If you find yourself shrieking “My Cat Has Fleas!” don’t despair. Here’s the low down on fleas, where they’re from and how to treat your cat and flea proof your home so they don’t come back.
Cats and a few friendly fleas have lived in harmony together for ever for centuries. But in recent years the balance has changed and Ctenocephalides felis, (the cat flea) has become prolific and a real problem both for the cat and in the home.
Much research has been done on the treatment and prevention of cat flea infestations and in this series of articles I have summarised the critical answers you need to know when you are ready to scream: “OMG! My Cat Has Fleas”.
The Cat Flea Facts
- Fleas prefer fur! Adult fleas spend all of their time on your cat!
- Fleas have perfect camouflage! If you can see 1 flea, there are 10 more you can’t see. Even careful combing will only pick up 85% of the adults. They stick to the hairs like glue!
- Fleas lay 40 eggs per day once they’ve had a meal from your pet, they start biting within 10 minutes of hopping on your cat!
- And worse – once in the environment – are almost indestructible!
- Flea control has to be year-round – by mid-summer the problem is huge so by mid August you will have to think fleas and get rid of the eggs.
- Cats will pick off 50 fleas a day from their own coats if they can, so the ones you see are the tip of the iceberg!
- Flea eggs are the perpetrators of the problem – you must get rid of them first and keep them out of your environment – no flea eggs, no fleas!
- Daily grooming with a flea comb (and it must be a very fine-toothed one) is the single most important part of any flea control program.
If you combine combing with a flea egg control system then you can achieve excellent, environmentally friendly flea control!
Cat Flea Combing
When used effectively, a cat flea comb is the first line of resistance to the flea problem. It can also be a really nice bonding experience for both you and your furry friend. In this section, I explain how to do Cat Flea Combing and what to look out for.
Cat Flea Treatment
If the problem is a serious flea infestation, then it could be time to visit your vet who will advise and prescribe the right treatment and medication. Here are some of the Cat Flea Treatments that may be used.
Feline Flea Allergies
Your cat will use licking to relieve the irritation of flea bites. However, this is ineffective and in some felines can develop a cat flea allergy. She will not only experience the discomfort of having fleas but may develop a range of other nasty and even life-threatening symptoms. Here’s what to watch out for.
Feline Flea Proofing Your Home
Getting rid of fleas on the cat is just the beginning. If you don’t also get rid of the eggs and pupae that lurk in your carpet, furnishings and bedding, then the problem remains. Each flea lays around 40 eggs and these lay in waiting for the right moment to hatch and jump aboard your passing cat. So make sure you Flea Proof Your Home so it is also your flea free castle.
The flea is relentless in its pursuit of your cat’s blood! Be relentless in your pursuit of the flea!