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Fleas ?

November 12th, 2009, 04:24 PM
I am pretty sure that the 3 cats have fleas and that my basement carpet is over-run. I have never actually seen an adult flea on any of them or in the house. And I have been looking for them.

My little cat, when brushed, has white and black powder come off in her hair. When I do the water test: pour water over the black specks, They do turn a brownish red color indicating flea infestation from what I read on the Internet.

The Cats are also avoiding the floor/carpet. They now jump from table to couch to table to freezer to get to their feeding table. And prefer high places like the window sill and book case. And seem to be constantly knocking stuff off my desk and the book case. This is another indication that we have fleas, since the last time I seen this was almost 20 years ago when my big male got fleas and did the same jumping action thing.

Many ,many, years ago I bought a several year supply of front-line but have since run out. Now I find that the Vet wants $53 for a 3 pack! I can't afford 53 bucks a month to treat the cats! All the web sites that I search for flea control go through the same thing about using Front-line or Advantage or a more aggressive and dangerous thing called bio-line something.

1) So that leads to my first question: What do people use to prevent Fleas? Besides the major manufacturer expensive stuff? BTW cats are inside cats.

At this point I know that as far as the house goes the only thing I can do is vacuum,vacuum,vacuum the carpet, and wash,wash,wash clothes and bedding and whatever.

Many years ago my former Vet recommended Boric Acid powder. Dump it into the carpet, brush it in and wait one to two days then Vacuum it.

2) Is Boric Acid powder still recommended? This is stuff I got from Home Depot and came in a yellow quart container, was cheap, but was labeled Rat Poison. ( the time I tried that never hurt me or my cats). And its only ingredient was in fact powdered boric acid.

I did bite the bullet and ordered $100 worth of front-line, which I will use when it arrives but even then it is still only a few months supply.

ps. anything it could be besides fleas? Mites or something?

Oh and my 3rd cat , the Maine Coon, does not seem to be afflicted. I am thinking that his hair and skin is so different that well. I don't know.

November 17th, 2009, 02:15 AM
Well no one has responded.

I am going to assume that no one has had a flea issue but I do find that hard to believe. Although a major flea issue is rare, This is my second one. About 12 years ago I had one. And now I have another. I am not a dirty person. You do not need to be a dirty person to get a flea infestation!

I have dosed my house with boric. Once again.

Cats are once again walking on the floor/carpet.

November 17th, 2009, 02:44 AM
I'm sorry everyone seems to have missed your post.

I haven't had fleas in my house for about 15 years, with the exception of an isolated incident, several years ago, from a neighbours dog playing with mine resulting in a couple of adults seen.

I personally would not have used the boric as long term toxicity causes kidney failure and as little as 1 tsp/kg can be lethal in rats & humans. You need to remember every time your cats walk on the treated areas then wash their paws/legs/tail/belly/whatever was resting on the carpet they are ingesting small amounts of the boric acid. I know you mentioned vacuuming afterwards but that won't always get powder out of carpet the 1st, 2nd or even the 3rd time.

Anyways :fingerscr this is the end of your flea troubles

November 18th, 2009, 05:19 PM
Growler, thank you for your comments.

I'm still not convinced that Boric Acid isn't the best way to go. I know that there are several nasty side effects (if overdosed). But am thinking that boric is still the safest way to go. It seems to be the most natural way to get rid of fleas in carpets and is certanly better than using commercial flea Bombs.

12 years ago, I now realize that I way went overboard with it. At that time, I used 5 to 10 times more boric on my capets than I needed. I, not knowing, literally dumped a white snow and left it there for several days. I did not even know to brush it into the carpet so the cats would not be tromping thru it. With me and the cats walking through it every day. I nor any of my cats got sick.

This time around I have used the boric much more sparingly. A very very light dusting and rubbed it into the carpet so we all are not tramping thru white powder. The instructions say that 1 LB should cover 1000 square feet. I , this time used 1/10 or less of that. Last time I used 2 lbs to cover about the same.

