How I save over 90% on Topical Flea Control for my Multiple Cat Household


Jeffie in the garden, one of the rescued kittens

I don’t like using topical flea meds, but when you have two dogs and ten cats sometimes diatomaceous earth just isn’t enough. When I took in an abandoned cat and her litter a few months ago, they came with fleas. Despite my best efforts dusting with DE, washing bedding and vacuuming; after a couple months everyone had fleas.

Since I was rehoming Mama and most of the kittens once they were ready, I had to make sure they didn’t bring an infestation to their new homes. The only problem: A six dose package of Advantage for cats under nine pounds from my local vet costs $82.94 plus tax. This works out to about $14.50 per cat. A single dose works for about four weeks if you’re lucky. So, for ten cats, I was looking at $145 a month for flea control. NO WAY.

I decided to do a little bit of research. It turns out that the Advantage cat and dog formulation is the exact same thing. The active ingredient in both is imidacloprid 9.1%.

In other words, buy the package for small cats and get a total of 2.4ml of medication, good for 6 cat treatments. Buy the package for extra large dogs and get ten times that amount, a whopping 24ml of the exact same medication, enough for 60 small cat treatments!

The kicker is that the package for extra large dogs costs only a little bit more than the one for cats. At my vet, it’s about $100, dropping our cost per cat dose down to $1.60. That’s much better!

However, you really don’t have to pay $100 either. Since I’m in Canada, I discovered I can take “advantage” of the low price of Advantage in Australia by ordering online. (This particular product is not available to the USA). A bit more research later and I had found by recommendation what looked like a nice little online shop: Pets Megastore. A 6 pack of Advantage for extra large dogs there is $55.91 CAD and shipping is about $6.  I placed my order and they shipped that same day. My order arrived in good shape with no duty owing about two weeks later.

DSC_0013So now I have managed to drop the price per small cat dose down to $1.03. That’s a savings of almost 93 percent!

All you need to do is get a small glass vial and a syringe with no needle designed to squirt medicine into your cat’s mouth. (Note, you WILL NOT be squirting Advantage into anyone’s mouth! It is applied externally between the shoulder blades directly onto the fur.) Simply empty your extra large dog dose into your glass vial, and use the syringe to get the correct dosage out for your cat (or smaller dog). Here is a handy weight to dosage chart that applies to both cats and dogs:

0-10 lbs = 0.4ml
11-20 lbs = 0.8ml
21-30 lbs = 1.2ml
31-40 lbs = 1.6ml
41-50 lbs = 2.0ml
51-60 lbs = 2.4ml
61-70 lbs = 2.8ml
71-80 lbs = 3.2ml
81-90 lbs = 3.6ml
91-100 lbs = 4.0ml

An added benefit here is that you can tailor your dosages more precisely to your pet’s actual weight. This can save you even more money and is healthier for your pet. Keep your unused medicine well-marked and tightly sealed in a safe place that is also cool, dark and dry. Shake it up well before using again as the active ingredients may settle. It won’t lose potency until the expiration date, so mark this down as well. Be careful not to get this medicine on your skin, or wear latex gloves if you’re worried. Wash your syringe out very well with soapy water before storing. Do not use on kittens or puppies under 8 weeks of age.

If you have a multi-cat household, this tip has the potential to save you a lot of money which you can then spend on your lovely, flea-free friends. Consider a home with three small cats who get treated every month. The yearly cost of buying the small cat sized vials from the vet would add up to $522. The cost of ordering the extra large dog vials online would be $37.08. Throw in the cost of the syringe and vial and let’s say $40. You’ve just saved $482. That’s enough to feed those three cats a high quality grain-free canned food (let’s say $3 per can, one can a day) for over 5 whole months.

(I’d like to add that I haven’t been paid or reimbursed by any of the companies mentioned above. Just had a good experience shopping online and wanted to share. Also note, this information applies to Advantage and Advantage II products only. Do not use the newer, K-9 Advantix or Advantage Multi for Dogs products on cats.)

Rabbit Carpaccio

DSC_0009Some people get cravings for carbs, I get cravings for raw meat. That’s why I was super excited to try a rabbit carpaccio dish ever since I started raising my own rabbits. The loin cut is such a tender and finely-grained morsel that I always feel absolute simplicity is best. There is nothing much simpler than this recipe and it is so fresh and delicious. I also call it rabbit sashimi and the flavor and texture reminds me of a mild raw tuna. Sushi lovers will appreciate this dish.

