Originally Posted by kathryn
Considering that fleas don't live on HAIR they live on skin & sucking blood, I don't see how shaving a cat would be very effective
You are absolutely right Kathryn, I made such a quick mention of the possibility but I should have explained why shaving is a common component of a flea-elimination plan! Cat fleas can be very hard to get rid of because they can survive so long in the environment without any meal at all, and even longer if they have dander available, and the fecal matter from the adult fleas serves as primary food for newly hatching larvae long after the original adults may have been killed. Although the fleas favourite food is the blood of a carnivore such as a cat or dog, it is not the only food they eat, so a medication which circulates through the blood will not harm the fleas which are surviving in the cat's bedding or coat. As Miamiblond has mentioned, the completion of their extermination is not expected for a full six months! Unless the fleas are noticed immediately, once you have a flea infestation as few as 20% of them will actually be living directly off the host's blood. The flea bombs Miamiblond will be using are for the fleas that may me in the cat's bedding or throughout the apartment, but because pets (and humans!) are normally to be removed from the home when the bombs are set off, the cat's thick fur would serve as a safehouse for fleas, and easily harbour enough dander and flea feces as food to support such tiny pests, even if the coat has been kept clean and well-groomed. There are certainly advantages to shaving the cat's coat, in terms of tackling the flea problem, due to the harm the fleas themselves can do, as well as the illnesses they can transmit. Flea baths allow you to clean the coat without shaving, but most cats are intolerant of bathing. Shaving is the easiest and most effective method of removing the fleas, larvae and eggs from the coat, and many owners are surprised to find their cat tolerates or even enjoys the experience! As kathryn has stated, however, the job needs to be done by someone who is capable, and some cats are frightened by the sound of clippers so shaving is not always a viable option. In which case, as kathryn has mentioned, a flea comb can be used!