My cats are now again walking on the floor!

And now the Amazing part of this story. Although I have ordered Frontline it still has not come. I been just brushing the cats. Brushing them twice a day.

I have 3 brushes. One is a wire like thing that is really great on the thick haired cat. It looks like, well, a wire brush. It is basically a rubber pads with a lot of wires sticking out of it. It is common. I'm almost sure that everyone has one.

Second brush is a Furminator. I don't know how to describe this one except that is looks like a hair trimmer blade with a handle on it. And I have even read posts that you could use a hair trimmer blade and put a handle on it to get the same results. It basically cuts/or pulls low lying hairs from the cat/dog.

#3rd brush is a flea comb. As far as I can tell this flea comb is totally useless.

Ok here is the amazing part:

Brush cat(s) with the wire brush. Brush untill almost no more hair is removed.

Brush cats with Furminator brush. The Furminator will kick up a heck of a lot of fine hair, ( cats or dogs).

Here is the big secret! Use the Wire brush to clean the Furminator brush as you use it. The Furminator pulls off so much hair but the wire brush cleans the furminator.

I am still waiting for frontline to come to kill the fleas but my cats are now about 95% flea free just from brushing!

DOWNSIDE: The cats now are insisting to be fully brushed twice a DAY!

ps: boric costs 4 bucks for a full house. I am on a budget and this is good. When I first bought it it was labeld rat poison. now it is labeld roach killer. lol. same stuff but sure sound better.

pss. Used to be labeled Boric Acid. now sais Ortoboric Acid as far as I can tell the Orto thing just means powderd or dry. At least that what was implied at the store. Any comments on that?

November 19th, 2009, 09:58 PM
pss. Used to be labeled Boric Acid. now sais Ortoboric Acid as far as I can tell the Orto thing just means powderd or dry. At least that what was implied at the store. Any comments on that?

Ortho means straight so Orthoboric Acid literally means straight boric acid with no additives

November 24th, 2009, 07:48 PM
It started again about 4 days ago. Cats avoiding the floor/carpet.

My frontline order , I screwed up and it never got ordered.

On-line it is a little less than $100 for 4 3 packs. The Vet wants $53 for a single 3 pack. The grain store wants $35 when they have it in stock which is seldom.

I ordered Frontline again yesterday. It will probably take a week or more since this is A holiday week. I needed faster results for the cats sake.

I brush the 3 cats and still they have flea dirt, and an occasional flea show up on the brushed off hair.

I am about 90% sure that the house and carpet is flea free.

The cats are suffering, I can see that, so today I went to Kroger and got a spray bottle of Adams Flea and Tick Mist.

I just vacuumed the house and re-applied Boric acid, just to make sure the house is in fact flea free.

The Adams Flea & Tick mist is a spray bottle. I figure that that is better using it today than waiting a week for the frontline to arrive.

As far as the cats go, They hated the spray bottle at first.
I have 2 calico's and one Maine Coon. They all hated the spray, but just the spray sound. My 2 calicoes almost killed me and themselves trying to get away when I applied the spray.

November 24th, 2009, 07:59 PM
I learned my lesson on that when I got around to the large Maine Coon cat. He is a particularly nasty animal!

With him I put the spray bottle right (nozzel) on him and then rubbed him. rinse and repeate.

As long as he doesn't ( or the others) hear a spray, they are fine. Especially when rubbing/massaging follows.

I am hoping that tonight the cats will not gang up on me and try to sleep on me. And that they are all FLEA FREE!

All of this is my fault~ I went 4 months without applying Frontline ( or any other treatment. The cats where doing fine ind I wanted to save money.

PS. looking at the cats now I see dead fleas/ not I have to brush them again.

