Bed Bug Treatment for Cats(19 posts)
I'm adopting cats that have confirmed they are coming from a home with bed bugs. I know bed bugs do not usualy feed on on animals, however, due to the level of the infestation (plus the cats being the only food source in the house for awhile) we are taking NO changes.
I have heard there are not many treatments for cats when it comes to bed bugs. However, I have heard there are some specialy formulate treatments that will kill bed bugs and eggs on contact.
Is this true? If so, I need badly
I don't know if BBs actually lay eggs in cat fur. Someone else will probably be along to answer that for you. Cats are extremely sensitive to toxins, so I'd advise against spraying them or applying any product on them without checking with a veterinarian.
Is it possible for you to have a vet check the cats before you take them in to your home? Not only for general health but also for mites and fleas, which could also bite you and cause confusion as to exactly what bugs you have.
Blessings on you for taking in these little furry orphans.
I have heard there are some specialy formulate treatments that will kill bed bugs and eggs on contact.
I've never heard of one at all.
There are, in fact, very few chemical pesticides that kill eggs. If I recall correctly, in fact, there's only one that can legally claim it kills *some* eggs, and there isn't a single one that can claim to kill all eggs. And those are chemical pesticides used to treat homes and furniture.
Advantage and Revolution, like most pest control treatments today, are not broad spectrum anti-insect/mite treatments. They are formulated to work on specific pests based on the physiology and behavior of those pests. Ear mites, ticks, and fleas live on their hosts, and Advantage and Revolution are formulated to deal with pests that do so.
Bed bugs, on the other hand, do not harbor on their hosts. They generally aren't going to lay eggs on the mammals they feed on either.
The safest thing you could do, in terms of protecting the health of the cats, is to bathe and flea comb them. Basically, all you're looking to do is get rid of any random straggler hitch hikers (which are unlikely) and/or randomly picked up eggs.
DE isn't safe for use on cats because it's an inhalation hazard, and it takes 10 days or so to kill bed bugs that come in contact with it when applied properly, so it's not safe for the cats and is ineffective for the situation you're describing.
As delorac pointed out, cats are not only significantly smaller than we are, they are generally more sensitive to some toxins, so I certainly wouldn't risk using chemicals on them beyond the ones you could get at your vet.
Awhile back I saw a special shampoo that included some kind of "safe" plant based chemical also know to kill bed bugs that can be used to wash animals. Now I'm having trouble finding it again.
Digitalis is a plant based chemical; it can also kill people in the wrong dose. It's important to remember that the fact that a chemical comes from nature doesn't make it any more or less safe than synthesized ones if used improperly.
I would be very wary of anything on-line that claims to be all natural that kills bed bugs. As far as I know, there isn't one. Well, okay, there is DE, but while it is all natural (If it isn't in a formulation mixed with a chemical pesticide) and does kill bed bugs, it's not as safe as many websites would have you believe.
There were some reports--not objective scientific ones, mind you--that showed that Cedarcide, a product that has a long history of making wild claims about its ability to kill bed bugs--kills bed bugs. There may be a cedar-oil based shampoo out there. However, the research on cedarcide suggests that it's not the cedar oil in the Cedarcide product that kills bed bugs, it's the "inert" chemical used to deliver the cedar oil. That may be the product that you're thinking of, but if it's the chemical used to distribute the cedar oil that does the killing in a lab, that's no guarantee it would kill bugs in the wild AND there's no guarantee that the same substance is in the shampoo formulation.
The link that contains a detailed review of the product's claims can be found here.
While my apartment was being heat treated, I took my cat to the groomer and had her bathed. (Since I travel a lot, she was probably feeding the bugs while I was away; she sleeps on my bed which was very much ground zero for my infestation.) She stayed with a friend for a few days after the treatment and then moved back into my apartment.
In other words, I am simply recommending to you the exact same thing I did with my cat: wash the cats well.
After all bed bugs are not great swimmers. Any small nymphs on the cats will drown in the soapy water (yay for surface tension!). Any eggs dislodged in the water can certainly be taken care of by using really hot water on the tub/sink after you're done bathing the cats.
Best of all, it's not an expensive solution.
I just want to echo what buggyinsocial has stated -- bathing your cat is likely the best option. During the treatment process, we took our cat to the vet (they gave him the baths). I know that, for myself, I was very leery to treat my cat with any chemicals, as they lick themselves to bathe.
PS Nice to "see" you again, Buggy!
I've been doing some research since I first started this thread and I think I found something similar to what I was originaly refering to.
This product is a spray that's used to kill Bed Bugs which also gives instructions on how to dilute it and use as a shampoo that can be rubbed directly on pets (cats in my case).
Below is a quote and the link to the product. What does everyone think?
Use the diluted Kleen Free solution as a shampoo for all of the pets in the house. Bed bugs can be carried on pets until they find a human host.
People have used Kleen Free as a contact killer in their homes. So it does kill bed bugs if it is sprayed on them directly. I cannot judge its safety for cats -- I guess you'd have to rely on the manufacturer's word for that.
…as do many cleansers. KF does not disclose its ingredients, but another "leading" herbal bed bug treatment is essentially shampoo.
So does anyone have any semi-reliable alternatives to this? Otherwise, I think I'm going to go with it.
Hi Lasko - seeking answer to same question. Could you please let me know how the Kleen Free worked out for you if you tried it?
