Does your kitty have an itch? Well, it could be your kitty need needs more than just scratched. Your kitty may need some special attention.
What are we talking about here?
Fleas. Any of an order (Siphonaptera) of small wingless bloodsucking insects that have a hard laterally compressed body and legs adapted to leaping and that feed on warm-blooded animals.
Feed on warm-blooded animals like your kitty, and maybe you.
So Boo my kitty is a little over a year old. Actually, he is my teenage daughter’s cat, but she has other priorities at this time. Typical teenage girl stuff. So it’s me and Boo, hanging out and having fun. Mostly we watch sports and drink beer.
I took Boo to the vet when he was a couple months old for shots and to get fixed. The vet gave me some free samples of a product that you put on the back of kitty’s neck. I never used it because of some adverse information my research revealed. Some say your typical collars, shampoos, powders, foggers, and sprays can cause problems not only for the animal, but humans as well.
Me and kitty didn’t have a problem until a couple weeks ago when all flea hell broke loose. No doubt this incredibly hot and humid weather has a lot to do with it.
Anyway, here’s what I did to get rid of fleas on the cat. And to get rid of fleas in the house. I seem to have the situation mostly under control. Without a bunch of chemical stuff that who knows does what damage to the animal or maybe humans.
Give your kitty a bath daily and drown those frigging fleas.
No, kitty won’t like that. Do it in the sink rather than the bathtub. It’s easier to control your kitty so kitty doesn’t squirm away. Use Dawn dish liquid, the blue stuff. If you use that rather than those special medicated shampoos, you don’t have to worry about rinsing kitty off that good. I fill up one side of the sink with the soapy water and after washing kitty up for 5 minutes, I pull him out to the other side and rinse him off with the sprayer. Kitty likes that less than the soapy water. Don’t drain the soapy water in the other side for awhile. You want to make sure the fleas are good and dead. I dry kitty off as best I can with paper towels I can just throw in the trash.
I’m sure kitty feels much better after the bath, especially in this hot weather and with all those fleas off for at least a little. Although kitty will probably be mad for awhile and go and hide. Yeah, and kitty might even run and hide before the bath when he hears you running the water, because kitty knows what’s next.
Get a fine-toothed flea comb and use it to groom kitty after he/she/it is dried off from the bath.
Clean and clean and clean more
This is mostly self-explanatory. What you have to do is get rid of the flea eggs that have fallen off your kitty or whatever. You can see them if you look closely. They look like sprinkles of salt to me.
Speaking of salt, that’s what I sprinkled on the carpeting. I’ve heard generic borax and 20 Mule Team Borax work good.
I bought a Raid Flea Killer Plus trap and a Victor Ultimate Flea Trap. (See photo) They both work fairly well. I had to shop around at quite a few hardware stores to find them. Walmart and Home Depot didn’t carry any flea traps. But I made some flea traps that work just as well. You want a flea trap in every room.
To make a flea trap, use a desk lamp and put a 25-watt bulb in it. Buy some neon green duck tape. For some reason, fleas are attracted by green. Place two pieces of duck tape loosely over the face of the lamp as shown in the photo. You don’t want to totally cover the face of the lamp or it might overheat, and you don’t want the tape to touch the bulb.
Get some flat insect glue boards like Real Kill Glue Traps you can find at Home Depot for between $3 and $4 for a pack of four. Put two of the glue boards in a cheap bake tin and put the lamp over the glue boards as shown in the photo. And watch the fleas get stuck! Bleeping bloodsuckers.
I’ve heard soapy water works well too, but I’m not crazy about the idea of the lamp falling into the water.
The only possible advantage of the Raid and Victor flea traps over the ones you make is that obviously kitty can’t step on the glue boards on the ones you buy. But that never happened with my kitty. He didn’t mess with them at all.
Ultimately, the only good bloodsucker is a dead bloodsucker. Why do you think vampire flicks and books are so popular?
One word of caution. It may be better to drink out of the beer bottle when you are battling bloodsuckers. I frosted my Steeler mug as usual and filled it up, but one of them there buggers drowned in it. Oh well. I drank it anyway.
Jack Hazen (author) from Blitzburgh area on November 13, 2012:
Hey thanks, CrisSp!
Yeah, I'll definitely check out your hub.
Funny, I just printed out that pic of Boo the cat and made it into a thank you card for a sweet little second grader who sent me a Veteran's Day card. Must have been some project at elementary school. I hope they read my thank you card in class. I made it like Boo was talking to her, you know, like a cartoon.
