Welcome to The Cat Site
your cat community
Interact with our community

Can't get rid of fleas

Discussion in 'Grooming & General Cat Care' started by runekeeper, Oct 9, 2011.

  1. guiliana

    guiliana TCS Member Kitten

    Dec 22, 2016
    Hey I also moved to Florida from NYC! I've been here 20 years. You can take me outta NY, but you can't take NY outta ME!
    Here, fleas (and heartworm) are a year round problem. It's TERRIBLE!
    What can you do? Suffer thru it...but what you use depends on how holistic you want to be. I prefer chemical free.

    I don't use Precor, Advantage/Revolution, etc. It's an individual choice. Just be aware that all those spot-ons are absorbed through
    your animals skin into their organs. (And into you and your kids organs as well - even if you wait a day after applying it to touch them.
    Up to 60% of ANYTHING we put on our skin is absorbed into our bloodstream as well - which is why I don't use chemicals in my home.

    We vacuum (psychotically); use DE + table salt; cedarwood essential oil (on furniture, NOT animals), and float tealights in low, white bowls
    with water + dish soap to drown those little SOB's!!! It isn't an instant fix, but nothing is down here. And it's a lot safer all around.

  2. guiliana

    guiliana TCS Member Kitten

    Dec 22, 2016
    MICHIGANDER - I'm sorry, but I COMPLETELY disagree with you. The problem isn't that people aren't buying flea products from their vets (well, it matters to the VETS, because it's a nice chunk of their income). The REAL problem is that DESPITE MANY DEATHS, HARTZ and SARGEANTS cheap, toxic flea products are STILL ON THE MARKET. They're also available EVERYWHERE, so stupid and uninformed people buy THEM instead of spending money on (what most here consider) the "good stuff" (ie: Advantage, Revolution).

    Personally, I don't like Western medicine's "here's a pill" attitude, so (unless someone needs stitches or breaks a bone) I care for my animal AND human families myself, and without chemicals.

  3. guiliana

    guiliana TCS Member Kitten

    Dec 22, 2016

  4. solomonar

    solomonar TCS Member Alpha Cat

    Jan 13, 2017
    I may refer to KISS.

    Just treat the cats with the cat's flea drops (say Frontline) and the dogs with dog fleas drops. The ones are available in any vet farmacy.   

    And do son only it is needed, do so completely, as instructed. You see, one can do it correctly in one way only, but can do it making errors in hunderd ways.... [​IMG]

    Do it once - may be some 10 bucks each animal (dog or cat). Ant only after this simple treatment does not offer the expected result, go to other options.

    I am posted this because I did not see the details of the treatment applied by the thread's author.  Maybe I miss them, but the original starting post says nothing about the applied treatment. If the author did not apply the most common treatment (say Frontline drops), then why going to more sophisticated or controversial treatments?[​IMG]  

  5. jimmycatlover

    jimmycatlover TCS Member Adult Cat

    Jan 4, 2016

  6. georgiarealist

    georgiarealist TCS Member Kitten

    Oct 10, 2016
    Another thing to try is nematodes - you can buy them on Amazon and I'm sure other places. You spray a solution of nematodes and water on the yard and that's that. The nematodes eat all sorts of bad bugs including fleas, don't bother the "good" insects like bees, and are completely safe for people and pets. One article I read said the only way nematodes can hurt you is if you fall in a huge vat of the solution and drown. They will die if there are no more bad bugs to eat, and I assume need to be reapplied from time to time, but they're a lot cheaper than the poisons. I have a large enclosure that my inside cats can get to through some tunnels from the house (the big black plastic pipes they use around construction) and used to find a lot of fleas on the cats when they'd come back inside. Once we applied the nematodes, I noticed the flea problem improved very quickly - not totally gone, but that's probably partly due to the strays that come through the yard and eat on my patio. I also found fewer fleas were hitching a ride on my pants when I walked across the yard.

    I use food grade diatomaceous earth on my hardwood floors inside. It's probably best to wear one of the disposable masks when you apply it, particularly if you have allergies, and sweep it in so it gets down in the cracks and around the side trim. You can also sprinkle it under sofa or chair cushions, which are places fleas like to hide and breed. It does kill fleas, but may  take a little while. Some of the name brand powders they sell to kill fleas have DE in them but also contain poisons, so be careful what you buy. The food grade DE is pretty cheap, and it's lightweight (a one pound jar looks about like a one gallon bleach container to me) and goes a long way.

    I do tend to keep a generic version of Capstar around for emergency infestations, and I like to use Revolution for the heartworm aspects. I've had cats die from heartworm - it can't be treated in cats, and my vet tells me that what often happens is the cat's system is good enough to kill the heartworm(s) but the dead worms can then be carried in the bloodstream into their lungs, which causes pneumonia. Since the chewable heartworm preventatives for cats are evidently  not tasty enough to get the cats to actually eat them, a topical is the only reliable preventative. My vet also told me to get the biggest size vial and split it between my 4 cats to help with the cost.

