Getting Rid of Cat Fleas
by Teresa Camerino
We have a new kitten, and he keeps bringing in fleas! I have completely vacuumed the house, washed all the bedding, cleaned the carpets, and we are still getting bitten! He does wear a fresh flea collar. I checked with the vet and they said the one-drop-on- the-back stuff is effective, but $35! Do you know of any frugal way to save my flea-chomped family?
- My impression, after reading the post from the kitten-owner, is that they are allowing the kitten to go outdoors. Stop this habit immediately. There is no way you can control fleas if an animal goes outdoors unless you use the "Advantage" (drops on the back stuff mentioned in the note). Not only will outdoor life bring in a fresh supply of fleas EVERY time the baby goes outside, it can shorten the life of the cat.
- The "one-drop-on-the-back stuff" is very effective and, in my opinion, worth the expense for one or two cats. In a multiple- cat household, such as ours, it is not reasonable.
However, if you do not want to spend the money, I would do the following:
- Treat your carpets with Borax. Sprinkle Borax on all carpeted areas. Let it "settle" for 24 hours and vacuum. Borax kills flea eggs (not the adult fleas). Please be aware, you'll need to repeat this treatment every two- to-three weeks to keep the fleas under control. Therefore, it may not be all that cost-effective. (editor's note: Some parents prefer to keep Borax away children. Especially if the children crawl or play on the carpets.)
- We treat our carpets professionally once a year (we use "Flea Masters"). The treatment is also non-toxic and has a one-year warranty. Using this method, we have not had a flea in this house for almost four years.
- Bathe the kitten with a flea shampoo recommended by your vet. Again, this treatment is only short-term as most of the fleas are living in the carpet or in the yard, not on the kitten.
Teresa and her husband, Bob, have been breeding and showing Maine Coon Cats for eight years. You can reach them at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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