Another Question for Experienced Cat Owners

Updated on September 05, 2010
O.S. asks from Encinitas, CA
16 answers

Hi! I can not get fleas off my cats. I have two indoor cats. One of them escaped once and got fleas. I already tried drops, shampoo (oh, it is not easy to give a bath to a cat!), powder, combing, but the insects don't give up. I am trying not to use heavy pesticides stuff because I have toddler running around and I don't want to make my cats sick too. Would you please recommend something effective and more or less natural to solve this problem.

Thank you very much!

P.S. I vacuuming every carpet in our house very well.

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So What Happened?

Thanks for your help! We used Advantage drops and flees are gone after couple of weeks!!! 8-)

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answers from Tulsa on

put garlic on the catfood. I have 3 animals and no fleas. and the sticky traps work on missed fleas in the carpet. I also use drops

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answers from San Francisco on

Advantage and Frontline work. There is no other option. And don't worry about them hurting your toddler.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Erie on

The only that works for us is something like Advantix (try ebay for cheaper prices). Just apply, separate the cats for a day if you are worried about your toddler petting them, and you'll be flea free in a few days. If they can't live on the cat, they can't live, period. We treat ours every month.
You say you don't want to use pesticides, but you've already done that with the powders and shampoos and drops. And those things can be harmful to the cats, as they are more easily ingested. You can't use natural remedies besides keeping them in a bubble, at least none that I have found.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Houston on

I use revlolution - it is guaranteed to get rid of fleas ticks and the like - it is expensive, but it will treat your home as well, as the cat sheds hairs then the fleas in your home are killed.
natural stuff and the drops you buy at walmart won't do anything - revolution them once and that will be all you have to do.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

I agree to do one application of flea medicine -- choose one that stops the cycle of eggs. I think Frontline does that. One application will get you through the remainder of the flea season (Frontline lasts 2-3 months). I'm like you, I'm really leery of the chemicals and try for the most natural form of anything. But the "natural" stuff just doesn't work when you're in a full-on infestation. So what we did a couple of months ago was apply the Frontline as we were heading out the door on a vacation. This kept our daughter from petting the animal during the time when the medication is drying, etc.


answers from Chicago on

Revolution! It works better than Advantix or Frontline. Ask your vet for it. It is almost guaranteed to work. I have three cats and two dogs and never one flea.



answers from Los Angeles on

Advantage and Frontline have been better tested than any other product. They work well. I do everything naturally, from food to cleaners, but did research on those and think they're alright.


answers from Lansing on

I had a HORRIBLE problem with fleas when we moved and our indoor cat was covered, I didn't bomb the house, but I cleaned, bouught a flea spray and sprayed everything, under the coushions, behind furniture, EVERYWHERE, washed stuff ten cleaned the cat....serioulsy the trick was the frontline, they eventually died off!!



answers from Honolulu on

Take the cat to the vet and get a box of flea medicine--it used to be called Advantage, something like that. Its expensive, but it works very quickly. You separate the hair on the nape of the cat's neck and apply a small vial of the liquid. Then let the cat run away awhile, irritated that you put something wet on him. (This is the point at which I wouldn't keep the toddler and the cat together.)

The vet says you have to apply this every month, but we can usually go 2 to 3 months before fleas show up again. It kills the ability to lay eggs, and then the existing fleas die. So you won't have carpet problems either.

I live in Hawaii, which is very humid and has a constant flea problem. This is our best solution. Good luck!


answers from Austin on

They are terrible this year.. All good suggestions.. The other thing is that fleas lay eggs, so treat you house one day with the bombs and 2 days later do it again, and 2 days later do it one more time.. Vacuum really well up against the walls and in corners.. Fleas love rugs and carpets..

The other thing I finally did was purchase a product to spray all around the OUTSIDE of our house also.. You hook it up to the water hose and spray it on the house, and on the ground.



answers from Los Angeles on

Revolution. Use it once a month. According to our old nanny (who was also a vet tech) this is the only medicine that her kid-conscious boss would give to pet owners with children. Safer than dips, baths, Frontline or Advantage (at least according to this vet, who works at a VCA).
One of our two cats is allergic to fleas, so the moment he is bitten, he gets a terrible skin condition. For this reason, I have to be on top of it. Revolution = the best.



answers from Los Angeles on

O., unfornately fleas are like rabbits and they multiply quickly. Your carpeting might have an infestation. You may need to have it chemically treated and I believe there was a powder that my mother used when we were growing up that she sprinkled and then vacuumed up. I would check some of these other alternatives also. You can continuously groom them, but it may not be their fault, you could just have them in your carpeting and that will reinfest them. Good luck.



answers from Atlanta on

Have you ever used Frontline? That worked like a charm for my cat and it works well for our dogs. We've been using it for years.



answers from Los Angeles on

when my dog got fleas, my vet suggested this oral medication that starts working within 1/2 hour. in less than a day, the fleas on her were dead. i don't know if there is a cat version of this medicine but it's called 'comfortis'. it was about $90 for a 6-month supply.



answers from San Diego on

I tried Flea Free, ordered it on line & you put in the water bowl---in addition to either the Frontline or Advantage. in San Diego County the Fleas never die down--we don't have 6-7 months of freezing weather to reduce the population & they are getting immune to the Frontline or Advantage since EVERYBODY is using them.

The Vet said that sometimes you can alternate each month--1 month Frontline, the next Advantage, but if that still isn't working, then the next thing is to use the pill they have available through the vet's office. The 1 good thing about the pill that I can see is that since it isn't topical, you aren't running the risk of your child touching the pesticide by touching your cats.

We have been using Frontline on our dog & I put it on late at night, after the kids are asleep, so that both humans & dog are asleep & I think that is safer. However, the Frontline doesn't last a full month & it gives our little dog the tremours...for a couple of days after each dose.

As far as I can see, you have to do ALL of the things here in San Diego to keep the fleas down to a low roar---vacuum frequently, wash all bedding in HOT water every week, sprinkle the borax in your carpet, spray your lawn with Flea Free Spray, so if your cats get out there is less a chance to bring in the fleas again. Or you can also sprinkle food grade DE into your yard, I might try that next. Because even if we get our dog "Flea Free"--a walk in the back yard will re-infest her--we know this because one of my girls is SUPER sensitive to the flea bites & playing in the yard, she'll get bit. We can even carry in fleas on our clothes & shoes & then they will find a host. In our neighborhood there are quite a few feral cats who go from yard to yard, hunting food & spreading fleas....

ps---I grew up in Indiana---NEVER had a flea on my dogs or cats....was shocked at how OVERWHELMING they are here in San Diego!! Good Luck!!


answers from San Diego on

Buy some borax and before you vacuum, sprinkle it all over the carpets, then get a hard bristle broom and rub it into the carpet and let it sit for a few hours. Then vacuum your carpes. Fleas and other insects can't live in borax. Borax is a household cleaner, but is usually sold as a laundry detergent. You can check out the box to see its many uses and how safe it is. Unless your kid is licking the floor, I THINK it should be okay to use, but just do a little research to double check.

Do the above only after you've given Advantage to your cats. It kills fleas on contact and kills the larvae (I believe). You can do a little comparison shop on flea and tick killers on and our vet told us it's the cheapest place to buy it too.

Good luck!

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