  7. victorysmom

    victorysmom TCS Member Young Cat

    Jan 30, 2017
    Try DE. FOOD GRADE only. Pool variety will kill. It is crushed (powdered) Diatoms, which are fossils. The powder is soft like flour, and looks like it. It has no chemicals, kills all insects with an exo skeleton, by piercing it microscopically, causing the bug to dehydrate. It is safe to use around the house, just don't get it air borne, or it can get in your lungs. Not good. Other than that, you can also use garlic cloves. NOW, before ppl start getting mad at me for suggesting that, it is safe in small amounts, I give it to my dog & cat every day. My 10lb cat gets half a clove a day. Fleas and other biting bugs can't stand the smell. An jump off. Garlic also is a antibiotic, antiviral and antifungal. An antibacterial. I eat one clove when I have some sort of infection. It's even good for ppl with tooth abscesses. 

  8. victorysmom

    victorysmom TCS Member Young Cat

    Jan 30, 2017
    Also, pour some apple cider vinegar, (organic), I highly suggest Bragg's brand. It has "The Mother" in it. Put it in the water and on them.  The smell will quickly dissipate. It is good for the skin, coat and will also run the fleas away. Try also, going raw fed, Healthy pets don't get fleas. Raw will help ALOT. I feed Sojos. My cat won't eat actual raw meat. Too hooked on kibble. I also like Wysong's food, too.  

  9. basscat

    basscat TCS Member Top Cat

    Dec 29, 2015
    Raw is good for cats, but, this has absolutely NO effect on fleas.
    Of all the things to worry about when dealing with fleas, and there are PLENTY, this isn't one of them.

    If you don't think you have any fleas?     Some time this month (Feb), remove the cats from the house, or isolate them to one room for a couple of days.   Find a flea "spray" (not a bomb).  Something that has an IGR (insect growth regulator).  And something that says it's safe for pets after a few hours.  I prefer "PT Ultracide".  NyGuard or Precor 2000 are good as well.   Best place I've found is to order it online from domyownpestcontrol.com
       This is an ounce of prevention in Feb. 
    Spray as directed and vacuum the next day.  Treat your cats and they are then good to return to the treated areas.
    Repeat every 4 months.

    If you see ONE, or ONE jumps on your sock?  You probably already have a problem. 
    To get rid of an infestation, spray same stuff once a week, vacuum and clean non-stop relentless every day...for 8 weeks.

    There are other methods. The safer, more friendly methods will be slower and less effective.  For DE to be effective, you have to live in a cloud of dust for several months, and even then you may still have to resort to less friendly methods.
    Flea traps. Will "rarely" solve anything themselves.  They are, however, a very good indicator of progress.
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2017

  10. victorysmom

    victorysmom TCS Member Young Cat

    Jan 30, 2017
    It helped my cat. He didn't have any fleas the whole time he was on it, and my dog didn't have any ticks. 

  11. victorysmom

    victorysmom TCS Member Young Cat

    Jan 30, 2017
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 2, 2017

  12. Anne

    Anne Site Owner Staff Member Admin

    Oct 23, 2000
    On TCS
    I haven't read the book but just wanted to remind everyone that what's safe for dogs isn't necessarily safe for cats. Also, natural or holistic certainly does not equate with safe. We recently published this - 


    Worth a read before trying anything holistic or alternative.

    And we also have this article - 


  13. victorysmom

    victorysmom TCS Member Young Cat

    Jan 30, 2017
    It is written for cats and dogs. I know some stuff can adversely affect cats, that's why when I saw it was for both, I shared it. Only when I saw it was for both. 

  14. anne59792446

    anne59792446 TCS Member Kitten

    Oct 25, 2015
    I have 28 cats and fleas are always a bane of my life it costs $400 for Advantage and I use the earth as well (My cats are all house bound) I use flat dishes with water and a tip of washing up liquid and the hoover  - but the nasty little things have a great survival streak - so keep battling it will never end

