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Dr. Jennifer
Dr. Jennifer, Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 180
Experience:  Caring for dogs and cats in general practice since 2005
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My cat has fleas and I cant seem to get rid of them. I apply

Resolved Question:

My cat has fleas and I can't seem to get rid of them. I apply either frontline or Advantage to her each month but it doesn't get rid of the fleas. I live in a garden style Condo and the management came in ten days ago and sprayed the building and all the units. I don't see any fleas in my Condo but when I comb my cat (which I have been doing every night for the last ten days) I remove at least 30 fleas. Is there something else I can do to get rid of the fleas. Also what do you recommend Frontline or Advantage.

Thank you!
Ann Hinckley
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Jennifer replied 4 years ago.
Hi Ann, just a couple questions first...is your cat completely indoors? Do you know if the management specifically sprayed for fleas, and do they spray on a regular basis? If so, how often?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

My cat was an outdoor cat until a couple of years ago. She was going out occationally for a couple of minutes at a time but she hasn't gone out over the last couple of months. Yes the management did spray for fleas. Over the last six months they have sprayed my unit three times. They do spray the hallways every couple of months.

 

Ann

Expert:  Dr. Jennifer replied 4 years ago.
Hi Ann, fleas can be a frustrating problem because of the way their life cycle works. Fleas go through metamorphosis, from eggs, to larva, to pupa, to adults. None of the flea products repel fleas, they only kill the adult fleas that get on the cat, and some products also kill the eggs and larva. However, the pupa stage in the cocoon is very resistant to any pesticides, even the sprays that commercial exterminators use.

Both Frontline and Advantage are good products that kill both adult fleas and immature stages. Make sure you are applying the product directly onto the skin, and not the hair, and putting it in a place that your cat can't reach when she grooms - I usually put it high up on their neck, near the base of the skull. If you are seeing more fleas toward the end of the month, it is safe to use these products every 3 weeks.

You are probably continuing to see fleas on your cat because they are still in the environment. In addition to having management spray for fleas on a regular basis, I would also recommend specifically treating areas where your cat spends a lot of time. Vacuum areas where she sleeps, and wash any bedding material. Make sure you throw away the bag from the vacuum as the fleas can come back out of it.

However, even these measures won't completely get rid of any fleas in the pupa stage that are in the environment. These will continue to come out of the cocoons and onto your cat, and they can stay dormant for many months if they are in out of the way corners of the house. But as long as you use Frontline or Advantage regularly (at least every month), the condo is being treated, and there is not an outside source of fleas, they will eventually be eliminated. It will just take time until the fleas in the pupa stage emerge and are killed.

In a condo complex, though, there may be outside factors, such as people walking dogs that are not protected, or outside cats that are roaming near your area. These sources will allow fleas to continue to be present in the environment outside your condo, and you could potentially bring them into the house as you go in and out. Good luck, and I hope you get the flea problem under control soon!
Dr. Jennifer, Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 180
Experience: Caring for dogs and cats in general practice since 2005
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