CrisSp from Sky Is The Limit Adventure on November 13, 2012:
You are hilarious but then again, this is a useful hub. I like the parking sign right there. Your cat reminds me of our Oreo...he's gone now and not intending to plug my hub, however, if you'd be interested to see him. Visit "Vanished" --one of my hubs whenever you have the chance.
I enjoyed this. Thanks.
Jack Hazen (author) from Blitzburgh area on October 18, 2012:
Oh yeah, now you tell me. About the vinegar. Vinegar I got. My daughter likes to put it on her spinach. Boo doesn't drink much water, but I'll put some in his beer.
Now, if I would have known about the vinegar, I would have put it on the bee sting I got a couple weeks ago. I got stung on the finger and it swelled up more than twice the normal size. Never give a bee the finger.
I may take this cat to the humane society anyway. He keeps laying on my box for the satellite dish and I can't change the channel until I push him off it. This is very annoying on Sundays when I'm watching Sunday Ticket and flipping back and forth between the best games.
Shari from New York, NY on October 18, 2012:
word to the wise. . .start adding a few drops of Vinegar to Boo's water. Not only will this keep the fleas away but its great for the digestive system. And if your daughter ever gets another flea on her (or for that matter any insect bite) apply vinegar until it stops stinging (when the stinging stops you know all the venom is gone)
I could go on and on about all the ways to use vinegar but I wont bore you today :) Kick off about to begin . Seahawks Niners time!
Jack Hazen (author) from Blitzburgh area on October 18, 2012:
My 18-year old daughter flipped out when she got a few fleas on her legs. She was my biggest nightmare in dealing with the situation. Here in western Pennsylvania we had the hottest summer anyone can remember. Quite a few days in the 90's and humid. Now that it has cooled off, not so many of them eggs that I didn't find with the vacuum are hatching. I still find a few on the cat now and then, and then he gets a bath. Somehow he can tell that I'm running the water in the sink for his bath, as opposed to doing the dishes, and he goes and hides.
Elizabeth from Some Sunny Beach, USA on October 18, 2012:
OMG , lol hilarious! Them dirty little buggers have been nothing but problems this year. With 3 cats (whom go outside quite often) and a dog I have been over taking by an army of fleas. Gross! Gonna put these ideas to good use since Frontline has done nothing to help! Voted up :)
Jack Hazen (author) from Blitzburgh area on August 16, 2012:
There is an interesting Question entitled "Anyone having problems with Frontline flea treatment not working?" that is related to the subject:
Not that I'm obsessed by fleas, but my daughter starts whining when she sees one, especially if it's on her bare leg, since she's always wearing shorts in the summer. I didn't tell her about the bat that me and the cat sent to the promised land. If she would have seen it, I wouldn't be seeing much of her.
sradie from Palm Coast FL on August 16, 2012:
Methods duly noted. We have dogs but everything will work the same. Interesting traps.
Jack Hazen (author) from Blitzburgh area on July 22, 2012:
Katie in the country, here's the link to a new hub I just read about "hot spots" on dogs:
I might try some of the remedies in this hub if the problem with your cat is getting worse, before you spend money on the vet.
Jack Hazen (author) from Blitzburgh area on July 20, 2012:
Hey Katie in the country, gotta love them Golden Retrievers. A few years back my ex-wife had 25 of them, at one time. They multiply almost as fast as fleas!
The ex had 4 females and 1 male (named Steeler, no wonder he was so prolific) and 20 puppies around Christmas that she sold for $350 - $400 each. She got ticked off when I insisted she had to include that income in the child support she paid to me.
At the end of winter when all the snow melted, her front yard looked like a sea of . . . .
If the big pink spot on your cat gets progressively worse I would take it to the vet, but my guess would be is that if you keep the fleas off it, the problem will go away
katie in the country on July 20, 2012:
good info.i have golden retriever & 2 cats that spend sometime outside & they are always picking up fleas.ive never seen a worse year for fleas.i give the animals a bath in a tub outside in a washtub.i think one of the cats may have had an allergic reaction to flea bits cuz her abdomen is pinkish.keep fighting those fleas!
Jack Hazen (author) from Blitzburgh area on July 19, 2012:
Sarahhh666, if you are having problems with mosquitoes, you really need to date an entomologist, preferably one who specializes in forensic entomology with a focus on dead mosquitoes.
I can only deal with one bug at a time. You might say that I'm monogambugamous.
Sarahhh666 from near Philly on July 19, 2012:
Hey that was funny!
I'm home from college for the summer spending time at my grandparents and they have dogs and cats and fleas.The mosquitoes are bad too.You got any home remedies for them bloodsuckers?