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Using topical flea treatments on indoor cats

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Hi there,

We recently adopted a dog who is being treated monthly with Frontline Plus. So far so good, but I know there is the possibility that a flea or tick could still piggy back its way into the house. Up until this point I haven't treated the cats with any flea products since they are indoor only. I'm wondering, though, if it's something I should consider now as a preventative measure (although I would prefer not to). How do other people with both dogs and cats handle this? Thanks.
post #2 of 13
I don't have dogs (have my hands full with cats, as it is ) but if you haven't seen any fleas on your cats or had serious issues with them being brought in, I wouldn't treat the cats. Or at the very least would only treat them in the warmer months when the fleas would be more of a problem.

This is more personal choice, though. I'd rather not repeatedly preventative treat my cats because I've had them have fur fall out and very mild reactions - nothing serious so far, but still spooky. A pesticide is still a pesticide, so the judgment call is yours based on your area and flea difficulties.
post #3 of 13
You could always sprinkle some diatomaceous earth around and into the rugs/furniture. That would take care of any eggs and hatching fleas to keep your house flea-free. You can do a search on this forum to find lots of info on DE or you can google it and get information on the net. I have a five pound container which considering it is like a fine talc is a lot of DE. I give our daughter some because she lives in an apartment building and they are notorious for having creepy crawlies unless the management does regular spraying maintenance. I told her to put some around her base boards and across the front door sill.

The nice thing about DE is that it is perfectly safe for humans and animals.
post #4 of 13
I have a dog that is outside all the time and we are notorius for bad fleas months from August till October and knock on wood I have had no problem this year and NONE of my animals have been treated aside from the occasional bath and the last time they got a bath was the first week of Sept. Once it gets cold I dont give baths because out heat isnt well regulated. (wood stove) What I do as a preventative is I went to Lowes and bought a jug of Home Defense Max indoor outdoor bug spray and sprayed the entire exterior of the house including around the windows and doorways and then went around the interior of the doorways and windows. Again knock on wood I havent had one flea in my house at all.
post #5 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by 3CatsN1Dog View Post
I have a dog that is outside all the time and we are notorius for bad fleas months from August till October and knock on wood I have had no problem this year and NONE of my animals have been treated aside from the occasional bath and the last time they got a bath was the first week of Sept. Once it gets cold I dont give baths because out heat isnt well regulated. (wood stove) What I do as a preventative is I went to Lowes and bought a jug of Home Defense Max indoor outdoor bug spray and sprayed the entire exterior of the house including around the windows and doorways and then went around the interior of the doorways and windows. Again knock on wood I havent had one flea in my house at all.
Is the bug spray you used toxic to animals? The toxicity issue is why I always use and recommend diatomaceous earth. Even if an animal ingests some it will do more good than harm, i.e., rid the animal of internal parasites.
post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the suggestions! I may try the DE as a preventative. Since the weather is getting colder now, I probably will be okay till spring, but I was curious to know what others do. I certainly don't love the idea of putting pesticides on my cats if it isn't absolutely necessary.
post #7 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yosemite View Post
Is the bug spray you used toxic to animals? The toxicity issue is why I always use and recommend diatomaceous earth. Even if an animal ingests some it will do more good than harm, i.e., rid the animal of internal parasites.
It is when wet, but is safe after drying - though I'd never use them inside, mainly because I'm hypersensitive to scents/chemicals. The barrier sprays are good against a lot of insects and arachnids. Unless you've found a way to keep DE around a window, outside, when there's going to be 30+ mph wind gust often and rain there's not really an alternative.
post #8 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by strange_wings View Post
It is when wet, but is safe after drying - though I'd never use them inside, mainly because I'm hypersensitive to scents/chemicals. The barrier sprays are good against a lot of insects and arachnids. Unless you've found a way to keep DE around a window, outside, when there's going to be 30+ mph wind gust often and rain there's not really an alternative.
That's why I sprinkle on the inside around baseboards, across the door sills and window sills. Even after vacuuming some of it stays in the crevices because it is so fine that it continues to work.
post #9 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yosemite View Post
That's why I sprinkle on the inside around baseboards, across the door sills and window sills. Even after vacuuming some of it stays in the crevices because it is so fine that it continues to work.
After finally finding some DE I tried it inside and out against the bad ant problem around my house. It was useless - they'd either march right through in such numbers that the DE made no dent or just find another path around it. Other insects got past it, too. I recall another member having the same problem and was only able to stop her ant issues by calling in a professional. (personally I think a bad flea infestion is much worse - little stops sand fleas, they're not like the cat flea)
The barrier spray did the job, until DH power washed some stuff against the side of the house upfront.
post #10 of 13
I have a dog (Great Dane) and I use Frontline on him since he is in and out all the time. For the cat I use either advantage miulti or revolution since it does heartworm, roundworms,earmites, and hookworms as well as fleas. I can get Revolution for about $11.00 a month.
post #11 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by strange_wings View Post
After finally finding some DE I tried it inside and out against the bad ant problem around my house. It was useless - they'd either march right through in such numbers that the DE made no dent or just find another path around it. Other insects got past it, too. I recall another member having the same problem and was only able to stop her ant issues by calling in a professional. (personally I think a bad flea infestion is much worse - little stops sand fleas, they're not like the cat flea)
The barrier spray did the job, until DH power washed some stuff against the side of the house upfront.
That's amazing! I had ants in the house and I put some DE where they were coming in and within 1 hour they were gone. Same with my hubby's tomato plants outside - they were getting insects/slugs on them and after I used the DE they were perfect.

The insects do not die immediately upon touching DE. It cuts their exo-skeleton and they smother so it isn't instantaneous.
post #12 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yosemite View Post
That's amazing! I had ants in the house and I put some DE where they were coming in and within 1 hour they were gone. Same with my hubby's tomato plants outside - they were getting insects/slugs on them and after I used the DE they were perfect.

The insects do not die immediately upon touching DE. It cuts their exo-skeleton and they smother so it isn't instantaneous.
I wasn't finding dead ants or any slack in their numbers. I'm not sure what is going on with the ants around here - other than they seem resistant to a lot of spray, yard treatments (neighbors treat their yards), baits and bait traps, and are in large numbers. Our yard was full of cedar trees and a lot of leaf litter - this was removed and really stirred them up. I hope no one else has to deal with them in the masses we have here.

I'm guessing the DE probably works better when whatever one is treating against isn't in such large numbers that the DE doesn't do much to lessen them.
post #13 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yosemite View Post
Is the bug spray you used toxic to animals? The toxicity issue is why I always use and recommend diatomaceous earth. Even if an animal ingests some it will do more good than harm, i.e., rid the animal of internal parasites.
I just went and read the bottle again to make sure I was correct in what I remembered but its safe when its dried up. When I was spraying it I kept the puppy outside at the garage with BF so he wasnt near the house when I sprayed and then I put all the cats in the bedroom and shut the door so they were wandering while it was still wet. And I didnt spray near the bedroom so thats why I put them in there. I also kept the windows open for ventilation because its the first time Ive used something like this so I wasnt sure about the smell or anything and there was no smell from it but regardless I kept windows open for fresh air and also so I could spray the screens (from the inside so the spray went out the window) IMO its a good product and Ill continue using it every year as a preventative. Im going to check out DE though too so that was I can use it next year when it starts warming up and I can use it like a carpet sprinkle...Ill make sure to get the food grade too
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