Fleas are external parasites that we’ve all heard about. Not only are these parasites a source of irritation and bother for pet owner and pet, they also are capable of transmitting other parasites and diseases. The good news is that there are medications that can prevent your cat from falling victim to these biting foes!
What are fleas?
Fleas are very small, wingless biting insects that feed off the blood of mammals. Fleas are capable of jumping very far distances in relation to their body size, which allows them to be transmitted from one cat to another easily. Fleas need a blood meal to reproduce. Once a flea has taken a blood meal, it can start laying 50 eggs PER DAY! That means it doesn’t take long for a house to become flea-infested!
How do fleas harm cats?
Fleas can be harmful in several ways. First, because they bite, the fleas can cause irritation resulting in chewing, biting and restlessness in some cats. Second, some cats are allergic to the flea bite which can lead to severe skin disease. Lastly, fleas are capable of transmitting other parasites such as tapeworm to the cat. In heavily infested households, the biting fleas can cause anemia in kittens, senior cats or cats with other medical conditions. Unfortunately, many cats don’t exhibit any outward signs of fleas and adult fleas are very fast moving so they can be difficult to find. You can look for “flea dirt” which is flea poop and looks like ground pepper in your cat’s fur.
Why is treating and preventing fleas so important?
As explained earlier, fleas reproduce very quickly and can be a source of irritation or illness for the pets in the house. Unfortunately, the fleas do not ONLY ingest the blood from our pets. They are more than willing to bite the humans in the household as well.
Simple steps for treating fleas in your cat?
Fleas are very hardy insects so treating your cat with fleas is not simple. You must treat ALL the pets in the house and you must also treat the house. If you do not treat the other pets or the environment, then you will be continually battling the fleas. The product you need to use for the environment is specific to the household and will provide continuous protection for several months. It is extremely important to follow the directions on the product to ensure that it has been done properly to achieve maximum effectiveness. If you have a flea problem, the treatment for your cat will need to be done once monthly for several months to be 100% effective. Please feel free to speak with any of our staff members about dealing with fleas.