Ask the expert.. Jan-Feb-2007

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Dr. K. G. Umesh (MVSc, MSc (UK)) is a Postgraduate in Clinical Medicine. He is working for WALTHAM as Regional Associate for south Asia.

Q : How should I remove & prevent fleas from my cat?
– Manav, Ahmedabad
Dr. K.G. Umesh : Successful control of fleas depends on eliminating these pests from the cat and the environment. There are two basic categories of flea control products: Adulticides (to kill adult fleas) and insect growth regulators (IGRs)/insect development inhibitors (IDIs) (to prevent fleas from hatching or maturing). The vet will choose a product or products that combine safety, efficacy, and ease of use for you. Often a combination of adulticide and an IGR or IDI is used. Thorough cleaning of the house and yard should precede any application of insecticides. It is always best to treat the cat and the environment on the same day. Sprays or foggers can be used in the house to kill fleas and ticks. The use of these insecticides must be preceded by a thorough vacuuming. A product containing an IGR and an adulticide should be used as well. Cats are very sensitive to chemicals. Be extra careful, when treating cats or even dogs who live in the same household as a cat. In general, insect growth regulators and short-acting pyrethrins are safe for use on cats. If the pet is flea allergic, environmental treatment is essential.

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