Controlling cats/dogs fleas can be difficult, especially in the summer months. This is the time of year when fleas are the most active, and even a quick walk around the block can leave your cat or dog with the beginnings of an infestation. Fleas wait in tall grasses and bushes for your pet to pass by, and can sense a cat or dog from up to a yard away. Believe it or not, fleas can also jump three feet in order to infest your pet.
The best defense for controlling fleas on cats or dogs is to keep them as an indoor pet. If your pet is an outdoor or indoor-outdoor pet, you may have a harder time with controlling your cat or dog’s fleas. Outdoor pets need some type of flea protection, whether you decide to go the natural route or use insect poisons. However, flea collars and flea drops can be hard on animals, and have been known to be too harsh for use with cats. Never use medication intended for dogs on your cat. This can kill your cat. If your cat begins to act ill after administering medication, take your pet to the vet immediately.
A natural remedy for controlling fleas consists of soaking your cat or dog’s collar in a mixture of citronella, thyme, and cedar wood oils. This method will only work on absorbant cloth materials, so a leather collar wouldn’t be a good choice. Citronella and cedar wood repel insects, while thyme will calm your pet’s skin.
If the natural method isn’t working for you, then it’s time to try investing in flea drops. It’s very important that you pay attention to the brand of flea drops you select. You cannot use dog flea drops on cats, and vice versa. Dog flea drops are much stronger than those meant for cats. The most recommended brands are Advantage and Advantix. Hartz flea products are the most readily available, but have been known to cause adverse reactions in cats, and in some cases, death.
Before administering your natural remedy or applying flea drops, you should bathe your pet in a flea and tick shampoo. Then, apply the drops between your pet’s shoulder blades. This ensures that they cannot lick the product. Reapply every 30 days.
Flea collars are no longer recommended because they are highly toxic to your pet.