A Guide to Cat Flea Treatment Product Types

While not fatally dangerous to any pet, fleas - tiny jumping insects that feed on a mammal's blood - can cause significant discomfort to your cat. Cat flea treatment is an important part of the maintenance of your pet's health. Remember to regularly check for fleas, and treat them quickly if you find them, because fleas can move from pet to pet very easily. If you have more than one cat, they could all be in danger of becoming infested. There are a variety of products designed to eliminate fleas from your cat's body, and all are easily obtained at pet stores or online.

Flea Combs

A flea comb is a very fine-toothed comb used to physically extract fleas and their eggs from a cat or dog's fur. The teeth are so close together that even something the size of a flea will not go through.

The first thing you should do when you find fleas on your cat is bathe the animal and thoroughly work through its fur with a flea comb. Comb the most around the face and neck area, as well as near the base of the tail, as these areas have the most blood vessels close to the surface, and therefore attract more fleas. Each time you stroke the comb through the animal's fur, dip it in a bowl of hot, soapy water, which will kill the fleas on the comb. Cats enjoy having their fur combed or brushed, so this process will be easy.

Topical Flea Treatment

A flea comb is unlikely to remove every single flea. To fully exterminate your cat's infestation, one option is a topical flea treatment. These chemicals can be applied to the cat's back, right between the shoulder blades. They are completely harmless to your pet, but deadly toxic to fleas and their larvae. The chemical absorbs into the fur and skin, and enters the fleas when they bite. You can usually expect the insects to stop biting a few minutes after application, and 98 to 100 percent of them will be dead within the next 12 hours. Many people use topical flea treatments, not only when their pet already has fleas, but also on a regular basis to prevent future infestations.

Flea Pills

If you prefer not to put chemicals on your pet's fur after you use the flea comb, you have the option of using flea medication in pill form. The pills usually don't have to be administered very often. Most brands only prescribe one pill per month. This type of treatment does not work as quickly as the topical varieties, though. It will take at least eight days for your cat to be free of fleas if you use the pills.

If you notice that your cat has a flea problem, treat it immediately. While it is not likely to cause serious harm, a flea infestation can be very uncomfortable.