If you own a cat, you have probably experienced what it's like to live with fleas. Fleas make a cat's life miserable, and they can also affect your own life as they spread throughout your home. That has made flea prevention for cats one of the most important topics to many pet owners. Thankfully, flea prevention is easier today than it ever has been before.
It's important to understand that fleas are more than just a minor annoyance to cats. Fleas carry tapeworm larvae, which means your cat is in danger of developing worms if they have fleas. Fleas can also cause irritation and skin disease, and in kittens this can even lead to anemia, which is life threatening. Thus, flea prevention for cats is a health issue as much as a comfort issue.
Flea prevention can include home remedies, but be aware that most of these are generally not effective on their own. Frequent vacuuming of your home can help reduce flea populations but will not get rid of the pests. Similarly, most "natural" remedies for fleas will, at best, reduce the flea population, usually on a temporary basis. Today's professional flea treatments for cats are easy to administer and nontoxic, meaning that for most cat owners they are the best choice.
Professional flea treatments for cats can be acquired without a visit to the vet and usually do not involve a shampoo, powder or "dip." Instead, modern flea treatments involve a single dose of medication given once every month or 6 weeks to kill the fleas that come in contact with your cat. There are several popular variants:
- Revolution: This is a topical solution that kills fleas and their eggs for about a month, and is also effective against ear mites, and several different types of parasitic worms.
- Advantage: Advantage is another liquid that is applied topically to your cat. This treatment is used exclusively for fleas and actually kills them on contact, usually within 12 hours.
- Frontline: Frontline works similarly to Advantage and kills fleas within 48 hours. It is available as a topical liquid, but also as a spray.
These products make flea prevention for cats extremely easy. Generally, any one of these products will be effective on its own, but you can always couple them with home remedies, shampoos, and a regular cleaning regimen if you want to further decrease the likelihood of infestation.