Keeping Your Home and cat Flea-Free
This year’s hot and humid summer led to some newspaper articles[i] suggesting “billions of super fleas” were about to invade people’s homes. While this was probably an exaggeration – it’s nevertheless a reminder about the need to keep on top of flea control for the health of your cat and family.
Although the traditional flea season peaks during the summer and early autumn, the warm home environment can mean fleas continue living on your pet and in the house, especially if an infestation isn’t dealt with.
Interestingly, PDSA statistics[ii] show there is a 20% drop in the sale of flea treatments during the winter months, with many vets believing this is because many owners simply do not realise that fleas are just as active in the winter as the summer months.
However fleas can be tricky to deal with, especially if you have several cats. According to Pests.org[iii] the common cat flea is a particularly tough insect – renowned for its extraordinary abilities and anatomy.
So what can you do to keep these little pests at bay? Home and pet sitting company, Homesitters Ltd offer a few top tips:
- Ensure all your pets are given regular flea treatment.
Most cats go outdoors, which is where they will be coming into contact with fleas. It’s therefore crucial to give your cats – and dogs if you have them too – regular flea treatment.
There are a variety of brands available on the high street as well as from your vet. But remember to only use one meant for cat treatment on your cat, as some of the ingredients in dog treatments can be toxic to cats.
- Use household flea treatments
If you suspect your cat has fleas or you realise you have an infestation, you must treat the home with a flea treatment as well as your cat. There are many home flea sprays on the market that will kill adult fleas in the home for up to three months, as well as stopping eggs and larvae developing for up to a year.
- Brush your cat
Make sure you brush your cat on a regular basis, particularly if they have long hair. This is not only good for your cat’s coat and as a bonding experience, but will enable you to spot the tell-tale black and white specks that indicate your cat has fleas.
- Wash your cat’s bedding
Fleas love to live in areas where your pets spend the majority of their time – so it’s important to wash their bedding regularly at a high machine temperature to kill fleas and their eggs.
- Keep floors, carpets and furniture clean
Soft furnishings, carpets and floors can be a breeding ground for fleas so make sure you vacuum these on a regular basis. Also machine wash removable sofa cushions on a yearly basis if you don’t have an infestation or straightaway, along with other flea treatments for both cat and home, if you do.
- Spotting the signs your cat has fleas
It’s important to keep an eye on your cat and look out for signs they may have fleas, even if you take all the precautions above. Excessive scratching or hair loss, bald or sore patches could be an indication. Look out for tiny dark specks in their fur or any fleas already in their coat. Also check for small insect bites on family members which could indicate there are fleas in the house.
If you suspect an infestation then it is crucial to treat all animals and the home to remove them and their eggs. Remember to break the flea life cycle and ensure you remove all fleas and eggs from your home and cat around three months of continuous treatment is needed.
- Brief your homesitter
For people that use home and pet sitters on a regular basis remember to brief your homesitter on where you are at with any flea treatments, so they can continue with treatment whilst you are away. It’s also useful to give them a guide on how you prevent fleas and leave cat and home treatments, just in case an infestation happens when they are looking after your cat.
To book a homesitter contact Homesitters on 01296 630 730.
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