How Do Fleas Attach To Your Pet
Fleas can survive outdoors for up to two weeks without a host your pets can come in contact with them in backyards, dog parks and kennels, not to mention contracting them from another animal that has fleas. Once an adult female flea attaches to your pet, she can lay as many as 50 eggs per day and live up to 100 days . Kratt explained that when they jump on your pet, the female flea will honestly start laying eggs within the day. Within two to 16 days, those eggs will hatch into larvae, which then grow into pupae.
How To Give Your Cat A Flea Bath When Your Cat Hates Water
Cats are quite adept at keeping themselves clean, but sometimes they need a little extra help from their humans. If your kitty has fleas, you definitely want to take that extra step and bathe him. But just the prospect of bathing your cat might make you a little nervous. How do you give your cat a bath if he hates water? The best strategy is to slowly get him acclimated to the bath using warm water while being very patient and speaking in reassuring tones.
You See A Flea Or Two
Its actually not super likely that youll see a live flea on your cat because cats are just so good at grooming themselves .
If you get lucky, you might see a flea skitter by if you run your hands through your cats coat, parting the hair to look directly at the skin, Dr. Coates said.
But youre more likely to see flea dirt , she added.
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Treat Fleas With A Dish Soap Bath
A gentle bath with dish soap will help to kill the live fleas and wash away the larva and flea dirt. Exercise caution when bathing the kitten, as baths can be traumatic to a kitten if done incorrectly. Here are some tips for providing a kitten with a dish soap bath:
Use comfortably warm water and a fragrance free dish liquid or a natural baby shampoo.
Try to complete the entire bath in less than 2 minutes, as kittens can become panicked or chilled during this process.
Wash from the neck down, avoiding the eyes, nose, ears, and mouth. Never dunk a kittens head under water.
Create a ring of soapy water around the kittens neck. This will act as a barrier so that the fleas do not run up the body and onto the head. Wash the neck first, then work your way down the rest of the body, lathering with warm water and dish soap.
Wash the entire body from the neck down, including between the toes, under the arms, and on the tail.
Rinse completely with clean, comfortably warm water.
Immediately towel dry the kitten. It is safe to use a blow dryer with a kitten as long as it is on a low setting, is held at least 2 feet away, and is oscillating to avoid overheating. Dry the kitten completely.
Spot clean the head with a washcloth, sponge, or cotton round and warm, soapy water. Avoid the eyes, ears, nose, and mouth.
Place the kitten back into a warm environment Kittens can easily become chilled from a bath, and it is of utmost importance that the kitten be kept warm.
How Do Cats Get Fleas
The most common way for a cat, or any animal, to get fleas is usually from another animal that already has them. This could be from another cat or if you also have dogs.
However, if there has been an infestation of fleas in your house before and there are some leftover eggs still embedded in your carpets or furniture, the eggs could still hatch and hop onto your cat. Even moving into a new home that might have had fleas at some point could create a problem if the house hasnt been adequately treated.
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Treating Your Home For Fleas
In addition to treating your cat, youll also need to take steps to get rid of any fleas or eggs that might be hiding in your home. Fleas hang out in the furniture, carpet, or bedespecially in areas where your cat sits frequently. Flea eggs that hide in the upholstery will hatch later and start looking for a furry friend to feast on, so its critical that you get rid of these uninvited houseguests ASAP with help from the vacuum.
Experts point out that a regimen of vacuuming and washing makes a huge difference in the overall effectiveness of flea treatment. Focus on vacuuming any cracks and crevices , underneath your furniture, and anywhere your pets like to hang out. Dont forget to dispose of the vacuum bag in a sealed plastic bag, or wash out the canister right away so that no fleas escape. Steam cleaning carpets and furniture once youve treated your cat can also help ensure fleas are destroyed at all their life stages.
