As spring and summer draws in, so does the flea and tick season for many Maine Coon cat owners. In this article, we will look at how to prevent and get rid of fleas or ticks if your Maine Coon cat gets them.
Long-haired cats in general and Maine Coons specifically lend to a unique problem when treating them for fleas. A Maine Coon cat’s coat is long and thick, which makes finding these tiny insects a problematic task. Treating them as well is more laborious.
If your Maine Coon has never had fleas and you live in an area where insects are abundant, I’d caution you to practice flea prevention for your Coon as well as your home. An infestation on your feline friend can lead to one in your home if you are not careful.
The Flea Life Cycle
Understanding the flea life cycle is important if you are to know when you have an infestation under control.
Starting with the eggs, they are laid on your Maine Coon wherever they have come in contact with fleas. Most will fall off landing on the floor, bedding, or yard. Many of those eggs will result in larva and pupae stages. Keep in mind that most of those will remain around fifty feet of where your Maine Coon loves to sleep.
Larva hatch anywhere from one to ten days after they are laid. If the conditions aren’t that way, the eggs can remain dormant until such time as the conditions are right for hatching. The larva lasts from five to eleven days, at which time they spin themselves into a cocoon, pupating for five to nine days. In the cocoon, they change into their pre-adult form and can stay that way from a few days up to six months.
With a life cycle like this, it’s hard to get rid of them. You have to eliminate them in stages. Once that is done, you can use preventative measures to keep another flea infestation from invading your home, garden, and pet.
Fleas are not only annoying little bloodsuckers that make your Coon uncomfortable, itchy and leave scabby spots where they bite. They can spread several diseases that your Maine Coon pal could get.
Here is a list of those diseases:
- Bubonic Plague
- Feline Parvovirus
- Murine Typhus
- Rickettsia Felis
Preventing fleas can keep your Maine Coon from getting an illness like one of those above, thus keeping others in the family safe as well. No one wants to have fleas, and if left untreated, even the human members of your family will fall victim to these high jumping, tiny bloodsuckers.
How to Prevent Fleas
The first step in preventing fleas from infesting your Maine Coon cat is to keep your home and garden in great shape. You should keep your lawn mowed, your shrubbery trimmed, and keep places like under your porch or patio clean. And not just the places you spend time but if your porch or patio is raised and has space underneath you should keep that cleared out and spray or use bug bombs to keep pests away. There are a few sprays specifically for fleas on the market that you can use around your home to help keep these annoying, nasty pests away. Another way to prevent pests from entering your home or garden is to keep feral animals at bay. Some repellent sprays and gadgets are supposed to keep animals, such as feral cats away. Your best bet is to keep your Maine Coon inside and not let them roam.
The second step in preventing these nasty little pests from invading is to use preventative measures on your Coon. These items include a flea collar, oral medicines, and spot-on treatments that are applied to your Coon’s skin.
Why Should I Treat My Maine Coon for Fleas?
Adult fleas that make their home on your Maine Coon or in your house make up only 1% of the entire flea population in your environment. Think about it, one percent. That means ninety-nine percent of a flea infestation is something you don’t even see. Ninety-nine percent is made up of eggs, pupae, and larva.
An adult flea can lay up to fifty eggs per day in an ideal environment. Fleas like warm, humid weather. The perfect temperature is anywhere from 75 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit, sixty to eighty-five percent humidity. Since an adult flea can live up to one hundred days, they could lay up to five thousand eggs in their lifetime. That is a lot of fleas. Now you see why you should prevent a flea infestation if possible and nip it in the bud as soon as you notice it if you didn’t have prevention methods in place.
Best Flea Prevention and Extermination Products for Maine Coon Cats
Below are some products you can use on your Maine Coon cat, but also your home and garden as well. We tried to choose the best product for each type of treatment and products we’ve personally used with success.
The Seresto flea and tick collar will provide 8 months of continuous flea and tick prevention for your Maine Coon. It will start to repel and kill fleas in twenty-four hours and any re-infesting fleas within two hours. After forty-eight hours, it will also repel and kill ticks. The collar work by contact, so the fleas don’t have to bite your Coon to die. That is much better for your feline friend.
