To ensure that Frontline works optimally on your cat, you have to allow it to dry off completely. But how long does Frontline take to dry?
It can take up to two days for Frontline to dry off completely. This is why you should not let your feline get wet during this period.
Although the area where you applied this flea control treatment may look and feel dry after a few hours or after a day, it is not yet completely dry.
As such, you should wait up to 48 hours or two days for Frontline to dry. Otherwise, if you wipe the area where the medicine was applied or if you bathe your cat, Frontline will not work optimally.
How Frontline works on cats
Frontline contains one active ingredient called Fipronil while Frontline Plus contains Fipronil and S-Methoprene. Fipronil is the Frontline ingredient responsible for killing ticks and fleas on contact. The chemical works by disrupting the central nervous systems of fleas, ticks, and other insects. Upon coming into contact with the chemical, the neurons inside the brain of these insects stop taking chlorine. In turn, this leads to an increase in neural activity which then kills insects.
Apart from killing insects on contact, Fipronil can also provide continuous protection against fleas and ticks for up to a month.
Fipronil can provide continuous protection because it is stored in your cat’s oil glands once it has been absorbed through the skin. Upon absorption, the chemical is then distributed along your cat’s skin and fur.
But despite the efficacy of Fipronil, it has a few shortcomings. Chief of these is its inability to kill the eggs of fleas and ticks. Take note that eggs and even larvae do not have developed nervous systems so the chemical will not have the same effects as on adults.
To overcome this shortcoming, the makers of Frontline formulated Frontline Plus which adds S-Methoprene. Methoprene is a growth regulator. Essentially, this means that it prevents the development of insect eggs and larvae. And when these do not move to the next stage of development, fleas and ticks can no longer replenish their population.
In general, both Fipronil and S-Methoprene are safe for cats. After absorption, Fipronil is stored in your pet’s fatty tissue. Afterward, the chemical is broken down into metabolites which are then passed out of your pet’s body after using his litter box. Methoprene can also be eliminated from a cat’s body via his pee and poo.
Signs that your cat needs flea treatment
Apart from causing distress in your cat, fleas and ticks are associated with a few diseases and conditions. These include anemia, tapeworms, haemobartonellosis.
This is why it is essential to treat your feline as soon as possible. But how do you know if your pet cat is infested with fleas and ticks? Here are a few signs to watch out for.
1. Scratching and biting
Flea bites are can be intensely itchy for your feline. And to relieve himself from the itch, your cat may scratch and bite himself excessively.
2. Hair loss due to excessive grooming
Cats spend a sizable portion of their day grooming themselves. However, if you notice that your cat has been grooming himself excessively to the point that he is losing more hair than usual, he might be dealing with a flea infection.
This is particularly true if you notice him focusing intently on his hind legs and tail.
Irritation from insect bites can upset your cat to the point that his behavior changes. If you notice that your pet has become restless or even agitated, that is one warning sign that he is dealing with a flea or tick infestation.
4. Lesions and bumps
Flea saliva can cause inflammation in some cats. Eventually, these inflammations can turn into lesions that can be severely itchy. Usually, these lesions appear on the face, neck, and back.
Some cats chew on these lesions, making these ooze.
Anemia is a condition where the amount the red-blood cell count in your cat becomes low. The condition can manifest itself in symptoms like pale gums, lethargy, and even muscle loss.
Anemia can occur when there is a high number of fleas feasting on a cat’s blood or when a feline loses an excessive amount of blood due to biting himself.
6. Flea dirt
Fleas leave behind dark brown specks on the fur of cats. These are actually flea feces and are usually located along the cat’s neck and hind.
These specks can even fall on your cat’s bedding, leaving behind red spots. These red spots are actually flea feces that turned red and dissolved due to the warmth of your cat’s body.
Fleas can sometimes go unnoticed because they may still be in their developmental stages. They may be quietly lurking in different parts of your home, including carpets, furniture, and baseboards.
This is why it is critical to continuously watch out against these pests.
How to apply Frontline properly
To ensure that your pet gets the most out of Frontline, it is essential to apply the product properly.
Applying Frontline on your cat is a straightforward process.
Start by opening the package by snapping off the tip of the pipette along the guideline on the nozzle.
Next, part the fur on the area where you will apply the product. Ideally, this area should be difficult for your cat to reach. The best location to apply Frontline is between the cat’s shoulder blades, just below his neck.
Make sure that the product is applied directly to the skin and avoid getting some of the liquid on the fur.
To prevent your cat from squirming and escaping your clutches, it is a good idea to have someone in your household to help you. This is particularly true if you are treating more than one cat.
Frontline works by using your cat’s oil-producing glands to its advantage. These glands help spread the product around your cat’s body, providing significant coverage against fleas and ticks.
However, water and products like shampoos and soap strip away the natural oils on a cat’s body. This is why you should avoid applying Frontline on a cat if it has bathed recently. You should also avoid bathing your cat immediately after applying Frontline.
It can take up to 48 hours for Frontline to become completely dry on your cat’s skin. As such, avoid touching your cat, especially the area where the product has been applied during that period. Otherwise, you might inadvertently wipe away the product.
If you have multiple pets in your home, it is essential to treat all of them. You cannot get rid of fleas and ticks in your home if even one of your pets goes untreated. Err on the side of caution and assume that all of your pets have become infested.
How to get rid of fleas in your home
After treating your pets with Frontline, your job is not done yet. You still have to get rid of fleas and their eggs that may silently lurk around your home.
Clean all bedding
Remove all bedding and make sure to wash these thoroughly. While your furnishings do not have covers, vacuum these, paying close attention to crevices where fleas can leave their eggs.
Clean the carpeting
You can either vacuum your carpeting or steam clean these to kill off fleas and their eggs hiding between the fibers.
If you are going to vacuum the carpeting, make sure that you dispose of the vacuum bags properly to prevent re-contaminating your home.
Making Frontline work
Frontline is an effective treatment against fleas and ticks. But to maximize its effects, you need to follow the instructions closely. You also have to make sure that the product is completely dry before touching your cat.
It is critical to underscore that Frontline is just one part of a larger equation that is flea control. The product kills fleas and their eggs but you will still have to deal with the insects roaming your home.
Image: istockphoto.com / Okssi68