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  1. #1

    Unhappy Anxiety over fleas

    I hope that this is the right place for this sort of thing.

    So a couple weeks ago, me and my partner treated our cat for fleas as we'd found one in our bedroom (I assumed that the cat had them as well). Also sprayed some of the rooms in the house, thinking that it was only one flea and that I didn't have to worry too much because there wasn't loads of them. Didn't see another one after this.

    Fast forward to a couple days ago, we found more fleas within the house and actually did a flea comb on the cat this time. We found some on her as well. So we went into the pet store and got given more in depth advice on the subject. The advisor told us that as we'd only seen a few on her, it was most likely that the treatment we'd already given her a couple weeks ago was working on killing them after biting her. However, it appeared that we'd missed some key areas within the house when it came to spraying (as well as not getting a strong enough spray). So got recommended a stronger spray (staykill). Spent the entire day yesterday hoovering, washing clothes, binning items and spraying the house/car. It seems to have done something good as it's the following evening now and I have yet to see any fleas.

    However, ever since this whole flea thing has come about, my anxiety has been through the roof! I seem to panic and go into a bit of a frenzy whenever I see one. This got so bad yesterday that I broke down in tears and had to leave the house in the middle of hoovering/spraying the place and my partner had to carry on with everything on his own. Now it seems to be even the thought of potentially seeing one is panicking/stressing me out. So much so, when I'm sitting down in the house, I can't seem to focus on anything but looking out for the fleas and thinking that every bit of fluff or dirt is them.

    I have no clue as to what it is that's freaking me out so much about the fleas, it wasn't like a full blown infestation. However, I now can't seem to think about anything but panicking over this. Has anyone got any advice on how I can calm myself down or to stop myself from worrying over this so much? Or has anyone else had a similar experience? I've literally made myself sick with worry over this whole thing!

  2. #2
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    May 2013
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    Re: Anxiety over fleas

    This takes me back many years when we had the same problem with a cat we had, and we really did have it bad...had to get somebody in to fumigate the flat we lived in at the time. My two sons were only 4 and 6 at then and were always playing on the floor with their toys and I'd see the fleas jumping on them, it was truly horrendous.

    I developed really bad anxiety about it all and we had to re-home the poor cat, something that I still feel guilty about to this day, but I just couldn't cope with it happening all over again. However, I've had cats in the family over the years since then and never had a problem with fleas.

    One of my daughters had a bad time of it when she got her cat as a kitten 3 years ago. Like you, she was washing everything and binning stuff, throwing out rugs and bedding, treating this little kitten with anti-flea stuff for weeks and she was paranoid about seeing even one flea in the house anywhere afterwards. What we couldn't understand was how a young kitten who had never been outside could become so infested. Apparently from the mother cat?

    I read that some years are worse than others for flea infestation in houses, just as some years are bad for mosquitoes...something to do with the weather, or is it the moon lol! But you're not alone with this anxiety and paranoia. ..I can remember not wanting to sleep in the flat after we'd had this experience. Fortunately my other half at the time then got a different job and we had to move.

    But not long after the move, a friend came to stay with her lovely golden labrador and I spotted a flea on his fur at the back of his neck and went hysterical! Its o long ago now though and as I said, none of my cats since then have ever been that bad with fleas. Strange but true.

    Hope you feel more in control soon

    x
    __________________
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  3. #3

    Unhappy Re: Anxiety over fleas

    Quote Originally Posted by Catherine S View Post
    This takes me back many years when we had the same problem with a cat we had, and we really did have it bad...had to get somebody in to fumigate the flat we lived in at the time. My two sons were only 4 and 6 at then and were always playing on the floor with their toys and I'd see the fleas jumping on them, it was truly horrendous.

    I developed really bad anxiety about it all and we had to re-home the poor cat, something that I still feel guilty about to this day, but I just couldn't cope with it happening all over again. However, I've had cats in the family over the years since then and never had a problem with fleas.

    One of my daughters had a bad time of it when she got her cat as a kitten 3 years ago. Like you, she was washing everything and binning stuff, throwing out rugs and bedding, treating this little kitten with anti-flea stuff for weeks and she was paranoid about seeing even one flea in the house anywhere afterwards. What we couldn't understand was how a young kitten who had never been outside could become so infested. Apparently from the mother cat?

    I read that some years are worse than others for flea infestation in houses, just as some years are bad for mosquitoes...something to do with the weather, or is it the moon lol! But you're not alone with this anxiety and paranoia. ..I can remember not wanting to sleep in the flat after we'd had this experience. Fortunately my other half at the time then got a different job and we had to move.

    But not long after the move, a friend came to stay with her lovely golden labrador and I spotted a flea on his fur at the back of his neck and went hysterical! Its o long ago now though and as I said, none of my cats since then have ever been that bad with fleas. Strange but true.

    Hope you feel more in control soon

    x
    We're strongly considering re-homing just because I don't think I can keep dealing with this issue. However, I know that we're still able to get fleas without even owning an animal, so feels a bit unnecessary.