  15. poorsasha

    poorsasha TCS Member Kitten

    Feb 19, 2017
    Yes it is horrible having a flea infestation.   I have a cat who I adopted at end of September 2016 and feel I have fleas in my house, car and business office, although it is not as bad as before.  My cat had been treated with Advantage on 9/1/16 at the shelter she was at so when I brought her home on 9/25/16, I had some Advantage on hand to apply to her on 10/1/16.  She hid for 2 days behind the couch and bed, and when she finally came out, she was scratching like crazy.  She slept with me that night, and next morning I saw flea dirt on the bed.  We were petless for 11 months before we adopted her so couldn't understand how the flea infestation got so bad immediately.  She sat on my lap for an hour before coming home with me, and I checked her at the shelter, and did not see any fleas on her.  I didn't think it was a big deal to wait a few days to put on the Advantage which I since regret.  Anyway the Advantage only worked for 3 weeks.  I had bought this as a 3-pack purchase 3 years ago and was told that Advantage had no shelf life and did not expire as long as it was stored indoors outside of hot or freezing temperatures, and I had 2 left to use.  Since the vet I had chosen was a holistic vet, she was against any of the spot-on flea treatments and suggested Comfortis.  We had our house professionally sprayed in mid-November, and I again waited the one week and applied the Advantage;; this time Advantage only worked for 2 1/2 weeks.  I don't know if Advantage really expires or that it just did not work on my cat.  My previous cat was on it and it worked very well when Frontline stopped working.  The vet said I had to wait the full 30 days before switching her from Advantage to Comfortis because it could be toxic for her to be on 2 different flea medications at the same time.  In this 1 1/2 week time period, I was getting bitten alive and getting an allergic reaction to the Advantage and flea bites (huge welts on my neck, back, stomach and legs) at night as the cat sleeps with me.  I was spraying the cat and myself with a safe herbal spray and the bedsheets.  I finally got her on Comfortis which worked so much better but it is only available by prescription through a veterinarian.  She just finished her 3rd treatment and the vet will not renew the prescription saying since the cat has no fleas on her and the vet could not find any fleas in the bedsheet samples I had dropped off which I thought were fleas, the cat should not be subjected to toxins she does not need.  Her prescription will end tomorrow, and last night and today she has been scratching occasionally.  I know I still have fleas, but no one else believes me.  I don't know what treatment to use now as I have been told by several sources that fleas have become immune to Frontline and Advantage has not worked on this cat.  I was considering the Seresto collar, but one of the ingredients in it is used in Advantage so I am hesitant on trying it due to price and having to wait another 30 days while watching the fleas multiply in my house.  I have been vacuuming my house daily for 4 months now; felt that I was making significant progress, but the nonrenewal of the Comfortis is going to start this horrible situation all over again unless I can get her on something else that works very well.  Has anyone tried Revolution and found it works better than Frontline and Advantage and is it available over-the-counter?  None of my cats go outdoors at all but all have gotten fleas at one time.  Usually the flea treatments for 2-3 months does it, but not this this time, I cannot get rid of them, so frustrating!  Thank you for your responses.

  16. yogakitty

    yogakitty TCS Member Adult Cat

    Jan 4, 2017
    Toronto, Ontario
    Kitty never had fleas...knock on wood, but our old dog got fleas once when camping. I found that bathing worked well. Not as easy with cats, I know...but fleas hate water. They would literally jump off our dog when we bathed her. After a few times they were gone. Mind you, in between I did dose her once with flea meds. I believe it was Advantage...I can't quite remember as it was years ago...to kill the eggs I think? But yes...bathing..it was just gross to see them try to hop off for dear life....right into the water.....HAH..drown you little suckers...DROWN! :D

  17. lyndar

    lyndar TCS Member Kitten

    Jan 25, 2017
    LOL! I cannot see us bathing ANY of our cats unless we wear body armor!!!!

  18. petartist70

    petartist70 TCS Member Kitten

    Feb 20, 2017
    Try Revolution for your cats. It's supposed to be the best and safest! Be careful with any Bayer product. My cats almost died 3 weeks ago because 2 doses of Advantix for large dogs were packed in with the Advantage II for cats. They were poisoned! Bayer has taken no responsibility for this dangerous error. They told me it was my fault because I didn't look at the tubes to see that they were for dogs. It was a brand new package.

    Good luck!

  19. bellel

    bellel TCS Member Adult Cat

    Sep 30, 2016
    Completely disagree. Healthy pets, all pets, get fleas if not on some type of flea prevention. There is no evidence for your opinion. Moreover, there is a ton of evidence to the opposite. There is nothing about a healthy cat that repels fleas. Just not biologically possible.
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2017

  20. sams mum

    sams mum TCS Member Kitten

    Feb 13, 2017
    BEST THING EVER to combat fleas is FleaBusters. They come to your house in CA.  But, you can buy their product and dust your own house if you don't live in a service area. (bit messy and labor intensive, but well worth it because it is a successful outcome!)

    My dog used to repel fleas and ticks (on her own, we didn't use any pharmaceuticals)  Until we moved to the beach.  Then we had a major problem and even the indoor kitties were getting bit like crazy. The last 5 years have been the worst in our area and most of the over-the-counter flea treatments don't help.  Flea-busters is supposedly not harmful to pets or humans.  Works similar to diatomaceous earth, but with something extra in it that really gets rid of the fleas 100%! Takes a few weeks for it to get everything (life cycles of the fleas) Hope this helps!

    (this is a treatment for your house (and I had them do the carpet in my car) it isn't applied to your pet, although, they do sell a shampoo)
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2017

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.