A question we’re asked regularly here at Cats Patrol is whether there are any suitable alternative methods of flea and tick treatment to the numerous cat flea collars that can be purchased both online and through brick and mortar retail stores.
The simple answer is ‘yes’ there is. But what many cat owners like about flea collars is their simplicity in use, the fact that they are long lasting, in addition to the fact that they are usually cost-effective.
With that said, we’re all cat lovers here and we understand that many owners are after the safest possible way to keep their cats flea free. To assist you in this endeavour, we’re going to outline several alternatives to the traditional cat flea collar.
Topical Flea Treatment Products
A topical flea treatment is any product that is administered directly to the skin of your cat. These products contain a variety of chemicals which are designed to not only kill any fleas, ticks and lice that are present within your cat’s fur, but also prevent any new infestations from occurring for up to a month.
How are Topical Flea Treatments Administered?
The process varies depending on the product, but you are usually required to empty the container onto a section of your cat’s body.
The process for applying Frontline products involves;
- Parting the area of fur between your cat’s shoulder blades until you reach a section of exposed skin.
- Applying the entire contents of the container directly onto the skin.
- Allow the product to dry naturally.
You will be able to handle your cat as you would usually do as soon as the product is applied, and your cat is free to get wet or take a bath two days after application.
Are Topical Flea Treatments Safe?
There has been extensive debate over just how safe the chemicals used in such products are, but we believe that as long as the product is administered correctly and is used sparingly, there should be no cause for concern.
We must also state that the use of such products should be limited around small children and pregnant women. It is also imperative that you purchase a topical product that is specifically for cats as the chemicals used in the dog treatments can be toxic for our feline friends.
Orally Administered Flea Treatment Products
The next recommended alternative is a course of orally administered medication which is taken as directed by your vet. The benefits cited to this method of treatment include limited exposure to other pets as well as vulnerable people. It is also suggested that oral treatment is safer for your cat’s skin and is less likely to result in allergic reactions and other health complaints.
Natural Insect Control Treatments
By natural, we mean any product or ingredient that is said to contain eucalyptus, lavender or geranium rather than the chemicals typically involved with flea treatment.
What we would say is that many of these ingredients can cause an allergic reaction in both humans and in pets so be very careful and perform a small localized test before deciding on this method of treatment.
Products such as pennyroyal oil has been linked to seizures and even death in some animals.
Non-Product Based Natural Insect Control
The final and arguably the safest method of keeping your cat flea free involves a hygiene routine which uses no flea treatment products whether natural or otherwise.
Such a routine would involve:
- Regularly brushing your cat with a flea comb. It is a great way to catch most of the fleas and ticks that may be inhabiting their fur.
- Once caught, place each flea into a bowl of water to drown them.
- Wash your pets bedding regularly to reduce the flea population within your home.
- Ensure that you vacuum your home on a regular basis to remove any fleas that are still present.
- Remember to bathe your cat as often as possible.
A little extra work is involved here but if you are adamant that you would prefer not to use any form of flea control product, this is the method that we would choose to keep those nasty insects away.
Flea infestations are unpleasant for both you and your cat. The best way to care for your cat is to be proactive in whichever method that you choose to use and ensure that it is working effectively.