If you notice your cat compulsively scratching her fur, running around like crazy and biting her tail, she is infested with fleas. Treating the issue promptly is important so the matter won’t get out of hand. Aside from giving your cat a flea bath, treat her with Advantage, a solution that kills fleas on contact.
How long does Advantage take to dry?
It usually takes more or less 30 to 45 minutes after application for Advantage to dry. For best results, avoid touching or stroking your cat on areas where you applied the solution.
What is Advantage and how does it work?
Advantage is an treatment that kills fleas on contact. It comes in liquid form and is applied to the base of a cat’s neck or the base of her skull. This type of solution must be applied in an area where the cat cannot lick it as it may be dangerous if ingested. It should be applied to your cat at least once a month for a year for optimum results.
It kills existing fleas in one day, reinfesting fleas within an hour and is effective up to one month. Its active ingredient, imidacloprid, is not absorbed into your cat’s bloodstream and remains in the oily or fatty layer of the cat’s skin and fur.
Is it safe to use Advantage on kittens and pregnant or lactating cats?
Yes, it is safe to use on kittens and pregnant or lactating cats. There is no age or weight restriction when it comes to the use of this treatment. For kittens, their mother cat should be treated to protect the litter while in contact before the weaning period. Kittens should be treated individually after the weaning period.
Factors to consider in choosing the best flea treatment for your cat
Here are the common factors that you should consider in deciding what is the best flea treatment for your cat:
- Your cat’s breed – some breeds are long-haired which may affect the effectiveness of a flea treatment because of the coat length and thickness.
- Your cat’s age – there are some flea treatments that have age restrictions
- Your cat’s health history – if your cat has health issues and taking medications it may affect the effectiveness of a flea treatment
- Your cat’s lifestyle – if your cat is purely an indoor cat or if she also ventures outdoors is a vital factor to consider in choosing the right treatment for her
- Your location – there are flea treatments that are not that effective due to resistance to certain areas like places with extreme weather conditions (too warm or too cold)
Consult your vet for the best choice for your cat before using any flea treatment. He can also recommend the proper dosage based on your cat’s weight. It is not advisable to use flea treatments originally intended for dogs as such treatments contain permethrin that is toxic for felines.
Common diseases and health conditions caused by fleas
Fleas are nasty parasites that feast on your cat’s blood and may cause several health problems. Here are some of the common diseases that cats can contract if the flea infestation is not treated promptly:
This is a condition where the cat has a less-than-normal amount of red blood cells and is usually caused by diseases which result in red blood cell depletion. Red blood cells carry oxygen through a cat’s body and without adequate supply, the tissues are starved. As a result, cats begin to breathe rapidly and shallowly to obtain more oxygen.
Flea infestations result in blood loss and may cause anemia. Common indications of anemic cats include weight loss, black stools, pale gums, lack of appetite, faster-than-normal pulse and weakness.
Cats are at high risk of getting tapeworms since fleas are carriers of this parasite. Fleas carry tapeworm larva which cats may ingest when they groom the fleas away with their tongues. Sometimes the tapeworms will not bother a cat but sometimes an infestation may result in weight loss, diarrhea or constipation and vomiting. Tapeworm segments may also appear in the cat’s anus if there is a severe infestation.
This is an infectious bacterial disease that is caused by the gram-negative bacteria called Bartonella henselae. It is also referred to as cat scratch fever and may cause fever among cats. However, it may also affect humans when bitten by an infected cat. Humans may also experience fever, lethargy and enlarged lymph nodes but it is treatable with the help of antibiotics.
4. Flea allergic dermatitis
Some cats may become very sensitive to the saliva of fleas. Just a single flea bite may lead to intense allergic reactions.
5. Mycoplasma haemofelis
This type of bacteria is transmitted among cats through flea and tick bites and may cause fever, anemia and other severe illnesses. It can be treated with the help of antibiotics and blood transfusion.
Also called Monty Python plague, this disease is transmitted to cats through flea bites. Cats that have access to the outdoors are more prone to this especially if they come near prairie dog colonies. This type of disease is common among prairie dogs and it is transmitted when fleas that bite these dogs will in turn bite your outdoor cat. The common symptoms include enlarged and abscessed submandibular lymph nodes and this condition can be treated with antibiotics.
Cats are prone to flea infestation especially if they have access to the outdoors and are constantly in contact with other pets that may also be infected. Advantage is an effective flea treatment that has long-lasting effects and takes 30 to 45 minutes to dry upon application.
Image: istockphoto.com / AnnaStills