Fleas can be a terrible nuisance, but is a flea bath the answer? Their bites can cause itching and irritation in your cat. They hop around in unpredictable patterns, making them difficult to track down and destroy.
We all know what is like to be itchy and watching your furry friend feel that way continuously makes us want to pitch in to help them.
Plus if the cat is not around the fleas will start snacking on human blood, until they can get something better.
There are commercially available products that will kill the fleas, we just have to give our clawed companions a bath. How hard can it be?
Can I Give My Cat a Flea Bath? Answer: Yes.
You can give your cat a flea bath as easily as a regular bath. So, unless your cat is surprisingly fond of water it is going to be a daunting task. Flea control shampoos are available at the pet store or the veterinarian. Keep in mind that not all pet products can be used on cats so check the label carefully before using it! Once you have the flea-busting shampoo, the trick is to convince your cat to take a bath. Be stealthy while preparing the bath for your feline friend, because the moment they sense something fishy, they will go into hiding.
The first step is to make sure that your cat has fleas. It usually doesn’t take an expert to make a diagnosis. Symptoms should be easy to spot as your cat will usually show you that it is in discomfort and will be scratching and biting its coat constantly. Being the vain self-cleaners that they are, cats might groom the actual fleas out of their coats. In that case there is another way to diagnose whether they are acting as unwilling hosts.
Hold your reluctantly hospitable friend over a white paper and rub the fur. The rubbing will cause the flea feces to fall on the paper. The flea feces is in fact dried blood and when made a bit moist should become a reddish hue. If it does you have a positive identification. It is a flea!
Tips and Tricks for Washing Away Fleas
If you do decide to give you furry friend a flea bath chose a shampoo specifically designed for cats. Once you have made the necessary preparations make sure to start with a strip on the neck. Leave the rest of the body dry. Fleas will flee the foamy insecticide to the shelter of the eyes, ears and face where it is more difficult to wash them off.
Starting at the neck will prevent this from happening as much as possible. After the neck is clean proceed to lather the rest of the body in flea shampoo and let it sit for a few minutes before rinsing it off. Rinse thoroughly because flea shampoo contains chemicals to kill the fleas and these irritate the skin.
Fleas Are Everywhere!
It isn’t paranoia if it is true. Adult fleas hop onto fluffy surfaces such as carpets, rugs, and furniture to lay eggs. So even if the flea bath has made your cat flea-free there may still be larvae lurking in your carpet. Eventually, these larvae will become adult fleas and the cycle continues.
Therefore, a flea bath may not be sufficient to deal with the infestation. Flea control needs to address each cycle of the parasites’ life. In addition to the flea bath it is necessary to vacuum daily, wash any clothes or linen the cat comes into contact with and apply insecticide. When using insecticides, remove the pets and people from the house and follow the directions on the product.
Topical and oral flea control methods are more effective since they remain on the cat for a particular duration, usually a month. Your veterinarian can recommend one for use on your pet.
Better Than Baths
It is possible to give your cat a flea bath if necessary, they are not the most effective way to deal with fleas. Topical or oral flea treatments can be prescribed by your veterinarian for long term control. Bathing your cat often will also cause skin irritation and it is a real hassle in most cases.
When dealing with an infestation of fleas it is important to remember that you need to treat more than just the cat. A flea bath alone is usually not enough.