How do cats get fleas
Even clean cats can pick up fleas, especially during summer months, for cat flea loves heat and humidity. Cats can get fleas through the contact with infested pets or through contact with fleas in the environment (e.g. from an infected bedding).
Why are cat fleas bad
Cat fleas can cause many diseases, the most common of which are:
· Anemia: Fleas drink blood and lots of fleas drink a lot of blood. This can lead to anemia, a state of inadequate red blood cells. The situation can be severe and in some cases it can threat the cat's life.
· Tapeworms: Fleas play a necessary role in the reproduction of a tapeworm that lives in the small intestines of dogs and cats. The worm’s eggs are passed in the feces, where fleas find them and ingest them. The eggs develop into an immature form inside the fleas and if the cat eats any of these fleas (usually while grooming), the immature form of the tapeworm is released and develops into an adult in the cat's intestine.
· Allergy dermatitis: an eczematous itchy skin disease.
Cat flea symptoms
The most obvious symptom is excessive scratching, however note that cat flea does not make cats itchy unless they have a flea bite allergy.
How to check for cat fleas
If you run a fine metal comb through your pet's coat, you will most probably see fleas crawling around on it. If the comb gathers black or brown specks, you have probably found flea dirt.
You can also carry out the following cat flea examination:
Sit your cat on a big piece of white paper and rub its back vigorously for a minute. Notice for any small black or brown specks that will fall onto the paper. Next pick up the piece of paper, remove any hair and transfer the specks on a damp cotton wool. Leave to stand for a minute. If the specks dissolve and turn into a lighter shade of red, you have definitely found flea dirt and treatment is required.
How to pick the right cat flea control product
The best way is to ask your vet for his opinion.
Otherwise, the rule of thumb is using a spray solution if the flea infestation is severe and a spot on solution if the case is milder. If you just want to apply a solution for flea prevention, use the spot on one.
How to apply a flea control product
If you are using the spray solution, follow these steps to apply the flea solution to your cat:
· Wear household latex gloves.
· Hold the bottle in an upright position. Ruffle your cat's coat with one hand while applying flea spray mist to back, sides, stomach, legs, shoulders and neck.
· Spray in the opposite direction of the hair growth.
· For the head and eye areas, spray some flea solution on a gloved hand and rub gently into your cat's hair.
· Do not smoke while spraying.
· Do not stroke your cat before it's completely dry.
· Do not bathe your cat for two days before and two days after applying the flea solution.
If you are using a spot on solution:
·Place the applicator tip through your pet's hair to the skin on the back of its head. Try the applying the flea solution between the ears base, because this area is difficult for your cat's tongue to reach.
·Squeeze the applicator and apply the suggested content onto your pet's skin. Do not apply the whole content on a single spot, but in two horizontal lines.
Flea free household
Do not forget applying the flea solution to all other pets living in the same house. You should also vacuum the carpets and other soft coverings your cat tends to lounge, as well as your car. Wash the cat's bedding, blanket, toys and other soft items in the hottest water possible. Finally, mow the lawn and rake any clippings or leaves.
Cat flea prevention
· Apply a flea prevention product on your cat as recommended (usually every 6 weeks).
· Wash your pet's bedding weekly and treat the bed and surrounding area with a product that contains both an adulticide and an insect growth regulator.
· Vacuum thoroughly, especially below drapes, under furniture edges and where your pet sleeps. It is estimated that vacuuming can remove up to 50% of flea eggs. Vacuum daily in high traffic areas, weekly in others. Each time, seal your vacuum bag in a plastic bag and discard it immediately.
· Also clean your automobile, pet carrier or any other place your pet spends much time.