This collar is odorless and not greasy and will keep you from having to use a messy treatment on your kitty. Vets recommend this collar. It’s easy to put on and has optional reflectors for visibility at night. This collar is also water-resistant and will continue to work for the full eight months even after exposure to the sun.
Best Spot On Flea Treatment for Maine Coon Cats – FRONTLINE Plus Flea and Tick Treatment
Frontline Plus is waterproof, long lasting, and fast acting. It is approved for use on cats and kittens that weigh one and a half pounds or more. Kittens should be at least eight weeks old.
This treatment will kill adult fleas, larva, and eggs. After that, it will prevent future infestations. This medication will also kill ticks. Made with fipronil for adult fleas and ticks and Methoprene to kill eggs and larva. The medications in this product are stored in your Coon’s oil glands in their skin and will continue to kill and prevent future infestations for thirty days. A three-dose supply should treat your Coon for three months.
To apply to your Coon, you want to part your Coon’s hair between their shoulder blades down to the skin. On a Maine Coon, this will be a bit harder than on a shorter haired cat. Apply one full applicator to the exposed area. Make sure you don’t apply to their fur. The medication won’t work this way. Re-apply each month and you shouldn’t see any more fleas or ticks.
This has been my go-to flea and tick treatment for both my cats and it has managed to kill the fleas anytime I’ve had an outbreak. I now continue to use this treatment as a preventative measure and so far (knock on wood) I’ve not had any further outbreaks.
Best Oral Flea and Tick Medication for Maine Coon Cats – Capstar Fast-Acting Oral Flea Treatment
Capstar Flea Tablets will keep your Coon pes-free. The active ingredient in these pills is called nitenpyram. This medication can be used for cats and kittens weighing between 2 to 25 pounds. These tablets start working within 30 minutes. They’ve been proven to be at least ninety percent effective. In just a few hours, your Maine Coon will have less itchiness and discomfort. These tablets will help eliminate the mess made with topical treatments, and you won’t have to mess with putting a collar on your Coon. This pill can be given daily. If you can’t get your Coon to take a tablet, you can hide it in some food or treats.
Best Flea Spray for Maine Coon Cats – Wondercide – Flea, Tick and Mosquito Spray
This spray is formulated, especially with cats in mind. It will kill adult fleas, larva, eggs, and ticks. It’s made from plant oils specifically chosen for their pest-fighting power. The oils are steam distilled. You can apply it to your kitty furniture, crates, pillow, blankets, upholstery and carpets. It can be sprayed outside as well for added protection against fleas and ticks. You can also use this spray on your Maine Coon if they are twelve weeks or older. The best part of this is there are no harmful chemicals, it’s an all-natural formula and safe for the whole family.
Best Flea Shampoo for Maine Coon Cats – Adams Flea and Tick Cleansing Shampoo
This shampoo kills fleas, larva, and eggs, but it kills ticks and lice as well. It is made in a gentle, sensitive skin formula with aloe, lanolin, coconut extract, and oatmeal. It contains an IGR or insect growth regulator that will kill and prevent flea development up to twenty-eight days. It is safe for dogs and cats that are twelve weeks or older.
Best Flea Comb for Maine Coon Cats – Safari Flea Comb with Double Row of Teeth
This flea comb helps detect fleas early or identify dry skin that could indicate skin problems. It is compatible with long and short-haired cats. The comb should only be used to detect fleas or debris to indicate skin problems. Make sure your kitty is groomed before you use the flea comb. Mats and tangles can damage the fine teeth on the flea comb. You should comb you Maine Coon periodically with this comb, paying close attention to the ear area, nape, and base of the tail. If you do find fleas mix a cup of water with a mild detergent to kill any fleas on the comb.
No matter what treatment you decide on for your Maine Coon cat, you should have a flea comb as well. This will help remove the fleas no matter what stage they are in. A flea comb should be used before and after treatments.
Read Also:Food Bowls for Maine Coon Cats
I hope this article helps you decide on the best prevention or treatment for your Maine Coon cat. You should keep in mind that each situation is different. your Coon may negatively react to specific therapies. Those should be avoided. Make sure you treat your home and garden as well as your Coon. The fleas came from somewhere. If you haven’t had a flea infestation count yourself lucky. However, if you live somewhere that has the right conditions for insects or is known to have fleas, you should consider doing the preventative measures that we wrote about here.