Along with proper treatment of your pet, vacuuming and thorough washing of textiles are usually enough to eliminate most fleas from your home. Wash sheets, pet bedding, and pillows once a week. Use the high-heat setting on your washer and dryer and bid farewell to any fleas that might be hiding in the fabrics.;
What Products Are Available To Treat My Cat
Although most topical insecticides kill adult fleas, many have limited effectiveness because they only work for a few hours after application. This is particularly true of flea shampoos and powders; they kill fleas present on your cat at the time of application but have little lasting effect; the following day the cat may again have fleas. Newer products with excellent residual activity are available from your veterinarian. Some products contain adulticide ingredients with residual activity, while others contain insect growth regulators that prevent the larval stages from maturing. For best results in a flea infestation, use flea control products that contain an IGR.
ALWAYS READ THE LABEL CAREFULLY – apply the product as instructed and repeat at the intervals stated. Ensure that the product is labelled for use in cats, as some dog products may be poisonous to cats.
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Theres Flea Dirt In Her Coat
While its unlikely youll see an actual flea on your cat, theres a good chance that youll see flea dirt in your cats coat.
It looks like coffee grounds, Dr. Coates said.
So, where does flea dirt usually show up on your cat? Dr. Coates recommends looking in hard-to-groom areas, like the top of a cats rump, right in front of the tail.
Your Cat Develops Red Skin Lesions Or Scab
When a flea bites your cat, the fleas mouthparts pierce its skin like a needle to feed. The saliva the flea injects into your cat may cause an allergic reaction. In some cats the response is subtle, but in others it is severe, and the skin becomes red and inflamed. If you notice red skin lesions or scab-like bumps it is essential to seek help from a veterinarian to reduce inflammation and prevent infection.
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Intense And Frantic Scratching Or Biting
Flea bites can cause a cats skin and fur to feel very itchy, Dr. Weinberg says. One of the signs of fleas on cats is if your cat suddenly starts scratching their body with their paws or chewing their skin in an attempt to stop the itchy sensation.
To give them some temporary relief, Dr. Weinberg says, use;cat flea and tick shampoo, like;Veterinary Formula Clinical Cares flea and tick shampoo, or an after-bath treatment like;TropiCleans Natural AfterBath Flea & Tick Bite Relief Treatment.
How To Best Treat Fleas On Cats
So, you weren’t sure how to tell if your cat has fleas. But, you learnt the signs, you checked your cat and found multiple pieces of evidence of flea infestation. What should be your next step to battle fleas on cats? Give it a bath first or clean your home before that?;
Relax. It isnt rocket science. You wont need to burn a hole in your pocket too! Following the three-step process will keep your kitty free from fleas.
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How To Get Rid Of Your Pets Fleas
If you suspect that your pet has fleas, take the following steps:
Ridding Your Home Of Fleas
Just as important as treating your cat, its imperative that you eradicate the fleas in your house. Fleas arent just concentrated on your cat. They can set up a home base in your yard, bed, couch, favorite chair, etc. a seriously skin-crawling thought. These extra steps can help you prevent future infestations:
- Vacuum everything.
- Clear up any yard waste.
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Does My Cat Have Fleas
When grooming, cats often ingest any fleas that they discover, which can make it difficult to find adult fleas in the hair coat. An itchy cat, or insect bites on human ankles, may be the only sign of an infestation.
The best way to demonstrate the presence of fleas is often to comb the cat meticulously with a fine-toothed flea comb. If you do this over a clean white surface such as a large piece of white paper, any fleas or flea dirt will be deposited onto the surface. If there is any debris , place this on some damp cotton wool if these are flea dirt, they will slowly dissolve leaving red-brown blood marks. This demonstrates the presence of fleas even if adults cannot be found.
Are There Different Types Of Allergies To Fleas
Yes. There are four common types of allergies in the cat: insect , food, inhalant , and contact. Each of these has some common physical signs in cats, and each has some unique features. What is meant by the term flea allergy?
According to The Merck Veterinary Manual, most FAD cases occur in late summer, which is the peak season for fleas. It is also rare for a cat to develop FAD before 1 year of age. If you do have evidence of fleas, either on your cat or in your home, and have ruled out other possible causes, the cat most likely has FAD.
