Maine Coon cats are fun, wonderful snuggle buddies, ginormous sweethearts, friends, companions...the list goes on and on! But if you're giant kitty is afraid of the water, try imagining for a second how challenging it will be to wrangle up your big beast and put him/her in the bathtub for a flea bath. I can almost guarantee that will NOT be a pleasant experience for your maine coon cat or for you. Because of their giant body size, they have giant paws and giant claws, which means a frightened cat is most likely going to try and escape and scratch you in the process. If you've browsed our site you may notice the quirky quotes and phrases I've remembered from my childhood. "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" (thanks Benjamin Franklin for the advice) is a great piece of advice! Instead of traumatizing your cat with a flea bath, then combing them with a flea comb, and frantically vaccuumiing your house like a crazy person, just give your maine coon cat flea preventative once a month. Once again I am not a vet, but I do love to share what works for me and my maine coon cats. We give our kitties Revolution once a month and so far we have not had any fleas.
Tips on how to prevent fleas on your Maine Coon Cat Use Flea Prevention on ALL of Your Pets Even if your cat is indoor only cat, it is still possible for them to contract fleas. If you have a dog, fleas can hitch a ride and bring them inside to your cat. WebMD mentions in their article "Protect your Home and Cat from Fleas" that there are over 2500 different types of fleas, but the most common type is the Ctenocephalides felis, or the cat flea. Cat fleas aren't animal specific, they can live on dogs too and cause an infestation in your home very quickly.
Products you put on your cat. There are several spot-on treatments that are safer, more convenient, and more effective than traditional dusts, shampoos, and sprays. Most veterinary clinics or online stores sell flea prevention medications, and it is always best to discuss the best preventative flea medication with your vet. Your vet will be able to discuss where on your cat to put the product, how much to apply, and how often to use it. NEVER USE A DOG FLEA PREVENTION MEDICATION ON A CAT! Some common active ingredients and brands include:
Fipronil (Frontline Plus)
Some people prefer to use flea collars which can also be effective. We do not personally recommend using collars or flea collars as your cat can get the collar caught on something and find themselves trapped or even worse, become asphyxiated if the collar gets caught on something and tightens around their neck.
Use Flea Prevention Medication Year Round A lot of people think that when the cold weather hits, especially if you're here in Michigan, fleas die off and aren't a problem for indoor cats. However, when the cold weather sets in, mice, rats and other outdoor animals are looking for a nice warm place to wait out the brutal Michigan winter. These pesky outdoor critters may be carrying fleas or flea eggs and easily can bring them into your home. Vetstreet mentions that although fleas do prefer warm weather, your cozy house provides the perfect environment for the parasites to thrive in during the colder months. And once you have a flea infestation in your home, you won’t be able to clean quickly enough to keep up with the fast-multiplying insects,which can lay 40 to 50 eggs a day, unless you treat your pet. After a few weeks or months, one single flea can lay hundreds, even thousands, of eggs. If your home is carpeted, the thought of creepy, crawly fleas living in my carpeting waiting to attach to the perfect host grosses me out. While adult fleas can only go a few days without eating, flea pupae can live in these encapsulations for up to five months without food or light!
Natural Flea Treatment and Prevention Although we personally use revolution here and have never had a problem with fleas (knock on wood) here are ten natural flea treatments that many cat lovers have found success with. As previously mentioned I am not a vet but I am a cat lover and want what is best for my babies. Before starting or stopping flea treatment, please discuss the best possible options for your pet with your vet :)
1.Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple Cider Vinegar has a variety of uses from salad dressings to dietary "drinks". ACV has cleansing properties that allow the body to remove toxic waste more efficiently before it has time to accumulate and damage the body. But ACV can also be used to prevent fleas! Mix apple cider vinegar (ACV) into a 1 to 1 solution—1 part ACV, 1 part water, and pour it into a spray bottle, you can use it for everything from spraying onto the fur and back necks of your pets where fleas like to hide, to the corners of your home, and outdoors. t’s also safe to spray ACV on your furniture. A lot of pet parent even use ACV to freshen up their home, particularly regions where your pet hangs out. ACV can also be used to wash the floors of your home. Vacuum them first, then use your ACV spray to fully spray the floor, then use a damp cloth to mop it up. Not only will your floors be clean, but they’ll also be flea-free and the vinegar will help to repel any stray fleas that you may have missed.
