Fleas?

KittyJ

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Hello! I'm a new member who owns and loves three cats. I have to, unfortunately, rehome one of mine (once their possible flea problems are over) due to dominant/territorial/aggressive behavior between him and one of my others. I'm really torn up about it as I love him so so much, but he'll be happy. I'm on Cat Forum but I don't think the mod likes me, so I'm going to try out thecatsite! If I decide I like it here better, I may stay here right on.

A month or two ago I noticed that my three were scratching. They did have contact with a flea-infested stray kitten that came into our yard. I tried to keep them away from the kitten but instead found one of mine with the kitten! So there is a possibility that they could have gotten fleas from the kitten. It's also possible that they could have ear mites instead. They scratch in their ears, behind their ears, and their neck. What do you guys think? I bought them all-natural flea collars then realized that was a mistake. The active ingredients in the collars were peppermint oil and cedarwood oil. Now I'm hearing that peppermint oil is toxic to cats! Once I noticed that two of mine were losing fur on their necks. So I took off their collars. The other is still tolerating it. Should I take hers off, too? I wanted to go for something natural but now I may have to find something else. What flea treatment do you guys recommend? Btw, I bought a flea comb and I may have found a flea on one but I'm not sure.

Thanks in advance!!!
 

FeebysOwner

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Hi. A lot depends on where you are located, in terms of both flea infestations and mites. Some folks claim they can eliminate fleas through daily thorough vacuuming of their houses, constant cleaning of any bedding/linens/etc, where cats lay/spend time - and daily flea combings.

The flea combings may be a bit more entailed than what you are doing. First off, you need at least one or two bowls of very soapy water (dish detergent works fine) and one or two flea combs, along with a lot of paper towels. You take long strokes on the cat, starting at the head and ending at their butt. Then, you dip the flea comb in the soapy water with each stroke. Fleas and flea dirt should come off the comb and the fleas will drown in the soapy water. Dry the comb on the paper towel and repeat until you've completed the cat's entire body. Then, you can move on to finish with the extremities and tail - same process. The water may turn reddish colored, which is blood from the fleas that have been biting your cat - same for the flea dirt which is nothing more than flea poop, which will also contain blood. This might also happen with the paper towels turning a bit pink from the blood too. That is how you will know how bad the flea infestation is.

There are a host of ways to treat fleas. First off, I would consult with your local vet as they are the most likely to know what does and does not work in your area. Some of the flea treatments have lost their effectiveness in certain locations due to flea immunity. There are also flea treatments that will work for mites as well. But, if your cats have mites, they will likely need to be treated along side of a flea treatment to properly eradicate them. Natural treatments may not be the way to go if your cats are indoor/outdoor.

Check out this web site for a further education on fleas, their life cycles, and various treatments you could consider. FleaScience

I am going to PM you about the other cat forum you are currently on.
 
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KittyJ

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Huh, I didn't know that about the fleas' location. Are they harder to get rid of in cold or hot climates? They are outside cats, so I don't have to worry about them being in the house unless I bring them in on accident. They don't have a bed because they don't use them. I'll definitely comb them again. If it's fleas, I know it's not very bad. The collar seems to be working on my other cat. She isn't scratching as much. I know Revolution kills mites, too.

Thank you so much!
 

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Since they are outdoor, just be careful with collars. They need to be breakaway collars so they don't snag on something and strangle the cat.

I would contact your vet and find out the best option in your area. I have always found that the vet recommended treatment will cost more upfront but it's a one and done thing. The herbal, natural, etc remedies tend to be unreliable and sometimes dangerous. Whatever you do, avoid tea tree oil because that can be deadly to cats in even trace amounts.
 

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Huh, I didn't know that about the fleas' location. Are they harder to get rid of in cold or hot climates? They are outside cats, so I don't have to worry about them being in the house unless I bring them in on accident. They don't have a bed because they don't use them. I'll definitely comb them again. If it's fleas, I know it's not very bad. The collar seems to be working on my other cat. She isn't scratching as much. I know Revolution kills mites, too. Thank you so much!
I live in FL, so probably warmer weather is a bigger issue than places that have true freezing winters. However, some of it has to do with overuse of a given product in a given area whereby the fleas mutate to adapt to the flea treatment. Even so, there are places where fleas harbor on other warm blooded animals during freezing weather so they are never truly eradicated.

Your cats are outdoors - I think Revolution is probably a good one to try. And, likely a better option than any collar, especially since only one of your cats even tolerate it.
 
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KittyJ

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Since they are outdoor, just be careful with collars. They need to be breakaway collars so they don't snag on something and strangle the cat.

