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Fleas and indoor cats

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
We have kittens, and they are probably going to be indoor cats. I assumed we'd have to give them regular flea treatment, but have read on this site that this may not be necessary for indoor cats.

Ours have had a flea treatment before they left the breeder, and we have no other animals in the house. However, the previous owner used to have dogs years ago, and I've read that flea eggs can lie dormant in houses for 10-20 years.

So, do we need to use preventative flea treatment, or do we only need to use it if we discover a problem?
post #2 of 14
I have indoor cats and have had fleas because of a previous dog - my present dog now is on Frontline Plus. I would never put any flea collars or flea shampoo or flea dip on my cats. I tried it once and they HATED it, it is POISON. I will not use Frontline or Advantage on my cats either, they are indoor cats, also, they don't like it. I also heard that Advantage on dogs is poisonous to cats who come near them, my vet told me. I did give my cats a regular bath using my soap-a bath alone will drown fleas.

When I had fleas about 2 years ago, I sprayed the carpet with RAID ant killer. Of course, I put the animals somewhere else in the house for a couple of hours. Also, if you do get fleas, vacume daily.
post #3 of 14
If you have no other indoor/outdoor animals and your cats will never go outside -- I would not use flea protection on them. Sorry, I just don't see the point.

Truthfully, we had an indoor/outdoor cat when I was growing up for 19 years and he never once had fleas (and had no flea collar or protection). We are in Michigan though so maybe it is not as common as some other areas, like the south.
post #4 of 14
If they are totally indoor, and you've thoroughly cleaned your house/carpet and no evidence of fleas, then you don't need to be putting poison on your cats.

We have a lab, we put BioSpot on her, she's never had fleas and none of the cats have. Not totally foolproof, but it really helps if your grass is kept short - seems to keep fleas/ticks away. You could also treat your lawn once or twice to be sure.


Our 1st cat Mitten was indoor/outdoor - he NEVER had flea spray/collar on him and he never had fleas. We did give him Brewer's Yeast in his food and that seemed to help not be attractive to fleas (tho there is no real proof). And when we lived on the farm, none of the barn cats ever had fleas and they were not treated. I think its the cat and the area. In MN maybe the cold helps keep the flea population down. In warmer states (southern) its more of a problem.
post #5 of 14
Bijou goes outside with my husband and also since we humans can bring fleas and flea eggs inside on our clothing/shoes, I prefer to treat for prevention. I had a terrible infestation some years ago that was so bad I had to board the cat at the vet and leave home with our daughter for 24 hours after a professional exterminator was called in. I never want to go through that again. Fleas are hardy creatures and not easy to "dislodge".

If you truly don't want to pre-treat, then I would suggest you look for human grade diatomaceous earth to sprinkle in your carpets and even in your furniture. This is the safest thing to use and won't hurt humans or animals. I would definitely NOT recommend spraying with Raid or other highly toxic chemicals unless advised to do so by a vet. Even professional exterminators don't want your animals in the house after they spray so it can't be good.
post #6 of 14
we live in an apartment complex that allows dogs, there are dogs living in the building we're in, and i just don't want to chance it. i use frontline on the guys in the spring, then 3 months later (mid-to-late summer). this has been working for us pretty well. i'm paranoid because of all the dog-owners in our building and our complex in general. everyone i know who's cats got fleas, they had dogs that brought them in.
post #7 of 14
Maybe have a read of this thread, which, in part, addresses flea problems with indoor-only cats:
post #8 of 14
Indoor cats can get fleas (Jaffa had fleas last autumn despite being an indoor cat all his life) as we can bring them in. I put Advantage on my boys fairly regularly (but not as often as I would do if they were indoor/outdoor) - it hasn't done them any harm.
post #9 of 14
Sometimes fleas do get indoors on people's clothing etc. so if you see any get some Diatomaceous Earth...
It is a non-toxic, safe substance made up from crushed fossils of freshwater organisms and marine life. Crushed to a fine powder and observed through a microscope, the particles resemble bits of broken glass. Deadly to any insect and completely harmless to animals, fish, fowl or food. Most insects have a waxy outer shell covering their bodies, it scratches through this shell causing the insect to dehydrate leading to eventual death. It is the only thing that worked to get rid of the infestation that was already present when we moved into our apartment last year. You can get a big 40 pound bag of it at any co-op for aroun 20.00. Farmers use it in their animals feed to prevent internal parasites and have for years. Just don't get the kind for swimming pools...get the kind they use for additives in horse feed etc. You brush it into your carpet until you can't see the dust, it is really fine so it goes down to wear the fleas live and won't be vaccuumed up...make sure when you do this you wear a dust mask because it will get dusty...but it works better than any flea powder and it isn't toxic...
post #10 of 14
After you've had the cats in the home for a few months, I would stop using any flea treatment. If the house is genuinely free of other pets, I think it's an expense (and an exposure to chemicals) that's unnecessary. If it does happen that they get fleas, then you can deal with it... but I suspect it will never be an issue. We had exclusively indoor cats when I was growing up and they never had fleas. Unless you live in a rural, high-flea area, or interact with animals outside the home, I doubt you'd be bringing them in.
post #11 of 14
When Seb was indoor/outdoor I treated him regularly with Advantage. If he gets just one flea bite he begins to go bald. When he became indoor only, I didn't treat until Daphne came to live with us - she was nice enough to bring her fleas, too I will treat them both for the next couple of months and see how things go.

They can get fleas from other areas, too such as going for walks in stroller or the vet's office.
post #12 of 14
As other's have mentioned, it's certainly possible for indoor only cats to get fleas. Humans, and other animals, can bring them in. The possibility is small, though, especially if you aren't walking in an area where fleas, ticks, or other parasites can latch onto you.

I don't treat either of my indoor cats for fleas and haven't had a problem. In the past, we've had indoor/outdoor cats and only had fleas once many years ago. Perhaps it's due to where I live? We also never used any flea treatment, other than the flea collar. I stopped using those, though, because they made the hair fall out in a perfect circle on the neck where the collar sat. They are too concentrated and toxic, I feel, and would never use them again.
post #13 of 14
This is another thread that covered this issue, some great replies and advise in there
post #14 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thanks, everyone, for your advice and pointing me to other threads. I hate the idea of coping with a big flea infestation as some of you have described, so I think I will get some flea treatment from the vet when I take the kittens to be spayed in June.
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