Can your cat go outside after having flea treatment?
Fleas are a highly unpleasant but extremely common part of pet ownership. These microscopic bloodsuckers have immense jumping capabilities, enabling them to easily hitch a ride onto any passing animal, including your beloved cat. Once on board, a flea will bite into her skin, releasing an irritating toxin that causes intense itching – prompting the extreme scratching that is the hallmark of a flea problem. Fleas do not only drink the blood of their host, they also carry infectious diseases that can make your furbaby quite unwell. They reproduce extremely quickly, and a single pair of fleas can produce a small army of these parasites in just a couple of months.
Fortunately, fleas don’t have to be the bane of yours or your pet’s life. There are now more preventative medications available than ever before. And should your cat somehow still be affected, treatments to kill the fleas are fast and effective.
These preventatives and treatments can be administered in a variety of different ways, from collars and topical ointments to oral medications. When it comes to preventatives, the length of time that each is effective for can also vary and it is essential that you ‘top-up’ your chosen product before it loses effectiveness entirely, otherwise your feline could be left vulnerable to a flea infestation.
How soon after receiving flea treatment can my cat go back outside?
If you have an outdoor cat you may be tempted to let her back outside straight away after receiving a flea preventative or indeed a flea treatment for a current infestation. However, the outdoor environment poses a much greater threat in terms of contracting all manner of infectious diseases and parasites, including fleas.
Since there are a wide variety of different flea preventatives and treatments and each is slightly different, it is essential that you carefully read and adhere to the instructions relating to both the application of the treatment, and what you can do with your feline after she has received the treatment. This is because not all treatments and preventatives become active and offer your furbaby full immunity from being infected immediately after application. In fact, many products recommend that you keep your kitty indoors for anywhere up to a week after administering the flea medication, to be certain that the repellent chemicals are active, and your pet is fully protected.
Don’t forget to protect your property too
Whether you are treating an active infestation, or you are protecting your cat from suffering from fleas in the first place, it is important that you protect your home from flea problems too. Fleas are able to live without a host for a number of days or weeks, but they will quite happily feast on the blood of other animals, or indeed humans living in your home. This means that you could end up with fleas as unwanted house guests for quite some time unless you take action to get rid of them.
It is not just live adult fleas that you need to worry about either. When it comes to dealing with a flea infestation, you need to eradicate the parasites at every stage of their lifecycle, including when they are just eggs. Many products such as carpet shampoos and flea-bombs will help do this, but you should also pay particular attention to cleaning those areas where fleas are most likely to hide – such as cracks in skirting and floorboards, under furniture and in carpets and folds of soft furnishings. Fleas can also enter your house through open windows and doors so take the time to treat your yard and garden with the appropriate products too.
If you would like more advice on flea protection for your cat, our knowledgeable and friendly veterinary team would be happy to offer their guidance and support. Please contact our clinic for further information or to schedule an appointment for your kitty.