Fleas

Types:

The Cat Flea (Ctenocephalides felis) and its close relative the Dog Flea (C. canis) can be found on cats.

 

Effects:

Fleas, which are often carriers of the tapeworm, also cause Flea Allergy Dermatitis and can result in anemia, particularly in kittens.

Prevention:

Fleas love to breed in sandy or gravely soils. Sandboxes, crawlspaces beneath houses or under shrubs are excellent breeding grounds. By minimizing or treating these areas, we can control flea populations.

Larvae are blind, avoid light, and take a week to several months to develop. Their food consists of digested blood from adult flea feces, dead skin, hair, feathers, and other organic debris. (Larvae do not suck blood.) This is why it is so important to keep indoor areas clean after a flea infestation–particularly areas like base boards, corners and anything in the dark It’s obviously impossible to vacuum our lawns, but feral shelters can often be cleaned and should be.

Also keep lawn trim, this decreases moisture and fleas like 70% humidity. While I admire hospitality, they don’t need it.

Treatments:

If you have the money you can try Lufenuron (Program), Insect Development Inhibitor (IDI) that breaks the flea's life cycle by preventing eggs and larvae from developing. Nearly 100 percent of eggs laid by treated fleas do not develop. There is no effect on the adult flea. It is environmentally safe, is given via dosage in the water, and after your colonies kittens are 6 weeks old, safe for all of them.

Cythioate (Proban) is not registered for cats and we do not therefore recommend it.

If you can get close to your ferals, there are multiple products such as Advantage that treat for fleas and ticks for several months at a clip, however, it does have to be applied close to the skin on the neck which is not always practical with a feral cat.