Your first job will be to eliminate as many fleas from your cat by combing and bathing. Once the bulk of the tiny nuisances are gone, you can prevent further flea infestations with the use of a topical flea control product.
- Comb the Cat: Using a flea comb, comb carefully throughout the entire body of the cat. Keep a jar or bowl of diluted bleach nearby, and as you collect fleas on the comb, shake them into the jar. The fleas will die quickly.
- Bathe the Cat: If you and your cat are up to it, a bath will drown most remaining fleas. It isn't necessary to use a "flea" shampoo or a "flea dip" for this purpose. Just a mild cat or baby shampoo will do the job handsomely. If you've never bathed a cat before, check my step-by-step How To on Bathing Your Cat.
Topical Flea Control Products
There are several topical cat flea control products which work by affecting the nerve receptors of the flea. They are usually applied to the cat's skin at the back of the neck, and are collected in the hair follicles, from which the product is slowly released. Most topicals are labeled for once-a-month application, although in practice, they may work much longer.
Caution! Never use products labeled for dogs on cats. Also, I do not recommend flea dips, sprays, powders, or collars. If you choose to use such products, do your homework and be absolutely sure that the ingredients used are safe for cats.
Apply ONE of these topical products, following the directions for your age/size of cat.
- Advantage: Uses imidacloprid as the active ingredient, and is generally regarded as safe for cats and kittens over six weeks of age. Does not kill ticks. We personally use this product and have not seen a flea in our house for several years.
- Frontline: Said to kill both fleas and ticks; Frontline uses a synthetic ingredient called fipronil, which may cause a temporary sensitivity in the area of application.
- Revolution: Its main ingredient is Selamectin, which is said to kill not only fleas and some ticks, but also ear mites, as well as offering protection against heartworm. Revolution stays in the bloodstream, and should not be used on kittens under six weeks of age. Since it is a systemic product, it may cause allergic reactions in some cats.
If you follow this cat flea control program scrupulously, fleas will soon be a distant memory in your household, and your kitties will be eternally grateful to you for freeing them from unwanted fleas and their hitch-hikers.