MeOW Welcome to Service Cats and Everything Feline on Furidays. Don’t furget you can always ketch up on any post you may have missed in this series by clickin’ the links on our Training Tips and Everything Feline page. You can also submit your questions and/or topic suggestions in the comments below or by email using the contact form on our Contact page. Just remember, when asking behavioral questions, purrlease be as specific as pawssible includin’ any appropriate examples. We’ve got some great topics comin’ up. Last week, we meowed ‘bout Flea and Tick Prevention and we received a couple of follow up questions that we’re goin’ to address today. Remember, there’s no stupid/dumb question. And ifin you’re wonderin’ ‘bout somethin’, chances are others are wonderin’ the same thing. So, let’s get the business outta the way and get to it.
The followin’ post will be written in human English fur reader and translator ease. Our Service Cat posts aren’t intended to be an all inclusive Trainin’ Manual but rather Tips, Tricks and Techniques used/developed by mommy A thru her many years of animal trainin’, cats in purrticular. And to offur insight into your questions about Everything Feline. Always remember, Training is all ‘bout Repetition and Rewards.
As we mentioned last week, Flea and Tick Prevention is very important. Whether kitty ever puts a paw outside or not, we are at risk of being infected by some nasty parasites, including Fleas and Ticks. Did you know the Flea can jump up to 7 inches vertically and 13 inches horizontaly? That’s right, this little blood sucker, a 1/16 inch big can leap about 50 times their body length. (wikipedia-fleas) What that means, is that nobody/kitty/doggy/anipal is truly safe. Even if kitty only goes out on the porch and never touches the grass, he/she is still susceptible to Parasites. We mentioned last week that fleas can hitch a ride on just about anything including you in their attempt to find their next blood meal. So, Prevention is very important. It’s much easier to Prevent a problem than it is to wait and Treat the problem. We recommend speaking with your VET regarding Prevention Options.
Now, we were asked, “Are there any natural Flea and Tick/Parasitic Preventatives you would recommend?” And, “What steps does mommy A take to keep us Protected?” One of the best Preventions is a Healthy Pet. That’s right, a healthy pet apparently isn’t nearly as tasty as an unhealthy one. Garlic and Brewer’s Yeast was once thought to be a repellant for Fleas, Ticks and Mosquitos. However, we have since learned that Garlic is actually toxic to cats and Brewer’s Yeast has no effect in the Treatment or Prevention of Fleas. Garlic can cause liver and kidney damage, so please don’t feed kitty/doggy any Garlic. Mommy says a good rule of thumb regarding the use of plant/oil/herb natural remedies is to stay away from items that may be toxic to anipals like bulb plants. A bulbous plant is one that grows a bulb underground instead of a tap root like Garlic, Onions, Lilies, etc.. If you choose to use essential oils or liquid herbs, please talk with your VET, do your own research to determine if it can be safely used on kitty.
Catnip’s a great Natural Flea Purrventative.
Now, let’s look at some plants you can grow yourself to help Prevent Fleas, Ticks and Mosquitos. Everybody knows the majority of kitties love their catnip. There are exceptions, but that shouldn’t deter you from growing a little nip to use for Flea Prevention. Along with catnip, most of the mint family safely repels Fleas and Mosquitos. Mommy makes certain to grow a few Nip plants, Sage, Rosemary, Basil, Thyme and Marigolds (annual that will seed like a perennial) in our garden each year. The best part is that these plants are perennials, so you really only have to plant them once and allow them to seed at the end of the season. They’ll come back year after year at just the right time to start repelling those nasty parasites. And, if kitty happens to roll around in them, he/she will get coated in a natural preventative. Don’t worry, these plants are pretty sturdy. Kitty won’t cause too much damage to their ability to grow and come back each year. There are essential oils for each of these plants, however, essential oils can be highly toxic to cats, so we recommend only using fresh leaves. It’s much cheaper anyways.
Other than growing Nip in the garden to help repel parasites outside, how does one use it on kitty/doggy or even the humans you ask? Just harvest a few fresh leaves, crush them and rub directly onto kitty’s skin and fur. You can also make a natural Flea spray. Harvest a few leaves, and boil them in a half cup of water and half cup of vinegar/apple cider vinegar to make a “tea”. Boil for about 20 minutes, strain and let cool. Once your tea has cooled, it can be sprayed directly onto kitty. You could even use it to bathe kitty/doggy.
Another natural remedy some swear by is Diatomaceous Earth (DE). This can be applied to carpets. The sharp edges of DE will pierce the flea and larvae and dry them out. Before purchasing DE make sure it doesn’t contain any other ingredients. Companies often combine it with poisons such as Pyrethrums to make it more effective. While DE isn’t toxic on it’s own, it can be an irritant if inhaled. Be sure to thoroughly vacuum it up. Speaking of vacuums, one should vacuum regularly and empty the canister or bag immediately. Fleas can live off a host body for some time. Keep kitty’s/doggy’s bedding, blankeys, etc. clean by washing them regularly. Old school farmers used to apply Seven Dust to their animals as a Flea powder. We can’t speak to it’s effectiveness, but it smells like chemicals and toxins, so we don’t recommend it personally. However, it can be used safely outside around plants and windows.
C’mon mommy, just let me roll ’round 1 time.
As we mentioned, we were asked what mommy does to Prevent Fleas. As we said last week, mommy hates using poison on us. However, she typically “fogs” our yard and around the windows with the Bengal outdoor fogger in late April, early May. We are generally not allowed to walk on the ground for at least a month afterwards. We’re never allowed to roll around on the ground. Mommy’s a bit of a germophobe. MOL As we stated earlier, she has a small herb garden with plenty of Catnip, Sage and Marigolds. Believe it or not, she doesn’t really like the Marigold flowers, but she likes mosquitos even less. And lastly, we’re allowed to “waller”(wallow, roll) around in nip all year long…so long as it’s in the house. During the height of Flea/Tick/Mosquito season, we do use a spot on Flea Treatment. We live in the South where it never gets cold enough to kill off any of those nasty parasites and mommy isn’t taking any chances. Last week, we did say not to let cost of Prevention dictate the Treatments/Preventatives you use. While most commercial Flea Treatments/Preventatives contain a small percentage of poison, those made by Hartz Flea and Tick spot ons have been linked to many pet deaths. We highly suggest you stay away from their brand for this issue.
We do hope we have provided you with the information you need to make an informed decision about Treating and Preventing Parasites fur your furry family member. We will be introducing a new topic/question next time. Don’t furget to leave your questions and/or topic suggestions in the comments below or send us an email via our contact page. And check out the other posts in this series by clicking on Training Tips and Everything Feline from our menu bar. We’re always happy to expound on a topic; so ifin you don’t find the answers you need in a previous post, just let us know. We’re here to help. We’re also linkin’ up with Comedy Plus fur Feline Furiday.
Till the next time………………………………………Be Blest!!!
Luv and Hugs and Kitty Kisses