HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE FOR FLEA TREATMENT TO WORK ON CATS? The Horrifying Truths and How to Rid an Infestation

how long does it take for flea treatment to work on cats

How long does it take for flea treatment to work on cats? it can be almost immediately, however this isn’t always the case.

The answer to how long does it take flea treatment to work on cats depends on the type of treatment being used and of course the severity of the problem in question.

If it’s a mild case, then using effective products can eradicate the infestation almost immediately. For other cases, how long does it take for flea treatment to work on cats, the answer might be a little more complicated.

Fleas are a big problem for cats and their owners alike and an important question that follows pest eradication efforts is how long does it take for flea treatment to work on cats and exactly how long does it take for fleas to die after treatment?

In this article, we’ll give you the resources to effectively tackle this issue and to learn how to not ‘flee’ from the problem.

We’ll discuss the root cause of infestations, flea treatment options for cats, and what you can do to protect your pet in the future.

Why Fleas Should Be a Cause of Concern?

How long does it take for flea treatment to work on cats – The Life Cycle Of Fleas on a Cat

To solve the issue, we have to first realize what it is and what the ramifications could be.

Fleas are dangerous parasites that plague many different animal species. Fleas suck blood from the ‘host’ and derive most of their nutrition and sustenance from there. 

Cats make an ideal candidate for flea hosts. They have thick fur and warm skin that provides quick, easy access to blood.

Cats might also spend a lot of time outside that can make it easier for parasites to cling on.

Their ‘bite’ marks damage your cat’s skin and can cause severe itching and discomfort. This leads to wounds that can very easily be infected and can cause serious skin conditions and diseases.

The loss of blood in serious flea infestation cases can cause other complications like anemia and a type of blood-borne bacteria called ‘Mycoplasma Haemofelis’. Both are very dangerous conditions and can be fatal for a lot of cats.

Fleas are carriers of another parasite called tapeworms. They can be found quite readily in cats that have recently been exposed to fleas. They also lay eggs everywhere which makes their spread quite rapid and significant.

How to Spot Flea Infestation Signs in Your Pet?

Most of the time, it’s quite easy to spot signs of flea presence in your cat.

If you notice your cat doing an excessive amount of aggressive itching and scratching in several different places then there’s a good chance some fleas found a way on to its fur. 

Another easy way to check is to use a flea comb. If the comb comes back clean, then your cat’s all clear. But if you notice small black spots on the comb then your cat has a flea issue. Incidentally, flea combs are also a treatment option for the problem.

From experience my first choice of flea comb would be the ‘Hatz Groomers Bug Off flea comb for cats.

Checking your animal’s fur coat every so often is also a good practice to find signs. Fleas lay their eggs on the animals they infect, and you can spot them quite easily with your naked eye.

Best Flea Treatment Options for Cats

How long does it take for flea treatment to work on cats – A Cat Receiving Spot On Treatment

Now that we know the magnitude of the issue and how to spot it, we have to actively try to fight it. There are several ways to do this.

Over the counter external treatments

This includes shampoos, powders, sprays, flea collars, spot medication, and so on. In the past 6 or 7 years, these solutions have made incredible advancements and are now a very reliable way to get rid of fleas on a cat. 

The best flea treatment for your cat will greatly depend on the specific situation. Some of the treatments we’ve mentioned like flea sprays are quick solutions while others like the flea collar are a long-term fix. We’ll get into more detail about this later in the section.

One very important thing to mention at this point is not to use flea treatment methods created for dogs.

All flea treatments are not created equal and you should only use the products that have specifically been created for your pet and its problems. Dog flea products contain chemicals that are toxic for cats and can prove to literally be fatal in a large number of cases.

For specific product recommendations, you can refer to this list for guidance. Always remember to check with your vet before deciding on any treatment options.

Medication

Oral medication in the form of pills and injection is another popular form of dealing with fleas and their reproduction on your cat and home.

The medicine makes its way into the fleas through your cat’s bloodstream. The chemicals present kill the pests and stop them from laying more of their eggs and reproducing; a huge reason why fleas are so difficult to control and stop.

How to remove fleas from your home

If your pet is infested with fleas, there’s a good chance the little troublemakers made it onto your furniture and carpets as well.

The best way to get rid of them if to use a high-powered vacuum over all the things you suspect are infected. Aerosol sprays can also be effective in targeting specific areas.

A highly rated spray product to treat your home would be Vet’s Best Flea and Tick Home Spray for Cats.

Washing clothes and the bedsheets and other fabrics that your cat is exposed to is also a good idea. Soap and water are effective in killing fleas and this is a simple but effective way to gain control of the situation.

In severe cases, you might have to avail professional pest control services as the situation may be out of control and out of your hands.

How Long does it Take for Flea Treatment to Work on Cats? – When do they Die

Finally, we get to the golden question- How long does it take for flea treatment to work on cats:

Like we previously mentioned, this varies from treatment to treatment and there are usually short-term and long-term fixes.

Short term fixes

Solutions like shampoos, flea combs, and powders are useful in the short term as they successfully rid your cat of immediate fleas but do nothing to prevent infestations and regrowth in the future.

Long term fixes

Other solutions like spot-on treatments and medication like pills work for a longer duration of time. This enables them to get rid of the problem at the root by killing fleas and reducing their egg-laying process. The exact duration depends on the treatment and the ingredients used but it can be anywhere from a couple of days to several months.

The best treatment?

The best course of action is to use both short and long term fixes for your cat’s overall health. 

Use short term fixes to provide immediate relief to your cat and the discomfort it might be in. Then use long term fixes to help fix the problem and stop it from recurring in the future.

Future Prevention Strategies

An important part of the flea eradication process is to help stop it from occurring again. 

We’ll look at some non-medical actions you can take to help this process. This ties into the last section we discussed and all these points should be used cohesively.

Don’t let your cat outside

The most common place and way for cats to get infected with fleas is the outside environment. If your cat spends a lot of time outside, the chances of it getting infected are very high.

Cats usually love rolling around and exploring. Being highly territorial means that cats are always looking for new territories to ‘mark’ as their own and this nonchalant approach can be very dangerous.

If your cat brings in even one or two fleas with it, the high reproduction rate of the parasite would quickly result in a huge infestation. If left unchecked this can cause immense problems for your cat and your family especially if you have little kids around.

Limit interaction with other animals

This is somewhat related to the previous point, but the more your cat interacts with other animals the more the chances of catching fleas.

This doesn’t mean that your cat should not socialize at all. It just means that you should be careful. Limit interaction with stray cats especially and make sure domesticated cats are flea free and not infected.

We hope this article helped answer the question ‘how long does it take for flea treatment to work on cats’ and also clarify some questions and issues you may face when fighting a flea infestation for the first time (or the 100th time!).

For more helpful tips and advice, be sure to check out the rest of our site and feel free to share this resource with other cat owners who might have the same question. If you have other queries or thoughts don’t forget to leave them down in the comments.

If you’re faced with a difficult situation you owe it to your cat and yourself to act calmly and rationally. Keeping your wits about you will only benefit you in the long run and will help make future problems easier to deal with. Fleas or no fleas.

Lucie Wilkins

Lucie is a qualified RVN (Registered Veterinary Nurse) with over 10 years experience working with cats. She has had a cat companion or two in the house for as long as she can remember. Read more about Lucie here.

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