Help: fleas

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Mariacristina
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Help: fleas

Postby Mariacristina » Tue Jul 23, 2013 9:08 am

I usually get involved with helping out with stray dogs. I have had cats but don't know a lot about them really. Some friends who have moved to a nearby village and have never had animals before decided to start feeding some of the local semi-feral cats. They now have about ten permanently camped on their front patio and, inevitably, the first of what is sure to be a succession of litters of kittens. The kittens, now three weeks old are absolutely delightful but are infested with fleas. My friends have a limited income. Are there any inexpensive ways of dealing with the fleas?

The kittens are only babies so we need to be careful. The adults, being semi-feral, are not likely to allow themselves to be handled to intimately.

Oliveview1, anyone, help please.

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Enrique
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Re: Help: fleas

Postby Enrique » Tue Jul 23, 2013 10:09 am

Hi,
Have a read..............
http://www.catsofaustralia.com/kitten_fleas.htm

The best advice you could have given to the " new" people was never feed feral cats at home.
They will survive ok left to their own devices.

Just to relate a young couple moved in nearby, started taking in "stray" dogs, soon had 15 , money in short supply..........big stress on relationship .....now split up. :(
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Re: Help: fleas

Postby peteroldracer » Tue Jul 23, 2013 10:11 am

My only advice is to be very careful what you start, as it can be very difficult to get off a moving train! We started to feed a couple of cats that lived around our neighbour's house a few years ago - we have since paid to have some neutered (but not all, as a couple have proven uncatchable!), have paid for vet treatment for two plus euthanasia/cremation for one, and feed up to 16 cats twice a day. There are the attendant problems with "what goes in must come out" - over a dozen cats can produce an astonishing amount of catcrap and put it not always where you would prefer.
Yes they are mostly nice animals, but life would be simpler if we had turned our backs - with that many animals there is no way we can both be away from the house at the same time for long, so the bonus for me is being spared trips to the UK, the snag that we cannot contemplate going on a holiday somewhere nice, together.
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Re: Help: fleas

Postby oliveview01 » Tue Jul 23, 2013 2:28 pm

The best advice I can give is to look on the vet supply sites in the UK we get our worming stuff etc from there, a fraction of the vet price here!
I have used VetUK.

Mariacristina
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Re: Help: fleas

Postby Mariacristina » Tue Jul 23, 2013 6:16 pm

I appreciate that it would have been wiser had the couple not started feeding the cats in the first place, but they did. Hindsight generates great wisdom. . . . however . . . . what they need now is an inexpensive remedy for an infestation of fleas in very young kittens.

I will pass on your information, oliveview1, with thanks. If anyone has any other ideas I would be happy to pass those on too.

I think the couple concerned did what seemed to them to be the right thing at the time. Most of us have tried to help feral and abandoned animals. Now there are three tiny kittens who need help to alleviate the fleas that are making them pretty uncomfortable.

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Enrique
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Re: Help: fleas

Postby Enrique » Tue Jul 23, 2013 6:30 pm

My link above gives an inexpensive method of removing fleas from very young kittens. Please print off and pass on to your friends.
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gerryh
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Re: Help: fleas

Postby gerryh » Tue Jul 23, 2013 6:39 pm

That looks a very useful site.
Had some successes, and some failures, in hand rearing one or two day old Kittens and Puppies.
Always need to know more about how it should be done.
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Re: Help: fleas

Postby El Cid » Tue Jul 23, 2013 7:45 pm

Enrique wrote:My link above gives an inexpensive method of removing fleas from very young kittens. Please print off and pass on to your friends.
Enrique - have you ever actually tried washing a cat?

I did once and had the bite and scratch marks for a week!

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Re: Help: fleas

Postby Marina » Tue Jul 23, 2013 9:56 pm

Never tried it but vinegar is said to help. A few drops in their drinking water, once they start drinking and rub some into their coats. It's cheap so could be worth a try.

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Re: Help: fleas

Postby BENIDORM » Wed Jul 24, 2013 8:04 am

As Marina suggests vinegar is a good cheap and efficient way to help control fleas, and if I may add that it should be cider vinegar not the malt vinegar that you put on your chips or the white vinegar that you use for cleaning.
Also good to add some when bathing any pets.!

