by Sam Mazzotta
Dear Paw’s Corner: After my mother passed away last year, I brought her two cats to live with me. They’re sweet and have settled in nicely, but they also have fleas. These came with them from my mom’s house. Giving them a bath removes the fleas temporarily, but after a couple of weeks both cats are covered again. How can I get rid of these pests once and for all?
—Jeremy in Knoxville
Dear Jeremy: My condolences on your mother’s passing, and thank you for caring for her pets.
While it may be impossible to completely get rid of fleas, you can drastically reduce the level of infestation on your cats. Here’s how:
- Continue regular treatment of the cats through flea baths, collars, or topical treatments.
- Comb through the cats’ fur daily using your fingers or a brush: Tiny dark specks indicate that fleas are still present.
- Don’t let cats outdoors: Fleas and ticks will hitch a ride on their fur.
- Two to four times a year, treat your entire home for fleas. These pests can lay hundreds or thousands of tiny eggs in your cats’ hair, in carpets and rugs, and in dusty corners. Close your cats in a safe room and sprinkle flea powder across the carpet and into the corners, let sit for as many hours as the instructions say, then vacuum up. Wash rugs, if possible.
- Dust and vacuum your home once a week. Vacuum twice per week in peak flea season, during the warmer months. This helps remove unhatched flea eggs.
Vigilance and a proactive cleaning and treatment routine will keep those fleas at bay.
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