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posted: 3/13/2014 10:09 AM

Find out which flea protection is best for your feline

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  • Cashmere

      Cashmere
    Courtesy of The Buddy Foundation

  • Magnolia

      Magnolia
    Courtesy of The Buddy Foundation

 
By Mary Hayashi

Let us share some thoughts and information on a nasty subject that may plague our felines -- fleas.

We're talking flea prevention. Forget the argument that your feline doesn't go outdoors. Remember, fleas jump on either you or your dog when you go outdoors. As soon as they latch on they are enjoying a meal of blood on your feline.

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Commercial flea products you can buy online or from your veterinarian are designed to last for 30 days, usually require a prescription and are safer for your pet. The cost is also going to be a bit higher, but your pet is worth it.

These products require a monthly schedule to be effective, and a year-round schedule is not a bad idea. If a year-round program does not appeal to you, you should continue using the product until we are consistently at a hard freeze.

Some general tips for spot-on flea treatments are, first, always consult with your veterinarian so that you purchased the product that is age, weight and health appropriate for your feline. Always use the product per labeled directions, unless your veterinarian instructs you differently.

Remember to part the fur behind the base of the neck and apply the product directly to the skin so your feline cannot lick it. Allow the product to dry before children or the family dog come into contact with the cat. Dog and cat flea products are not interchangeable.

Besides safety for the health of your feline, you may be choosing a product based on the location of your home; for example are you in a moisture area where mosquitoes are a problem? Do you live in an area where ticks are a problem? Let's address product choices.

Revolution is a prescription product that is a monthly spot-on treatment that is used by animal hospitals for its value in killing adult fleas and eggs, as well as additional parasites such as roundworms, hookworms and ear mites. It also prevents new heartworm infestations. The chemical causes the flea paralysis, then death.

The tube is premeasured and comes in two different weight dosages, 5-15 pounds and 15-22 pounds. A six-pack is about $89.99, or some veterinarians sell a single application for $15.

Advantage multi-topical solution works very much like Revolution and in a monthly topical, killing a range of parasites besides fleas and flea eggs. This product is considered safer for kittens at least 8-9 weeks. For smaller kittens most veterinarians would use a light mist of Front-line spray in a towel or bathing with light detergent.

Capstar is a pill that kills fleas in 20-30 minutes. The drawback with this product is that is has to be followed up with long-term flea treatment. The product also requires a prescription, but it can be used on kittens if they are two-three pounds. Six doses of this product is about $26.99.

Over the counter Frontline does not require a prescription and it controls fleas at all stages, plus ticks. It is safe for kittens at least 8 weeks old, You can find Frontline Plus at PetSmart and Petco stores.

Advantage II is a monthly spot-on treatment that can be purchased at pet stores without a prescription, Kittens must be older than 8 weeks old to use this product.

Lastly, a gentle reminder: as a rule of thumb, consult your veterinarian before purchasing or applying a product to your animal and read the label to know the ingredients are species safe for your feline. Many dog-flea control products can be hazardous or fatal for felines.

Featured felines:

• Magnolia is a 6½-year-old, beautiful, gray, mediumhair female, front paw declawed. Magnolia is a lap cat and gets along with other cats. She would make a great addition to any home.

• Cashmere is a 9-year-old, domestic longhair, champagne color cat. He loves people and gets along with other cats. This cat is beautiful and is looking for his forever home.

• For information, call The Buddy Foundation at (847) 290-5806 or visit www.thebuddyfoundation.org.

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