Friday, July 28, 2006

WCB 59: The Battle Against the Fleas

Look at this kitten. Yes, this kitten is very cute. But what you can't see are the little beasties that live in this kitten's fur. Dirty, nasty, bite-y FLEAS. I've been fighting these fleas ever since she was a tiny kitten (2 months ago!). At first, she was too young for me to use any flea shampoos or medications, so I was combing her and squishing the nasties with my fingernails. As she got older, I started her on Frontline, a liquid med applyed directly to the skin. It's supposed to make the fleas infertile. Two applications later, and we still have fleas. SO today I pulled out the big guns: flea shampoo. Oh, Tiggy was NOT happy about the whole "bath" situation.

After she was washed, I wrapped her up in a towel and held her close as she purred herself dry. The beasties were crawling on her face (the only part free from shampoo) and I killed a bunch of them. Then, after much licking and rubbing, Tiggy was happy again, and sucking up to me plenty. I guess she thought the bath was some kind of punishment! Wish us luck in our battle against the fleas.

Check out Clare and Kiri over at eatstuff for lots of kitties every weekend!

UPDATE: I forgot to ask all you other kitty-parents for tips and advice in the war on beasties! All your comments and suggestions are VERY welcome.


Bonnie Loves Cats =^..^= said...

Poor Tiggy! I am surprised Frontline has not worked. Have you tried Frontline Plus? Try Advantage or Revolution if that does not work. No tiny kitten should have to suffer like that. Good thing she has you to help her and take care of her. Good pictures. Thanks for your weekly posts in WCB.

aria said...

theres tiggy again, that handsome devil! awww SO cutr all wer. i hope your battle is a s-u-c-c-e-s-s!

sher said...

Poor Tiggy--and mom!! Have you treated your carpet and furniture? Those nasties will get in there too!! Good luck!!! It will get better.

SweetSarahJ said...

Bonnie: It is Frontline Plus. She's got one more treatment to go, so I'm hoping that will do it. She was struggling when I applied it last time, and I think she managed to lick most of it off! So next time I have to get someone to hold her down!

Sher: I haven't treated the furniture, and you're right, I definetly need to. Any suggestions as to how?

s'kat said...

What a little cutie!! Sorry to hear you're having so many flea problems... keep combing and scrubbing!

We got lucky... Sirius was covered in ticks but NO fleas! :)

Lisa said...

We use Frontline and it works like a charm! Don't know why it's not for you. My husband holds the cats and parts the fur between their shoulder blades as well as he can, then I put the stuff directly on the skin in about a 1 to 1 1/2-inch-long line. So sorry about the fleas; they are just awful! Oh -- if you have bedding, etc., even the rugs -- if they got infested before you started FL, maybe that's a problem, too. You might wash everything and "bomb" the house. Ugh. Tiggy is still as adorable as ever, though! Good luck.

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Oh, poor little Tiggy! You look so uncomfortable...

I'm sure that the whole bath thing was also not funny for you!

I love him so much!

Shannon said...

As sorry as I am for Tiggy and the flea problem, it must be admitted that there is nothing funnier than seeing a large dry kitty head on a scrawny-looking wet cat body!

clare eats said...

Poor Tiggy

We were lucky that Kiri was flealess when he arrived and since he stays inside he doesn't pick them up. But if we go visiting I use Revolution and the fleas have never settled in.
I think you need to was all his bedding and try washing the carpets?

HTH! Good luck :)

Dottie said...

Funny to read this. I got the vet job and now I have fleas in my apartmenet, yet I don't own any pets. Definately treat the carpet, bedding, and couches. Make sure the stuff you buy is for that purpose and not for the animal itself. We've had some customers that the Frontline didn't work for them, so they tried Advantage and it worked like a charm. I'm suprised you didn't have to sedate the kitty! Yay for you!

tbirdonawire said...

Try one part vinegar, two parts warm water in a spray bottle.

I've heard it works, and much cheaper than frontline!

Let me know!

Kymster said...

Another good solution for fleas in carpets is salt - just sprinkle salt all over the carpet, let it sit about an hour, then vacuum it all up. Be generous with the salt, and make sure that the vacuum bag goes out to the trash.

sher said...

Tiggy does look very patient. I have had some hideous battles with giving cats baths. Fleas are nothing compared to a cat with ringworm. Shudder. I've used Advantage and it did the job, but it took at least a month, I think. We were told by a pest control person that you need to do several things: Wash the pet with flea shampoo, use a flea comb to help determine if there were still fleas on the cats's body, VACUUM everyday in areas the cat sleeps or sits (this was considered one of the most important things to do because it vacuums up the flea eggs). If it appears there is an infestation, use a spray insecticide on carpet or furniture made for fleas. They said direct spray was better than a room bomb. Let the spray dry, then vacumm again. Throw out vacuum bags imediately because the flea eggs will hatch. They really stressed the value of vacuuming--and tossing the vacuum bags or the debris immediately--away from your house. It worked for me. Hang in there! :):)

Tazzie D said...

I used to use Program years ago, but switched to Frontline Plus the moment I knew about it. My 3 dogs and 2 cats have not had any problems with either. The Frontline PLUS kills the flea eggs and larvae as well as the adults which makes it much more desireable to me. Glad to hear that's what you're using. However it is really vital that it be put on between the shoulder blades. It's the one spot on a cat's body that they really cannot easily reach. You also have to make sure it does not get wet for - either 24 or 48 hrs - can't remember which.

I have herard that some people have better luck with Program or Advantage than Frontline (and vice-versa)- one of those individual things... but I'm not sure if they've tried Frontline Plus. Use what seems to work best for you. Most vets will sell you single doses so you don't invest in a product that your cat outgrows by weight or that doesn't work for you.

Here's a link to Doctors Foster & Smith pet care catalog - their cat flea control page with specific instructions.
If you scroll to the bottom of the page linked above, you'll see a link to compare flea products.

Make sure you treat your home too! But be careful what all you use together such as a topical like Program or Frontline-PLUS, flea shampoo AND household treatments. Call and talk to someone at a vet to make sure it's safe to use the products together.

Cats are much more sensitive to some of the products than dogs are... and can have seizures and other neuro-reactions to some of the products - even more so to multiple products being used in one household. I've read about a lot of people who claim that Hartz flea collars have harmed their cats (even filed a class-action lawsuit), as well as people who say their cats & dogs have had bad reactions to a product called Bio Spot. So just be safe and keep taking such great care of your little one.

Also be aware that while vacuuming may help, it only helps IF you empty the vacuum canister or bag regularly (into a garbage bag that is immediately removed from your home)since the flea eggs can hatch in your vacuum, and like other creepy crawlies, are tiny enough to find their way out.

Best of luck to you! I'm glad Tiggy has a good mom like you to take care of her