Fleas are pesky little bugs that can be irritating to a cat parent. But for cats, fleas can lead to dangerous problems and disease. It can be challenging to get rid of them.
In this article, I will be discussing:
- what are fleas
- how to get rid of fleas on cats
- how to get rid of fleas from your home
- my opinion on the best flea treatment for cats
What are fleas
Fleas are small, wingless parasites that survive by ingesting the blood of warm-blooded hosts (your cat). Fleas are designed to do maximum damage.
Fleas have flat little bodies with a head surrounded by sharp spikes. Its ferocious mouth can close down on your cat’s skin, piercing a blood vessel and sucking the blood.
One single flea can lead to an epidemic. It’s easy to track these insects into the house by dogs and cats that are allowed to go outside. It is possible to move into a new home or apartment that has fleas.
Diseases caused by fleas
Fleas can make your cat’s life miserable. Constant scratching by your cat can create an open wound that could lead to infection. Fleas can infect your cat with serious illnesses such as:
- Flea Allergy Dermatitis
The lifespan of a flea
The lifespan of a flea can be several months. The four life stages of a flea are:
- egg – laid by an adult female
- larva – hatches from the egg, one to ten days.
- pupa – encloses themselves in a cocoon – this stage can be a week to months
- adult – will set up a permanent home on your cat; feed and lay more eggs – the cycle continues
Female fleas can lay up to 20 eggs at a time. Those eggs can end up on your cat, in the carpet, couch, cracks of flooring, cat’s bedding….anywhere!
Signs that your cat has fleas
Fleas love a lovely warm-blooded host such as your cat to call home. The sooner you diagnose the flea problem, the better. Cats are usually bitten on the neck and the top of the tail. Here are signs that your cat might have fleas:
- your cat is doing a lot of scratching
- tiny black specks (flea dirt) on your cat’s skin and fur
- use a fine-tooth comb to check for small brown spots that move
How to get rid of fleas on cats
You must launch a two-prong attack when getting rid of fleas. You must get rid of the fleas on your cat and destroy fleas from your cat’s environment (your home).
I recommend launching both attacks simultaneously. A little bit of paranoia in your approach is going to do you good.
Getting rid of fleas on your cat
The best way to get rid of fleas on your cat is by taking your cat to the Vet. The best flea treatment for cats can be found at your Vet – BOOM – no more fleas. I have seen this work miracle.
But what if taking your cat to the Vet isn’t an option? The best home remedies for fleas on cats is by using a flea comb and hot soapy water (I recommend Dawn dishwashing liquid). Comb through your cat in the direction of hair growth. Then dip the comb in the soapy water after each pass of the comb, to kill off the fleas.
Keep combing and dipping until you see no visible signs of fleas. Repeat the process once a week.
My opinion on the best flea treatment for cats
There are tons of over-the-counter flea treatments available for purchasing. Here’s my opinion on choosing the best flea treatment for cats – talk to your Vet before embarking using an over-the-counter treatment.
Flea treatment can be toxic to your cat. You can not use the same type of flea treatment on your cat that you would use on a dog. Your Vet will be able to direct you to the best over the counter flea treatment.
This might be a good time to think about getting cat insurance with a cat wellness plan. Preventative care is a great way to keep your cat healthy and flea-free.
Getting rid of fleas in your house
It’s imperative to get rid of fleas from your cat’s environment – not doing so will be like fighting a losing battle. Here’s what you can do:
- Vacuum, vacuum, and vacuum again – daily. EVERYTHING! Don’t forget all the little nooks and crannies.
- Steam clean all carpet.
- For furniture (including those carpeted cat trees), use the attachment from the vacuum cleaner and yes, vacuum.
- Wash all bedding, curtains, cat bedding, and cushions in hot soapy water once a week.
- Keep repeating these steps until your home is completely free of fleas.
- As a last resort, call a professional exterminator. Be sure that products the exterminator uses are safe for you and your cat.
Again, getting rid of fleas won’t be easy. But if you’re persistent with cleaning and flea prevention, it can be done.
Fleas are small, wingless parasites that can make your life and your cat’s miserable. Fleas are designed to do maximum damage by sucking blood from your cat.
Look for signs that your cat is infested with fleas. If your cat is doing a lot of scratching, losing fur in a particular spot, and has the presence of “flea dirt,” it’s time to go to battle. The battle must be raged on two fronts – by getting rid of fleas from your cat and your home.
Be sure to contact your veterinarian for advice on getting rid of fleas on your cat. This might be a good time to think about getting cat insurance with a cat wellness plan. Preventative care is a great way to keep your cat healthy and flea-free.
Getting rid of fleas won’t be easy. But if you’re persistent with cleaning and flea prevention, it can be done.
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