Fleas and ticks are painful for cats.
These parasites work by clinging themselves to your furry friend and feeding off of her blood. Fleas and ticks also bring along other diseases and need to be removed for your kitty to be pain-free and her happy self again.
There are a lot of treatments available on the market.
However, not all of them are effective, and some even have scary side effects. So, it is a good idea to look into the best natural treatment options and run them by your vet before you give them to your kitty.
Types of Flea and Tick Treatments Available to Buy
One of your goals, when looking for flea and tick treatment options for should be the effectiveness of the medicine and the ease of use. While some treatments are mess-free and highly effective, others aren’t.
Flea medicines work by fatally attacking the fleas’ nervous system.
This means that all flea treatment options work similarly. However, they differ regarding effectiveness and longevity. Here are some options to choose from:
This treatment comes in a small bottle which contains a concentrated liquid that you have to apply to the back of your kitty’s neck.
The medicine starts working within 24-48 hours by dissipating into the natural oils on your cat’s skin. This kills the fleas in some time and even prevents new generations from developing for the next few days.
Oral chews and tablets
The tablets contain insecticides that find their way into your cat’s bloodstream within an hour or so. When the flea or tick bites your kitty, they get exposed to the insecticide and die.
While tablets work faster than other methods, their effects don’t last as long. They generally lose their effect within 24 hours and are an excellent pick to treat an ongoing infestation.
The collar contains the insecticide which works by either absorbing into your cat’s fat layer to kill the fleas or repels the insects. The effects of a collar last from anywhere from 6 weeks up to 12 weeks and it is a mess-free solution.
This option of treatment works well to kill adult fleas but, the effects last for a short time—a little over 24 hours. This treatment is good if you want to treat an ongoing infestation.
Sprays linger on your cat’s skin and work as spot-on treatments do. However, they aren’t as potent, and the effects can be seen a short period of time, usually a week.
In my opinion, when looking for the best flea and tick treatments, tablets, spot-ons, and collars should be the most preferred options as they are quick, easy to use and painless in function. Sprays and shampoos, on the other hand, are messy and time-consuming.
You should choose a treatment option which is easy to use, useful and works for as long as you want it to.
Harmful Side Effects of Flea and Tick Medicines: What to Avoid
For a treatment to be effective, it is essential to use a pesticide to kill the bugs. The Environmental Protection Agency should approve the pesticides used in the flea medicine.
However, this doesn’t mean that the pesticides can’t cause serious harm to your cat’s health and yours if you mishandle them. So, it is a good idea to steer clear of topical treatments. Always wash your hands after applying it.
Now, let’s look at some ingredients that you should stay away from according to credible sources such as the National Center for Biotechnology Information and the National Pesticide Information Center.
- Tetrachlorvinphos: The Humane Society and the EPA warn that overexposure to this ingredient can have side-effects for humans such as dizziness, nausea, confusion, and can even cause paralysis and death. These symptoms most occur in children so, it is a good idea to stay away
- Propoxur: According to the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services, exposure to propoxur can cause carbamate poisoning. The effects include nausea, headaches, vomiting, diarrhea, muscle twitching, and, in some cases even death. The EPA disallowed its use but, some brands still use it
- Pyrethroids: The Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registration, warns that humans exposed to pyrethroids can get itching, numbness, stinging, burning, and tingling. On flea medicine, they are labeled as flumethrin and etofenprox
- Pyrethrins: VCA Hospitals warn that cats are more sensitive to pyrethrins than dogs as they can’t metabolize the ingredient. Pyrethrins in cat products don’t mean that they are inherently unsafe, but they can risk overexposure.
Pyrethrin poisoning causes incoordination, vomiting, shaking, seizure, tremors, trouble breathing, and hypothermia
- Selamectin: According to research, selamectin leaves a high residue on humans when they come into contact with it which is harmful
Tablets, spot-ons, and collars are the most preferred treatments as they are easy to use, quick, and painless. But, shampoos and sprays are quite messy, and you need to keep applying them after a certain period of time, which may not be feasible for some users.
Fleas bring a lot of diseases with them and feed on your cat’s blood supply.
Cats like to stay in dark, small spaces, which are usually are infested with fleas and ticks. So, it is essential to keep your kitty protected at all times. Fleas and ticks can be painful and irritating.
They can cause Lyme disease and tapeworm!
There are a lot of treatment and prevention options available to choose from on the market. However, make sure to consult your vet before getting anything as some products may not agree with your cat and cause allergic reactions.
Another thing you should look into is side effects.
Make sure that the treatment option of your choice doesn’t have any aversive side effects that may hurt your kitty.
Do you have any questions that you would like to have answered? If so, leave them in the comments, and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.