Best Flea Treatment For Cats 2021: Veterinary Approved Collars, Spot-on, and Oral Solutions
Fleas can be a problem no matter how clean your home is, so it’s important to make sure your feline friends are completely protected from the tiny insects.
According to Caroline Reay, Veterinary Director at Blue Cross, it can be easy for your cat to ingest fleas, even if they live indoors, as the wingless creatures can jump up to 100 times their length and are “easy to bring along”. into the house with shoes, clothes or other pets ”.
As with most things, prevention is better than cure, but if you are concerned that your cat has already ingested fleas, there are some key signs to look out for. Dave Tweedle, veterinarian at My Family Vets, says it is possible for a cat to have fleas “without you ever seeing a single one,” but symptoms can include scratching, hair loss, restless behavior, biting, grooming, and flea dirt the fur or the skin.
It is important that you catch fleas as early as possible because although they are small, they can cause serious harm to your feline friend if left untreated. If a flea bites your cat and their saliva gets into the bite wound, some may experience an allergic reaction, Tweedle says, explaining that in some cases, sores can develop on their skin that often become infected. Also, “kittens, elderly, or sick cats can become weak and anemic from blood loss.” Fleas can also spread nasty diseases and are a common cause of tapeworms.
When it comes to buying treatments there are plenty of choices, but Nina Downing, a veterinary assistant for the People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA), recommends buying products from reputable retailers “because they are usually safer and more reliable “Your pet”.
She adds that it is also a good idea to look for solutions marked “NFA-VPS” as they can only be sold by someone (usually a veterinarian, pharmacist, or other suitably qualified person) who is themselves knows about the products and can confirm that your pet is healthy and receiving the correct dose. “These are usually stronger than products that you can choose from a shelf,” explains Downing. “When purchasing an NFA VPS product, you will likely be asked about your pet’s weight beforehand.”
It’s also important to consider which method best suits your cat’s temperament. “Choose what is the least stressful for the two of you,” says Reay. “If your pet easily takes tablets with the food, select them; otherwise, find a stain and use food or treats as a distraction while it is being applied. The calmer you are, the more you contribute to calming your pet. “
What are the top types of flea treatments that are worth investing in? To find out, we spoke to leading veterinarians. From spot-on solutions to collars and home treatment techniques, these are the best ways to keep your living space free of critters.
Topical flea medication or spot-on treatments
One of the most popular types of flea treatments are spot or topical solutions that “are applied to the skin on your cat’s neck and work by absorbing the active ingredients through the cat’s skin,” says Downing. These treatments kill fleas that live on the cat and also prevent future infestation for a while after they have been applied.
If this type of treatment could work for your cat, Downing recommends opting for Frontline Flea and Tick Control for Cats (£ 10.99, Amazon.co.uk), which says your pet can get fleas within 24 hours Hours and will protect them for up to a month.
Alternatively, she suggests investing in Flea Screen Combo’s spot-on solution (£ 11.99, Amazon.co.uk), a UK-approved flea and tick treatment for cats and kittens eight weeks and older. The treatment is available in one size for cats weighing 1-8 kg.
Flea collars work by having an active ingredient embedded in them that is released when the collar comes into contact with your pet’s skin. Tweedle says it is important to “choose a flea collar that will come off if your pet is caught and trapped by them, otherwise they can be dangerous”.
This Seresto flea and tick collar (€ 33.95, Waitroisepet.com) is an NFA VPS product and offers up to eight months of uninterrupted protection. The brand says it can offer such a long-lasting defense because the collar releases its active ingredients slowly and evenly. It is also water-repellent and odorless.
If you are concerned about the quality of a flea collar, Downing recommends speaking to your veterinarian or nurse for advice on the best option for your cat.
Another option is to give your cat an oral treatment, which comes in the form of a capsule or tablet. Tweedle says that “Flea tablets work by taking the active ingredient from the intestines and putting it into the bloodstream, which then kills fleas when they bite your pet”.
Before buying any oral treatment, it is important to know that different drugs use different chemicals, some acting very quickly but lasting only a few days and others over several months.
VetIQ’s flea repellent pills (£ 9, Supplementsolutions.co.uk) are a great solution for owners who are struggling to apply topical treatments or for cats with sensitive skin that reacts to spot products and garlic, which the brand says that they make your pet’s blood less palatable to fleas, ticks and mosquitoes.
Flea treatments for your home
Once your cat has been taken care of, says Reay, “taking care of the house is really important”. She recommends hatching the eggs (which are very chemical resistant) first with a vacuum and then using a spray.
The PDSA has its own household flea spray (£ 9.99, Pdsapetstore.co.uk) that kills both existing fleas and their eggs, ensuring that the flea life cycle is properly disrupted. The spray is said to prevent the development and growth of flea eggs and larvae in the household for up to six months and can also be used against other pests such as cockroaches and silverfish.
You can also pick up this Virbac Indorex Household Repellant Flea Spray (£ 8.99, Amazon.co.uk), which kills adult fleas and dust mites for up to two months after use. When using, hold the can at arm’s length and direct the spray at the area to be treated.
Whichever product you choose, Reay adds that it’s important to carefully follow the directions on the can and always “ventilate the room before letting your pet (or yourself) back in”. This is because household flea treatments can be particularly toxic to cats. So make sure they don’t sneak into the treated area before it dries.
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