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Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 16894
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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California is having a drought and the fleas are very bad this

Customer Question

California is having a drought and the fleas are very bad this year. We have an FIV+ cat and gave her the monthly dose of Advantage II, but it does not seem to be working. We also have 3 other senior cats- all indoor cats. Is there a flea collar that we can use with a cat with FIV+ that won't compromise her immune system? We have also washed and vacuumed everything, and used a garlic based spray in the basement where the fleas used to get treated by a pest service.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 2 years ago.
Hello, my name is***** and I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian. I am sorry that you have been waiting for a response, but your requested expert isn't online which delayed your question coming up on the list for all to answer. I would like to help if you are still interested in an opinion.Advantage II is a great product, but we do see some decrease in efficacy toward the end of the month, and that sounds like a problem for your kitty.I don't usually recommend flea collars, especially for cats, but I highly recommend the new Seresto flea and tick collar. It gives very effective, consistent protection against fleas and ticks for at least 6 and as long as 8 months. I have not heard of cats showing any signs of reactions to the collar, but as more people put it on their pets we may find some cats are sensitive. Unfortunately nothing is 100% perfect and even great products will still have some animals that are sensitive.Do realize though that only 5% of the flea population lives on your cat, the rest is in the environment. I am glad that you are vacuuming your home throughly to remove as many eggs and larvae as possible. Concentrate on cracks and crevices, along baseboards, under furniture and areas where they like to sleep and eggs and larvae are at their highest numbers. Vacuum daily and throw away the bag. I also recommend treating the home environment with a product that has an adulticide (kills adult fleas) as well as an insect growth regulator to stop egg and larvae from developing. A great product is Siphotrol II Plus Premise spray. I like it because it has an insect growth regulator as well as an adulticide. You can spray it under furniture and into cracks crevices and along baseboards where fleas and their offspring hide. It should be used every 2 weeks and no vacuuming for 2 to 3 days after using it to allow it to settle in. Here is a link to show you the product: I don't like foggers becuause they don't go under furniture or penetrate cracks and crevices, so they just aren't effective where they need to be. And they end up in the air where they are nasal irritants for animals and people alike. I don't recommend their use at all.Your other option is to have a professional exterminator treat your home and outdoors. Ask for a guarantee and make sure that the products they use don't contain organophosphates and that they do have an adulticide and an insect growth regulator.The key with flea treatment is consistency, not stopping too quickly, and using effective products.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi Dr. Kara, The Advantage II was applied just last week.
I was not sure about using the Seresto collars, not only because they cost $45+ per cat, but they have the same ingredient -Imidacloprid as Advantage II and didn't want to have more of it on the cats so soon after the Advantage II. Do you know anything about the chemicals in the Biospot collars- Tetrachlorvinphos 14.55 ,(S)-Methoprene 1.02% or Zodiac breakaway cat flea collar with fleatrol propoxur 10%? We want something relatively non toxic for immediate use before using anything with Imidacloprid so soon.
I will try the Siphotrol II Plus Premise spray and keep up the vacuuming. We have also been told that food grade diatomaceous earth would help in the yard and basement. If all fails we will get a professional exterminator again. Thanks.
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 2 years ago.
I'm sorry I missed your reply earlier.You are correct that Seresto collars have imidacloprid, but they also have Flumethrin, which Advantage II does not have. Advantage II has pyriproxyfen which is in a different class of insecticides. If you did use the Seresto collar I would wait to apply it for 2 more weeks so as not to overdose your kitties.I highly recommend against using BioSpot or Zodiac flea collars. Tetrachlorvinphos is an organophosphate insecticide which is highly toxic for cats and there is a large flea population that is resistant to this insecticide because it is very old, and thus fleas have had a long period of time to build resistance.Methoprene is an insect growth regulator. This is nontoxic and when fleas are exposed the eggs that they lay won't hatch. It does nothing against adult fleas.Propoxur is a carbamate insecticide, also an older class of insecticides which tend to be toxic for kitties and no longer very effective.Diatomaceous earth works by cutting the insects up and dehydrating them. There has to be a fairly high concentration to work, and we need to be careful the kitties don't inhale it as it is a respiratory irritant. It has a very short duration of action once applied, and must be reapplied frequently.
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 2 years ago.
Hi Heather,

I'm just following up on our conversation about Delia. How is everything going?

Dr. Kara