2. Salt and Baking Soda One of the most effective flea control home remedies is vacuuming and vacuuming often. This helps getting rid of fleas by removing them from the fibers of your carpets and furniture. However, there is a way in which you can increase the effectiveness of this by using baking soda or salt! Salt and baking soda are great natural flea home remedies when accompanied by vacuuming. Salt acts as a dehydration agent, helping to get rid of adult fleas. To help treat fleas with this natural remedy take some salt (finely ground works best) and sprinkle it all over your carpets in each room. Leave the salt to rest for 1-2 days, then vacuum your home throughout, emptying the contents in an outside trash can.
3. Lemon spray can be used in a variety of ways including treating wasp stings and is also an excellent remedy for fleas. Treatment using this natural remedy to get rid of fleas consists of making a citrus spray to use on infected furniture. To make this flea spray, thinly slice up a lemon and add it to a pint of boiling water. Let the citrus solution mix sit overnight and pour it into a spray bottle. The next day take the citrus solution and spray it on the infested areas in your home – sofas, pet bedding, chairs etc. Do not soak, only dampen.
4. Diatomaceous earth is the microscopic remains of fossilized algae, called diatoms. It’s a very fine powder, which is non-toxic to humans and is a great natural remedy to get rid of fleas as it causes dehydration. Sprinkle the diatomaceous earth in a thin layer over areas you suspect have a flea problem. Leave the diatomaceous earth to do its magic for 2 days then vacuum promptly, following the necessary flea prevention methods afterwards. **It is important to note that if using diatomaceous earth as a natural flea remedy you should use the food grade option. Although it is non-toxic, the nature of the powder can get messy and irritate your eyes and throat. When using diatomaceous earth to treat your home it is advised that you wear a face mask.
5. Rosemary is a great organic flea control product. It can be used to treat light infestations as well as on pets (depending on how you use it). This example of a natural flea remedy focuses on creating a powder to be used to treat fleas in your home.To make an herbal flea powder using rosemary, place this herb with some rue, wormwood, fennel and peppermint into a pestle and mortar and grind into a powder. Then sprinkle it on your carpets, furniture, pet bedding, window sills and anywhere else you suspect flea activity in your home. ** Rosemary is a natural flea repellent, it will not get rid of fleas but help repel and prevent them. 6. Flea repelling plants. Certain plants contain specific oils, compounds, and chemicals which fleas hate and will try and avoid. There is a range of different plants that repel fleas. Using these plants around your home in flower pots and flower beds is a great natural home remedy for fleas. Plants that keep fleas away include Penny Royal, Chrysanthemums, Lavendar, and Spearmint
Disgusting (and Fascinating) Flea Facts
Fleas can survive up to 24 hours in water. Yes, fleas are terrible swimmers, but they are also quite intelligent when it comes to survival. Although you may think that dipping your Maine Coon cat in water will drown the fleas on them, this is only partially true. Fleas can not swim, but they can frantically scurry up to your pet's face and head in attempt to escape a watery death. They can also jump to the sides of the bathtub or on cups, washcloths, etc to avoid drowning. Adding a little bit of soap or vegetable oil to a flea bath will reduce the surface tension of the water and force the fleas underneath the water, giving them little chance to escape.
The average flea can live up to 50 days and can lay over 2000 eggs in that time. If you find one flea on your cat, do not wait until you see more to begin treatment. Fleas are sneaky little pests that are very quick to reproduce and multiply, leading to an infestation in very little time.
Relative to their size, fleas can jump further than any other insect. If an average sized human had the same jumping ability of a flea, they would be able to jump 295 feet across and 160 feet high!
Fleas can also carry parasites, which they then transmit to their hosts. Tapeworms are most commonly transmitted by fleas. How does your furry friend get tapeworms from fleas? It's rather simple and quite disgusting. When cats groom themselves, they oftentimes will lick and swallow fleas. If the fleas are carrying tapeworms, they'll be released into your cat's digestive track.
Fleas Are Infamous for Their Role in Transmitting the Black Death (Black Plague)During the Middle ages millions of people died from the Black Plague in Asia and Europe. It took years to discover what was causing such an outbreak and claiming so many lives. Fleas were found to carry the plague bacteria (ersinia pestis) and transmit it to humans. An outbreak of the plague often kills a large number of rodents, particularly rats, and those bloodthirsty, plague-infected fleas were forced to find a new food source – humans. Lucky for us now, we are fortunate to live in an age when antibiotics and good sanitation practices keep plague deaths to a minimum.