Tuesday, 20 November 2007

Update Part 2

So we have got over the dentist trauma, the scary story trauma, we have all suffered a further cold and cough, despite only just getting rid of the last one. I have spent a fortune on medicine and cough bottles for 3, even the hubby got the cold! And in the middle of all this illness came fleas! Now never having had a pet before I was unaware of the trauma of fleas. I have dealt with nits and let me tell you head lice are nothing compared to cat fleas.

The kitten is nearly 14 weeks old and has been to the vet twice for her immunisations, we spoke about worming tablets, neutering and fleas and I was assured as long as she had not been out she did not need flea preventative things, I told the vet that she has come from a home with 3 cats and that the cats were allowed in my house but the vet assured me she would be fine!! Two days after visiting the vet we, the children and I, had a few bites each, I checked through the cat and she looked fine it was only when my son went to bed and came down with more bites 30 minutes later that I checked his bed and found a bold as brass little flea jumping in his bed. So the little fucker was trapped in a bit of sellotape and kept as proof, the bed was striped and back to bed he went. I found another jumping in my living room and another in my daughters bed. I was disgusted. I went to the pet shop and came back armed with flea tablets and flea spray for the house, now for anyone who has not experienced fleas this is the way it works, the cat gets the tablet, problem 1 - getting the cat to take the f'in tablet, as I said I've never had a pet before, you then have to break the cycle, again a bit like head lice, the darlings lay up to 2000 eggs in their 4 day life, so you get rid of the live flea but hey it's left approx 2000 to hatch behind. You have to try and eliminate them from the cat and your home at once, at least head lice stay in the head, fleas can live anywhere and then jump onto anybody when they fancy a bite.

I took the day off work, the cat was given her tablet, poor little Angel didn't know what had hit her, I tried to give her the tablet but she kept spitting it out so hubby managed, within minutes she was scratching, the lady at the pet shop had told me to put her in the empty bath so that she couldn't get out and we could comb her through (with a nit comb!) who couldn't get out? I was advised to have a basin/bucket of water to drown the little fuckers or they just jump. Hubby held her and I combed her through she was riddled, I felt terrible surely I should have noticed but honestly there were no signs. As well as fleas, there were flea droppings, after 10 minutes of combing she was really fed up and the hubby was scratched and bitten more than he bargained for so he took her outside for the very first time and she groomed herself and the fleas were falling off, I assisted with some more combing. We then restricted her to the kitchen and conservatory and I went and cleaned and I mean cleaned. All the beds were striped, any clothing lying about anywhere was put in for washing, the cat is not allowed in the bedrooms but sometimes she sneaks in when the door opens, I started piling all washing in the kitchen this included dolls clothing from dolls that had been lying about, towels from the bathroom at one point I could hardly see the kitchen floor. I then hoovered everywhere, under beds, on beds into all the corners, spraying as I went. I was at it all day and of course it would be raining with all the washing I had. I bought Spot-on and put that on the back of her neck to kill all eggs, so surely the cycle was broken. Was it fuck! I have hoovered everyday since, I have combed the cat through almost everyday and she still has fleas, so the Spot-on stuff obviously doesn't work or I didn't get it on right. So this evening without the hubby's help I gave her another flea tablet, restricted us to the kitchen and conservatory again and she has scratched and groomed herself and left fleas behind on the floor, I have sat armed again with sellotape, as they don't seem to be able to jump after the flea tablet has been given, as the floor is light I can see them and easily collect them with a piece of sellotape.

It's such a shame but she must have come with a flea, I asked next doors daughter to get her cats checked just in case, so all the cats are banned from coming in at the moment. This has been the most time consuming, unenjoyable experience I've had for a long time.

I would be eternally grateful for anyone who can tell me how to get rid of these little fuckers, the hubby suggested getting rid of the cat!


Manic Mother Of Five said...

Bugger me, I am itching just reading this. Have been visited by nits and know what stubborn little ba***rds they are so can only imagine the delights of fleas......

Had a colleague who was rapidly turning into a mad cat lady and she swore by some stuff called Frontline I believe....... I want to say you can only get it from the vet but am not sure.

Good luck!

Self employed mum said...

Hi MMOF imagine how itchy I feel!

Front line is supposed to be fantastic and you can now get it at the local chemist, but hey guess what - only suitable for cats over 6 months!

I'll keep trying, it's like a full time job!


Anonymous said...

