You’re here because you want to get rid of fleas on a cat fast and trust me, we know how! We own 3 cats and live in Houston, so it’s more of a “when” rather than an “if” for them to get them. It can be an annoyance when they bring in a fur coat covered in the little buggers, but hey - that's life! Anyhow, let's get started.
There are a lot of ways to kill fleas on your cat, but only a few work well in the long term. First, I’ll talk about the flea life cycle so that you have a better idea of how to tackle this problem. After that, I’ll talk about some effective generic methods. Most importantly, I will discuss even more effective methods with pills like Nitenpyram.
Flea Life Cycle
There is a phrase common in the military: Know Your Enemy. If you want to eliminate fleas from your pets, you need to first understand how the pesky insects work. First, let’s talk about cat fleas. They’re small and dark brown or black. They don’t fly, but as you may have already seen, they can jump pretty far relative to their size.
Fleas follow a life cycle in four steps: Egg, Larva, Pupa, and Adult. This whole cycle can last from 30 to 75 days, depending on how warm and humid it is.
Flea Eggs, as you can imagine, are the beginning of the life cycle. They are laid by female adults after they have consumed some blood from your pet. They are extremely small white orbs that might look like sand in larger amounts.
If it’s really humid, eggs will hatch quickly. If it’s cool and dry, it will take them a long time. Normally you’ll see hatchlings from 2 days to 2 weeks, with the major determinant being the climate.
Flea larvae are the next step and are “birthed” from the eggs. They’re white and almost translucent. They eat “flea dirt”, a blood byproduct from the female adult. Pretty gross! If they’re able to survive, they will create cocoons and become a pupa.
Flea pupae are hardy specimens. Their cocoon is sticky so it’s hard to remove via brushing or vacuuming. Pupa can also protect the emerging adult for months to years.
Adult fleas will emerge from their cocoons if the conditions are right. Once they do so, they need to eat within a couple hours. Where better than your pet? Females can only lay eggs once they’ve eaten.
Now you know your enemy! Using the new knowledge you have, you can finally remove this menace from your cat and from anywhere else they might lurk.
Natural methods work, but let me say that they’re often only solving one part of the lifecycle and you’ll need to employ all of the methods if you want to remove fleas from your cat.
- Launder pet bedding and blankets: This is something you should always do. If fleas have gotten onto your cat, they have also likely gotten onto where it sleeps and where it hangs out during the day. Use a washing machine will kill all of the stages of fleas.
- Use dehumidifiers. They can be expensive, but dehumidifiers can cause problems for fleas as they need a high amount of humidity to survive and also to hatch.
- Trim all outdoor areas where your cat goes. Fleas live in wet, dark areas so be sure to remove them all if possible.
- Give your cat a bath with some anti-dandruff shampoo that is gentle. Start with the neck so that fleas don’t jump.
- Buy Pennyroyal plants and put them around the house - fleas can’t stand the oil on the leaves.
The final method I wanted to talk about today is Nitenpyram. Nitenpyram is probably the most effective flea killer out there. It kills adult fleas in a short amount of time - 30 minutes, and lasts for up to 48 hours. This is a big deal, because it disrupts the flea life cycle. Most of the generic methods I mentioned will work for a short amount of time. This is the one method that not only kills but disrupts the cycle, making it so that you don’t need to take it very often.
Dosage is important for your cat. If your cat weighs 2 to 25 pounds, have them take 12mg of Nitenpyram orally. Kittens can be given it if they’re at least 4 months old and weigh at least 2 pounds. It will start working quickly and should help. If the flea infestation is really bad, you might need to apply it again after 24 hours of applying it the first time to your cat.
The Combined Approach
Personally, I recommend using generic methods such as washing your cat’s bedding along with pennyroyal plants in addition to Nitenpyram flea medicine for what I’d call a “combined-arms” approach.
I hope you found this article useful, and please let me know if you have any other cool methods by messaging me at marketing AT happypetlabs.com.