Battling Fleas on a Budget
Warmer days bring barbecues, trips to the beach and, unfortunately, summer pests. Fleas tend to be more active in weather that brings people and their pets outside. When dealing with fleas, one important way to keep them out of your home is to keep them off your pets. If you’re a cat owner with a furry roommate who likes to spend time outdoors, there are easy ways to buy cat flea treatments online to protect them. Read on to learn the signs of a flea problem and the different types of flea treatments you can purchase from the comfort of your couch.
Symptoms of Fleas on Your Cat
When you mention fleas, a lot of people start to itch because that is the main symptom we associate with these tiny bloodsuckers. While itchy skin and hives are consistent with a flea problem, there are other signs to look for if you suspect your pet has an infestation. The itchy skin will cause a cat to scratch and chew at themselves more than normal, which leads to red and itchy skin and eventually hair loss. Seeing fleas and the little black specks of dirt they leave behind is a definitive sign of a flea issue. The best places to check your cat for fleas are around the head and the tail as these tend to be their natural hiding spots. In cases of severe flea infestations, a pet can suffer from a loss of blood that can lead to a visit to the local veterinarian.
The World of Flea Treatments
Much like flea treatments in dogs, companies have developed a wide range of options for a cat owner looking to keep fleas off their pets. The following information can help you decide which treatment is the best for you and your cat.
- Topical Flea Treatments – Topical flea treatments come in two forms: liquids and collars. While the liquid must be applied to the skin between the shoulder blades once a month, certain brands of collars can last three months or more. Both forms work by using the animal’s natural oils to help spread the medication throughout the skin and into all the hair follicles. It can take up to 24 hours for the treatment to be fully protective, and most companies recommend not to give a bath during this time as it will decrease the effect of the medicine. Since the medicine is on the cat’s skin and not in their bloodstream, fleas do not have to bite your pet to be killed by this product. Popular topical brands include Advantage, Frontline, Activyl, Bravecto, and Seresto Collars.
- Oral Flea Treatments – Unlike the topical versions of flea prevention, oral flea treatments, like Comfortis for Cats, act by entering the bloodstream of your pet. When fleas bite, they take a blood meal full of a chemical meant to kill them. These tablets must be given once a month by mouth to keep your cat fully protected.
- Flea Shampoos – Flea shampoos can be beneficial when attempting to get an initial flea infestation under control. Flea shampoos work instantly to kill any living fleas on your cat. The effect does not last long to keep fleas at bay, but it does provide a crucial first step in effective flea treatment. After bathing in flea shampoo, you can then use a monthly preventative to extend your pet’s protection.
Fleas are a nuisance to you and your cat, and prevention should be chosen in a way that allows you as the owner the convenience to keep your pet protected. While different treatments have various restrictions based on the weight or age of the cat, there are enough options online to find the right choice for your household.