Best Flea Treatment for Cats 2021: Vet-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 fully protected from tiny bugs.
According to Caroline Reay, chief of veterinary services at Blue Cross, it can be easy for your cat to catch fleas, even if they live indoors, as wingless creatures can jump up to 100 times the length. of their body and “can be easily brought into the house on shoes, clothes or other pets.”
As with most things, prevention is better than cure, but if you’re worried that your cat has already caught fleas, there are a few key signs to look out for. Dave Tweedle, veterinarian at My Family Vets, says it’s possible for a cat to have fleas “without you’ve ever seen a single one,” but symptoms can include scratches, hair loss, behavior. restless, biting, excessive grooming and flea dirt. fur or skin.
It is essential that you catch fleas as early as possible because, although they are small, they can seriously harm your feline friend if left untreated. When a flea bites your cat and its saliva gets into the bite, some may suffer from an allergic reaction, explains Tweedle, explaining that in some cases sores can develop on their skin, which often becomes infected. In addition, “kittens, elderly or sick cats can become weak and anemic as a result of blood loss.” Fleas can also spread nasty illnesses and are a common cause of tapeworms.
When it comes to buying treatments, there are tons of choices, but Nina Downing, a veterinary nurse with the People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA), recommends buying products from reputable retailers “because they have tend to be safer and more reliable for your pet ”.
She adds that looking for solutions marked as “NFA-VPS” is also a good idea, as this means that they can only be sold by someone (usually a veterinarian, pharmacist or someone with appropriate qualifications) who is familiar with the products. and can confirm your pet. is healthy and receiving the correct dose. “These will tend to be stronger than the products you can pick from a shelf,” says Downing. “If you buy an NFA-VPS product, you will likely be asked for your pet’s weight first.
It is also important to determine which method will best suit your cat’s temperament. “Pick what will be the least stressful for both of you,” Reay says. “If your pet easily takes tablets from food, choose them, otherwise go for a spot and use food or treats as a distraction while it’s applied. The calmer you are, the more you will help reassure your pet.
So what are the main types of flea treatment that are worth investing in? To find out, we spoke with renowned veterinarians. From point solutions to necklaces and techniques for treating your home, these are the best ways to keep your living space critter-free.
Topical flea medications or spot treatments
One of the most popular types of flea treatment are point or topical solutions, which “are applied to the skin on the back of your cat’s neck and work by the active ingredients absorbed by the cat’s skin into their body.” , Downing explains. . These treatments kill fleas living on the cat and will also prevent future infestation for some time after their application.
If this type of treatment seems to work for your feline, Downing recommends going for Flea and Tick Control for Cats by Frontline (£ 10.99, Amazon.co.uk), which says it kills fleas. on your pet within 24 hours and will continue to protect them for up to a month.
Alternatively, she suggests investing in Flea Screen Combo’s spot-on solution (£ 11.99, Amazon.co.uk), which is a UK vet licensed flea and tick treatment for cats. and kittens from eight weeks old. The treatment is available in one size for cats weighing 1 to 8 kg.
Flea collars work by incorporating an active ingredient, which is released when the collar comes in contact with your pet’s skin. Tweedle says it’s important to “choose a flea collar that will break free if your pet is caught by them and trapped, because otherwise they can be dangerous.”
This Seresto Flea & Tick Collar (£ 33.95, Waitroisepet.com) is an NFA-VPS product and offers up to eight months of continuous protection. The brand claims that it can provide such a long-lasting defense as the collar releases its active ingredients at a slow and steady rate. It is also water resistant and odorless.
If you’re concerned about the quality of a flea collar, Downing suggests speaking to your vet or veterinarian 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 absorbing the active ingredient through the gut and into the bloodstream, which then kills the fleas when they bite your pet.”
Before purchasing an oral treatment, it is important to know that different medicines use different chemicals, some work very quickly but last only a few days, and others over several months.
A great solution for owners who find it difficult to apply topical treatments or for cats with sensitive skin that reacts to localized products, VetIQ’s flea tablets (£ 9, Supplementsolutions.co.uk) contain a blend of B vitamins, yeast, zinc and garlic, which, according to the brand, helps make your pet’s blood less appetizing to fleas, ticks and mosquitoes.
Flea Treatments For Your Home
With your cat taken care of, Reay says it’s “really essential to treat the house too”. She recommends using a vacuum cleaner first to hatch the eggs (which are very resistant to chemicals), then using a spray.
PDSA has its own household flea spray (£ 9.99, Pdsapetstore.co.uk), which kills both existing fleas and their eggs, ensuring that the flea life cycle is properly interrupted. The spray claims to prevent the development and growth of flea eggs and larvae in the home for up to six months and can also be used to target other pests such as cockroaches and silverfish.
You can also get this Virbac indorex defense household flea spray (£ 8.99, Amazon.co.uk), which kills adult fleas and mites for up to two months after application. When using, hold the can at arm’s length and direct the spray to the area you want to treat.
Whichever product you choose, Reay adds that it is essential to carefully follow the instructions on the box and always “ventilate the room before letting your pet (or yourself) in.” This is because household flea treatments can be particularly toxic to cats, so make sure they do not reenter the treated area until it is dried.
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