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at the end of my tether with fleas and other people's cats!!

20 replies

controlpantsandgladrags · 13/08/2012 14:08

I woud be so grateful for any advice before I lose the plot completely!

We have a cat and we also have a flea problem in the house. I haven't managed to find a single flea on our cat, and I have looked thoroughly more than once. He is treated with spot on treatments, which we always do on time.

We have a cat flap in our door through which at least 2 other local cats like to come. My theory is that one of these cats is bringing fleas into the house. One of them in particular doesn't look at all well cared for and I suspect he is the culprit. I don't know who he belongs to and have so far been unable to get anywhere near him because he bolts the minute he sees me.

We have treated the whole house 3 times with 2 different treatments (Bob Martin and Indorax), last treated a week ago and thought we were clear but then last night I caught one of the little buggers hopping up my arm and DD1 has a few new bites.

We have been away for the last few days and I think the other cat has probably been making himself at home in our absence. do I get rid of the fleas for good? We have discussed calling in the council or Rentokil but is there any point when this cat keeps bringing them back in again? I would be more than happy to treat the interloper but I don't think theres any chance of me catching him!

OP posts:
cozietoesie · 13/08/2012 14:15

Sounds as if you'll need to stop the other cats getting in first? (Before treatment.) If your cat had a microchip, there are cat flaps available which can be coded to the microchip so that only your cat could get in. I haven't tried them myself because I have house cats but maybe others can give you a view on them?

controlpantsandgladrags · 13/08/2012 14:19

Thanks cozie. I think you're right and that the first step is going to be somehow keeping the other cats out! My only reservation with the microchip flaps is that they necessitate my cat wearing a collar, which he won't! I've put a collar on him twice in the past, and both times he's gone out and then come back without it...I guess he somehow slipped out of them, or someone removed them (we have had problems with our neighbours feeding him and basically treating him as theirs...whole other thread!)

Would be grateful for any flap recommendations though.

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controlpantsandgladrags · 13/08/2012 14:21

oh I think I misunderstood...flap linked to the microchip which is under his skin with our address details stored on it? Definitely off to research that...didn't know they existed!

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Stokey38 · 13/08/2012 14:22

Hello, I could I have written this email! We fitted our new catflap yesterday as having exactly the same problem. We had our cat microchipped last week and so he doesn't need to wear a collar. Good luck. We are going to de flea the house again tonight. I hate the buggers

cozietoesie · 13/08/2012 14:23

I had a quick google on microchip cat flaps and the ones I found don't seem to need a collar at all. Maybe you should have a look on the net to confirm? (Or others may have used them.)

cozietoesie · 13/08/2012 14:24

Ah - cross post.


controlpantsandgladrags · 13/08/2012 14:33

I found them Smile Thanks so much for pointing me in that direction!

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Pooka · 13/08/2012 15:36

We bought a cat flap activated by the cats' microchips.

Advocate spot on is good. Fleas becoming frontline resistant apparently.

We are working on the hideous flea probs. came back from Hols to horrible infestation. Spraying regularly, changed to advocate from frontline and fitted the flap. Does seem to be breaking the cycle, slowly. Cats seem much happier now they're getting used to fact that wretched interloper can't get in any more.

Pooka · 13/08/2012 15:37

Ours is the sureflap.

Initial problem when we realised that we'd obv forgotten to get the younger cats chipped Blush but took all cats to vet for change of prescription to advocate and to get the younger ones chipped, came home, set flap to learn mode and let the cats out one by one. Job done!

SoupDragon · 13/08/2012 15:38

I would appear to be the same person as Pooka :)

Don't forget to hoover daily to get rid of any eggs.

cozietoesie · 13/08/2012 15:43

Also a good idea to check/keep closed any sheds, garages, greenhouses etc that might have somewhere where cats (including interlopers) would like to snooze of an afternoon. We had a potting shed (when I last had outdoor cats) which had a pile of old sacks where half the local cat population would often spend a happy hour or three flaked out on sunny days - and then you might be into re-infestation as soon as the time limit of the spot on is reached.

Pooka · 13/08/2012 15:46


God - the hoovering. Such a pita.

Thankfully I seem to have been usurped as flea magnet by dd. as a child, was always me. Now she wanders from room to room collecting the things (but not really being bitten, weirdly). Have a glass with water and a dash of washing up liquid that she just dunks and drowns the buggers in.

Still, better than head lice or threadworms I suppose >

SoupDragon · 13/08/2012 15:49

TBH, I prefer threadworms. A couple of tablets and you're done. :o

I have 4 cans of Indorex spray ready for when I can summon up the energy.

devilinside · 13/08/2012 16:08

On my 'parasites I have come into contact with' top five, cat fleas come in at number 3.

First is bed bugs (not actually had them, but have read horror stories on here)
2nd scabies (just awful, you feel like tearing your skin off),
3rd cat fleas (yet another bloody infestation, and almost impossible to get rid of),
4th nits, couple of thorough combing sessions and they're gone
5th thread worms, a doddle compared to the others

Rivercat · 13/08/2012 16:14

Definitely recommend the Sureflap, battery operated and quite simple to use. We had another one, mains operated and way too complex if all you want is in/out. Press and hold green button whilst pressing red button 3 times etc - had no end of trouble with it and it was more expensive than the Sureflap too.
However, I have 3 bites at present anyway and no sign of fleas anywhere! Think the warmer weather makes it worse

BettyandDon · 13/08/2012 16:17

Fleas lay 30 eggs a day supposedly and eggs can live in a house for something like 10 months.

To get them you need to treat the house and the cat. Therefore you need to stop the other cat coming in, keep your cat up to date on treatments and blast the house to get rid of any dormant eggs.

Anyone know if fleas magically vanish in Winter ? There have been so many flea threads on here recently.

cozietoesie · 13/08/2012 16:23

Soggy soap, pooka. That's the way to go. Let a bar of soap sit in some water for a few hours and the underside will go soft - and to get a flea, you just bam it with the soap and it will stick to it for later disposal.


FiveMonths · 13/08/2012 16:35

Which spot on are you using? Fwiw I don't think the ones you can buy in the shops are any good, really - many vets will say the same, but in my experience, frontline and fipronil definitely don't work (resistance in fleas) so they are a waste of money.

We had a real problem, mainly our poor cat was getting eaten alive, when we were using these but when we switched to another product (advocate) it was gone within about 3 days. I never find them in the house now and she never scratches.

I don't think it is your visiting cat so much as ineffective treatment, because if a cat is being treated, all the hatching fleas or any left in the house will leap onto her and be killed quickly.

I've never had to spray either, seriously, just treating your animal with the right stuff ought to sort it out.

Pooka · 13/08/2012 17:29

Liking the soggy soap tip!

I think that our troubles started because we frontlined and went away on holiday. Obviously the frontline isn't working anymore and so we came home to infestation. Grim!

Am hoping mixture of advocate and hoovering will work on top of the initial spraying we did a week ago. Don't like using the sprays really - stink like crazy and dd has fish tank which means can't really go near her room with the stuff.

We've not had lice or worms (yet - something to look forward to). So can't say in all honesty which is worse though fact that they're proper human parasites freaks me out more I think. Worst nightmare in parasite stakes would be bed bugs though - ewwww.

controlpantsandgladrags · 13/08/2012 18:03

Hmmmm we've been using the frontline spot on. Sounds like we might need to change!

Thanks for the flap recommendations...planning to order a sureflap tomorrow Smile

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