Maintaining the health of your cat through continuous flea treatment is a necessary and ongoing procedure. Regrettably, there are no instant solutions available. The primary issue with fleas lies in their ability to survive for months without a host.
Consequently, even the most immaculate homes and well-groomed cats can swiftly transform into breeding grounds for infestation. However, by remaining watchful and proactive, occasional flea cases can be prevented from escalating into full-blown infestations.
What level of risk do fleas present?
If a flea problem is allowed to escalate, the situation can quickly become critical, not only for your cat but also for you. While all cats are bothered by fleas, some cats exhibit a hypersensitivity to flea saliva, leading to allergic reactions. If left untreated, this can result in severe health hazards. Additionally, it's important to remember that fleas are bloodsuckers.
A heavy flea burden in newly born to young kittens can cause life threating anaemia. Furthermore, fragile cats with fleas can experience excessive blood loss, which can be fatal.
Furthermore, a flea infestation can serve as a gateway to other, more severe infections. For instance, flea larvae can become infected with tapeworm eggs, which your cat can unintentionally ingest while grooming. Consequently, what initially appears as a harmless flea infection can rapidly develop into a life-threatening tapeworm infection. This highlights the significance of regular worming alongside routine flea treatment.
Identifying signs of fleas in your cat
On occasions, fleas may be noticeable. You might observe tiny black specks of flea dirt within your cat's fur or spot small insects scurrying around. These unwelcome guests may also be found on your carpets, furniture or even on your own body and clothing. However, even if you cannot visually detect any fleas, there are still several distinct indicators to watch out for.
The most prominent sign is excessive scratching. While all cats scratch occasionally, an increase in scratching could be a sign of fleas. It's important to note that fleas not only bite cats, so be cautious of unexplained insect bites on your skin. If you suspect your cat has fleas and wish to confirm your suspicions, you can groom your cat using a fine-tooth comb held over a white surface like a tissue.
If your cat has fleas, they will drop onto the surface. To remove any doubts, you can add a few drops of water. If the specks transform into a reddish-brown colour when exposed to water, it confirms that the specks are flea dirt consisting of your pet's blood. Unfortunately, this means your cat indeed has fleas. Therefore, it is time to take action!
Get in touch with your Primrose Hill Vets in Dublin today to keep the fleas away!
Flea treatment for cats
Numerous flea treatments are available, but not all of them are suitable for your cat. Your vet, being familiar with your cat's medical history, is the best person to recommend a suitable treatment. It is crucial to never use a treatment that has not been specifically recommended by your vet. In the best case, it may be ineffective, but in the worst case, it could worsen your cat's condition. However, treating your cat for fleas is just one aspect. The larger and arguably more important task is eliminating fleas from your home. Remember, fleas can survive for months without a host, and approximately 95% of flea eggs, larvae and pupae exist in the environment. Therefore, if you only treat your cat without addressing the rest of your home, don't be surprised if the problem resurfaces in a month or two.
How to treat your home for fleas
Regularly vacuuming your floors, furniture and skirting boards plays a significant role in flea elimination at every stage of their life cycle. Dispose of the vacuum cleaner's dust bag once you are finished. We can recommend suitable flea treatments for both your cats and your home. Typically, these treatments come in the form of sprays to be applied to various areas of your home where fleas may hide. Always read the instructions on these treatments for the home to ensure you and your pet’s safety as they can be mildly toxic. To prevent any harm, treat one room at a time. After treatment, open the windows, close the door and ensure that your cat cannot enter for at least an hour.
It is essential to regularly wash your bedding and any surfaces where your cat sleeps. By staying on top of these measures and incorporating flea treatment into your routine cleaning, you can prevent your flea problem from spiralling out of control. Contact us regarding the frequency of flea treatment for your cat and make treating your home a part of your regular cleaning regime.