Choosing a flea product for your cat

Not all over-the-counter flea products are safe for cats.

Choosing a flea product for your cat

Not all over-the-counter flea products are safe for cats. Before shopping for a kitty flea product this summer, do your research.

With the good weather, the fleas are back. These small insects reproduce quickly in the summer season and can really harass our animals by biting them. Worse: some animals are allergic to flea bites. In addition to being unpleasant, fleas are sometimes carriers of diseases that can be transmitted to our animals.

Hence the importance of protecting them well with flea products throughout the summer. That being said, before treating your cat to any flea product, make sure it is safe! Here are some important facts to know for the health of your cats.

Do not use dog flea products on your cat

Cats are not small dogs. Their metabolism is different from that of dogs and they are more sensitive to certain insecticides. Thus, certain products suitable for a dog can be toxic, even fatal for a cat. Among other things, products containing pyrethrins or permethrin should never be used in cats. Serious poisoning problems and deaths have been reported. However, these molecules can be sold everywhere for dogs, hence the importance of reading the label carefully. Never substitute a dog product for a cat product.

Do not give certain topical products to your dog if he lives with a cat

Also, topical flea products (for use on the skin, not in the mouth) containing pyrethrins or permethrin should not be used on a dog if the dog lives with cats. There are other safer choices. The cat could come and lick the product on the dog's skin before it is well absorbed or even brush against the dog while the latter still has the product in question on his skin. Let's avoid unfortunate situations.

Collars are generally not a good choice for cats

In general, collars don't always mix well with cats. First, there is always a risk of strangulation or potential injury to cats with collars that don't come off easily. Then, depending on the flea products used, the effectiveness of the collars can be either mixed or short-lived. Finally, if you have young children at home, you should know that some flea collars contain pesticides, products that we should perhaps not put in direct contact with our children...

Shampoos and sprays: not ideal for cats

Few cats love a bath and even less a shampoo! It stresses them out unnecessarily. Again, these products often contain pesticides and possibly even pyrethrins or permethrin. Poisoning is therefore possible if you go a little too generously with the shampoo or, again, if the cat licks itself and grooms itself before the product is well absorbed.

Essential oils and natural products are sometimes toxic

Some so-called natural flea repellent products are sometimes sold for pets, but are not always 100% safe. For example, citrus or lemon essential oils can cause problems in cats. This has been reported following dermal exposures in concentrated doses: tremor, weakness, ataxia, skin lesions, hypotension, coma, death.

Consult your veterinarian!

There are so many products on the market that it is easy to find your way around. There are simple, effective and above all safer methods to prevent fleas. My advice: consult your veterinarian about this. He is the animal health expert after all and can save you a lot of trouble.