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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 16268
Experience:  Small animal veterinarian with a special interest in cats, happy to discuss any questions you have.
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My cat is 2 yrs old and is infested with fleas and ticks, mostly

Customer Question

My cat is 2 yrs old and is infested with fleas and ticks, mostly nesting in clumps around her neck and head, she wont let me bath her, she is a big cat, I dont know what to do
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 8 months ago.
Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today. What brand of flea products did you use?Have you treated the house at all?Is she quite irritated with these critters?
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
I have used Adams flea and tick spray. I dont remember the name of the pill i have given her, its a small white pill to be ingested once a month for six months. Also flea collars.
Yes i have treated the house and I spray furniture and floors almost daily. And yes she is very irritated with the critters...It's sad to watch her scratching
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
she is an inside cat
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 8 months ago.
Thank you, ***** ***** would note that while a flea bath may be tempting, cats are rarely amenable to them. Plus the don’t tend to have long lasting effects. Therefore, while you could have your local groomer bath Maya with the flea shampoo of your choice; we’d be better to treat for the infestation, irritation, and prevent reinfection. To start, since you have seen treatment failure with what you used in the past, then we do have to consider tackling this with an alternative product. Now is long as you haven’t applied any other treatments in the past week, we can re-treat her now. In her case, I would suggest using a good quality recently developed product like Advantage Multi, Bio Spot-Spot On for Cats, Stronghold or Revolution. This will help with all these creepy crawlies (as well as mites and lice). Or for flea treatment only, we could alternatively use Activyl, Capstar, or Comfortis. These should be available at your vets and can be dispensed as long as they have recent weights for her (often they can check this for free if they don’t). And this would ensure she is protected from the fleas themselves. Further to this, since fleas are a parasite that can leave their host to wander our homes and lay their eggs in soft furnishings, we need to treat the house to break this cycle and prevent reinfection. To start, you can wash all soft furnishings (on warm in your washer) to kill eggs and larva. You can also help reduce the flea population by vacuuming. Now when doing this, you need to do it often since the initial vacuuming will stimulate flea eggs to hatch. As well, you need to reach all those places that flea mums will have laid eggs (so carpet in closets or under the couches need to be targeted as well). So, after the stimuli, we'd vacuum every few days to suck up as many of those present in the carpet as possible. Further to this and since your spray sounds to be struggling to get these little critters under control. I would note that we want to make sure to use a product that has Insect Growth Regulator (IGR). This will prevent the eggs from hatching and larvae from developing. So, where most house flea products just kill adults, the IGR containing ones will target all life stages. Finally since the irritation our cats have with fleas is often the allergic reaction caused by their saliva when they bite, I would note that we'd want to tackle Maya's itchiness with a short course of antihistamines. Most commonly we use Benadryl/Diphenhydramine for these cases (More Info/Dose @ http://www.petplace.com/drug-library/diphenhydramine-benadryl/page1.aspx). A low dose (ie. 0.25mg per pound of body weight twice daily) can just be enough to reduce that allergic irritation. We like to keep the dose low, as they can have drowsiness with this medication (just like in people). And of course, this medication shouldn't be used if she has any pre-existing conditions or is on any other medication without speaking to your vet. But this could just reduce the irritation as you tackle the fleas and she may be more keen about this than a bath. So, this would be our above approach here to tackle the fleas on Maya, in the house, and try to soothe her skin to reduce flea allergy dermatitis that is likely giving her grief. Of course, if the skin changes at her neck or her irritation is quite severe, we’d want to use the above but have her vet start her on a long acting steroid by injection to break the allergy cycle from being bit that is making her irritated. All the best, ***** you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. Please remember to rate my service once you have all the information you need as this is how I am credited for assisting you today. Thank you! : )