Cat Among the…Fleas?

I, personally, believe that all life on this planet is sacred, and go out of my way to share my livespace and its surrounding nature with all creatures that choose to inhabit it–be it spiders, ants, mice, skunks and the like. So, I tend to eschew toxic cleaners and pesticides/insecticides, and spend an inordinate amount of time rescuing bugs, insects, injured wildlife, and stray animals (or, people’s free-roaming pets, in actuality *laugh*).

My cat Cricket, however, gets flea allergy dermatitis very badly. Which usually isn’t a problem, as my cats are kept strictly indoors (for their health and safety, as well as that of the local wildlife and birds). But, I had to move into a place where my roommates let their cats in and out during the day. Naturally, a flea population had migrated indoors with the cats.

flea-treatment

Usually the fleas are pretty manageable by conventional methods (Advantage and other flea control methods). That year, in my Florida neighbourhood, the flea population just seemed to explode. My neighbour and her dog had to go stay with her friend while her entire house had to be bombed. And it still didn’t work. Nothing did, in fact. I’m not usually a supporter of toxic flea elimination methods, but for Cricket’s sake, I tried everything. All kinds of topical flea stuff–Advantage, Frontline, Sentry, Bio-Star, Vectra–that oral Capstar pill, flea collars both natural and toxic, flea baths and so many other things. One of the vets said that fleas were adapting themselves to be immune to the insecticides as they came out, and very quickly, too. So, we were stuck as what to do next.

As the house had a lot of inherited antiques, we hesitated at having the house bombed like our neighbor’s, but, still, we were faced with a situation where nothing worked. And, though my cats were still indoor-only, my fellow pet owner was reluctant (at first) to make the transition to their pets being indoor-only. But necessity demanded we start keeping all the pets indoors (though they still allowed theirs access to the screen porch).

Still, the flea problem was out of control. I’m a little embarrassed to even relate how bad the infestation was–the fleas were just having a field day in the house with us, and the pets. My roommate was practically beside themselves with the flea problem.

fleas-and-cats

We were out shopping at one of my favourite indie natural pet food places, when I had the bright idea to ask the staff if they had suggestions for how to get rid of fleas (My roommate was usually skeptical of natural products, unlike me). The staffer introduced us a company called Vet’s Best. They had a flea and tick home spray to use on the inside of the home, as well as an outdoor spray that attached to a garden hose that we used to treat the exterior of the home, especially the entry ways, and around the screened-in porch. And we went back to an old-fashioned practice we used growing up: regular baths with Packer’s pine tar soap.

About a month into this flea-ridding process, Cricket’s flea allergy dermatitis cleared up, and the flea population was greatly reduced. After about two months, the flea population was mostly gone. We kept up the monthly routine of spraying inside and, though, (skipping the baths after about three months, to the cats’ great relief) and never had a flea problem after that.

I was so relieved–after months of trying toxic products I didn’t feel comfortable using–I had now found a safe and effective way to eliminate fleas. I would recommend both Vet’s Best flea & tick products, as well as pine tar soap, to help with any flea problems you might have in your home and on your pets. Unfortunately, Vet’s Best is only shipped in the U.S. mainland. I’m not sure about Packer’s pine tar soap: here’s a list of places to buy it (from the website).

flea-prevention

(Disclaimer: I didn’t receive any free products from Vet’s Best or Packer’s pine tar soap in exchange for this review. Bought it and used it as a consumer. From a brick-and-mortar store.)

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25 thoughts on “Cat Among the…Fleas?

  1. August used to be flea season here in Los Angeles. I used to keep fresh Eucalyptus branches under the beds and liberally dust every inch of carpet and the furniture with Borax. I could never use sprays or bombs because of the birds and aquariums in The Workshop. Glad to hear you found Vet’s Best and your Cricket has recovered! <3

  2. Thank you for sharing your experience. I know how bad insects of any kind can be in Florida and there’s no hard winter to kill them naturally. I will definitely look into the products you recommended, your vet is one of the few I know of to comment on resistance to pesticides but it’s happening in a lot of areas.

  3. I will have to check that one out. I find cats and such that people throw out. My cats don’t have fleas and most live right outside. I haven’t figured that one out yet except that we live in the North where it is very cold, wet, and snow. Thank you for giving us the name and recommendation. I will have to try it on the homeless.

  4. … “a place where my roommates let their cats in and out during the day. Naturally, a flea population had migrated indoors with the cats”… that’s my problem, too!
    But this Vet’s Best doesn’t deliver outside USA, unfortunately 🙁
    Great post in any case, thank you for sharing!
    Ciao
    Sid

  5. Our cats also have flea allergy, especially Barmalei who actually breaks out in hives – terrible! They are strictly indoor cats, but neighbors have dogs and outdoor cats, so the vet told us that we bring infection inside on shoes, etc. We’ve tried Frontline and Advantage, but the only that seems to work as prevention is Revolution. However, it is outrageously expensive. I’ve looked at Vet’s Best, and I don’t know which products to use, as they have a variety of them. What do you recommend as prevention, rather than treatment?

    1. Get the indoor spray to treat the inside of the house https://vetsbest.com/products/featured-products/50194566/031658103485/flea-tick-home-spray-32-oz/ (I included clickable links in the blog post and a description as well). Get the outdoor one to treat all entryways. https://vetsbest.com/products/flea-and-tick/50194564/031658103492/flea-tick-yard-kennel-spray-32-oz/ The indoor one is safe on wood trim and floors–it was on ours, anyway. And bathe with that Pine Tar Soap. (Link in the blog as well.) For some reason, the shampoo was not as effective as the soap. https://packerspine.com/soap/

  6. I’ve read good things about nematodes for prevention (round worms) – especially when you don’t get a hard freeze to kill the eggs. I’m not sure where you get them, but one article said they come in a bag and look a bit like fertilizer. You sprinkle it all over your lawn, then the worm eggs hatch and the worms live underground – eating the flea eggs that is their favorite food. You can’t use pesticides after that or you’ll kill the worms too, apparently – but that is probably good news for you. Google it.
    xx,
    mgh
    (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMORE dot com)
    ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder
    “It takes a village to educate a world!”

      1. I am in Southern Ontario Canada and our summers get quite hot ….fleas are a never ending problem for most pet owners…and I did rescue so we always had a hard time with fleas .

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