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Use A Flea Preventive For Cats
Flea preventives help discourage fleas from coming back. Effective flea prevention;options include;collars, topicals;and;oral products that can last anywhere from 30 days to;eight;months.;Choose the prevention method;that works best for you and your cat.
Keep in mind that preventives work best when used regularly;and;year-round; applying for;only;one or two months;per year;could;leave your;pet;unprotected.
Symptoms & Signs Of Fleas In Cats
The most obvious symptom of fleas in cats is scratching and itching;more than usual. If you notice your cat suddenly scratching much more, as if theyre in pain or highly irritated, try using a flea comb to look for signs of fleas.
Adult fleas are visible to the naked eye, but theyre fast and can easily hide in your cats fur. They are usually brown or reddish brown in color and have six legs.
Because fleas are so small and quick, you may be able to spot what is known as flea dirt more easily. Flea dirt is the feces of fleas. It may look like tiny grains of pepper or flecks of dirt.
You can find it fairly easily on cats with light colored fur, but it may be more difficult to spot against dark fur. To confirm that its flea dirt and not ordinary dirt, you can run a comb through your cats coat, which should pull some of the dirt off;and possibly some adult fleas, as well.
Place the residue on a wet paper towel. Flea dirt will appear to have a rust color as it dissolves because it contains traces of blood, while regular dirt will be black or dark brown.
Flea bites appear, like other insect bites,;as small, red lesions.;The most common places that flea bites appear are on the groin, hind legs, and the back between the ribs and the tail.
Beyond the irritation that comes from being bitten by fleas, if the infestation is left untreated, some other conditions might also arise. Common secondary conditions caused by fleas include:
- Mycoplasma Haemofelis
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Are Insecticides Safe For My Cat And My Family
Insecticides for flea control should be safe both for pet dogs, cats, and humans, as long as the manufacturer’s instructions are carefully followed. It is important to avoid combining insecticides with similar modes of action. Always seek your veterinarian’s advice if you are unsure about this and always tell your veterinarian about any flea control products you may be using other than those that have been prescribed.
“Certain types of pets may be particularly susceptible to some products.”
Certain types of pets may be particularly susceptible to some products. Do not use any flea control products in the room in which these pets are kept without first consulting your veterinarian for advice.
You Notice Tiny Pepper
These specks may be flea dirt. Its one of the most common signs that your cat has fleas. When a flea bites your cat, the faeces from the digested blood will appear on your cats fur or a comb or brush. If you notice these tiny, pepper-like specks, take a sample, place it on a white paper towel or cloth and mist it with water. If the sample turns red, it is likely flea dirt. Consult your veterinary team for advice to manage flea infestations in your home.
How To Get Rid Of Fleas In Cats
Flea treatment for cats is an ongoing process. Unfortunately, there is no quick fix. The main problem with fleas is that they can live without a host for months.
This means that even the cleanest of homes and the cleanest of cats can soon become hotbeds for infestation. But if you stay vigilant and make an effort to stay on top of things, the occasional case of fleas will never be allowed to break out into a full-on infestation.
Diy Cat Flea Home Remedies
Unless its a bad flea infestation, many times you can solve a lighter case of cat fleas with some at-home remedies rather than a vet visit. Lets take a look at some DIY things you can do to help your cat be flea-free:
- Wash and dry the cats bed in a high heat setting, this will kill any fleas hiding in the bed.
- Vacuum all the rugs, carpeting, drapes, and furniture in the house. Fleas often hide in fabric waiting for their next host and their eggs can roll off into other areas of the house.
- Use cedar chips and cedar oil to help the fleas leave. The smell of cedar drives fleas crazy and is non-toxic for your cat. Dab some cedar oil on your cats fur and leave cedar chips around the yard as well as around where your cat likes to hang out.
- Citric acid kills fleas, so using a lemon or lemon juice spray on your cat will help get rid of the fleas. Pantry to the rescue!
- Diluted dish-soap sprayed onto your cat will kill plenty of fleas.
- Lavender can help soothe your cats flea suffering and kill fleas in the same move. Just let some lavender steep in water overnight and then spray the liquid on their coat.
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Giving Your Cat Preventative Flea Treatment