I stumbled on this thread looking for information on using ivermectin for fleas in cats. Thank you Bear Foot Farm for your information as well. I am curious if this dosage is effective for fleas? I know that ivermectin is ivermectin is ivermectin...but the percentage varies widely depending on brand, and what type of animal you are treating. It seems to be available for everything from horses to guinea pigs.
I have helped rescue cats for decades and right now I have 10 rescue cats, one is a mama with 5 kittens. I also have a very small budget. Worm medicine is fairly inexpensive, but treating fleas effectively can be terribly expensive, and up until this week I have never found anything to be very effective anyway. I spent days searching the internet for information and found almost nothing relating to ivermectin and cats.
Here is my anecdotal story as of today: We live in Arkansas: flea central, during the summer. Frontline no longer works, and I can't afford it anyway if I am going to continue to help with rescue cats. I have two pigs that had a terrible case of lice and were covered in ticks. I gave them the ivermectin horse paste, 1.87%, orally, about two months ago. Lice were gone in two days, never to return. So that got me thinking about fleas...ticks, etc. I found a great website on guinea pigs and ivermectin, of all things: http://www.guinealynx.info/ivermectin_products.html I used the charts to figure out a correct dosage for cats based on the dosage for guinea pigs. I know that's not very scientific, but I had nothing else to go on. I treated one of my cats as a test patient (sorry Squirt) with a topically dose of the 1.87% horse paste between the shoulder blades. It was about the size of a very small pea. She was crawling with fleas at that time, but 12 hours later, I could only find a stray flea here and there. Woo hoo! No sign of any ill effects for Squirt, so I dosed the rest of them the next day, INCLUDING (gulp) my mama kitty. She is nursing 5 week old kittens and I was very concerned knowing the medicine will pass through her milk to the kittens. But the kittens were crawling with fleas also, (herbal shampoos for kittens do not work, I just ended up with dangerously chilled kittens, despite a heating pad) and were becoming anemic. I decided the unknown factor with the ivermectin was less dangerous than anemia.
As of today, 24 hours later, all adult cats are nearly flea free. Mama kitty still has fleas (presumably from her babies) although quite a few less. Kittens are all fine, some reduction in flea population, but still pretty bad. I am hopeful that they will gradually disappear.
So...I would LOVE to hear from others with experiences with this. I am astounded that there is so little information available on this subject. Fleas can be a terrible thing to deal with, and ticks are very dangerous to cats.
PLEASE don't advise me to call the vet. He just wants to sell me his expensive flea products.