Summer can be a dreaded time of year when it comes to dealing with fleas on your cat. Knowing your sweet kitty is itching and scratching is bad, but things can get even worse when the fleas jump from your pet to you. And most pet insurance policies don’t cover aftercare for flea bites. Before it gets that bad, take action to get rid of fleas and keep your cat itch-free during the warm, summer months.
How to Avoid Fleas Taking Control of Your Home
The first step in battling fleas is to regain control of the pet’s surroundings inside the house. Buying new flea collars and giving your cat a flea bath does little good when more fleas from carpeting and furniture simply take the place of the dead ones. Wash bedding and carpeting in addition to vacuuming sofas and furniture. Immediately after this task is complete, treat these areas with flea sprays or flea powders.
If you wish to avoid chemicals or simply want to add an additional layer of protection, then spread eucalyptus leaves around the house and the most commonly used outside areas of the home. Fleas are repelled by the scent of this plant.
Once the environment has been cleansed, give your cat a bath as soon as possible. It is important to eliminate the fleas on your pet before they have time to get back into the home and reproduce. For most infestations, an over-the-counter flea shampoo will do the trick. However, there are prescription-strength shampoos for dire situations.
Whatever product you use, you want to be sure that it kills both fleas and the eggs that are in the cat’s coat and on their skin. Flea eggs can lay dormant for months before hatching. It is also wise to comb your cat on a daily basis using soapy water to remove any straggling fleas that could cause the problem to flare up again. Your cat should enjoy this part of the process because it conditions their coat and cools them down.
Secure a Flea Perimeter
Where many pet owners fall short in eliminating fleas from their home is in failing to go the full nine yards. Fleas can travel inside your house from driveways and grass on your pant legs. Fleas outside of the home are best eliminated by insecticides. To keep kitty safe, he or she must be restricted from these areas while the insecticides take effect and dilute. It is also a good idea to restrict your cat’s access to parts of the home such as basements and attics. While it may not be realistic to do a thorough cleaning of these types of areas, they do present a high risk for fleas.
Put Nature on Your Side
If you are completely against the idea of using pesticides in any form, then fight the flea infestation outside of the home using natural methods. You can spray microscopic nematodes in the shaded areas of the yard and driveway. They are also safe to use in flower and vegetable gardens. This natural predator of the flea grows into worms that feed on flea larvae. In large enough numbers, these worms have been observed to reduce flea populations by up to 90 percent over a period of 24 hours.
Freeing your cat and your home of fleas is really a matter of diligence and persistence, regardless of whether you take the chemical or natural approach. The key is to act early, and put the well-being of your pet first.