Just so you know, IhateNY, if you click on a person's user name/their tag about how long they've been a member, you'll be taken to a page that will tell you the last time that person logged in.
Both threads that you've posted to about cats are very old threads, and at least one of the posters that you're asking questions of hasn't logged in since April of this year, so they may not be on the boards and posting any longer.
You are, of course, welcome to respond to any old post you want; I just wanted you to be aware that you may not get an answer from everyone you're asking questions of if they haven't been around in a while.
I am by no means an expert (or a vet). When I moved, I shampooed (this was no small task I assure you) my cat all over with a normal cat shampoo after a thorough brushing. Then she was immediately put in the clean carrier. Also, earlier in the summer I had the vet give her a good all over exam and she was given a clean bill of health. That is what I did.
You may want to consider a professional grooming and/or a vet appointment to address your cat concerns.
I personally am more worried about any bedbug bites causing my cat anemia than I am her transporting the bugs or eggs, but perhaps I am wrong?
Bathing, brushing and flea combing your cat is a safe choice... Check with your vet before you utilize any product other than regular pet shampoo... period
A flea shampoo can be used, if it is labeled for cats... Follow the label closely... Be sure to leave a soapy foam in place for about 10 minutes (or time specified on label) for maximum effectiveness.
Do not use an insecticidal shampoo too frequently or there is a risk of overdose for your pet.
Bed bugs do not lay eggs on cats under normal conditions... Using a safe pet shampoo, then a through brushing & flea combing should be sufficient to properly decon a pet that has been living in an residence with a high level infestation.
Be sure to check with your vet before using cedar oil or enyzme based products... Other readers have questioned the safety of cedar oil for cats... The product website claims that it is safe for cats... Do not use any product that does not specifically list cats on the label
Products that are safe for dogs... can be deadly when applied on cats.
Do not use scalding temperatures for the wash water.... Water that is hot enough to kill bed bugs will injure your pet and burn your hands.
As others have already stated... Bed bugs do not harbor or lay eggs on their host under normal conditions... Cats are not considered common vectors for bed bug movement... It is highly unlikely that you will transfer bed bugs on a cat to a new location.
Washing, brushing and flea combing are safe actions that will physically remove any pest that may reside on the cat's skin or fur... Be very cautious about doing anything or using any substance that may harm your cat's health given that it is unlikely to be necessary.. in the first place.
Do not use DE on your pet... It is not safe or effective for use on a cat or dog.
A couple of vets have suggested that some flea products may prove to be repellent for bed bugs, but there are no published studies... at this point
Vectra is a flea control product, NOT LABELED FOR BBs, that contains Dinotefuran which is used in Alpine dust that is labeled for BBs. The other ingrediant in Alpine is DE so the Dinotefuran could be the killer of other insects and the DE for BBs.
All things being equal if concerned about BBs I would use Vectra for flea control on my pets since the active ingredient is used in a BB control product.
I don't have time to research details since it has taken 2 hours to write this.
Hopefully I can dig up info on Dinotefuran efficacy on BBs but that may take weeks with my time crunches lately.
The active ingredient in Frontline (fipronil) will kill bed bugs, but there are no published studies to demonstrate the performance of an application of Frontline on a pet confirming mortality or for use as a repellent.
A couple of other products have also been mentioned... but it is all speculation.
Ask your vet is my best advice at this point... I have spoken to numerous bed bug experts, but there is no current funding for the research... and committees that control live animal research tend to frown on activities like allowing bed bugs to feed on house pets.
Re asking your vet - I am tempted to call a vet in New York or a badly infested city - I talked to mine here where I live and they didn't seem to have much info about bedbugs - the first time I called they said they had a shampoo that would kill them, but when I called back again to ask another question they said that the shampoo wouldn't kill bedbugs. Maybe a New York vet would be up-to-date on the latest info re this topic.
Had hoped could use Bedbug Terminator, Kleen Free or Kleen Green on my pets but have found out -
-none of these have been tested on pets
-was told Kleen Green is stronger than Kleen Free but I had since found out that Kleen Green is made by a competitor of Kleen Free and they each maintain their product is the better/stronger one.
-Bedbug Terminator - I was told by producer it should be safe on a cat/dog etc as the bedbug killing ingredient is Sodium Chloride, BUT it has not been tested and is not labelled for use on pets. I don't know anything about Sodium Chloride - he said it is basically salt.
Cedar soap -
-was told by a vendor that it is what she sprays on her bedbug sniffing dog each night to clean him and it works - however have since read more about the cedar products and also, someone pointed out to me that a bedbug sniffing dog would be the last place a bedbug would survive - the dog would eat it, whine, etc or do something indicating it had a bedbug on it (that seemed logical to me).
So really, haven't found any answer other than washing the cat and dog and combing - I just don't feel confident with that method as it seems that I could miss one doing that - especially on the cat, who won't tolerate much/any time in water.
Re last post - also, Kleen Green, Kleen Free, and Bedbug Terminator would kill upon contact only.
I wouldn't worry about the pets. Everything I've read said the bedbugs don't lay eggs on them. They don't like to bite or lay eggs where there is a lot of hair. The only thing a bed bug would do is hitch a short ride on them. Also, be aware that small animals metabolize toxins much faster so they're at a higher risk for having a negative reaction, whether it's an immediate reaction or consequences they will face in the future.
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