Is Cat Flea Control Necessary?
Is flea control necessary for cats? The short answer – yes. Cats benefit from flea and tick preventatives just like dogs.
Surprised? Turns out you're not alone. Most people associate flea problems with Fido the family dog but scruffy canines aren't the only ones susceptible to infestation. Our feline friends are just as much at risk for picking up pests, especially outdoor cats or cats exposed to dogs who spend time outside.
It may seem that the battle against fleas and ticks is never ending, that fleas and ticks are inevitable nuisances and even dangers. But a little prevention goes a long way. Think of flea and tick problems like a sunburn: If you go out in the sun, you might get burned, depending on your skin, where you live, and so on. If you wear sunscreen you are protected, from sunburn and worse! Similarly when dogs and cats spend time outside in the warmer months, that's when fleas and ticks are active. Protect them with preventative medication like spot-on treatments.
Flea and Tick 101
Fleas are small wingless parasitic insects that live off the blood of mammals and birds. Unfortunately, fleas tend to bother our furry friends more frequently. If you have a strictly indoor cat, you may not need to be as stringent when it comes to tick prevention--ticks don't track inside from other animals and spread like fleas do. If you have an outdoor cat, both flea and tick prevention is a no-brainer. If you have an indoor cat, consider warm weather flea treatment at a minimum.
What is the best treatment option for your cat?
Spot on treatment is one of the most effective methods of keeping your cat flea-free. Most spot on products need to be applied once a month, are waterproof and begin working after just 12 hours. Other methods include oral medicine, shampoo, sprays and collars. One of the safest and most hassle-free prevention methods are flea and tick collars. Collars can provide protection for up to eight months by emitting medication into the skin in order to paralyze pests so they fall off and die. Do not use canine flea and tick medicine on felines and vice versa. All the above flea and tick treatment options are effective, yet each method can have mild side effects. Use what works best for your pet and talk to your vet if you have any questions.
This information is for informational purposes only and is not meant as a substitute for the professional advice of, or diagnosis or treatment by,your veterinarian with respect to your pet. It has, however, been verified by a licensed veterinarian for accuracy.
by Kim Crompton