November 24th, 2009, 10:54 PM
Hazmat - where do you live? Is it possible to talk to your vet and see if they would be able to give you a break on the price you pay for your flea treatment? It does not sound to me like what you are using is healthy at all for the cats or you.
Have you just moved to the place you are in? The cats are indoor cats only, right? If you haven't just recently moved then possibly you are bringing the fleas in on your clothing or shoes. How else would you be so badly infested with fleas that your cats are avoiding the floor? :shrug:
May I suggest you try Vet Kem Siphotrol 2000 for spraying. It is available at more vets offices. It's a little pricey but it covers a large area. You can use it to spray your carpets and furniture but never use it on your cats. You have to cover all food and water and remove the cats while you spray and it dries but afterwards you go on with life. I know a few people use this product and have good results from it.

November 24th, 2009, 11:33 PM
If the fleas are back again so soon, the boric isn't very effective right now/this time since it only lasted 2 days, obviously there is still an infestation somewhere in the house, not neccesarily in the basement carpet :shrug: Did you apply the boric to the other carpets in the house?

It's to bad your cats wouldn't sit nicely for a bath :D works wonders in killing the fleas on them at that time.

Have you washed all bedding they sleep on including yours? Vacuumed the couches/chairs etc? those sometimes get overlooked.

Do they go outside at all? If they do they might be bringing them back into the house.

November 25th, 2009, 06:48 AM
This is the first I saw of your thread.

Fleas can come into your house via your socks. I have found Revolution has worked great for flea infestation on my fosters, it kills the fleas almost instantly and as fleas jump on the kitties to bite them, they die too. If you keep your cats treated for 6 months it should eliminate new fleas that are hatched.

Vacuuming and removing the vacuum cleaner bag will also help speed up the process.

Also, if your cats do indeed have fleas, have them treated for :evil: tape worm. Chances are they swallowed at least one flea that was a carrier of them.

November 25th, 2009, 04:52 PM
Thank you all for your comments/suggestions.

I have no doubt that this was a perfect storm of screw ups on my part:

#1) My first biggest screw up was running out of Frontline for the cats. Normally I don't treat for fleas when the weather gets cold but the weather was still warm when I ran out. But just guessed they would be fine since cooler weather was coming and the cats are indoor cats. I am *cough* financially embarrassed ATM and was trying to save a few bucks. I buy Frontline on line since it saves about 50% from buying from the VET.

#2) I did not mention it but I also have 2 dogs. Although the dogs are inside 90% of the time they do go outside to do their business and do dog stuff like chasing squirrels etc... I did not run out of Frontline for the dogs. I assumed that since the dogs are treated that I was safe from fleas. But, unfortunately ( I have learned), even a flea treated dog can occasionally drag in a live flea.

#3) I have since learned that it only takes one flea to start a colony on a cat ( or untreated dog). Although the dogs hate but tolerate the cats, the cats love the dogs and they come in frequent contact.

#4) I ordered ( or rather mis-ordered) Frontline for the cats and at the same time treated the house with Boric-acid. After that I waited but the Frontline never came. Then I learned that I used an expired credit card and the Frontline had not shipped. Again my fault, used wrong card and I did not check order status.

#5 In the mean time the cats still had fleas and re-infected the house.

#6 I have re-ordered Frontline and it may take a week. I re-treated the house with Boric acid and bought a bottle of Adams Flea and Tick Mist. Yesterday was quite a battle applying a wet spray to the cats. This stuff is only about 90% effective. Although it may be more of use if you completely wet the cat down with it. A complete brushing of the cats still yielded a live flea. Which is disappointing but much better than getting 24 live fleas! But at least not a cat full of flea dirt. I shall spray her (that cat) again.


If anyone has indications of fleas I suggest you react fast, not that I did and wait and see. Some indications that I saw was: Molly, my calico, licked the hair off her ass. She literally has a bald spot surrounding her butt and bumps on her ass and neck from scratching. Motley, my Maine Coon cat did not show any signs of fleas. He is a long haired strange haired cat and I did not see any strange behavior in him. But I finally found that he had licked off a baseball size spot of hair on his belly. Zee, the short hair calico-tabby combo simply started shedding and brushing her yielded massive flea dirt.

I do not wish this on anyone.

PS> I shall get doses of worm treatment from the Vet. on Monday.