Cat Flea and Tick Treatments: Which Tick and Flea Prevention & Treatment Method are Best for Cats?
Even the most well-cared-for cat may pick up fleas, and occasionally ticks. These live off the cat and multiply, causing irritation and sometimes an allergy in susceptible cats. The fleas may also end up in the household furniture, and can also bite humans. It is essential to prevent and/or get rid of fleas, and there are a variety of ways to do so. Here is a summary.
Cat Spot-on Flea Treatments
These fairly recent ways of dealing with fleas are extremely effective and used by more and more cat owners. A few drops of the treatment are provided in a convenient pipette, and these are placed on the back of the cat’s neck. They will usually kill fleas and ticks and prevent re-infestation for up to six weeks. The best known of these spot-on flea treatments is ‘Frontline’; ‘Advantage’ is also well known. Frontline for pets (there is also a treatment for dogs) can be bought from a vet, or more recently from on-line pharmacies. Frontline used to be available only by prescription, but this is no longer the case. It is entirely harmless, and it is very rare for cats to have a bad reaction to it. It is such a popular treatment that it has now become a verb, with caring owners saying they are going to ’frontline their pets’.
Cat Flea Sprays
Sprays are a more traditional method of treating and preventing fleas in cats. There is a variety available, and they can be easily obtained at pet shops or supermarkets. There are also sprays available to treat fleas in household furniture, should the owner be unfortunate enough to have such a problem, but care must be taken not to mix up the two spray types. Cat flea sprays are simple and effective. The problem is that many cats hate them! They will run and hide at the sound of the aerosol, and often if they see the owner going to pick up the canister. This is one reason for the popularity of the spot-on treatments, which do not have this problem.
Cat Flea Collars
Cat owners can buy collars impregnated with insecticide for dealing with cat fleas. The cat wears the collar throughout the whole flea season, or all year if necessary. They are usually quite effective, but some cats react to collars of any sort, losing fur where the collar touches the skin. Also, some cats will not tolerate wearing a collar and somehow manage to remove one. And if the cat is an outdoor one, collars can occasionally get caught on fences or trees.
‘Natural’ Flea Treatments
Some owners dislike the idea of using chemical flea treatments and prefer so-called natural products. These come in various forms, with a choice for the owner. Reports vary; some owners find them effective, but if there are a lot of fleas around, they do not always work. It is a matter of choice, and worth a try for the owner who does not want to use a chemical solution, however safe it purports to be.
Overall there is a large variety of flea and tick treatments for cats. It is worth doing some research and finding the solution which works for each person and their cats….and then using it regularly.