Fight Cat Fleas and Ticks Safely

Applying medication properly to cats to keep them healthy and free from fleas and ticks.

Posted: May 5, 2011, 3 a.m. EDT

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Orange cat

Follow instructions on flea and tick medicine to keep cats safe.

As temperatures increase, fleas and ticks grow in numbers. Fight itchy bites and potential Lyme disease in your cats by properly applying flea and tick medicine, consumer watchdog groups urge cat owners. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently reported that flea and tick products can cause harmful reactions to cats if given improperly. Small dogs and cats seem particularly vulnerable, especially if given products meant for larger animals.

Consumer Reports offers these tips for using flea and tick treatments:

    * Use gloves when applying the medicine to cats and read the label. If you don't understand it, ask your veterinarian or call the manufacturer.

    * If the product is for dogs, don't use it on cats or other pets. Follow weight requirements for cats, too.

    * Watch for side effects. Symptoms like poor appetite, depression, vomiting, diarrhea or excessive salivation in cats are signs of poisoning.

    * If your cat has a bad reaction, immediately give her a bath using mild soap and lots of water. Then call the vet.

    * Keep cats separated from one another after applying a product, until it has time to dry. You don’t want cats to ingest the topical treatment when grooming each other.

    * If your cat is older, medicated, weak, sick, pregnant or nursing, talk to your vet before using a flea and tick product.

    * Don't apply a product on kittens or puppies unless the label allows for it. For pets too young for flea and tick products, use a flea comb to pick up fleas, flea eggs, and ticks.
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Reader Comments

karen    cheektowaga, NY

5/8/2011 11:55:19 AM

Great info !!!

Pat    Omaha, NE

5/6/2011 5:15:53 AM

good information

Galadriel    Lothlorien, ME

5/5/2011 11:47:12 PM

Good things to keep in mind. If you're lucky like me you live in a flealess area and won't need it.

Anon    City, CA

5/5/2011 6:45:35 PM

Good article.

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