I was petting my cat this morning and all of the sudden a flea crawled by its ear. I have never had a pet with fleas and give them frontline once a month. I don't understand how this could have happened. I looked at my other cat and sure enough found one flea.
I gave each of them a bath. Found 6 on the one cat and one on the other cat.
Since I have never had a pet with fleas, I don't know what steps I should take next, however I can call the vet in the morning.
We have had a terrible time with fleas this year. You need to also clean your environment -- vacuum, throw the bag away outside the minute you are done (or I read put it in the freezer if you want to use it again), mop, wash all bedding, etc.
I used Pet Armour (generic Advantage, available at Walmart) on the barn cats, and haven't seen any fleas since. It doesn't protect against Heartworm, but since we're so dry out here, mosquitos aren't really a problem for us.
Whatever you do, don't use Hartz products or products with Pymethins.
You can also have your house sprayed by your local pest control company.
I came home from a deployment once and found out the girl who was living in our house in exchange for taking care of our pets hadn't been administering their flea control. They were covered. So they all got treated and I had our pest control company come and spray the carpets too.
I also recommend purchasing Sophitrol Plus Flea spray or defogger from Valley Vet. I used to only be able to buy this from my vet, and so when Valley Vet started carrying it, I was sooo happy! It rocks. I always keep an extra can on hand now.
I use the premise spray. Wash all your bedding and the pets bedding in hot water. Vaccuum and throw away the bag when you are done. Then spray your carpet, furniture and anywhere the cats rests.
"I'm holding out for the $100,000 Crossrail Classic in 2012." --mem
"With all due respect.. may I suggest you take up Croquet?" --belambi
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Ditto previous posters that Frontline seems to have lost its effectiveness. We used to have both our dogs and our cats on Frontline, and they started getting fleas anyway. Our vet swore it had nothing to do with the effectiveness of the Frontline but increased both the dose AND the frequency with which we were applying it, to no avail. Vet was, for whatever reason (payoffs from the Frontline company?), not a fan of Advantage/Advantix, but I ignored him and ordered Advantage (for the cats) and Advantix (for the dogs) from Valley Vet... Voila, flea problem solved.
Just be careful, Advantix is toxic to cats, so they must be kept separate from the dogs after applying, at least for a little while until it dries (a few hours?)... Our cats are not fond of the dogs and don't willingly come into contact with them, so this hasn't been a problem for us (and we've been doing Advantix/Advantage for a year now)...
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"Evidently, I am an unrepentant b*tch, possible trouble maker, and all around super villian"
I agree that the Frontline seems too wimpy lately. I also was using the pills for the dogs (darn, what is the name of those pills!?) - Confortis! They worked great last year, but the dogs do not want to eat them no matter what I do (breaking them up and putting them in yummy things and even making them into a powder and mixing), plus they also seem less affective this year. I havd 4 indoor cats, on in/out cat and 4 farm dogs who are in and out. The fleas situation seems to get out of hand once or twice a year and I am RELIGIOUS about treating them all monthly (Advantage for the cats, Confortis or Frontline for the dogs and Advantage Multi for the chihuahua). Costs me a fortune and still keep the premise spray on hand (great to know Valley Vet carries is as I use the Siphitrol spray as well).
Lucky you to be dealing with this for the first time. Don't bother counting the fleas - if you can see 1, it is an infestation. Trust me on this lol.
Be careful about baths. Don't bathe two days before or after a flea treatment. The topical treatments work via the oils in the fur, which are stripped away through bathing. It takes a day or two for the oils to build back up after a bath, which is why you should wait that amount of time before applying a flea treatment. The package instructions don't warn about this, but they really should!
I let my dog swim in a swimming pool and within a day, he had fleas. This was only a week and a half after I had applied his monthly topical. Luckily I discovered it right away and avoided getting fleas in my house.
Our vet won't sell Front Line anymore because it's ineffective in our area. I've used Advantix and Advantage - they both work well.