Keeping your cat free of fleas and ticks is a crucial part of having a healthy and happy pet.
It’s obviously good for your cats, and for you and your family as well as fleas can be quite a nuisance!
(Fleas actually don’t bite me, but they terrorize everyone else in my family!)
An issue I’ve run into is that sometimes we don’t quite get the results that we want after the first application of a preventative measure like Advantage, which is supposed to last for a month.
This led me to find out if I could apply Advantage any earlier when there is a particularly stubborn infestation of fleas.
The answer is that you can indeed apply Advantage after 2 weeks if you are not seeing a complete or satisfactory reduction in the fleas on your cat after the first application.
In this article, I’m going to explain what you can do to potentially avoid applying Advantage more than necessary, and some alternative treatments that you could possibly try.
As well as supportive secondary treatments that can help improve the efficacy of your flea removal treatments.
Why does my cat still have fleas after using Advantage?
This is something that is often quite concerning for pet owners, as the treatment is indeed supposed to remove fleas, but there is something of a paradox at play when flea treatment is used.
The way that most flea removal treatments work is by affecting the flea in such a way that they become agitated and start to move around.
This means that while your cat is still showing signs of having fleas, it is the fleas that you don’t normally see that are now surfacing and jumping off of your cat.
This can often make it appear as though your cat still has fleas, or even worse, that there seem to be even more fleas than before the treatment began.
If you are noticing more fleas in your home than before then you can try to clean your cat’s bedding and carpets regularly, but you need to do it correctly.
It’s a good idea to vacuum the carpet with a high-powered vacuum designed to tackle pet hairs to get rid of any fleas that may be hiding in the fibers of blankets, carpets, and bedding.
This should help you to keep your cat free of fleas.
How Long Does It Take To Get Rid of Fleas on a Cat?
The time that it takes to get rid of fleas on a cat will vary based on a few variables.
These include the length of your cat’s fur, how many treatments you are using at a time, and how populated your property is with fleas.
Keep in mind that fleas in your garden can still jump onto your cat, even though a treatment is currently being used.
Having said that, you can generally expect the whole process to take anywhere from a month to 3 months in extreme cases.
If you are extra judicious in your flea removal and cleaning of the areas where fleas are visible such as your cat’s sleeping areas, then you can bring the time down by quite a bit.
Sometimes your cat will be free of fleas, but hatching fleas from around the house and in your cat’s favorite sleeping areas will jump on in search of a new place to live.
You will need to clean the areas where you suspect the fleas are hiding out, and then repeat your cat’s flea treatment if you notice them re-establishing themselves on your cat again.
Where Do Fleas Come From?
It’s difficult to think about fleas as living anywhere but on a cat or dog, but the answer is that they generally live outside in areas with grass and plenty of shade.
The ideal area for a flea population is one that allows them to easily detect and relocate onto passing mammals such as cats and dogs, where they will then go on to lay eggs and start a new cycle of flea populations.
Once your cat has fleas, they then transfer to all other animals that they come into contact with, and the cycle starts again.
Flea pupae can stay alive for long periods, often several months.
During this time they lay dormant, and once they detect vibrations from moving animals or people they leave their pupa and go in search of food before they perish.
Can a Cat Overdose on Flea Treatment?
Any time you are dealing with treatments or medications for living creatures, you run the risk of overdose, whether it be a seemingly harmless topical product or a prescribed drug.
Therefore, you need to be very careful about following the prescribed treatments that have been laid out for you by both your vet and the manufacturer of the product that you are using.
If you are not sure about what the correct dosage is for your flea treatment, then you should consult your vet and make sure that you are indeed following the right recommendations.
What Happens if I Give My Cat Too Much Advantage?
If your cat has been given too much Advantage then you risk introducing toxicity, which can have some serious medical side effects.
This includes vomiting, diarrhea, labored breathing, shaking, fatigue and weakness.
If you suspect that your cat has accidentally been exposed to too much Advantage then it is best to take them to the vet as soon as possible for proper treatment.
If you are not seeing the results that you are after with Advantage then you can seek out a prescription for your cat with products such as Nexgard, Simparica, Credelio, or Bravecto.
Having a flea infestation is not fun for anyone, and your cat will thank you for helping rid them of these pesky parasites.
Applying Advantage after 2 weeks shouldn’t be a problem if you are still not seeing results, and in extreme cases, you can sometimes use both an oral treatment and a topical one at the same time – on the advice of your vet.
This can increase the efficacy of the removal of the fleas from your cat while limiting the fleas’ ability to jump back on when new hatchlings emerge from their pupae.
If you are finding that your current flea treatment is not quite up to scratch, then you should ask your vet if they have any specific advice for your cat’s flea problem.
Image credits – Photo by Kanupriya Vyas on Unsplash