Everything You Need To Know About Fleas And Cats

Your feline friend deserves the best start in life and as a responsible cat owner, your cats health is a top of your priorities. Of course, you should never medicate your cat within your home if you are unsure what ailment they are suffering from. Always seek the advice of your local vet if you are unsure what illnesses your beloved kitty has.

One of the most common complaints within cats is fleas. While fleas can be unpleasant, for both you and your kitty, they can be easily treated within the home. If you want to ensure that you are a smart cat owner, read on. This guide will give you the lowdown on fleas and your feline.

Fleas and Cats
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Flickr Photo By: Kevin Dooley

What are Fleas?

Fleas are tiny critters that live within the confines of your cats fur. They survive by jumping on to a host animal, in this case your cat, and feed on their blood. It all sounds rather horrid. All cats can be affected by fleas, irrespective of their fastidious grooming regimen or how clean your home is.

Fleas can also breed very quickly, so one flea can quickly turn into hundreds within a very short space of time. Heavy infestations of fleas are not a problem if the cat owner spots the problem immediately. However, heavy flea infestations can cause a multitude of health problems for your feline. In very severe cases, your cat may die from a heavy infestation as they will have suffered from anemia and blood loss.

How to Spot Fleas

A flea infestation can be spotted fairly easily. If you find fleas on your cat, they can be recognised by their ‘salt and pepper’ type appearance. The black particles within your cats fur are faeces and the white particles are the flea eggs. While fleas cannot fly, they can jump at an alarming rate thus allowing them to transfer from animal to animal with minimum fuss. They are also fast movers, so if you are looking to find fleas within your cat's fur, you may not see them immediately as they move rapidly. What is more, they are notoriously difficult to catch.

You can purchase a kitty comb and comb through your cat's fur to spot any signs of fleas, or flea eggs, within your cat's coat. Fleas can be found anywhere within your cat's fur, so ensure that you comb thoroughly to spot any signs of these hateful critters. The difficult part may be getting your kitty to allow you to comb their fur. As you well know, cats are aloof creatures and may not take too kindly to you combing them!

Flea Control

The great thing is that if you do find fleas within your beloved kitty that you can treat them easily within the home thus avoiding astronomical vet fees. There are a plethora of treatments available on the market, such as dips, shampoos, sprays and oral medication. What is more, you can buy preventative medication to ensure that fleas never find a home on your feline. There are some great home products available on the market from PetFleas.

Changes in medication have seen the products becoming easier to administer than previous medications and remedies. So, if your kitty is something of a nonchalant animal, be rest assured that she will not claw you when you are treating her for fleas.

There is more positive news too. Following the application of the flea treatment, 98% of fleas will be killed within 12 hours, meaning that your feline friend will be back to her usual self in no time at all. Any further new fleas will have to be treated with another application, to ensure that the life cycle of the flea is broken. This will result in the fleas being unable to lay any further eggs.



Further Flea Facts

The thought of fleas is probably making you itch as you read this, so do think about how your cat is feeling if they are subjected to fleas. Protecting your cat from these pests is imperative to ensure that they remain happy and healthy. There are some things that you need to know about fleas, so that you can protect your cat further.

Irrespective of whether your cat is an indoor, or outdoor, kitty that can still contract fleas.  While they may have no other contact with other animals, humans can bring fleas into the home. The thought of this may not be pleasant, but it sure is interesting to know!

If you have wooden flooring, you are still not immune to fleas. Fleas can survive in quite hostile conditions, so even if you do not have carpet within your home, they can still survive.

Your home may be a hotbed for fleas. While you may take great pride in your home and its cleanliness, it is not an effective barrier for keeping fleas out your home and off your cat. Tackling fleas has to be done by protecting your kitty first. Use sprays, shampoos and daily preventative medications as a first step to keeping your kitty flea free.

Fleas will start feeding on your cat within minutes of landing on them. What is more, as they breed quickly, within 20 days you could see over 100,000 fleas on your cats body. However, it is imperative that you do not leave it this long to treat your feline friend. Your cat will respond to fleas almost instantly as they will be itching, and scratching, at the bugs.

Fleas can cause other problems, such as tapeworm. Tapeworm are the direct host of fleas so do ensure that your kitty does not have any other internal problems in the event that they are suffering from fleas.

Throughout history, fleas have been responsible for a whole host of different problems. Did you know that the flea was responsible for the bubonic plague in the 14th century? Of course, you are highly unlikely to start the bubonic plague within your own home, but it is certainly interesting to know.


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