    I'm glad that I'm not the only one that's had this kind of reaction to the whole situation though. It's really stressing me out, to the point where I'm feeling sick and constantly on edge. I just don't really know what to do with myself. I've tried doing normal day-to-day things to try and take my mind off things, but nothing seems to be working. Is there anything you can suggest that might help with trying to forget about the whole thing, or that helped yourself when you were feeling like this? x

  4. #4
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    Re: Anxiety over fleas

    Our boy occasionally gets fleas or chiggers and we don't take him outside a lot. I think they get in through an open window or come in on our clothes. I know something's up when he starts scratching a lot and I can see little scabs or skin irritation. Every once in a while I'll see a stray flea... no biggie.

    That being said, our vet recommended Advantage II for cats (large - over 9lbs). He hates the stuff but it works and any stray chigger or flea that bails starves anyway. Another advantage (pun intended) is that he doesn't have a negative reaction to it. He had a bad reaction to another brand once.

    I love my booger boy and I would treat the entire house if I had to rather than give him up. Fleas and such are part of owning an animal but it's easily managed.

    Positive thoughts
    __________________
    "Eat. Drink. Enjoy the work you do. Be thankful for the blessings God gives you in this life. Live, love and seek out the things that bring your heart joy. The rest is meaningless... Like chasing the wind." King Solomon

    The best help is the help you give yourself! http://cbt4panic.org/

  5. #5
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    Re: Anxiety over fleas

    The difference for me though was that we moved house not long after, so I was able to mentally put it all behind me so to speak. I mentioned having cats over the years since then, but not for a good long while after...and my children talked me into it and fortunately as I said, nothing as bad as that ever happened again.

    It only ended for me with time passing I guess. I didn't have any animals in the family for some years after so this helped me to get over it. This all might sound a bit silly to some people reading it, but serious flea infestation can be devastating. I have no words of wisdom sorry, but wanted you to know I understand how you feel.

    __________________
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  6. #6
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    Re: Anxiety over fleas

    Quote Originally Posted by Catherine S View Post
    This all might sound a bit silly to some people reading it, but serious flea infestation can be devastating. I have no words of wisdom sorry, but wanted you to know I understand how you feel.

    I recall a similar situation in my youth. We moved house and the place was infested with fleas. We discovered it after moving in (bites all over our legs and such). We had the go stay in a motel for a few days and they "bombed" the place. The came in, covered all the windows with plastic and such and set off a couple of those aerosol bombs. Afterwards, a thorough cleaning and airing out and all was well. It also took care of any other creepy crawly as well

    Now, with Socrates, we have a live in spider and bug killer

    Positive thoughts
    __________________
    "Eat. Drink. Enjoy the work you do. Be thankful for the blessings God gives you in this life. Live, love and seek out the things that bring your heart joy. The rest is meaningless... Like chasing the wind." King Solomon

    The best help is the help you give yourself! http://cbt4panic.org/

  7. #7
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    704

    Re: Anxiety over fleas

    I worked for a vet and fleas can be a problem. You can get rid of them, if you have carpet sprinkle with table salt, there is a lot of information on the net. Also, you can buy diatomaceous earth, it's all natural, it is made from shells of crustaceans. You can get rid of fleas, I have 3 dogs and several cats. The thing is you have to clean the furniture too if they sleep on it. Don't throw your stuff out!

    Please see you vet for proper flea care, OTC products can from from other countries and you don't know what they have put in their products. Fleas won't hurt you, so don't worry about it. They are just a nuisance that can be managed and eradicated.

  8. #8
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    Re: Anxiety over fleas

    Fishmanpa, I gave up my cat at that time very reluctantly and it was extremely upsetting to do so, but as has been said, a serious infestation isn't just the occasional 'chigger' it's deeply traumatic. Stripping a whole house of carpets, throwing out mattresses and most of your clothes is a big deal. The after effects are paranoia about having to possibly go through it all over again, so please don't judge anybody who has been through this if they can't cope with their cats in the aftermath.

    The cats I eventually had in later years were not free of fleas by any means, but fortunately they only ever had the occasional 'chigger' to deal with, so as you say..no biggie.

    Cath
    __________________
    Without fear there cannot be courage - Christopher Paolini

  9. #9

    Re: Anxiety over fleas

    Update - Found some small fleas on her bed 5-10 minutes ago and am now freaking out again! Partner is now respraying her bed and possibly the entire front room as that's where our cat has been the majority of the day. If they've fallen off in her bed, is it possible that this mean that they're dying? As the treatment we gave her two weeks ago states that over the next month, it should kill any fleas that feed on her within 24 hours and combined with the spray we used for the house (which I've no idea how long it takes to work once a flea comes into contact with it).

  10. #10
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    Re: Anxiety over fleas

    The problem is that once established they can live in a house even if the pet is no longer there, because they then have us to bite instead..something I didn't know all those years ago. Had I known I wouldn't have given my cat away. But watching fleas jumping all over my children was way too much to deal with I'm afraid.

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