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Dr. Gary
Dr. Gary, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 19324
Experience:  DVM, Emergency Veterinarian; BS (Physiology) Michigan State Univ
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I moved to a new town school and the house I rented has

Customer Question

I moved to a new town for graduate school and the house I rented has fleas (I found out much too late that the previous tenants had dogs). My strictly indoor kitty was badly infested for a short while; we moved to a humid area from the arid West and the possibility of fleas did not even cross my mind until it was too late. The vet gave my cat Capstar and Frontline Plus, and Mittenz is currently staying with friends until I get the house issue resolved. After a couple of weeks of attempting to control the fleas with natural methods (salt, vacuuming, dehumidifier, etc.), I succumbed and told my landlady about it. She ordered an exterminator to come over, and he used permethrin and Precor. I have been reading all sorts of terrifying things about feline toxicity and permethrin, and am wondering when (and if) it will be safe for my cat to come home. She is welcome to stay at my friends' home for a couple of weeks but then they are leaving for a vacation. I keep reading that permethrin is safe(ish) for cats after it has dried on the carpet and furniture, but I am concerned that my cat will get it on her paws and then groom herself (she's very fastidious). What should I do? I am quite angry at my negligent landlady and want to just move, but this can't happen in the middle of a busy semester and the poison is all over my furniture as well. Am I being overly cautious or is this a legitimate concern?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Dr. Gary replied 1 year ago.

Hello. Thanks for the question.

The permethrins that are used by exterminators are pretty safe once they are dried and the area is vacuumed. I usually have owners give it a good 8-12 hours to dry and then clean before having the cats brought back in the house. It sounds like you have given it longer than that already. Permethrins are much more toxic when applied to the cat. This happens when dog flea meds are put on cats.

Here is a nice handout with some good information about taking care of flea infestations:

http://www.veterinarypartner.com/Content.plx?P=A&S=0&C=0&A=3237

I hope this helps, let me know if you have any other questions.