Cats can spend more than 50% of their waking hours grooming and keeping themselves clean. However, this does not exempt them from having fleas and parasites which they usually get if they come in contact with infected pets and other animals. Having fleas can be discomforting and may even be life-threatening for cats.
How often can you bathe a cat with fleas?
You should bathe a cat with fleas at least once a month to ensure that the fleas will eventually diminish and disappear. Cats normally should be bathed at least every four to six weeks as recommended by the National Cat Groomers of America.
When is the best time to give your cat a flea bath?
The American Society for the Protection of Cruelty to Animals or ASPCA recommends that you should give your cat a flea bath after playtime sessions or mealtime. It is usually during these times that cats tend to resist less and are less aggressive.
How to give your cat a flea bath?
Preparation is key in successfully giving your cat a flea bath so better prepare all the necessary things beforehand. This includes towels, a bathtub with lukewarm water, flea comb, flea shampoo or Dawn dish soap. You should also prepare cat treats and toys to keep your cat busy and to distract her. Do not forget to cut your cat’s claws to protect yourself from scratches should she become aggressive.
Also, brush your cat’s coat with a flea comb to get rid of fleas and to help your cat relax and be at ease. Be sure to wear gloves and do not forget to cover her ears with cotton balls so that the water won’t get inside her ears.
Steps in giving your cat a flea bath
First, introduce your cat’s legs to the bathtub with lukewarm water. If you notice that she is already comfortable, moisten her body parts and apply the flea shampoo or Dawn dish soap. Next, place a barrier on your cat’s neck by forming a lather since the fleas will most likely run towards the head area. Gently massage your cat’s body putting more attention to the head, neck and tail.
Be sure to remove visible fleas with the comb. Lastly, rinse off the foam and ensure that there is no remaining soap or lather on her body. You may also check our earlier article on how to give a cat a flea bath for more information.
Recommended flea shampoos for cats
Here are our choices for the best flea shampoos for cat:
What are other flea treatment options aside from a flea bath?
These are other flea treatment options that you can do for your cat if she is suffering from fleas:
- By letting your cat wear a flea collar.
- By giving your cat oral flea medication.
- With the use of a flea spray.
- By applying diatomaceous earth to your cat.
- By applying topical flea medication to your cat.
These are some of the commonly used topical flea medication for cats:
Imidacloprid is its active ingredient and this is safe for cats and kittens over six weeks of age but it does not kill ticks.
Selamectin is its active ingredient and it does not only kill fleas and ticks but also ear mites. It stays in the bloodstream and should not be used on kittens that are under six weeks old.
Its active ingredient is Fipronil and it kills both fleas and ticks. However, it may cause temporary sensitivity to the applied areas. You may check our earlier article on how long does it take for Frontline to work for more details.
Be sure to consult your vet on the right topical flea medication for your cat and see to it that your cat is within the right weight range. Also, see to it that the flea medication is for cats and not for dogs or other animals and follow the directions to ensure that it is appropriate according to your cat’s size and age.
How to remove fleas and eggs from your home
Here are measures that you can do to avoid flea infestation in your home:
- Always vacuum your carpets daily and dispose of used vacuum bags.
- Wash all your beddings well and vacuum the mattress including the crevices.
- Steam-clean your carpets to kill remaining eggs that may not have been removed by the vacuum.
- Avoid placing flea collars in the vacuum bag as the heat from the machine may lead to noxious fumes.
- Opt for professional flea treatment if you lack the necessary tools.
Having fleas is discomforting and irritating for cats. It can even be a health concern and your cat may suffer from anemia and blood loss. A good measure to get rid of fleas is to bathe your cat at least once a month. It is also essential to complement the flea baths with other flea control steps such as the use of flea collars, topical flea medication and flea sprays. Keeping a clean and well-vacuumed home is also recommended.
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