I would contact your vet and find out the best option in your area. I have always found that the vet recommended treatment will cost more upfront but it's a one and done thing. The herbal, natural, etc remedies tend to be unreliable and sometimes dangerous. Whatever you do, avoid tea tree oil because that can be deadly to cats in even trace amounts.
Thank you! Yes, they are breakaways.
I live in FL, so probably warmer weather is a bigger issue than places that have true freezing winters. However, some of it has to do with overuse of a given product in a given area whereby the fleas mutate to adapt to the flea treatment. Even so, there are places where fleas harbor on other warm blooded animals during freezing weather so they are never truly eradicated.

Your cats are outdoors - I think Revolution is probably a good one to try. And, likely a better option than any collar, especially since only one of your cats even tolerate it.
I'm not too far from you. We have all four seasons but we're a fairly warm state. Will Revolution work? It's getting warmer here.

Yeah, I think I'm leaning towards Revolution. I've never been very fond of collars.

Thank you!
 

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Yeah, I think I'm leaning towards Revolution. I've never been very fond of collars.
I still think asking your vet about their opinion is a good idea. But, it would seem from all that I have read on this site, and the research I have done otherwise, Revolution might a good solution.
 
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KittyJ

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Yes, asking the vet about their thoughts is probably best. From what I've gathered, it's effective on 50% of cats, and not effective on the other 50%. We'll see. Thanks, guys!
 
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KittyJ

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So I did some more combing on one of my cats the other day (the one that previously scratched the most). I didn't find anythingother than pollen. For some reason, they aren't scratching half as much as they were before, which has lead me to believe that they don't have fleas. Maybe it's environmental allergies?
 

FeebysOwner

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Yes, cats can have allergies tied to the environment/seasons. A lot of humans have pollen allergies, so I am guessing that can be the case with cats as well. You could check with your vet about your suspicions and see if they would recommend some sort of antihistamine like humans take if you think it is bothering them enough to treat it. The vet may have other suggestions.
 
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KittyJ

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Yeah, they can be allergic to pollen like humans. But I think it's more like respiratory issues. Could they scratch from pollen? Last year they had no issues with pollen. Thanks!
 

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Yeah, they can be allergic to pollen like humans. But I think it's more like respiratory issues. Could they scratch from pollen? Last year they had no issues with pollen. Thanks!
I suppose respiratory issues are more common when considering pollen, but how many people do you know roll around on the ground in order to get pollen on their skin? And, if they were to do so, would they have a skin reaction - I don't know?!?! And, just like people - regardless of the cause, cats can become allergic to something that they once weren't bothered by.

It is very likely something they are being exposed to outside, and probably seasonal. Perhaps, less humidity in the air causing dry skin? Or something that has changed in your house. Again, you think of things like dust as being a respiratory issue, but things like that can cause a cat to itch as well. Another possibility would be cleaning products.

Did you ever administer the Revolution?
 
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KittyJ

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Yeah, I guess you're right. I do hope it's seasonal. I think it is as well since I haven't found a flea, plus, they are scratching less and not more.

No, I haven't. I want to figure out what's wrong first.
 
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KittyJ

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I just don't understand. One day they don't scratch, the other they both scratch a couple of times, and the next day only once. It's not like it's getting worse. If were to be any kind of parasite, it just get worse and worse. For almost a month, they weren't scratching at all until a couple of days ago.
 

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You might want to consider creating a journal of their activities each day and note the degree of scratching going on for each of those days. Perhaps, it will shed some light on possible causes.
 
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KittyJ

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How much would it cost to get a prescription for two adult cats? I do have to pay for the treatment and the prescription, right? As you all can tell, I have never dealt with this before!
 

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Cost varies by type of product and where you buy it. Not all flea treatments require a prescription. But, you may want to ask your vet what they would recommend. There are some types that work better than others depending on the area you live in.

But, if you are still leaning toward Revolution, you can look up on line sites that sell it to check out the prices (Chewy, Amazon, PetCo, PetSmart, etc.), and then ask your vet to send a prescription to the on line store of your choice. Some of these sites will reach out to your vet directly to obtain authorization - although that might take a bit longer to actually get the treatment.
 
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KittyJ

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Thank you so much!

Yes, I am still leaning towards Revolution. Do I have to take them to the vet so he can look at them and make a recommendation? Or just call or email?

One more question: At what age can I put diatomaceous earth on a kitten?
 

FeebysOwner

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Yes, I am still leaning towards Revolution. Do I have to take them to the vet so he can look at them and make a recommendation? Or just call or email?...One more question: At what age can I put diatomaceous earth on a kitten?
Call the vet and ask. They may just authorize a prescription over the phone. The vet may want to see the cats if they haven't been checked out very recently. As far as DE (food grade only), I am not an advocate of it for any cat - merely because the dust from it is not good for their respiratory system. And, I can't see how anyone can 'rub' it on their skin and not have dust. There are members on this site that have used it, so maybe they can provide some tips. Other members suggest a bath with the basic Dawn dish soap for kittens, especially if they are extremely young.
 
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