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Flea treatment and cats

Pauline 7Pauline 7 West Yorkshire Posts: 2,129
I seem to have acquired at youngish cat. He officially lives 2 doors down ( not the best of households ).  His owner thinks it is acceptable to put down a dish of dried food, leave a small window open and disappear for a week....even during the lockdowns. I started giving him a small pouch of cat food each day and have now been 'adopted'.

As he wanders in and out of our house all the time I was wondering if I could give him a flea treatment. Giving it to him wouldn't be a problem as we can pick him up and cuddle him without any problem and he jumps up onto our laps all the time.

I doubt if he has ever been treated at 'home', but would it be dangerous for me to treat him if he has?

Many thanks



  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 20,688
    Have you noticed any heavy duty scratching or any bald patches on his fur or had any reason to suspect that he has fleas? Flea treatment chemicals are not nice - many are prescription only. Sometimes a cat can have an adverse reaction to the treatment.

    Unless you have seen dermatitis on his skin or seen him trying to scratch himself a lot I’d just leave him be.
    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • Pauline 7Pauline 7 West Yorkshire Posts: 2,129
    Ok thanks PF
  • februarysgirlfebruarysgirl LeicesterPosts: 596
    We give our cat a flea treatment every couple of months (in theory, we sometimes forget). It's just a couple of drops on his neck but he's an absolute sod to get it on as he's not wild about being picked up and if you try to hold him still, he keeps wriggling. If left, fleas can lead to other problems. Ours needed to have surgery a while back and he had his pre op bloods done only to find that he was slightly anaemic because of the fleas (although we didn't think he had much of a problem) so they wouldn't go ahead with the operation. Gave him a flea treatment and when they checked his bloods a couple of weeks later it was all fine.

    We were also adopted from a neighbour a couple of doors down. Soft touch here had been letting him in and he'd stay all day so I thought I'd get him some treats. Treats developed into cat biscuits and one day I saw my neighbour and asked if he was still going home but he wasn't. He'd decided to move in 😆 Turns out that he was her daughter's cat and when she moved out, she didn't take him with her. My neighbour has two terriers so it's possible that with the daughter gone, he wasn't getting as much attention so moved in with the two suckers who made him the centre of attention. Can't complain though (although he has had some expensive health issues), he spends about 80% of the day asleep on the bed so he's not much trouble at all.
  • LynLyn DevonPosts: 20,901
    I’m on my 14th cat now, always treated for fleas and worms, you can buy the flea treatment the vet sells for a lot cheaper on the net,  he will probably need a wormer if he’s been left out a lot.  It’s all part of the cycle. 
    Best way is to put him on the table, put your arm the length of his body so you press him to the table, he can’t get up to scratch you. 
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • Pauline 7Pauline 7 West Yorkshire Posts: 2,129
    edited July 2021

    I was wondering about worming too
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 28,217
    I do our pair every couple of months too, and the dogs.   Most flea treatments also deal with ticks which are even worse than fleas and worming is essential too.

    We too buy the products online now.  Much cheaper.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • LynLyn DevonPosts: 20,901
    I think you can buy a Spot-On wormer but I’ve always used the ‘pin them to the table’  tablet method.
    lift the heard with the arm/hand that’s pinning him down, tablet in with the other hand then hold his head upward so his neck’s stretched and stroke his throat until he swallows. 
    I could show photos if it would help. 
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 20,688
    I’d be very careful about treating another person’s cat with anything. Feeding is one thing, but medical intervention is quite another. If the owner finds that you have been administering drugs to his cat you could end up in a lot of unwanted hot water.

    I understand your concern and can sympathise with you but he’s not legally your cat.  We had a similar experience when we lived in London. The cat even used to come in through the bathroom window and spend the night under our duvet with us. Of course, we fed him. But we never treated him with medication. The owners knew and went along with it. There wasn’t much that they could do as he clearly enjoyed being in our house more than in theirs.

     When he was knocked down by a car after several years of this we offered to pay for his vet’s bills as we had had much more fun and entertainment from him than they had. He survived for a couple of weeks, always in the vet’s surgery, and we all went along together to say hello to him when we got back from work. On his final evening, I and his “mum” had a good cry together in the car.  We paid the bill and they took his body to bury it in their garden. It was several thousand pounds but we didn’t care.
    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • Pete.8Pete.8 Billericay, EssexPosts: 9,378
    I agree @pansyface
    Maybe the cat is already being regularly treated with flea and worm treatments.
    I get both for my dog from the vet in chocolate-flavoured tablet form - needless to say I have no problems with her taking them.
    But as pansy says, there's no way you should start giving someone else's cat medical treatments - that would be totally out of order, despite your best intentions.
    Is it something you could casually drop into a conversation with the owner and take it from there?
    Great that you and your visitor have become such firm friends :)
    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • BenCottoBenCotto RutlandPosts: 3,793
    Isn’t there a big problem with flea treatment and water courses? I believe it is very toxic to aquatic life. I don’t know how the flea treatment gets into ponds and streams but somehow it does with very negative effects. Just a cautionary word, especially for dog owners administering flea ointment. Turkish vans too, I suppose, as they like water (the cats not the vehicles).
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