Fleas are a common nuisance in cats. Apart from itching, these pests can also cause cat-scratch disease, tapeworms, flea allergic dermatitis, and anemia. Flea treatments for cats are the best way to get rid of fleas. If you have multiple pets and opt for a treatment, you may be wondering how long to separate cats after flea treatment?
Ideally, you should keep your cats that have had a flea treatment away from other pets for at least 24 hours. If you are wondering why you should keep your cat away from other pets, the medication in the treatment can spread to the sensitive parts of your other pets like their eyes, nose, ear, or mouth.
Though flea medications are not toxic to a cat, they can still irritate the sensitive parts of your pet.
How long after flea treatment should you separate cats?
You can separate your cats immediately after they have their flea treatment. Cats like to groom each other, there is a possibility that they may lick or try to clean the flea treatment from each other. If nothing else, the smell of the medicine may prompt them to investigate it.
Can your cat go outside after having flea treatment?
No, it is advisable to keep your cats indoors for at least a week after administering the flea treatment. This ensures that the repellent chemicals are active and your cat is fully protected.
Your cat should remain fully dry for 24 hours after applying a topical flea medication. Do not let your cat go out if it is rainy or snowing. This will make sure that the medication is not washed off.
How long does flea medicine take to dry on cats?
Most brands of topical flea treatment take anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour to dry to the touch. It can take up to 24 hours to be completely dry. Avoid petting or cuddling your cat before 24 hours have passed as this will make sure that the medicine is completely dry and has been absorbed into the skin.
What happens if my cat licks flea treatment?
If your cat licks the flea treatment, you don’t have to worry. Most topical flea treatments are manufactured keeping in mind the fact that the medicine may at some point end up in the cat’s mouth.
Most flea treatments are bitter in taste and if your cat licks it, it may start to salivate, foam at the mouth, vomit or feel nauseous. Your cat may feel uneasy and run around the house.
In case your cat licked the product, offer it water to drink or a small treat to change the flavor. With time, the sensation will reduce and your cat will come back to normal.
Signs of flea control product toxicity in cats
Flea control product toxicity although rare may still occur in cats. This generally happens if your cat has ingested a high amount of the medicine into its system. If you have multiple cats, they may lick each other or themselves, and this way the medicine gets into their system. Side effects from flea control products may happen anywhere from one to 12 hours after ingestion.
Flea control products may either be pyrethrum-based or organophosphates-based.
Some definite signs of toxicity due to ingesting flea control products containing pyrethrum are,
- Muscle tremors
- Excessive salivation
Some signs of toxicity due to organophosphates-based flea products are,
- difficulty breathing
- muscle tremor
- small pupils
- weakness or falling over
Organophosphate toxicity can be immediately fatal in some cases depending on the dose the pet was exposed to.
In case you see any of these symptoms, rush your cat to your veterinarian and get them treated promptly.
Does flea treatment still work if applied on the cat’s fur?
Does flea treatment hurt cats?
Topical flea treatment can irritate your cat if they get applied to your cat’s sensitive parts like their eyes, nose, ears, or mouth.
Cats are more sensitive to chemicals and can have severe reactions to the ingredients in some topical flea medications.
Veterinarians urge owners to be extra careful when applying flea preventatives. Always read the instruction manual carefully before using it to know how to apply the medicine and what could be potential side-effects.
- While deaths due to flea product toxicity are rare and most cases can be cured fully with prompt treatment, you as a pet parent should exercise extra caution when using these products.
- Always use the correct dosage for your cat’s weight and age. Do not apply dosage meant for large cats to smaller cats or kittens.
- Apply as instructed. Most medications require that you apply it on the skin rather than just on the fur that can be licked by other cats.
- If you have multiple cats or pets at home, keep them separated for at least 24 hours.
- In the unfortunate event of your cat having a side effect, rush them to a veterinarian immediately.
While deaths due to flea product toxicity are rare and most cases can be cured fully with prompt treatment, you as a pet parent should exercise extra caution when using these products.
Always use the correct dosage for your cat’s weight and age. Do not apply dosage meant for large cats to smaller cats or kittens.
Apply as instructed. Most medications require that you apply it on the skin rather than just on the fur that can be licked by other cats.
If you have multiple cats or pets at home, keep them separated for at least 24 hours.
In the unfortunate event of your cat having a side effect, rush them to a veterinarian immediately.
What are the different types of flea treatment for cats?
Flea treatment options for cats are of three types – topical solutions, collars, sprays, and oral solutions.
Topical solutions need to be applied to your cat’s skin directly. They last for almost a month and need to be applied after that.
A cat flea collar is used on your cat’s neck to provide a constant flow of flea preventive medication. Most of these collars work for months on a stretch.
Flea sprays should be again applied directly onto your cat’s skin. This is similar to topical treatment but is much more hassle-free. When using flea sprays, do not spray directly on your cat’s face or eyes. Instead, spray on a cloth and rub your cat’s skin on the face with this cloth.
Oral medication for flea prevention work from the inside. These come in the form of tablets or drops and can last for a month.
Why am I still finding fleas after treatment?
If you have been following a flea treatment regime for your cat and still find fleas, then the following could be some of the reasons,
1) Are you applying the flea treatment correctly?
When applying the topical solution, it is essential that you should part in your cat’s fur and apply the solution directly to the skin. If not done correctly, the treatment may be less effective.
2) Are you following the directions given on the pack?
Most treatments have instructions on the dosage that needs to be applied. Larger cats need to be applied more of the solution but if you do not use the suggested dosage, the treatment may not be as effective.
3) Should you consider oral flea medications?
Oral flea medications are much more effective than topical solutions. They are also not messy and hassle-free. Maybe you should consider using oral medication instead of other solutions.
4) You are not treating your home or surrounding?
Flea treatment should not be limited to your cat only. Your home or surrounding may also be a breeding ground for fleas so you should focus on clearing your home and surrounding from fleas.
5) You are stopping the treatment too soon?
Flea treatment should not be a one-time activity, rather you should continue the treatment for 2 seasons to completely eradicate the infestation.