Rabbit Carpaccio

1 Fresh rabbit loin
Half a lemon
Salt to taste
Extra virgin olive oil

Remove the silverskin from the loin and slice it thinly. Place the slices in a single layer on a plate and sprinkle with salt. Squeeze on lemon juice and drizzle with olive oil. Serves 4 to 6 as appetizers.


Amazing Turmeric

I sure wish I had known more about healing herbs and plants when I was growing up, it sure would have saved me a lot of money, time and hassle. After trying more and more natural cures, I don’t understand how certain commercial products can be so popular. So many of them just don’t work. There are things that do work though, and they work very well. They are also cheap and may already be lurking in your spice cabinet.

DSC_0074I recently learned about turmeric while I was researching ways to heal my broken foot faster. Turmeric has many healing properties, but my current favorite uses are for acne and for wounds. Not just human wounds, but poultry and livestock wounds as well.

I already had a little turmeric in the pantry for use in making curries. Recently at the Superstore I saw them selling it in kilo bags. Really? Who needs that much turmeric? Well, if they’re selling it someone must be buying it. It was cheap. I had been reading about its many uses. I bought a package and brought it home.

It turns out I needed it almost right away. I have three young Muscovy ducks that are in the process of growing up to become new breeders. I had them separated from the main coop but decided to try to integrate them since they were getting pretty big. It turns out the chickens decided that it would be fun (and tasty) to peck out the pinfeathers coming in on their tails. After just one day all three ducks had big, bloody holes in their tails and it was obvious they needed to be separated again. The wounds looked very nasty and I didn’t want them to continue to pick at each other after they were separated, so I made a quick, runny paste with olive pomace oil and turmeric and slopped it all over their tails. I had read it worked well for open wounds. The ducklings all calmed down immediately like they felt relief from the pain. The next day, the wounds looked amazing. They were not red or angry and they looked like they had dried out and closed up almost completely. The color seemed to discourage any more picking. Turmeric and oil is now my go-to remedy for any poultry wounds. It’s amazing.

My second favorite use is for acne. I suffered a lot from acne as a kid and eventually had to go on Accutane to calm it down. I still get a few zits on my face now and then, usually right before my period. Generally they are of the blackhead/whitehead, raging red and angry type that I can’t leave alone because they look gross and hurt. Despite better judgement I usually try to squeeze these things to relieve the pain and of course this usually makes them worse. They weep and will sometimes resist healing, forming a new zit in the same spot. Until now I used my favorite (pre-turmeric) remedy, Polysporin; which works well for a lot of stuff but somehow not for zits. I think by keeping the area moist it’s counterproductive.

Well, the cure my friends is turmeric. Make a paste of water and turmeric and put it right on your zit. You will feel a warming sensation and any pain will instantly recede. If you have popped a zit and it is weeping, dot some dry turmeric on the spot. It will stop the weeping and calm down the redness and pain. You will be left with a small, dried-out spot that will heal very quickly. The only side effect is your fingertips and sink/washcloth may stain yellow. It will stain your face a little as well, but I’ve found this not to be noticeable enough to care about. Seriously, if you have acne problems, you need to try turmeric. It will change your life.

Down to Nine

DSC_0021Well, the lone sweet girl kitten was escorted to her new home today, a day shy of 14 weeks old.

This was hard for me, since I have become attached to all of the kittens, but the little girl especially so. She was the first one to begin following me around dutifully at about three weeks old, much sooner than her brothers could even really walk. Whenever I would talk to the kittens, she would come running, thinking I must be talking to her. She was my little shadow who liked to lick drips of water from my fingers. She was the smallest of all the kittens and her voice was but a squeak.

I am heartened by the fact that she will be living a life much better than I could give her. She now resides in a big, beautiful home on a very quiet street with a huge property backing on to a bird sanctuary. She will grow up with three very calm and gentle kids, another young rescue cat, and two dogs. One of which is reported to enjoy cuddling kittens. She will get to know chickens and ducks and be with her children all day since they are homeschooled. She seemed very pleased to be there and I’m sure they’ll take excellent care of her.

I really am so glad I decided to have all the kittens fixed before bringing them to their new homes. It was expensive, but they have all healed so incredibly quickly and well that I would not hesitate to do it again. They were done at about 13 weeks old and all were over three pounds. It gives me such peace of mind knowing for sure that the cycle of kittens has stopped here. There are so many deserving homeless cats already.

Two of the boy kittens are scheduled for a trip to their prospective new homes in Victoria on Saturday. I’m hoping these homes will be just as good as the first one and I can leave them knowing I’ve done the best I could to get them started in their new lives. I know that they’ll bring a lot of joy to their new families.