Oooh, naughty hubby! It's not the cat's fault. In my experience, spot on is crap. The only stuff to get rid of your little (fuckers) is bought from the vets. I know it'll be expensive but it'll contain all the ingredients to kill off the fleas and take out the eggs. Cats are such fickle creatures to hold. I so sympathise with you. Our cat had them a while back but we managed to control it.

Good luck. Crystal xx

Suzy said...

In the states we have something called "flea bombs".

Everyone has to leave the house for a few hours, you let off this aerosal can and it sprays the entire house-

When you go back in, you vacuum up all the dead little mothers.

Now the cat. There is a dry shampoo- like powder- you can put on her. the texture is nasty, but you can actually see the fleas drop off her.

The timing sucks and all with everyone out of the house including the cat.

Good luck!


Self employed mum said...

Hi CJ, well my opinion of Spot-on is it's crap too! Angel has been great, she actually comes up and sits beside the sink every evening when she sees the comb while I comb her through, so she must quite like it. If I find anymore then I will go to the vet.

Suzy, the pet shop recommended a flea bomb, but they had none left, I haven't found anymore in the house. The flea tablets are great, again you can see the fleas dropping off, I think I just need something to kill off the eggs.

Mid-lifer said...

Now you've got me started on the scratching! My son told me I had nits the other day and now I keep feeling itchy - even though I've convinced myself it's dandruff (charming!).

My cat had fleas once - it was when I was in my twenties though and i can't remember what we did. My husband had fleas in a squat he once lived in Finsbury Park(AGES ago, whe HE was in his twenties). He's fond of telling us that he poured bleach everywhere to get rid of them, and since then hasn't been able to stand the smell of the stuff.

mcewen said...

We take the 3 month pill which is supposed to work [I have my doubts] but don't get rid of the cat!
Happy Thanksgiving

Self employed mum said...

Hi Mid-lifer nice to see you, as soon as fleas or nits are mentioned everybody starts scratching. I apologise for that!

Might refrain on the bleach incase I poison everyone, I'll just persevere. x

Self employed mum said...

Hi mcewan thanks for dropping by. I will definately not be getting rid of the cat she is so loving. Although hubby didn't want her, I hear him when he comes in off the nightshift talking away to her and she spends more time sitting on his knee than anyone elses! Typical.

You'll have to excuse my ignorance because I had to go and look on the internet to see exactly what thanksgiving is all about. I've heard about it but had absolutely no idea what the celecbration was for and I thought 'it's a bit close to christmas.' I have now read about it and am therefore in a position to say 'Happy thanksgiving' back and know what I'm talking about. x

menopausaloldbag (MOB) said...

Just read you last two posts. How much does the tooth fairy leave these days? Doesn't it break your heart when yer wee wans are in pain? Good for you lying back on the chair with her. She will always remember that.

Fleas - oh dear God. I used to have them when I had three cats. Because we live in the country they were aleays coming in with them. Frontline is definitely the best thing but like you say the cat has to be six months old. The sprays that the vets do are usually indistrial strength and well worth buying. The stuff you buy in supermarkets and pet shops is nigh in useless.

Just off to run myself through a trough of sheepdip as I am scratching like buggery now and am convinced that I picked up a flea from your blog!

Self employed mum said...

Hi MOB, it did break my heart I was shaking as much as she was!

Re the fleas, 2.5 weeks later and she is still getting them, I put a flea collar on on Sunday and combed her through last night and still found some, so obviously I am not breaking the cycle! Going to phone the vet right now and see what they recommend.

So sorry to make you all itch, but it's nice to share!!

Til next time. x

Sparx said...

God, I've been there several times. Worse was last year when the cat was killed and we didn't know it had had fleas. All of them were lying in wait in his normal sleeping places and when he didn't come back - hungry fleas everywhere, even on the spud's head while we were breastfeeding.

The spot-ons that you buy in the pet shops never work but over here in the UK vets sell some very good ones. You use those and then flea spray and vacuuming just as you've done. Get into cracks and crevices as well, we found larvae in the fold of the sofa and they can get under the skirting boards and in the cracks of floorboards. It's awful but you have to do it. Keep up with the flea shampoo as well.

I've already spot-oned the cat as a preventative measure, we do one every three months just to keep him clear... good luck!

Self employed mum said...

Hi Sparx, I've been to the vet today and got 'Front line' over £16.00!!! I will now do my sofa, never thought of that, I am going to use the spray again tonight, it's my daughters 8th birthday tomorrow and she is having 4 friends to sleepover, I would be mortified if any of the kids went home with a flea....but then it would get some out of my house. Only joking.

What does the larvae look like, would I know it if I saw it?

thanks for your help. x