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Anyone with flea allergy experience?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I've become more and more suspicious that Red Cat has fleas after watching him continually scratch his belly bare, scratch bare spots behind and nearly bare in front of his ears, and recently frequently flicking his ears. I'd read that one often can't find evidence of fleas on a allergic cat, as they are so good at removing them. But when I tried that "does the dirt speck turn red on a damp towel" test previously, it didn't, so I thought that must not be the problem. But last night for the first time I did find a flea on him.

I use Advantage. I applied it last time June 2. I skipped several winter months, but started applying it in April. I am really going to be disgusted with myself if I have let him go on being so miserable for over a year if it turns out to be just flea allergy. But for those of you who may have had experience with flea allergy, if:

1. Advantage is 98% effective and
2. Cats that are allergic to fleas can itch for two or three weeks just from a couple of flea bites
Then how do you ever stop them from itching? Because there is still going to be that 2% or so you don't get.
post #2 of 8
My dog caught fleas once and passed them onto the cat, or vice versa I think. The dog was allergic to the flea bites and was in a bit of a mess. I bathed him and put some pink unction on him to heal the bites. I used Front Line on both the cat and dog and I sprayed their beds, the carpets, sofas etc. with Johnson's Flea Spray, which was quite expensive, but it did the job with fantastic results. The dog itched for at least a week afterwards, but as you say it was the bites not more fleas. I have always used Front Line ever since and never had any fleas.
post #3 of 8
Using the same product all the time allows the fleas to build up a resistance to it. Switching out every so often, frontline, advantage, revolution allows for the fleas to actually be destroyed. Has the vet talked to you at all about bathing this cat in diluted betadine or something to help his skin?
post #4 of 8
This is from www.fleatreats.com:

Many pets are allergic to fleas. In dogs, the allergy typically presents as a "hot spot" at the base of the dog's tail or along the flanks. It's worse in summer, not so bad in the winter. Cats get scabby spots along their necks and down their backs. Again, the allergy is usually worse in the summer months. This seasonality may not present itself if you live in a very mild-winter climate. Flea Treats are an especially good choice for pets with allergies, for two reasons: First, Flea Treats are the only approach to flea control that prevent the fleas from ever getting on the pet in the first place. And if the fleas aren't on your pet, they can't bite to aggravate the allergy. Second, Flea Treats contain B vitamins, which are the vitamins for the skin and coat. Once the pet isn't being bitten anymore, they'll go to work to help heal that irritated skin. Some of our most devoted customers have pets with allergies to fleas.

Sicy posted the link in another thread and I thought perhaps it would be of benefit to your Red Cat.
post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 
Bathing Red Cat?

When I first got him five years ago, I took him to the vet office for a bath and flea dip. They had to tranquilize him. I thought, though, that maybe he had calmed down some in the meantime, so last year after my step-daughter complained about her cat allergy problem and my cats, I asked a local groomer if she'd be willing to try bathing Red Cat. She agreed. But he went ballistic and scratched the heck out of her. She told me "Never again!" So I'm sure not going to try it! I don't know if the new vet has an assistant who does that kind of thing there, but I'll check into it next week. (The old vet sold his practice.)

I did use Frontline for a few months, but that has probably been three years ago. Have used Advantage ever since. I'll talk to my vet about that, too. And I'll ask him about Fleatreats. He does alternative as well as traditional medicine, so is open to other ideas if they work. I haven't talked to the vet since I found that flea on Red Cat and have become convinced that fleas is likely at least part of the problem. So we'll see. But I really like to get people's ideas on this board before I go. Sure helps one to have a better idea of what questions to ask.
post #6 of 8
Originally Posted by Kumbulu
This is from www.fleatreats.com:
Thank you thank you thank you... Simoriah is insanely sensitive to pesticides and nearly all pesticides give me migraines. So I've been flea combing her like crazy, and treating the dog and the boys with Advantage (then not allowing any in my bed). We're going ot have to try this.
post #7 of 8
My poor Fred is allergic to fleas. He scratched all the hair off his head, and had big gouged places. It was so pitiful. His vet said it was a food allergy, and we tried every food known to man. That did not help, so I took him to a vet that had been practicing for 40 years. He took one look, said it was fleas, treated him, and he is fine as long as I treat him regularly. I nevr saw any sign of fleas on him.
post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by krazy kat2
...He took one look, said it was fleas, treated him, and he is fine as long as I treat him regularly. I nevr saw any sign of fleas on him.
So what are you treating him with? Something more than Advantage or Frontline? What did you do about the environment?

I know that I have become quite negligent about vacuuming the carpets and furniture and washing the cats bedding as regularly as I should. Had I suspected fleas earlier, I surely would have done it more often. I've also heard that this is a bad flea year locally. Since my boys go out and the area is covered with dense vegetation, it is not a matter of just "cutting the grass." Little of their outdoor territory is in grass. Hey, I live only about 100 miles from North America's only rain forest, what can I say? Temperatures rarely get cold enough in winter to kill off the fleas, and they never get hot enough in summer. And the humidity is favorable to fleas. It is just that for years, what I was doing was apparently enough to keep things under control. Of course, it is also possible that Red Cat developed an allergy to them more recently or developed an immunity to the Advantage, so the problem has become worse in that sense, too.
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