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Flea Control and Flea Bite Allergies in Cats



Flea control and prevention is essential for cats with flea bite hypersensitivity. There are numerous options on the market for killing the adult fleas for a period of time, but all should be repeated (as indicated) for continuous flea control. Treatments often are applied as spot-on treatments, which are topical treatments that are applied to a small unreachable area, usually at the top back of the neck where the cat is unable to lick it off. In some cases, oral products may be more useful and practical. Flea shampoos can also be beneficial for young animals or for an acute flea infestation, but continuous management with one of the long-term products is essential.


Flea control for outdoor pets is virtually impossible, although the current flea control products that are available may be sufficient for short term treatment, as long as your house does not become infested. There are many pet products that treat for fleas during their immature stages of life (i.e., eggs). However, if the house or yard has become infested, environmental treatment will be necessary. Fleas may actually bite humans in the house if flea medications cause them to leave their animal host to search for another host.


Cats that are allergic to fleas may require steroids or antihistamines to combat their sensitivity to the bites. Likewise, if a secondary bacterial infection develops as the result of open lesions, antibiotics may be prescribed. Follow-up exams are often necessary for determining how treatments are progressing.


Living and Management


The most important factor in managing a cat with fleas is the application of regular treatment doses on a timely basis. Because it takes only one or two bites for a flea allergic animal to start itching, you will have the best results when you are consistent with flea control products. Other factors, like frequent bathing, and whether you have chosen to use spot-on or other topical products, will determine how long to wait between product applications.



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