Cider vinegar is also good to be taken by humans ,for all sorts of reasons, I've been taking it for years and I'm completely free of fleas .. :lol:

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Re: Help: fleas

Postby Nimrod » Wed Jul 24, 2013 10:09 am

If the kittens are tame are you able to comb the fleas out with a nit comb?
Don't know if they are available in Spain we used to use one on our dog many years ago before anyone thought about chemical prevention.

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Re: Help: fleas

Postby Mariacristina » Wed Jul 24, 2013 6:29 pm

Many thanks for the helpful replies.

Enrique ; I have printed off the article and passed it on. Just hoping that they don't ask me to help if they decide to try the bath option! The difficulty is that they cannot handle the adults sufficiently to treat them.

Oliveview1: Have also suggested that they look at the website you suggested as there are sure to be more litters of kittens appearing.

I really do appreciate the comments and advice. I have suggested that the couple join the forum themselves as there always seems to be someone who can suggest solutions to problems.

I like the idea of the nit comb. It would only take a few minutes to comb through each tiny kitten . . . . but . . . . would one need to be wearing a space suit to do that . . . . . or could the couple use the nit comb on each other afterwards. . . . . . . could have the idea for what might develop into a raunchy novel there. Fifty types of fleas? Not a very appealing title though.

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Enrique
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Re: Help: fleas

Postby Enrique » Wed Jul 24, 2013 6:44 pm

Hi Mariacristina,

"would one need to be wearing a space suit to do that . ".............the "new" compulsory herbicide spray suits would work for that........ :idea:

I've been handling a very young kitten recently and don't think giving it a bath would be very difficult, a full grown semi-wild cat would be a different game........... :shock:
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Re: Help: fleas

Postby El Cid » Wed Jul 24, 2013 7:01 pm

Mariacristina wrote:

I like the idea of the nit comb. It would only take a few minutes to comb through each tiny kitten . . . . but . . . . would one need to be wearing a space suit to do that . . . . . or could the couple use the nit comb on each other afterwards. . . . . . . could have the idea for what might develop into a raunchy novel there. Fifty types of fleas? Not a very appealing title though.

The other possibility is to use a flea powder which can be used on young kittens - I think Johnsons make one.

Whichever way you go, do it outside on a large table with a white tablecloth on it. One of you can comb or dust the cat and the other is in charge of killing the fleas. It does work as I have done it before but really don't try the cat-wash! If you do you will quickly learn that cats, of any size, are capable of reverting to wild animals.

My experience of the cat-wash was when we were living on our boat and one of the kittens got into the engine room and got covered in bilge water and oil! Not a pretty sight and the resulting experience was severely painful!

Sid

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Re: Help: fleas

Postby Nimrod » Wed Jul 24, 2013 7:18 pm

Mariacristina,
I don't know if they sell them in Spain but in UK diy shops you can buy disposable paper overalls.
They are paper but very strong.

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Enrique
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Re: Help: fleas

Postby Enrique » Wed Jul 24, 2013 7:41 pm

" I don't know if they sell them in Spain but in UK diy shops you can buy disposable paper overalls.
They are paper but very strong."

From my post above the herbicida spray suits...about 7euro in Agri stores............ :D
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Re: Help: fleas

Postby Nimrod » Wed Jul 24, 2013 9:12 pm

Thanks Enrique.
The UK ones are for painters and decorators.

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Re: Help: fleas

Postby crazyred » Fri Jul 26, 2013 4:53 pm

Have you tried food grade Diatomaceous Earth? The only precaution is to not inhale it but it's OK if the kitten licks it off which also kills internal parasites. You could also mix some in some wet food to help kill worms. I've washed many cats without any injury, the trick is to scruff them gently. Neem oil is also very good (but stinky) and the nit comb is very good. Once they are 4 weeks, you can use Capstar tablets (available from your vet's). They don't need as much as a whole tablet (despite what the vet says) so you could crush a tablet and divide beween 3 or 4 kittens. They will scratch like mad for a while but that wears off once the fleas start dying and dropping off!

If they can try to get the adult gradually hand feeding and allowing some physical contact then they can be taken to be castrated, or if that's not possible ask around the vet's or shelters for cat traps otherwise the problem is just going to get bigger.


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