Know the Enemy: All About Fleas on Cats

all about fleas on cats

Fleas are dastardly things, but a basic understanding of how they live is a good way to learn how to kill them and keep them from returning (I’ll try and keep this short.) A flea has 4 stages of development-egg, larva, pupa, and adult. The eggs are laid on the host after the female feeds, but easily roll off. Thanks to this little trick, places where the pet sleeps becomes heavily infested-which is why attention to bedding and resting spots is a must. To win this battle, one must fight the flea at all life stages. Kill the adults, get rid of the eggs, and prevent the larva and pupa from ever existing. Easier said than done, of course, but it’s worth fighting for your pets comfort and health.

One course of action you might take…

  1. Kill adults: Use a flea comb to pick them off and drown them in soapy water. Follow this with a flea bath and a dusting of DE. Dust DE on pets bedding and carpets, and vacuum carpets after 30 minutes.
  2. Get rid of the eggs: Vacuum, vacuum, vacuum. Vacuum carpets like your life depends on it, and be even stricter about your pet’s bed and resting places. Wash bedding often in hot water with a splash of white vinegar as well. Empty vacuum right away and take trash out to prevent the flea eggs from hatching and re-infesting the house. Eggs hatch every 2 days to 2 weeks.
  3. Prevent pupa and larvae: If you are religious about doing the above, it becomes possible to prevent pupa and larva from developing and reproducing as they can only reproduce after they feed on blood (which sounds straight out of a bad horror movie doesn’t it?)
  4. Prevention: Fleas populations break down as such-%50 eggs, 35% larvae, 10% pupa, 5% adults. Eggs lead to adults, of course, so don’t underestimate the benefit of regular vacuuming or spraying with something like the lemon spray.
  5. For Kittens: Treating baby animals with fleas is always a challenge. Even if you plan on using flea medication from the vet, it can’t be used until they are a certain age. They are small, and fragile, and it takes an extra chunk of dedication to safely rid them of the pests. If using DE, always make sure you aren’t being excessive, which might result in the kitten breathing it in. I think regular flea baths and going over them with a flea comb is a good idea, time consuming as it may be.

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