Why is the cat still scratching after the flea treatment?



DEAR JEANNE: I am using Cheristin for my indoor / outdoor cat, but he is still scratching and I think he brought fleas to my older indoor cat.

Are some anti-flea treatments starting to lose their effectiveness? Do I have to move on? He also had mites when I rescued him from the neighborhood, so I’d like to find something that works for mites as well. Do you know of a treatment?

Second, I saw your article on dog spas, but do you know of any cat spa hotels in the Antioch and Brentwood area or beyond?

Ginny, Antioch

DEAR GINNY: I haven’t heard of any instances where a flea medication has lost its effectiveness or where fleas have developed resistance.

Cheristin, like many flea treatments, is applied to the cat’s skin, where it is absorbed into the body. When the flea bites the cat, it dies. The drug is reapplied every 30 days, so it is possible that by the end of the month it has lost some of its effectiveness.

You should plan a trip to the vet to check it out. Your cat may have another skin condition that causes irritation, such as a rash or allergic reaction.

Your indoor cat should also be treated for fleas, which can cling to your outdoor cat’s coat, fall off before they bite, and jump on the untreated cat.

You will need to talk to your vet about a prescription for ear mites, or you can try treating the cat yourself, using ear cleanser and over-the-counter treatments. However, mites are stubborn and you will need to repeat treatments often.

As for a cat spa, I guess you’re talking about a hotel for humans that caters to cats as well. I don’t know of any – readers, reassure me if you do – and the cat spas I’ve found in Pittsburg and Brentwood are great places to keep your pets while you go on vacation.

DEAR JEANNE: You recently published a column about rats eating lemon peels. Something ate all the leaves of my Meyer lemon tree. Do you think it was rats too?

I have a cat and a bitch. The dog has heart disease and might not live too long. When that happens, I want to have another kitten.

I would prefer a female, but the last time I had two pussies the original cat never got along with the kitten. Is this a case of the older cat’s jealousy? Is it better to have a male to have a better chance of getting along?

Sue, Concorde

DEAR SUE: Rats are the prime suspect in the disappearance of the leaves, but it could also be squirrels or deer.

As for cats in conflict, it may be a matter of territory rather than gender. Whether you have a male or female kitten, be careful how you introduce the new cat to the old one. You should probably keep the kitten sequestered in a room and let it slowly explore its space. Get the old cat used to the kitten by making sure the kitten does not eat from the cat’s bowl or play with its toys until the cat is more comfortable.

You can also make the kitten sleep on a piece of your clothing and then transfer it to the cat’s bed, letting it get used to the kitten’s scent mixed with your scent.


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