Cat Flea Prevention Through Oral Medication

Cat flea can cause several diseases in your pet. The most commonly known cat flea is Ctenocephalides felis. Fleas are parasites that thrive on your cat's blood. Although cats can be easily kept away from fleas if they stay indoors, there are several preventive and curative measures you must take to control flea infection in pets.

Diseases Caused by Cat Fleas

Anemia - Anemia is more common in kittens with flea infestation as cat fleas drink large amounts of blood and cause weakness and low red blood cell count in your pet.

Tapeworm - Cat fleas feed on tapeworm eggs found in pet feces. If your cat accidentally ingests the infected flea while grooming herself, the tapeworm eggs develop into adult tapeworms by using the cat's body as the host.

Flea Allergy Dermatitis - Fleas irritate and cause severe itching sensation in cats due to the blood sucking action. Cats also develop an allergy to cat flea saliva. You might notice red irritated skin and red bumps at the infected site.

If your cat is frequently susceptible to cat fleas, it's best to consider routine treatment for flea infection. Although oral medication will curb the problem, it's necessary to maintain clean surroundings, free from flea eggs and parasites.

Commercially Available Oral Flea Medications

  • Program Oral Suspension
  • Program Tablets
  • Proban Tabs
  • Capstar

Oral medications such as program tablets or oral suspension contain lufenuron, which should only be given to cats over 4 weeks of age. Based on the severity and symptoms of flea infection, the vet might prescribe Prednisone tablets that cure flea related allergy symptoms. Corticosteroid treatment is prescribed if the cat has accompanying signs of inflammation and swelling.

How Do Oral Flea Medications Work

Oral flea medications prevent the development of flea eggs. Some medicines aren't useful for killing adult fleas. Capstar is often administered in combination with other flea control medicines for complete treatment of cat fleas. Avoid using dog flea medication on cats as it can be harmful. The medication and dosage differs for adult cats and kittens. Read the package instructions carefully and consult the vet if you are in doubt.

Apart from oral medication, there are other options that are useful to treat flea infections. Most topical treatments are monthly applications that effectively kill existing flea infections and provide prevention against re-infection.

Tips for Overall Flea Control

  • Before starting a routine flea treatment course, bathe your pet in a flea treatment solution.
  • Vacuum and steam clean the carpets at home.
  • Disinfect the area surrounding the litter boxes.
  • Consider treatment of outdoor areas and yard with pesticide.
  • Use proper disposal methods for pet feces.
  • Keep flea infested pets away from other pets.
  • Regularly groom your pet and check for parasites.
  • Clean pet bedding and use flea traps.
  • Lavender plants are useful flea deterrents.

Oral medications can effectively treat cat flea infections, however since re-infection is quite common, it's best to deal with the source of infection. Remember, cat fleas may transmit infections to dogs and human beings. Treat your cat promptly and routinely check her body for fleas.