Q. My 13 year old male cat is acting lethargic & doesn't seem to be feeling well. I don't know what's wrong except that he has fleas. Can too many fleas
A. Excessive fleas can cause anemia in cats, left untreated, this can be life-threatening. I recommend getting your cat seen by your vet right away for his illness. For every flea you see on your pet, there are 100 more in the environment. Get your pet on a good topical or oral flea control through your vet. In flea control, you get what you pay for. Consider asking your vet for a dose of Capstar. It helps get the problem under control by killing the fleas on the pet starting in five minutes but only lasts for 24 hours.
You need to treat your home. If you use a pest control service, tell them you are having a flea problem and they can adjust their treatment. Use a premise spray that also contains an IGR, insect growth regulator. This keeps eggs and larvae from maturing into adults and helps break the life cycle. Also, vacuum EVERY DAY, throwing out the bag or emptying the canister every time into an outside receptacle and spraying the contents with insecticide to kill the fleas youâ€™ve vacuumed up.
Treat your yard, since fleas will hop a ride into your home on your pant leg without you knowing it. Concentrate on areas under bushes, in the shade. Fleas are less likely to be located in open sunny areas where it gets hot.
If chemicals are a problem, you can use borax. Sprinkle it into rugs, into corners and under furniture, use a broom to work it into the fibers and let it sit for hours, days even. It won't hurt you or your pet. Then vacuum it up, reapply as needed. Food grade diatomaceous earth can be gotten from a health food store and worked into the rugs and corners in the same way. These treatments aren't as fast and effective as chemical insecticides but they can help.
Be patient, you may have to repeat these steps multiple times 10-14 days apart to help break the flea life cycle.