritation by fleas on her back or at the base of her spine.
We need good eyesight to see a flea that has been combed out and good reflexes too but it is very satisfying and our cat gets instant pleasure! When caught in the comb, the flea will briefly walk around the teeth of the comb and there is then a window of opportunity of about 2 seconds to crush it with the nail of the thumb against the comb (or any other way you think suitable). Occasionally they jump back on the cat or on us (yes) or on to the ground. Just press on. It is war.
After the daily flea comb the next step in, how to control cat fleas, is to hoover the carpet around the most frequented areas where our cat or any visiting cat or cats sleep. If this procedure is carried out routinely for a reasonable time (say 2 weeks) the fleas will disappear and if not it is time to buy and apply a drop like Frontline as well as the above. This is guaranteed to work. The drops are applied at the rear off and base of the head more or less between the shoulder blades and at the base of the spine. This will last for several weeks. It makes our cat smell a bit different.
It is obvious, but a cat that is a full-time indoor cat will have a much reduced chance of getting fleas as most often they will be transmitted from, say, a mouse or another cat, or, indeed, from the ground outside. That said I don’t believe in altering the usual routine because of fleas because they are controllable. These steps are how to control cat fleas in my experience.
How To Control Cat Fleas – photo top is a flea – published under Wikimedia® creative commons license license = Attribution-ShareAlike License. Author: Robert Hooke. Greyscale picture of Robert Hooke’s drawing of a flea in his Micrographia. See Wikipedia® license generally.