It’s vital that you catch fleas as early as possible because, while they may be small, they can cause serious harm to your feline friend if left untreated. When a flea bites your cat and its saliva enters the bite wound, some can suffer an allergic reaction, Tweedle says, explaining that in some cases sores can develop on their skin, which often become infected. What’s more, “kittens, elderly or sick cats can become weak and anaemic as a result of blood loss”. Fleas can also spread nasty diseases and are a common cause of tapeworms.
best dog food
When it comes to buying treatments, there are a multitude to choose from, but Nina Downing, a vet nurse for the People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA), recommends purchasing products from reputable retailers “as they tend to be safer and more reliable for your pet”.
Help your pet be the best pet he can be. Train your pet by setting him up to succeed. There’s a reason for everything your dog or cat does, and the reason rarely if ever involves being deliberately disobedient.
- 6 best cat water fountains to keep your furry friend hydrated
- 10 best pet vacuum cleaners that tackle hair and dirt with ease
- 10 best cat carriers for transporting your furry friend
- 8 best robot vacuum cleaners that clean effortlessly
It’s also important to consider which method will suit your cat’s temperament best. “Choose whatever will be the least stress for you both,” Reay says. “If your pet easily takes tablets in food, then choose those, otherwise go for a spot on and use food or treats as a distraction while it’s applied. The calmer you are, the more you’ll help to reassure your pet.”
INTERESTING FACT ABOUT YOUR PET: Stray dogs in Russia have learned how to ride the complex subway system, and get off at specific stops in search of food.
So, what are the main types of flea treatment worth investing in? To find out, we spoke to leading veterinary practitioners. From spot-on solutions to collars and techniques to treat your home, these are the best ways to keep your living space free from critters.
Use Dog Toothpaste on a Rope Toy. If your dog doesn’t like having his teeth brushed squeeze some doggie tooth paste onto a rope toy & let them go at it. It’s a nice way to start desensitizing them to having their teeth brushed.
Topical flea medication or spot-on treatments
One of the most popular types of flea treatments are spot-on or topical solutions, which “are applied to the skin on the back on your cat’s neck and work by the active ingredients being absorbed through the cat’s skin into their body”, says Downing. These treatments kill fleas living on the cat and will also prevent future infestation for a while after they’ve been applied.If this type of treatment sounds like it could work for your feline, Downing recommends opting for Frontline’s spot on flea and tick control for cats (£10.99, Amazon.co.uk), which says it kills fleas on your pet within 24 hours and will continue to protect them for up to a month.
Alternatively, she suggests investing in Flea Screen Combo’s spot-on solution (£11.99, Amazon.co.uk) which is a UK-veterinary-licensed flea and tick treatment for cats and kittens from eight weeks old. The treatment is available in one size for cats weighing 1-8kg.
Make Your Own DIY Refillable Water Bowl. Are you filling up your dog water bowl multiple times a day? Create your own DIY refillable water bottle bowl.
Flea collars work by having an active ingredient embedded within, which is released when the collar comes into contact with your pet’s skin. Tweedle says it is important to “pick a flea collar that will release if your pet is caught by them and trapped, as otherwise, they can be dangerous”.This Seresto flea and tick collar (£33.95, Waitroisepet.com) is an NFA-VPS product and delivers up to eight months’ continuous protection. The brand says it can provide such long-lasting defence because the collar releases its active ingredients at a slow and steady rate. It’s also water-resistant and odour-free.
INTERESTING FACT ABOUT YOUR PET: There are approximately 600 million dogs in the world. It is estimated that nearly 400M of those dogs are strays.
If you’re concerned about the quality of a flea collar, Downing suggests speaking to your vet or vet nurse for advice on the best option for your cat.
Another option is to give your cat an oral treatment, which comes in the form of a capsule or tablet. Tweedle says “flea tablets work by the active ingredient being absorbed from the gut and taken into the bloodstream, which then kills fleas when they bite your pet”.
Before purchasing an oral treatment, it’s important to know that different medications use different chemicals, with some working very quickly but only lasting for a few days, and others working over several months.
A great solution for owners who struggle to apply topical treatments or for cats that have sensitive skin which reacts to spot-on products, VetIQ’s flea guard tablets (£9, Supplementsolutions.co.uk) contain a blend of B vitamins, yeast, zinc and garlic, which the brand says help to make your pet’s blood less palatable to fleas, ticks and mosquitoes.
Always be consistent. Half-assed efforts will deliver half-assed results. Consistency is the key to success in all endeavors in life. Training a dog is no different. Learning about your dog is also a consistent effort. Quality time with your dog should be consistent and ongoing.
Flea treatments for your house
With your cat taken care of, Reay says it is “really essential to treat the house as well”. She recommends using a vacuum first to get the eggs (which are very resistant to chemicals) to hatch and then use a spray.The PDSA has its own household flea spray (£9.99, Pdsapetstore.co.uk), which kills both existing fleas and their eggs, ensuring the flea life cycle is properly broken. The spray claims to prevent the development and growth of flea eggs and larvae in the home for up to six months and can also be used to target other pests such as cockroaches and silverfish.
You can also pick up this Virbac indorex defence household flea spray (£8.99, Amazon.co.uk), which kills adult fleas and house dust mites for up to two months after application. When using, hold the can at arm’s length and direct the spray towards the area you want to treat.
laidback pet breeds
Whichever product you choose, Reay adds that it’s vital to follow the directions on the can carefully and to always “air the room before you allow your pet (or yourself) back in”. This is because household flea treatments can be particularly toxic to cats, so make sure they don’t sneak back into the treated area before it’s dried.
For the latest discounts on cat food and other pet essentials, try the links below:
Make sure your pet is in good company. Pets get lonely and depressed just like people do when they spend too much time alone. Cats are generally better on their own, but dogs and especially puppies don’t do well left to their own devices for extended periods of time.
- Ocado discount codes
- Very discount codes
Is your kitty always drinking out of the tap?Read our guide to the best cat water fountains to keep your furry friend hydrated
IndyBest product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing.