breed

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 you’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.

Answered By
DEBI MATLACK

Was this helpful?


Related Questions

Related Articles


Allergic Shock in Dogs

Anaphylaxis in Dogs Anaphylaxis is an emergency condition that occurs when an animal reacts adversely to a particular allergen. In extreme situations, this reaction can be fatal. The condition is fairly unpredictable, as almost any...

Read More
Miscarriage in Dogs

Spontaneous Abortion and Pregnancy Loss in Dogs There are several methods for performing a safe abortion for a dog, as well as instances in which the pregnancy could spontaneously abort or miscarry. It is important to note that dogs...

Read More

DISCLAIMER: The answers in Ask petMD are meant to provide entertainment and education. They should not take the place of a vet visit. Please see our Terms and Conditions.

IMPORTANT: The opinions expressed in Ask petMD content area are solely those of the User, who may or may not have medical or scientific training.

Our Ask petMD experts include veterinarians, vet techs, veterinary students, pet trainers, pet behaviorists and pet nutritionists. These opinions do not represent the opinions of petMD.

User-generated content areas are not reviewed by a petMD veterinarian or any member of the petMD editorial staff for accuracy, balance, objectivity, timeliness, or any other reason except for compliance with our Terms and Conditions.

petMD does not endorse any specific product, service, or treatment. Do not consider petMD user-generated content as medical advice.

Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your veterinarian or other qualified healthcare provider because of something you have read on petMD.

Continue Reading