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Jess K
Jess K, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 1196
Experience:  Licensed Veterinarian
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I gave my cat frontline a week ago, and I am still finding

Customer Question

Hello! I gave my cat frontline a week ago, and I am still finding fleas. I found a live one last night, and I found one this morning, just now, that was a little slowed.
Is frontline not as effective? How do I prevent a flea infestation? I have combed through her entire coat and I can't seem to find anything, not even flea dirt or dandruff......but she is very thick and long haired.
I've heard much better things about Bayer advantage II.
Is it a good idea to use these within a week of eachother?
I want her to stop itching. And fleas are so gross!!
Submitted: 3 months ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Jess K replied 3 months ago.

Hello, this is Dr. Jess. I am so sorry to hear about your kitty! This can be a very frustrating situation!

Is your cat an indoor only cat or does she go outside? Do you have other pets in the house? Are they on a flea preventative? Have you treated the house at all?

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Hello! She is indoor only in an old apartment building. There are no other animals near me in this part of the building, unless fleas can go through neighbor with a dog has a separate entrance.I've only recently within the last 2 weeks noticed her itching, and last week noticed tapeworms. So I have her work medicine for tape worms and frontline plus 1 week ago today.I washed all my clothes, vaccummed my 2rugs, took them outside and put them in my trunk (will deal with them later), mopped the floors down several times (they are hardwood), wiped down all surfaces, sprayed down my furniture with disinfectant, and vacuumed them very good....There are no other pets in my apartment. Just me and her in a little 420sq studio.
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
I also have always had a cover over my mattress and have put fresh sheets on every night
Expert:  Jess K replied 3 months ago.

Ok, thank you for all the information!!! Do you have a veterinarian you take your cat to? Because sometimes there are flea preventatives that I prefer that are only available at a vet, and want to know if that is an option for you!

I will type up a response for you, sometimes it takes 5 or 10 minutes to get all the information down. Just don't want you to think that I have forgotten you!!!

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Also, she has had these little teeny tiny black things, look like dead worms or larva.....I thought they looked like flea larva because of the size, a little bigger than flea dirt.Can't find any upon brushing and separating her fur.I have no idea at this point.I even took out the vaccum bag and threw it in the trash, and put a fresh one in, as I read that's a good thing to do.
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
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Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Hello,Yes I believe I should have taken her to the vet originally, but I am a little short of cash financially right since. I'm the mental health field and it will continue to be slow until school starts in 2 and 3 weeks.
Expert:  Jess K replied 3 months ago.

Ok. Sorry for the delay, I am home with my kids today which means sometimes I get pulled away from the computer!!!

Fleas can be a very frustrating issue, and it can take a multi-faceted approach if you have a severe case of them. It sounds like you have already done many things that we recommend, so that is great (the cleaning of your house/vacuuming/etc.), I would also vacuum your hardwood floors, as sometimes the flea eggs/larvae will actually fall into the cracks between the floorboard (they are microscopic in size so you wouldn't see them), and then hatch later on, so vacuuming the wood floors and then disposing of the vacuum bag as you did would be a good idea as well.

Frontline can be a great product, but some owners have noticed fleas becoming resistant to the frontline (and some other topical products), so sometimes we will have the occasional flea that it doesn't kill. Usually most of them are killed by it, but unfortunately it isn't an instant kill with this product. It can take 24 to 48 hours AFTER coming into contact with the frontline for the flea to die (the slow moving one you found was probably one of these that had come into contact but wasn't quite dead yet). So if there are fleas that hatched recently in your home, and they then jump on your kitty and you see them in those first few hours, they are going to look like healthy fleas. There are some products that are oral flea preventatives that work a bit faster. My favorite is a pill called Comfortis. They work a bit faster (fleas usually dead within 4 hours versus 24 to 48 hours). This issue is this product is only available from a vet or with a prescription from a vet. If your cat has been to a vet within the past year, they should be willing to prescribe it to you without your having to bring your kitty in, so that would be the fastest option for you!!!

The other things you could consider would be treating your apartment with either a spray (you spray the floors/furniture) or a fogger. You can pick these up at your vet's office or at a hardware store. The issue it, you will have to remove your kitty from the apartement for part of the day while you are treating the place, so that may be tough depending on your situation. If you cannot do that, but have separate rooms in your apartment, you could put the kitty in one room while you spray the other room and wait several hours for it to dry completely (you couldn't really use the fogger with the cat in the apartment as the doors probably wouldn't keep it out).

You will probably need to keep your kitty on a monthly flea preventative now since she has had fleas once. If someone in the apartment complex nearby has a dog, it is quite possible that dog has brought fleas into the building and they will continue to be a problem if you don't stay on top of it- makes it tougher than having a house you know no one else is entering/that you can control completely.

Also, it is not uncommon to have a resurgence of fleas about 3 weeks after your initial treatment because of the flea life cycle. Any eggs that were in the environment that didn't get vacuumed up may hatch (there is nothing that will kill these in this form) and then those fleas will have to come into contact with the frontline (or you can retreat the environment as well) before they die. Then hopefully they will not have a chance to lay any eggs and we should have the issue more under control (here is an article which gives some info on their life cycle:

So to make a long story short, the fleas you are seeing aren't unusual even after treating with frontline- there is a small chance some are resistant, and a greater chance they just haven't died yet. If you want a faster product, I would call your vet for comfortis. I would vacuum the hardwood floors as well, and consider treating your home. You may need to retreat your home in 3 weeks. And then keep your kitty on the monthly preventative.

Please let me know if you have any questions about this information!!!

Expert:  Jess K replied 3 months ago.

Please let me know if you have any other questions, or if I didn't answer anything to your satisfaction! If you do not have any other questions, please take a moment to CLICK AND RATE our conversation so we can know if you were satisfied with your service and I can get credit for helping to answer your question, and can know that you do not have anything else I need to answer. Thank you and best of luck!!!

Expert:  Jess K replied 3 months ago.

Just checking to see if you got my response and if you had any additional questions?

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