More Cat Care Information:
The first line of defense against fleas is securing home base. Whether it is a house, apartment or Fort Knox, fleas will find their way inside. Your home is the last stand against the tiny invaders, if there in your lawn it's a good bet they have infiltrated indoors. However, there are several methods to prevent further infestation and reliving them of their lives.
|General Cat Care #1: Before You Bring Your Cat Home|
|You will need food, food dish, water bowl, interactive toys, brush, comb, safety cat collar, scratching post, litter and litter box.|
|General Cat Care #2: Feeding|
|An adult cat should be fed one large or two smaller meals each day. Kittens from 6 to 12 weeks need to be fed four times a day. Kittens from three to six months need to be fed three times a day. You can either feed specific meals, throwing away any leftover canned food after 30 minutes or free-feed dry food (keeping food out all the time).|
Feed your cat a high-quality, brand-name kitten or cat food (avoid generic brands) two to three times a day. Kittens can be fed human baby food for a short time if they won’t eat kitten food softened by soaking in warm water. Use turkey or chicken baby food made for children six months and older. Gradually mix with cat food. Cow’s milk is not necessary and can cause diarrhea in kittens and cats. Provide fresh, clean water at all times. Wash and refill water bowls daily.
Vacuuming – Fleas lay eggs on bedding not your pet and eliminating potential nesting sites is imperative. Vacuuming raises fabric fiber allowing insecticide to penetrate deeper. Cracks in floors and furniture, rugs, base boards, carpeting, cushions and sofa's all need to be vacuumed. The summer and fall is flea season, increase vacuuming to every two-three days. To many, vacuuming once a week sounds preposterous. However, if you consider that vacuuming eliminates 30 percent of larvae and nearly 60 percent of eggs, the additional labor is worth it. A crucial item to remember is the vacuum bag. Larvae can still survive and hatch inside the vacuum bag, if not disposed of you will have a serious infestation on your hands. If you are already infested steam clean the carpet and any fabric furniture, in addition to cleaning surfaces.
Washing – Your second mechanical defense is your washing machine. Clean your pets bedding, sheets, and blankets regularly. If you allow your pet to sleep with you on the bed wash your sheets and comforts often, fleas bite humans.
Treatments – No war would be complete without chemical agents and the battle against fleas is no different. There are numerous products that clean carpeting, floors and bedding that is specifically designed to eradicate fleas. Some of these use a chemical called limonene that is designed for indoor use, basically it is friendly on fabric. Indoor treatments kill on contact, but much like some weed killers, are not preventatives. If you have adult fleas hopping around your kitchen floor and you want an instantaneous demise, these treatments should get the job done.
|General Cat Care #3: Grooming|
|Most cats stay relatively clean and rarely need a bath, but they do need to be brushed or combed. Frequent brushing helps keep your cat’s coat clean, reduces the amount of shedding and cuts down on the incidence of hairballs|
|General Cat Care #4: Handling|
|To pick up your cat, place one hand behind the front legs and another under the hindquarters. Lift gently. Never pick up a cat by the scruff of the neck (behind the ears) or by the front legs without supporting the rear end.|
|General Cat Care #5: Housing|
|Cats should have a clean, dry place of their own in the house. Line your cat’s bed with a soft, warm blanket or towel. Be sure to wash the bedding often. Please keep your cat indoors. If your companion animal is allowed outside, he can contract diseases, get ticks or parasites, become lost or get hit by a car, hurt in a fight or poisoned. Also, cats prey on wildlife.|
*Boron-based products can also be applied on carpentering but have no effect on adult fleas. This chemical contaminates the dried blood excreted by adult fleas, which larvae feed upon. Usually Boron products are preferred as shampoos to avoid issues with particle dust, carpet wear and accidental contamination of eating surfaces.
*Methoprene and pyriproxyfen can also be sprayed indoors but by control professionals. Pyriproxyfen is administered under couches and other furniture to control larvae and adult fleas.
Flea Traps – You have a trap in your arsenal and the most effective one contains a light and very sticky card. This light, usually green, blinks occasionally simulating the shadow of a passing host. Adult fleas leap upon the silhouette only to be glued to the sticky card. While this trap is very effective it is an excellent addition to your reserves but should not be utilized as the primary weapon against fleas.
Nematodes – Biological warfare comes in the form of tiny worms that are natural predator's flea larvae. Though the how much impact nematodes have on controlling larvae is limited, they are nonetheless predators. Moistened, sandy soil is suggested, which allows the worms to move swiftly through your yard and prolong their lifetime.
Lawn Care – The use of chemicals is an obvious choice in this battle. Ensure that your lawn is well maintained and treated with insecticides, especially in shady, damp areas. Fleas will not venture into sunlight, so pay close attention to those areas that are well shaded.
All three chapters are available
-Chapter I: Getting rid of Fleas – Cat Fleas & Dog Fleas
-Chapter II: Getting rid of Fleas- Fleas in House & Yard
-Chapter III: Getting rid of Fleas- Dog & Cat Health
|General Cat Care #6: Identification|
|If allowed outdoors (again, we caution against it!), your cat needs to wear a safety collar and an ID tag. A safety collar with an elastic panel will allow your cat to break loose if the collar gets caught on something. An ID tag or an implanted microchip can help insure that your cat is returned if he or she becomes lost.|
|General Cat Care #7: Litter Box|
|All indoor cats need a litter box, which should be placed in a quiet, accessible location. A bathroom or utility room is a good place for your cat’s box. In a multi-level home, one box per floor is recommended. Avoid moving the box unless absolutely necessary. Then do so slowly, a few inches a day. Cats won’t use a messy, SMELLY litter box. Scoop solids out of the box at least once a day. Dump everything, wash with a mild detergent (don’t use ammonia) and refill at least once a week, less frequently if using clumping litter. Don’t use deodorants or scents in the litter or litter box (especially avoid lemon scent).|